Tiger Tale & Jedemi…

There’s a story that Joseph Campbell tells that pretty much captures what we are trying to do here at Jedemi. tiger-pounce

It is the fable of a tigress, who was pregnant and hungry, prowling about in great distress, until she came at last upon a herd of goats, whereupon she pounced. But as she sprang she gave birth to her little tiger, and this incident so injured her that she died.
The goats, of course, had scattered.  But when all was still, they returned to graze and found the tiny tiger, warm and alive, beside the dead body of its mother.  Being generous hearted, gentle creatures, the mother goats took the little animal to themselves and brought it up as one of their own.  Learning to eat grass, which is poor fare for tigers, the foundling grew up to be a scrawny, very mild example of his species, and the members of the herd got on very well with him.  None paid attention to the obvious difference in complexion, and the little tiger himself had no realization that he was the least bit different from the rest.
But then, one day, a big male tiger discovered the herd and pounced. The goats scattered, but the little tiger, now an adolescent, stood where he was.  He felt no fear; he just stood there.   The big one blinked and looked again.

“What is this?” he roared.  “What are you doing here among goats? The little fellow, now knowing that he was not a goat, was unable to grasp the sense of the question.  Embarrassed, he bleated and the other, shocked, gave him a clout on the head. Confused, the little thing began to nibble grass.

“Eating grass!” the big one roared again, and the scrawny cub only bleated.

Having studied the pitiful youngster for a while, the big male took him by the nape of the neck and carried him to a pond with a quiet surface, where he sat him down.

“Now look into that pond,” he said.  The little tiger looked, and the big one, sitting beside him, also looked into the pond.  “Look at your face, mirrored there in the water,”  he said, “and now look at mine: this one is mine. You have the pot-face of a tiger; have you not?  You are not a goat.”

The cub became very quiet and thoughtful, absorbing the image of himself as a tiger.  Then, when he master felt he was ready, he took him again by the neck and carried him to his lair, where there were the remains of a gazelle recently killed.  Forcing a large piece of this raw flesh down the gagging throat of the revolted, frightened little tiger, the one compelled him to swallow and give him more, until, presently, he began to feel the tingle of the warm blood going into his veins.  This was a new feeling altogether, and yet one congenial to his awakening true nature.  Stretching for the first time in his life in the manner of a great cat, he suddenly heard his own throat emit, to his amazement, a great tiger roar.  Then said the old fellow: “Aha! Now let us hunt together in the jungle.”

And the lesson of this fable? The moral?

The lesson is that we are all tigers living among goats.

So how do we live happily and fulfilled among these goats?  Hang out at Jedemi and you’ll find all kinds of ways.


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