英文

A Little English:The apes and the travellers (3)

【明報專訊】The King of the Apes ordered his troops to bring the two captive travellers before him. ''Well, I know that you are two unusual men —one always tells the truth and the other always lies. You have both been here for some time, so I think it's fair to let you go and continue on your journey.

I've decided to set you free if you can answer me this one question. We apes live simple lives but people grab our land and force us to go deeper and deeper into the forest. Now, I ask you, 'Is this right?'''

''O great King, we don't know!'' the two replied in unison. The mighty ape was much perplexed and scratching his head, muttered, ''How can you not know something that's obvious even to an ape? You're BOTH lying and avoiding the truth!''

Seeing the huge beast so enraged, the two bowed low and said, ''Please forgive us, Mighty One, for you have asked us a question to which there is no simple answer. It is a question of fairness, ethics, morality. Throughout the ages, people have grappled with such issues and have reached different conclusions. Whether they are honest or deceitful, they struggle endlessly with these matters. They take sides, form parties, debate, and even go to war. We regret that 'we don't know' is the only answer we can give you.''

The king thought a while and then called his followers, ''Release them, we have no further use for these two. I had hoped to learn something of the ways of men, to learn how to deal with them in future, but it seems they live in a large web of their own making. Something so complicated even they don't understand. It's like a spider being caught in its own web —how ridiculous!

Be off, the two of you, and leave us beasts to our simple, contented lives.''

◆Something to:DISCUSS

One day, you meet the two travellers, what question will you ask them?

■Useful:VOCABULARY

Different ways to approach a problem:

1.To solve a difficult matter, you need to struggle.

2.To solve an urgent problem, you can tackle it head on.

3.To solve a complicated issue, you can wrestle with it until you've found its weak points.

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