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Discover the tiger within you

Discover the tiger within you

This story was shared by one of my mentors at a workshop recently and I believe that it was also included in one of Joseph Campbell’s book. It is the story of a tiger cub who grew believing that he was a goat.

A starving and pregnant tigress comes upon a flock of goats and pounces on them with such fervour that she brings about the birth of her little one, as well as her own death. The goats scatter, but soon come back to find the newborn tiger by the side of its dead mother.

Tho goats adopt the baby tiger and it grows up believing it is a goat. He learns to bleat and eat grass, but the trouble is that grass doesn’t nourish tigers well, and he grows into a weak and miserable member of his own species.

One day, a large male tiger pounces on the flock and the goats scatter. The young tiger, not being a goat, remains standing there. The big male is surpised to find a young tiger living with goats, and when he enquired into it, the young one simply says, “Maaaa.” Mortified, the old tiger swats him back and forth a couple of times, but the only response coming forth was more bleating and grass nibbling.

The old tiger brings the young one to a pond and makes him look at his own reflection for the first time. He leans over and points out to him, “See, you look like me. You’re not a goat. You are a tiger, like me. Be like me!” He then brings the young tiger to his den and shows him bloody chunks of gazelle meat from a recent hunt. Taking a big chunk, he says “Open up and eat this!” “Oh no, I’m a vegetarian,” says the little one. But the old tiger would not take no for an answer, and shoves a piece of red meat down the little one’s throat, causing him to gag a little. Now the real tiger food is in his gut, getting into his blood. Spontaneously, the young one gives a a tiger-like stretch, and then a small little tiger roar.

“Now you’ve got it! Now go into the forest and eat tiger food!” says the big one.

Is there a tiger hidden in you who is ready to roar? As you move into the second half of your life many women start to question who they are, who others expect them to be. Like the tiger/goat you could continue to live according to other people’s values and rules or you could take a small taste of what is possible to live the life of your dreams. What are you going to do?

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