The Tale of Eight Tigers

I wrote this poem a LONG time ago and I thought I would share it with you all. I’ll warn you now, its long but has a great message about my favorite animal.

The Tale of Eight Tigers

“Its time,”
the huge, sleek, mother tigress whispers,
She looks upon her playful cubs though golden eyes
Her coat thick and black like the darkness
and she stands proudly before her cubs,
one by one she licks foreheads and shoves them off
one by one the black tigers bound away

As Eight brothers vanish in the forest,
The first tigress collapses and breaths no more,
As the sun’s color yawned above the horizon
Its first rays amuse the tigers through the shadows,
Where the sun hit them their fur turned orange,
And where the rays were blocked by shadowy branches,
the thick black remained,
And they became striped forevermore,
The eight brothers never stopped playing,
Never knew…

As the beautiful cats roamed the forests,
Driven by hunger and curiosity,
They separated,
And walked and walked,
And finally settled their territory

They hunted the nights
And multiplied
Tigers were everywhere,
Splashing in the rivers,
Rolling in the high grass,
And eight tribes emerged

The eldest brother,
Bali, a water lover,
Found a beautiful tropical island
Was happily chasing butterflies
On his beach in 1937,
When he was shot dead,
Medicine men gathered around
And ripped the bones off Bali
To make exotic potions

Caspian, proud and slim,
Thrives in the thick jungles,
Hears trees crashing down,
Men shouting,
As the jungle got thinner and thinner,
So did Caspian,
As there was nothing to hunt
To weak to walk,
He fell next to a tree stump
And died, it was 1952

Javan, the smallest of the brothers,
Had wanted complete isolation,
So he made his way out to an island,
Just North of where Bali lived,
And when the fishing boats came
His golden eyes observed from deep in the woods
When they saw the morning sun-colored tiger,
They screamed in fear; so Javan roared in return,
Eager to play
But the fishers fled in fear,
But later returned for him in 1972,
They drove him onto the beach,
Javan circled the sand,
Until his wounds overcame him, and he collapsed,
Sand and blood matting his shiny fur

Yet another brother
Calls his home South China,
He stands up on his hind legs,
As bulldozers rumble by,
Flattening the forest,
Starving, panicked, he runs to mark his tree,
Clawing at the bark, in late 2003,
The bulldozers take over completely
And turn it into a parking lot

Elsewhere in China, Indo, another brother,
Paces around his shrinking jungle,
Stares at a mall all day long,
Wanting to be left alone,
So many strange scents, so little food,
Watching cars, he steps on a false ground
And falls onto spiked poles in a pit,
Bleeding to death in 2007

On yet another island,
Sumatran, the stocky brother, in 2010,
Was chasing a wild deer,
He easily overtook to it,
As he sunk his huge teeth into his meal,
The deer twitched, as it was attached to a rope
Farther up, the smiles of laughing men,
Vision blurred, the sky spun and fell into the grass
Moments later, his beautiful pelt was removed

Siberian, the biggest of the brothers,
Preferring the cold,
Found his calling in the snow,
Sniffed at the tracks of poachers,
And vanished into thick forest,
Since 2013, no one has seen Siberian

The youngster of the litter, Bengal,
Runs swiftly through the jungles of India,
Muscles rippling,
Orange and Black coat glistening like satin
Under the sun,
Doesn’t know he’s the last one
People come on huge elephants to see him
But one starry night in 2016,
His hunger lures him off the reservation
Bengal doesn’t sense the red turban poking out behind a tree,
His orange pelt flashes in the moonlight
As he jerks and falls over

All the mother’s children are dead,
A Tiger is now merely a picture, a video
A memory…



FACT: In 100 years, Tiger numbers have dwindled from 100,000 to around 3,000 today


2 thoughts on “The Tale of Eight Tigers

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