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  China's Native Pheasant

  在陕西省西部,有一山高林密、生物资源丰富的太白山,海拔I 3, 767米,是秦岭山脉的主峰。我国特有的秦岭血雉就主要出产在这里,故又称太白鸡。

  The Qinling blood pheasant, also known as the Taibai chicken, lives mostly I in the dense forests of the 3,767-meter-high Taibai Mountain—the main I peak of the Qinling Mountain Range.

  秦岭血雉,形似家鸡而略小。雄鸟头部褐中杂灰,部分羽毛向后j 延伸成羽冠;下胸是鲜草绿色,尾羽因部位而异,有褐灰、绯红、灰_ 白、褐黑等多种色彩。雌鸟则以褐色为主。

  The bird is a bit smaller than a chicken. The head of the male bird is covered with brown and gray feathers, which extend backwards to form a crest. Its [chest is grass-green and its tail varies from brown to crimson, grayish white, i and black. The female bird’s plumage is predominantly brown.

  它们生活在高寒山区,常分布于海拔1,800-3,200米的针阔-混交林和针叶林中;结群性较强,少时6-8只,人冬则结成40-50只的大群;见人不惧,常在林间羊肠小道上昂首阔步。每年四月底至七月初是繁殖期,这时秦岭血雉筑巢于高山草丛或石洞中,每窝产卵6-8枚,孵化期29天。雏鸟出壳后,跟随亲鸟生活,直到冬天。血雉活动范围随季节变化而做有规律的迁移,不善飞行但奔跑疾速,夜间在树上过夜。它们的食物在夏秋是莎草科和禾本科的草叶、种子,忍冬的花朵,金背杜鹃的花以及蘑菇和少量昆虫等;冬春二季因冰雪覆 盖,以苔藓为主。

  Qinling blood pheasants are usually found in the pine forests of the frigid alpine belt 1,800 to 3,200 meters above sea level. They move in groups of at least six or eight birds, and in winter a flock may have as many as 40 or 50 pheasants. They are not afraid of people, and sometimes they can be found strolling along forest trails. Mating season runs from late April to earlv July. The pheasants build their nests in alpine meadows or in caves, and after laying six to eight eggs, the female bird begins to brood for 29 days. The young birds live with their parents until winter, then the family makes its seasonal migration. The bird does not fly well, but it runs very fast. It sleeps in trees and feeds during summer and autumn on leaves and sedge or grass seeds, honeysuckle and azalea flowers, mushrooms, and a few insects. In winter and spring, when the alpine belt is icebound, it mostly eats moss.

  秦岭血雉是我国珍贵的保护鸟类之一,羽毛美丽,可供观赏。 由于数量稀少,环境适应性差,目前国内外动物园中还未见饲养展出。

  The Qinling blood pheasant is listed as a rare bird under special protection. Despite its beautiful plumage, the bird has never been displayed in zoos because of its scarcity and inability to adapt to new environments.



  A Singer Who Always Wins


  Wang Meng


  Once a singer finished her performance without receiving any applause from the audience.Afterwards she remarked at a meeting, “What does applause mean? Is it beauty, art, or gold?How much is it worth after all? Once one gets some applause, one’s head will swell. And onewill be treated like a star, given free plane trips and invited to have one’s voice recordedeverywhere. It’s ridiculous! It is nothing but corruption of the mind! Believe it or not, if I hadswayed my hips and sung obscene songs, I would’ve got more applause than the stars.”


  Then the singer came up with a suggestion that the audience should be investigated, analysed,and classified in order to prove their applause being worthless or even worse for its negativeeffects.


  Later, she gave another performance which won thunderous applause from the audience. Shespoke at another meeting, “Songs are to be appreciated by the audience. What’s the use ofsongs with good content and nice melody if no one likes them? The audience is the best judgewho knows how to strike a balance in the heart. Without the masses’ appreciation, one willonly be serving the few instead of many. And one will be taking the wrong direction by keepingaloof from the masses and indulging in self-admiration. What I heard from the audience wasnot only warm applause, but the beatings of their warm hearts!”


  Some time later, members of the musical circles held a symposium and suggested that anunhealthy tendency should be stopped in singing performances, that appreciation levels beraised and good taste be cultivated. The singer then cited her first performance that haddrawn no applause from the audience and claimed,


  “See, I dared it! The unhealthy tendency! I dared it indeed!”


  After a period of time, there was another symposium among the musical circles. This time it wasproposed that more popular songs be composed and sung. And the singer took her secondperformance as an example to prove her claim,


  “See, I did it! The popular songs! I did it indeed!”



  The Forgetful Song Thrush


  Lan man


  The other day when I went into Riverside Park, I was greeted by the chirrup of a song thrushfrom a grove. Walking towards the sound I saw the thrush hopping about in a flower bed. Ilooked carefully trying to spot a tiny piece of string that should have been fastened to its leg,but in vain. Ah, it must have escaped from its cage. It was a free bird! One moment it jumpedonto a rose spray and sang with its head high, the next it plunged into the grass and looked atme with its tail waving up and down. Its proud and self-satisfied manner was really enchanting.


  Not far from the bird on the grass was a bird cage. It was made of painted bamboo strips andlooked neat and clean. On top of the cage stood a big gleaming metal hook. From the cage-door hung a fiery red tassel, which added to the magnificence of the cage. As birdhouses go,this was certainly a luxurious residence.


  An old man was dozing under a nearby hibiscus tree. He seemed to be the owner of the cage.Hearing my approaching steps he opened his eyes. I began the dialogue.


  "Hello. You bird has got out."


  "Yeah. Let it go for a stroll."


  "Aren't you afraid it might fly away?"


  The old man cast a glance at me and gave an uncaring smile. "Fly away? But why should it? Itcan't leave the food bowl."


  Examining the bowl carefully, I found nothing special about it. It was no more than a small finechina bowl with a plum design on the side. The bird food in it was some yellow grains whichgave off the refreshing smell of wild grass. I thought it must be a mixture of soaked millet andthe yolk of boiled eggs, perhaps with some condiments added to it. There was nothing specialabout it.


  I told the old man what was on my mind, but he just shook his head and smiled at me withoutsaying a word. I knew better than to keep on inquiring, for each has his own tricks in raisingbirds and such secrets must never be given away.


  Just at that moment I saw the carefree bird walk into the cage at a leisurely pace. Seeing thathis bird was re-encaged, the old man slid down the cage-door with a click. Standing on the rimof the bowl complacently, the thrush had already begun to peck at its food. As I left the park, Iturned over in my mind a recurring question—what was the magic in the food that had madethis beautiful bird sing so happily but forget about its wings?







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