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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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?

  3. Tiger, Tiger,” a song by Duran Duran off their album “Seven and the Ragged Tiger”
  4. Tiger. The nickname for Mac OS v10.4. I still haven’t upgraded.
  5. 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.”
  6. Eye of the Tiger.” A song by Survivor. From the Rocky III soundtrack.
  7. Tiger’s eye: a chatoyant gemstone. Sort of stripey and brown.
  8. Tony the Tiger. The mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal, featured in commercials. Says of the flakes: “They’re grreat!”
  9. 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.
  10. 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.)
  11. 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.

  12. Life of Pi, by Yan Martel. The main character gets to know a tiger when both are shipwrecked.
  13. Shere Khan. Mowgli’s nemesis (a tiger) in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories.
  14. Leo the Late Bloomer, by Robert Krauss, Jose Aruego. A picture book about a tiger cub who takes his time growing up.
  15. Hobbes. Calvin’s tiger companion. Looks like a stuffed toy when other people are around.
  16. Tigger. The beloved and very bouncy tiger from A. A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Woods. Close friend to Winnie the Pooh.
  17. 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.


15 thoughts on “stripey

  1. hmm…i don’t remember ‘tiger, tiger’ and i used to love duran duran. the memory may not be so good… i don’t think i remember ever having permed hair or wearing purple legwarmers either.

  2. somewhere I have a stencil & calligraphy illumination of the lady and the tiger limerick my grandmother made.

    there once was a lady from Niger
    who smiled as she rode on a tiger
    they returned from the ride
    with the lady inside
    and the smile on the face of the tiger

  3. Re “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”: Actually, there is a tiger — and dragon — in it. Chang Chen’s character’s named Lo (i.e., Tiger in Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese) while Zhang Ziyi’s character was Jiao Lung and ‘Lung’ is Cantonese and Mandarin for… yup, you guessed it — dragon. :b

  4. flutter-
    The Sambo one? I didn’t actually read it till I was an adult.

    I don’t actually know if they roar. They are often attributed with either “grrr” or “roar,” but I don’t know how accurate either of those are.

    You’re so funny. Of course you wouldn’t have had permed hair. Or worn purple legwarmers. Or turquoise pants. As for “Tiger, Tiger,” it’s not surprising that you don’t remember it. It’s a rather bland instrumental. I only remembered its existence because I remembered that the album title referred back to something.

    I haven’t actually read it. I should, though. I used to make an effort to read the Booker Prize winners back in the days when I worked in the book store. (And thanks for adding the other Tigers to the list.)

    I remember that song. (Stuck in my head now.) I didn’t know the band name, though. One hit wonder, were they?

    That is a very cool limerick.

    Ah, well. A Tiger I guess, though I still don’t recall any tigers.

    I really had no idea. Seriously? How does one get this sort of info?

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