英文

A Little English:Another present for the planet

【明報專訊】Christmas had come and gone and the New Year was fast approaching. Planet Earth was somewhat disappointed with Santa's present—another box of Covid. The minute the package was opened, a flurry of the latest Covid strain flew out and spread in all directions. This mutation was even tinier and spikier than the previous ones, able to penetrate (穿透) the tightest defences.

''Dear, oh dear! I've a feeling the humans are not going to like this,'' Earth muttered. ''They've been fidgety (坐立不安的) and short-tempered all year. There'll be trouble...''

''Trouble?'' tweeted the birds. ''Don't worry, we think these people have finally learned their lesson. They've cancelled thousands of flights and cut unnecessary air travel. We birds have the skies to ourselves again and the air is much cleaner too!'

''Not so fast,'' said the animals. ''The skies may be clearer but the land is now a dumping ground for even more garbage than before. Takeaway boxes, single use plastics, drink bottles—the list is endless. What's more, these humans are leaving their cities and swarming all over the countryside. No animal is safe from them and their cameras. There's just no respect for our privacy and territorial rights.''

''That's true!'' grumbled the trees. ''These people climb all over us, breaking our branches, grabbing our fruit, stomping on our roots. They light dangerous fires and barbecue like there's no tomorrow. Somebody's got to stop them before we all get incinerated.''

Earth tried to placate (安撫) the flora and fauna, its beloved children. It knew very well that the human race was the least popular species because of its greed, selfishness and destructive power.

''Don't worry, children. I think this new Covid will teach people to mind their manners and behave more like responsible citizens of our community.''

''What if they still don't learn? For a species that's supposed to be so smart, humans just don't seem to get the point,'' chorused the birds and beasts.

''Well, then I'm afraid we'll all be getting the same present year after year, until they DO get the message. From their behaviour, they do appear to be incorrigible (無可救藥的), ineducable and unbelievably obtuse (遲鈍的). But by hook or by crook, they've managed to survive and thrive. If they act wisely and change their behaviour, this year could be the dawn of a whole new era for all of us.''

■Something to: DISCUSS

.For the planet as a whole, is the current pandemic a blessing or a curse?

̷̷ Text: A Lamb ̷

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