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George W Hutton

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Member Since: Dec, 2008

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How a young tiger learned an important lesson about self expression.

 

 

Once upon a time there was a tiger. He was born in the part of the jungle that people haven’t discovered yet, except the people that live there. The people that live there know enough to stay away from where the tigers live. They learn very early, usually from the tribal elders, that a tiger’s roar is unmistakable danger. Whenever you hear the roar of a tiger, it is best to freeze, not make a move or a sound, and slowly and quietly find out which direction the roar is coming from, and as deftly and as quickly as possible, go in the other direction. Or wait, and die.

The people of this tribe are taught to decide quickly when they hear something that represents danger. Not to hesitate. Because those that hesitate, usually become dinner, or sometimes lunch (as leftovers the next day. Tigers aren’t famous for eating breakfast.) They also know that when they are out looking for food, sometimes it’s important to act quickly as well, because when you see something you want, it’s best to act quickly before it gets away. Otherwise you might go hungry. The trick is, for these people, is to decide what you are after, and decide what is good, and what is bad. So when you see something that is good, and you think to yourself, this is really fantastic, I must get this, you can move towards, and alter your behavior to acquire this which is beneficial to you.

But you can forget that, because this story is about the tiger. What happened was this tiger was born, and he happened to be born close to a big fight between two adult tigers. The temperature had been changing, and the migrating zebras made it hard for the tigers to track down their dinner as easily as they used to be able to. One day when the young tiger was out developing his roar the adult tigers were arguing. Some were saying that they needed to migrate west, along with the zebras, to ensure that their food supply would be plentiful. Others were arguing that they should stay put, and wait for the next herd to come through, as they had usually done. They argument got heated, with tigers roaring back and forth, each side illustrating the logic of their respective arguments.

Meanwhile, our little tiger friend came up, completely unaware of what was going on. He decided to have a go at his full strength roar that he’d been developing so far. When he bellowed out roar, he was completely surprised when the head tiger turned and told him to shut up. The adults were discussing serious matters. This was not playtime.

The young tiger slinked back into the jungle, wondering what he’d done wrong. A few months went by, and every time the young tiger was in a situation where he wanted to roar, all he could hear was the lead tigers voice in his head” “Shut up! This is not playtime!” followed by a flash of tiger anxiety. He looked around at all the other tigers. They seemed to be able to roar without a problem. Was there something wrong with him?

Finally when he was out moping around, he could hear an adult human talking to a younger human. He said:

“It’s ok. Scream as loud as you want. If people don’t want to hear what you have to say, that is there problem, not yours. Maybe they are mad because you can express yourself, and they can’t. Maybe they are angry at something that happened to them earlier. The truth of the matter is, you never really know what other people are thinking, so you might as well enjoy their reaction when it’s good, and ignore it and move on when it’s not good. Understand?”

“I think so,” came the young voice.

“Let me put it like this. You were born above all the animals in that you can speak, think, sing, and express yourself in beautiful ways. Your voice is the voice of the gods. Your desires were put inside you not to be held and bottled up, but to be shouted. If other’s can’t express themselves, it’s up to you to show them how. You understand that, don’t you?

He did, and so did the young tiger, who grew up to be the most fierce tiger the jungle has ever seen.

       Web Site: George Hutton's Zapotec

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Reviewed by J Howard 5/28/2011
learning that "your" voice has power is a most difficult task, even for the most fierce in the jungle.
well done,
jch
Reviewed by Srian Good 8/4/2009
I read a practical advice in story form after a long time! The art is perhaps lost!!

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