An Ocean of Stories : Tale From Pakistan
The Tiger’s Face
Drawings by SEED student: Ahmedli Farid, Azerbaijan
Retelling of story © Copyright 2006 Laura Simms
There was once a tiger living in a forest who hunted all the other animals for sport and not for hunger. The other animals lived in terror of this fierce and selfish creature.
Humbly, the animals went to the tiger’s den and begged the tiger to give up his reckless slaughter. The tiger was infuriated and roared, "My pleasure is in using my wits and my claws and my sharp teeth in the hunt."
The animals wept, "It is unnatural to live without hope." But the tiger argued that God had made each animal to be hunted or hunter."
In the end the animals returned home and made a plan. They decided that rather thanall live in misery, one animal would give himself up to the tiger each day. Each morning a lot was to be chosen and one would be chased to his death by the tiger. They returned to the tiger and after a long discussion, convinced him to try their plan. Every day after that, one animal was chosen who made his or her way to the tiger’s den and let themselves be chased and caught and devoured.
One morning a clever hare drew the lot and said to the others, "I will not be killed by the tiger!" Frightened, the animals attempted to persuade the hare not to disturb the already irritated beast. However, she wiggled her tail and shook her nose saying, "I will save my life and yours as well." With those words the hare leapt into the air and set off for the tiger’s den.
The tiger was impatient. He scratched the earth and tore up the grass in anticipation of the chase. "Why have you kept me waiting," he demanded.
The hare said, "I have a remarkable story to tell you before you eat me."
Curious the tiger agreed to listen. The hare explained, "As I was making my way to your den, I passed a tiger who is more fierce and larger than yourself. He was holding my plump brother hare in his teeth. I said to the tiger, ‘This territory belongs to a different tiger and you can not steal one of us. The great tiger of my forest will punish you.’ The other tiger, without dropping my brother, laughed and said, ‘Bring me that tiger and I will battle with him. I am the strongest tiger in the world.’ For this reason I am late and I bring you this message."
The tiger roared proudly, "Take me to this tiger who dares to hunt what is mine."
The clever hare led the tiger to the edge of a well dug deep into the earth. "Here is the tiger’s den," said the hare.
"I can not see a den," said the tiger.
"It is right in front of your feet. Lift me up in your teeth and I will show you where it is. Now, look down," instructed the hare as the tiger caught her up between his lips.
Then the tiger leaned down and stared into the well. He saw a huge tiger holding a plump hare. In a fury he leapt into the well to battle his enemy. The hare was able to escape. She rushed back to the animals. As for the tiger that was the last he was heard of in that forest.
Can you invent a tale about discovering a mirror that turned into a magic ocean? If the one you saw in the mirror-ocean saw you, what could take place?