Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Tiger and the Cow

Oct.-Dec. 1996

This story is about a fierce tiger who all the animals feared in the jungle because the tiger would kill any animal he could find whether or not he needed food.  So, one day the other animals offered to sacrifice one animal a week to the tiger if the tiger would leave the others alone.  So, the tiger agreed to the plan, because he was getting old and was tired of chasing the animals.
   The first animal to be sacrificed was a young cow.  But, he was very young and did not want to die before he had a chance to enjoy the pleasure of life.  However, he knew it was his duty to sacrifice himself for the safety of the other animals.
   And so slowly but determinedly the calf set out for the tiger's abode.  The young cow became very sad and stopped at the edge of a ravine and desperately cried out, by saying, "What shall I do?"  Instead of an answer the young cow heard his own voice echoing back to him the words, "What shall I do?"  So, having the echo suddenly gave the calf an idea of how he could trick the tiger and save his life.
   When the calf arrived the tiger was very angry at him for being late.  But the calf apologized to the tiger and then proceeded to trick him by telling the tiger why he was late.  The calf said he left home with his mother.  But, on their way to meet the tiger another tiger attacked and killed his mother.  He was the only one who was able to hide and later escaped and came there.  The calf also said that the other tiger also had eaten the first tiger's food.  When the tiger heard that, he shouted out, saying, "I must fight this beast.  Show me where he is living!"
   Then, the calf told the tiger that his rival lived on the opposite side of the ravine.  When the tiger learned that news he shouted, "Come here!"  to the tiger on the other side (but of course, the only answer he got was his own echo repeating the words, "Come here!"  The tiger thought that his rival was shouting back at him which angered him even more.  So, he was determined to go across the ravine and fight his newly found enemy.  He then realized that the ravine was very wide and he asked the calf how the other tiger had gotten across it.
   He just jumped across, replied the calf.  It seemed very easy.  The tiger was determine that he could do what any other beast of his kind could do, so he leaped across the ravine, but instead of reaching the other side, he plunged to his death on the rocks below.
   The little cow then went back home and told the other animals what had happened.  The animals all praised the cleverness of the little cow and rejoiced because they could now lived out their days in peace and happiness.


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