“The Fable of the Roaming Tiger” by Bob Rich

Just a few years ago, way down by the coast,

A white Bengal tiger, was transformed to a ghost,

Its eyes are dark green, with a slight trace of blue,

With light shades of yellow: there’s tiger eyes for you,

One day, this white tiger, walking through some tall trees,

Was found by a hunter, who arrived on cruel breeze,

In a sad fleeting flash, in a cold blur of dread,

The hunter’s gun lifted, and the air split and bled,

And the white tiger cringed, in slow-motion collapsed,

Then a young girl ran up, and the cold gun she grasped,

“You said you wouldn’t shoot!” cried the girl in surprise,

And the tiger looked up, to the girl’s steaming eyes,

In the tiger’s whole life, throughout all of her days,

She had never seen love, from within human gaze,

But now in her last breaths, she saw on this girl’s face,

A miraculous wish: to take this tiger’s place.

Then, past earth’s horizon, the tiger spirit climbed,

To swiftly parting clouds, while the minor chords chimed,

‘Til beside tall white gates, the white ghost tiger stood,

And an angel stood guard, with a white staff of wood,

And the angel could see, in the tiger’s bright stare,

A lingering distress, a sad restlessness there,

A burden was at hand, a last task of some worth,

The angel with its staff, pointed back down to earth,

Then the tiger turned ’round, to return just once more,

So, she left the white gate, and appeared at a shore,

The sea and the tiger, both were wrapped up in sighs,

And the sea churned its waves, while its heart released cries,

So few ghosts touched these shores, where the sea gulls would glide,

Where the ocean foam blazed, in the cycles of tide,

Then the tiger moved on, as a ghost with no home,

Passing by the tall trees, where she once used to roam,

And she came to a hill, and looked out on the town,

Then she walked on a path, that could circle her down,

The first building she saw, she went in to explore,

The front entrance was shut, but she passed through the door,

In this big nursing home, she was not seen at all,

When she walked past the staff, when she strolled down the hall,

And she peered in a room, with a girl there in bed —

Her legs wrapped in a cast, and with gauze on her head,

The white tiger got close, her green-blue eyes beaming,

Seeing that this young girl, was quietly dreaming,

Though this wasn’t her girl, the tiger stayed awhile,

To offer some solace, ’til she saw the girl smile,

Then the tiger rose up, and again walked outside,

Where she came to a park, with a sandbox and slide,

The adults could not see, the white tiger at all,

But the kids waved hello, and were having a ball,

When they saw her white fur, with its bold black designs,

Those black dazzling patterns, like calligraphy lines,

And the tiger’s next stop, such a loud bustling place:

A newspaper office, where they wrote at brisk pace,

The reporters made calls, using wrinkled notepads,

Composing their stories, their articles and ads,

And the white tiger saw, their high piles of pictures ~~

Which brimmed with emotion, stacked under light fixtures,

Photographs of singers, and of planes overhead,

Of a pretty blonde seamstress, her white spool wrapped in thread,

Of a chef making meals, a barber cutting hair…

Yet, not one reporter, saw the white tiger there,

When the tiger soon left, ‘neath the sky’s drifting clouds,

She came to a schoolhouse, where there were growing crowds,

Some kids were in costume, dressed in robes and in rings,

Three kids looked like angels, wearing dangling white wings,

Then, the white tiger knew, it suddenly was clear,

That one of these angels, was the girl she held dear,

So, the tiger, she watched, as the kids went within,

To the theater room, where the show would begin,

All the parents sat down, in their audience row,

While the curtain was still, and the lights were dimmed low,

Then a child got on-stage, in a white feath’ry suit,

The child bowed and declared: “Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’!”

Then the curtains swung wide, with an opera performed,

Full of bold ornate sets, and the guests’ hearts were warmed,

In the midst of Act Two, floating in from stage right,

The three angel-children, all appeared into sight,

The angel kids gathered, ‘round a woman in grief,

Then, a glow at stage left – quite surpassing belief:

The white Bengal tiger, lit in heavenly light,

Walked up to the angels, who all smiled in delight,

The second angel-girl, knew the tiger’s sad face,

And her eyes filled with joy, and she felt her heart race,

And the woman in grief, Pamina, was crying,

In the play, she had seen, her true love’s love dying,

But the three angel kids, their eyes full of wonder,

Gave hope to Pamina, she felt a strange thunder,

Then the tiger strode off, passing through the back wall,

In their audience seats, the adults missed it all,

All the grown-ups in there, had not seen the white guest,

The kids just seemed inspired, the adults were impressed,

And then later that night, in the back of the car,

The girl’s eyes were alight, and her thoughts were afar,

Her mother and father, asked if she was okay,

She replied she was fine, just glad about the play,

They pulled in the driveway, with a sigh and a laugh,

And the tiger walked up, having followed their path,

And the girl went upstairs, and she got tired soon,

Outside, the white tiger, rested under the moon,

When the girl went to sleep, the white tiger’s eyes shone,

And then when the girl dreamed, she did not dream alone,

A forest in the dream, spread out under the sky,

With soft grass on the earth, and green trees stretching high,

And the girl saw the trees – all the silent tall pines,

And the tiger arrived, with its fur-sloped black lines,

And within the girl’s eyes, trepidation was clear,

And flooding emotion, so the tiger drew near,

Then the girl felt some peace, and was calmed, put at ease,

So, she readied herself, to go walk through the trees,

And she noticed: some trees, had a clock on a twig,

With one clock on each tree, each clock’s face strangely big,

Each clock’s time was diff’rent, each clock had its own chime,

And the farther the tree, the later its clock’s time,

And then under each clock, there were clothes hanging down,

Nearby was a prom dress; and, far-off, a white gown,

She knew they were her clothes, and she felt deep concern,

So much stretched before her, so many things to learn,

She turned to the tiger, and she looked for a sign,

The tiger looked skyward, and they saw the clouds shine,

The clouds’ light was streaming, drenching tree leaves in gold,

A heavenly brightness, piercing through all the cold,

And the girl, she felt safe, now she could carry on,

Which is when she looked ‘round, and the tiger was gone,

The girl woke from her dream, and she gasped out and then,

She wondered if she’d see, the white tiger again,

As the years progressed by, when her milestones were here,

She would sense a warm gaze, and a kind presence near,

And then she’d remember, the gold lights from above,

And the time when she learned, that death’s one foe is love.

The overture to Mozart’s 1791 opera “The Magic Flute”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7cu6fw0MUM

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *