Lions and tigers and bears! (Oh, my!)
Last week we covered lions. Not too long ago we covered bears. It seems about time I should get to the tigers. So here they are, populationg a ThThTh list in all their stripey goodness.
- Year of the Tiger. The tiger is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. The next Year of the Tiger is 2010, which is not all that far off.
- “The Tyger,” a poem by William Blake:
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
- “Tiger, Tiger,” a song by Duran Duran off their album “Seven and the Ragged Tiger”
- Tiger. The nickname for Mac OS v10.4. I still haven’t upgraded.
- “The Lady, or the Tiger?.” A short story by Frank R. Stockton with a surprise ending. It has also become “an expression, meaning an unsolvable problem.”
- “Eye of the Tiger.” A song by Survivor. From the Rocky III soundtrack.
- Tiger’s eye: a chatoyant gemstone. Sort of stripey and brown.
- Tony the Tiger. The mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal, featured in commercials. Says of the flakes: “They’re grreat!”
- A variety of tiger folktales can be unearthed, such as How Tiger Got His Stripes, a Folktale from Vietnam, the Cambodian “The Origin of the Tiger,” and “The Tiger’s Whisker,” a Korean folktale.
- The Story of the Little Black Sambo, by Helen Banneman.
A story about a boy who meets (and outwits) a bunch of tigers in the jungle. In the end, the tigers turn into a big puddle of melted butter, which the boy’s family uses to make pancakes for dinner. Originally written by a British woman in India, the story has a complicated story of its own, due to the controversy about racism and racial stereotyping in the character names and original illustrations. (The name of the protagonist, contained in the book title itself, is considered to be a racial slur.) Recent updated versions have kept the tigers, but lost (at least in many people’s eyes) the racist overtones. (To see how people respond to this book today, it’s interesting to read the reviews on Amazon of the original, as well as the updated books The Story of Little Babaji and Sam and the Tigers. You can also read the full text, without illustrations.)
- Eeny, Meeny, miny mo: A children’s chant, used to select (or rule) out people as part of a game. (To pick who is “it.) Also somewhat tainted by racial controversy, though I’d never heard of the offensive variants till I was an adult.
Eeny, meeny, miny, mo
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he hollers, let him go
My mother says to
pick the very best one
and you are not it.
- Life of Pi, by Yan Martel. The main character gets to know a tiger when both are shipwrecked.
- Shere Khan. Mowgli’s nemesis (a tiger) in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories.
- Leo the Late Bloomer, by Robert Krauss, Jose Aruego. A picture book about a tiger cub who takes his time growing up.
- Hobbes. Calvin’s tiger companion. Looks like a stuffed toy when other people are around.
- Tigger. The beloved and very bouncy tiger from A. A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Woods. Close friend to Winnie the Pooh.
- “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” (2000). A movie directed by Ang Lee, and one of my favorite movies. (It’s a movie with kick-ass women, to boot.) It doesn’t really have any tigers in it, aside from in the title.