2013-02-05    The Year of the Snake (2)

When I was in Australia recently, a litle girl told me a good snake joke:
What's the favourite subject of snakes? History!  Same little girl (aged 7) was asked by her mother one day what she would like as an afternoon snack. Mother added "No junk food....only fruit or yogurt or vegetables". Little girl replied "An apple please". Mother asked "What sort of apple?".  Little girl: "An Apple Mac"!

This is the time of year when I try to remember the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. One way of remembering them is to sing this little song, to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey":  Rats on the rabbit, drawing some hungry sheep, made Robby's doggy play - play, play, play, play. The bits in red help make the list: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig. 

Which of the twelve is the richest? The monkey, of course, because the word "monkey" contains the word "money"!
Which is the fastest?  The rat, of course, because it won the historical race across the river!
Which is the largest? The ox, tiger, dragon and horse are still discussing that one.
Which is the smallest? Has to be the rat.
Which is the first in the alphabet?  The dog.
Which is the last in the alphabet? The tiger

Notice how English uses the masculine form for "ox", "tiger", "rooster" ....and also sometimes "ram" for sheep.
And I can't help also noticing one omission: there's no cat!  Maybe at the time of the historical race across the river, no cat could be found to brave the water?  And anyhow there's a big cat: the tiger!  Myself? I'm a dog....and I wish all dear Ming Pao readers a Happy Lunar New Year of the Snake!