2017年9月17日 星期日

The Monkeys and the Dogs 那些猴子跟那些狗


You might be familiar with the monkeys that live on Li Yu Mountain.  They are often visible on the parts of the mountain near Chang Sha Street, close to Tung Hai Elementary School.  你應該對鯉魚山的那群猴子不陌生.  牠們有時候出現在靠近長沙街東海國小的區域.

Sometimes they come down to the road.  I've seen them walking on the embankment behind the Tu Di Gong (Earth God) temple just off Jeng Chi Road, and also further down, toward the skating rink.  They don't seem to worry much about people, and taking pictures of them is fairly easy.*  牠們有時候會下來路邊.  我看過牠們在正氣路的土地公廟後面, 也看過牠們在溜冰場附近.  牠們好像不怕人, 也很容易拍到牠們的照片.

In the area where they live, there is also a pack of semi-wild dogs.  These dogs try to catch the monkeys at every opportunity.  I often see the monkeys sitting up in the trees, with the dogs barking up at them from below.  The monkeys never seem very concerned about this situation, perhaps because they know that dogs can't climb.  牠們住的那個地區也有一群野狗.  這些狗都很想抓到猴子.  我常常看到在樹下的狗對著樹上的猴子大聲地汪汪叫.  猴子好像對這個情形一點也不在意, 也許牠們都知道狗不能爬樹吧.

The other day my coworker was wondering (aloud) what those monkeys eat.  As far as we know, there are no fruit trees on Li Yu Mountain, though there are some in nearby fields.  My guess is that they mostly eat bugs, and supplement their diet with a some edible plants we don't know about.  Or else they come down at night, and then venture out into adjoining streets for food.  有一天我的同事懷疑那些猴子吃甚麼.  鯉魚山上好像沒有果樹, 雖然附近的地有些果樹.  但我想他們的主要食物應該是昆蟲, 並也吃些其他的植物.  或許牠們天黑的時候才下來吃在路邊的食物.


These are the monkeys in Dong He 東河, but the ones on Li Yu Mountain are the same type.

Those dogs sure do hate them though.  I wonder if it's some instinctual dislike, of if the dogs - in their own minds - are protecting us (and our imaginary fruit trees) from the voracious monkeys.  You'd think they'd know better than to try to catch the monkeys - but then again they're dogs, and not given to that level of introspection.  那群狗非常討厭牠們.  我不知道那是種直覺的討厭, 還是狗想要保護附近的人(及想像中的果樹).  狗應該知道牠們抓不了猴子, 但是狗是不會想那麼多的.

Whatever the reason, I sometimes ask myself what sort of lesson, moral, or metaphor one could draw from this continual struggle between dog and monkey.  Could we say that certain people are monkeys, and that other people are dogs?  Could we draw some kind of philosophical conclusion from their antipathy?  I'm still not sure what to think about it all, but I enjoy the sight of the monkeys, way up in their tree, smiling down at the barking dogs.  不論是甚麼理由, 我有時候想人們是否可以從猴子和狗的衝突中得到道德啟發還是學到隱喻.  我們是否可以說有的人就像當中的猴子, 有的人就像事件中的狗?  我無法從牠們對立的行為上為整個事件下一個標題?  但是我喜歡看到這個景象: 猴子在樹上微笑著看著樹下狂吠的狗.

And what about you?  Would you rather be one of the monkeys trapped on the mountain?  Or the one of the dogs chasing after them?  I'm really not sure which of those animals has a better deal, or if either is pleased with his or her lot in life.  那你呢?  你覺得當困在山上的猴子比較好?  還是當追補的野狗比較好?  我不確定哪一種動物的生活比較快樂, 也不知道那兩種動物覺得這樣的生活是好還是壞.

I suppose that if I could choose, I'd instead choose to be one of my house cats.  Sleeping all day in an air-conditioned room sounds pretty good to me.  I don't imagine cat food is all that delicious (even to cats), but it would be a small price to pay for free room and board for the rest of my life.  Just remember to clean my catbox and change my drinking water.  I'll be just fine while the rest of you head off to work.  我想如果我可以選的話, 我比較想當我家裡養的貓.  整天睡在冷氣房裡聽起來不錯.  雖然貓應該不喜歡每天吃貓食, 但這是一輩子免費住宿的小小代價.  只要記得清理我的貓砂和換乾淨的飲水!  我會在你們上班的時候好好的!



Related Entries 相關的文章:

Shopping Around Taitung City 在台東市逛街
What's Going on with the Taitung County Government 台東縣政府最近動向 2
Paradise on Vacation 天堂在放假
Driving from Taitung City and Back Again 從山區開回來台東市

*Of course I say that, and yet this week they have evaded my camera!  If it makes you feel better, I saw them a week ago.

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