【明報專訊】''How shall we celebrate the Spring?'' the monkey asked the other animals. ''Let's form a band and make wonderful music together.''
Everyone thought this was a great idea. The elephant used its trunk as a trumpet. The cricket chirped, the frog croaked, the cicada sang, and the snake hissed. The happy mood was infectious (具感染力的) and soon, the cow started mooing, the horse neighing, the donkey braying, the sheep baaing. The monkey, playing on drums made from empty coconut shells, kept up a lively rhythm and soon the whole forest was filled with music, dancing and joy. All the animals were having a wonderful time freely expressing themselves. The rumpus (喧鬧) even reached the birds high in the treetop and they flew over to investigate.
''What's going on? Why are you making this terrible noise?''
''Noise? We've formed a band and we're making beautiful music together. When you birds sing early in the morning and wake us up, you all sing at the same time. We're just doing what you're doing. What's wrong?''
''Quite a few things wrong, actually. We birds know a thing or two about music, so we have to say that you are making the most deafening din imaginable. Music is all about pitch, rhythm, melody. When we birds sing, all our different calls make a chorus (合唱) that is most pleasant and harmonious to the ear. But you lot are just making an awful noise, being a public nuisance, creating sound pollution!''
''Hold on now, there's no reason to be so critical,'' said the monkey. ''We may not be professional (專業的) singers and musicians like you, but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun and make our own music.''
''Yeah, that's right! So you consider yourselves experts, eh? That doesn't give you the right to criticise us and tell us what to do. Who are YOU to judge?'' demanded the other animals.
Sensing the mood of the crowd might change for the worse, the birds wisely backed down, apologised for interrupting the impromptu (即興的) concert and hastily flew off to a distant grove.
''Hey, aren't you staying to hear our encore (加演)?'' the animal musicians called after them cheerfully.
◆Something to: THINK ABOUT
When we are having a good time, the last thing we want is someone to come along and break up the party. What is the use of expert opinion if the crowd is not in the mood to listen?
■Useful: WORDS TO DESCRIBE SOUND
．Pitch: high or low
．Rhythm (beat): fast or slow
．Pleasant sounds: tune, tuneful; melody, melodious; harmony, harmonious
．Unpleasant sounds: rumpus, Unpleasant sounds: rumpus, commotion, awful noise, deafening din