Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Little Tiger

Originally uploaded by LisaPal.
I had a dream a few nights ago that I had a baby tiger. It was my pet and it was just a cub, a precious little female cub. She was the most adorable little thing. I loved her and she loved me. There was no question of that. We played together, were constant companions and had great fun.

I loved my little tiger so much that I picked her up and told her that I wished she could talk. She looked at me and said, "I can talk!" as if the only thing I needed to do was create an opportunity for her to do so. She said she'd be my little tiger forever. I was happy.

We played and played and I never had any problems with my baby tiger. And oh, how I loved her. But then someone came to visit and asked me if I knew what I was doing, having this animal as a pet. Didn't I know what a tiger could do?

I expressed a lack of concern toward potential problems in the future. The visitor referred to some news story of the recent past where someone tried to keep a tiger as a pet and was mauled by it and said that's probably the way he felt, too.

After that, I became aware of the little tiger biting my hands the way a teething puppy does when we played. It didn't really hurt and I felt like the tiger had probably been doing this all along, and I didn't even notice. But now it had been pointed out to me as if I should do something about it. It nagged at me. I imagined those paws becoming heavy, swiping with claws extended.

So, the next time the little tiger played with me in her little tiger-like way, teeth and all, I chided her and said, "You can't keep doing things like this. If you do, I won't be able to keep you."

The little tiger looked innocently at me and said, "But I'm a tiger." That's just what she was and she couldn't be anything else but that.

That's the last thing that I remember, but I woke up from that dream, knowing so well what it meant. I'm amazed at how perfectly by mind constructed a dream to parallel the state of things in my life.

This tiger, has little, sharp teeth. She's so full of love and would harm no one. But some folks don't like those teeth. If you get in their way, you'll feel them. And maybe they could really hurt you, if that's what the tiger wanted. But she doesn't want that and they don't really hurt, but you do notice them. But she is just a little tiger and you can't deny that. It didn't bother you before, but now it does.

The little tiger loves you.
You love the little tiger.
What do you do?

Do you try to do something about those teeth?
Do you cut her claws?
Do you dye her fur so that she doesn't look like a tiger anymore?
Do you ask her not to make any tiger noises?
Do you try to get the tiger to change her nature?
Or do you get rid of her, because that's easier than accepting what she is?

I didn't realize until today that anonymous comments were turned off. That's been changed.


Blogger Lasciate said...

Very intriguing, Lisa.

I'd say: teach her. Teach her the differences, tell her of the fragility of your skin beneath those teeth. Not always easy, considering the process requires admitting basic vulnerability, but at least in love there is trust.

Tell her, too, of the consequences of forgetting your nature, and then follow through with those consequences should she ever hurt you.

Tell her, and teach her.

Then defend her right to be a tiger - and your tiger - come what may.

9:09 AM  

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