The dog and the tiger
AN inquisitive mongrel who is chasing a rabbit suddenly realises that he is lost. Wandering in the forest, he espies a tiger creeping towards him. “I am dead meat – this merciless creature is going to kill me to satisfy his hunger,” the dog thinks.
The frightened canine notices a small heap of animal bones nearby. He immediately sits down by the bones and starts to chew on them, with his back towards the approaching cat. The tiger is on the point of leaping on his prey when the dog exclaims, “That was a yummy meal! I really do have a weakness for tiger meat. I wonder if there are any more tigers here.”
Hearing these words and the subsequent bark of the dog, the tiger stops in his tracks. He quails in fear and slinks back to the shadows of the trees.
“That was a close call,” he says softly.
“I am too young to die!”
A squirrel on a tree branch who witnessed the whole event says to himself, “I have an excellent idea to get in the tiger’s good books.”
Five minutes later, the squirrel ingratiates himself with the tiger by telling the latter about the dog’s artifice. Foaming at the mouth, the tiger cries, “I’ll get my revenge! Hop on my back, squirrel – I want you to see what I’m going to do to that cunning canine!”
“You have my full support,” says the squirrel, as he swishes his bushy tail in delight. “He doesn’t have a dog’s chance of escaping from you!”
Seeing the tiger strutting towards him, the dog conjures his heart, “Keep perfectly calm. Think of something!”
He then sits down with his back towards the furious feline, pretending that he hasn’t seen him.
When the tiger and the squirrel are within earshot, the dog says, “Where is that stupid squirrel? I asked him half an hour ago to bring me another tiger!”
The moral: Craftiness is sometimes superior to strength.
Be dead meat : To be in serious trouble.
On the point of : About to.
Have a weakness for : To have a self-indulgent liking for.
Stop in one’s tracks : To stop suddenly.
Close call/shave : A narrow escape.
In someone’s good books : In someone’s favour.
Foam at the mouth : To be very angry.
Not have a dog’s chance : To have no chance at all.