Tiger's child

by Gail Emerson August 18, 2016

How cats came to live with humans

Shop Daniel's Tiger design as greeting cards and art prints.

If the Lion is the King of Africa, the Tiger rules Asia. It is feared and revered across the vast continent. A Chinese written character which represents a king is said to based on the markings on the tiger's forehead. It is an auspicious sign to be born under in the Chinese calendar.

In Indian mythology tigers are not like the fierce and threatening Shere Khan in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. The tiger is a protector, working with the goddess DurgaStories include tigers bringing rain to dry lands, bringing babies to childless couples (this unfortunately leading to poaching as tiger parts are believed to promote fertility) and even guarding the Tree of Life.

This Indian tale about the relationship between big and small cats is perhaps the most charming:

Tiger used to cook his food with fire, but one day a strong wind blew his fire out. The Tiger could not light a fire himself, but thought he would take if from the people's village. However, when he approached the huts the people ran away and shut their doors tight in fear.

Instead, the Tiger asked his small niece to fetch the fire for him. He thought the people could not possibly be afraid of such a little cub.

The niece went off through the jungle, playing as she went. When she got to the village she was thirsty and drank some milk that had been left out. A small boy then offered her a fish which she ate up hungrily. She couldn't remember what her uncle had sent her for, so she wandered into a hut. By this time it was getting dark and inside she saw a comfortable pillow, so she curled up on it and fell asleep. She felt lovely and warm next to the fire.

Later that night, wondering where his niece had gone to, the Tiger snuck into the village in the dark. Peering through the window, he saw a small pussy cat curled up asleep by the fire. He knew his niece would not return and he had lost the fire forever. 

This traditional tale is retold in a popular children's book by Joanna Troughton

Shop Daniel's Tiger design as a greetings card and art print, or the entire DM Wild Animals Collection. 

If you prefer the smaller variety, take a look at the DM Cats Collection which includes this strokeable kitty plus lots of friends.




Gail Emerson
Gail Emerson

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News / Work in progress / Mythology

The Love Drug

by Harry Miller April 11, 2019

The earliest depictions of the use of the heart symbol is believed to derive from the ancient culture of Cyrene, a North African city which was founded by the Greeks in 631 BC, and then later ruled by the Romans.

Read More

“Flamin’ Flamingos!”

by Harry Miller March 22, 2019

There’s a lot of ancient mythical beasts which seem pretty isolated, unique to a country’s culture, or even to a specific region.  Others, like mermaids, dragons, and giants, are intercultural, being known by many.  The Phoenix is one of these mythical superstars, and was known by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, and even by the Chinese.

Read More

The Water Baby

by Harry Miller March 15, 2019

In the year 1500 BC, the Israelites who had settled in Egypt had significantly grown in numbers.  So much so that the Pharaoh at the time grew fearful of them: paranoid that they would eventually take over.  Forgetting that it was actually an Israelite by the name of Joseph - yes, the guy with the groovy coat - who had guided the Egyptian people away from famine a few hundred years earlier, the Pharaoh made all the Israelites slaves.  Things then took a most heinous turn when the Pharaoh ordered the midwives to drown all male Hebrew babies at birth.

Read More