2012-01-18      Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is just around the corner. We are now at the end of the Year of the Rabbit.
Soon it will be the Year of the Dragon. There's a song that can help students remember the English names of the 12 animals of the Zodiac. The song is sung to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey":
Rats othe  Rabbit,  drawing  some  hungry  sheep
made  Robbie's  doggie  play,  play-play-play-play.
The 12 red letters stand for rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig.

Smile: which of the 12 animals has the biggest bank account? Why the monkey of course!

We usually think of the dragon as a nasty creature. But in the story of how the 12 animals came to be in the Zodiac, the dragon is a kind animal. The Emperor had said "the first 12 animals to cross the river will be in the Zodiac". The dragon should have come first, since it had wings and could fly. But it stopped to help the rabbit, and so it came fifth. So, maybe a good motto for the New Year can be: "stop and help others"!

I wish all dear Ming Pao readers "lung ma jing san" (精神) - "the good health of the dragon and the horse"!