Good afternoon folks. I watched a fascinating documentary about tigers recently, and seeing those magnificent but sadly endangered creatures in the wild reminded me of a holiday incident many years ago, which is accurately recorded in my poem below. Every word of it is absolutely true….
A Tiger's Tale
On holiday in Germany, in 1982,
One weekend with my family,I visited the zoo.
Cologne’s a lovely city, and it’s zoo had world-wide fame,
I know that attitudes have changed, as nothing stays the same,
And yes, I now prefer to see those creatures in the wild,
But back then such a visit was a rare treat for a child.
So we wandered in the gardens, with the children so excited,
Especially when the famous Bengal Tigers were first sighted.
The day was scorching hot, and as they lay there in the shade,
Those Tigers were magnificent, but not a move they made.
I’d seen the Esso advert, and you know how that great creature,
Moves with catlike grace around the place, a most attractive feature.
So I thought I’d wake that Tiger up, so foolish now I see,
I made a growl, like on the prowl, that Tiger looked at me..
Got to its feet and stretched itself, just stood there in its den,
But made no further movement, so of course I growled again.
We stood there now delighted as that Tiger slowly came,
So elegantly feline, did it see us just as game?
It walked right up to those cage bars, now barely feet away,
And calmly looked us in the eyes, just as if to say :
“You’re standing there all safe and sound, you think you’re on a winner,
But if there were no bars there, you’d be this Tiger’s dinner”…
So feeling smug, I growled again, no danger of attack,
That Tiger knew it had no chance, so merely turned its back.
But then it lifted up its tail, and craftily let fly,
A stream of steaming Tiger wee, which barely passed me by,
And hit my wife full in the face, an awful thing to see.
I tried my hardest not to laugh, impossible for me..
The kids thought it hilarious, as the wee dripped on her dress,
As we walked up to the toilet block, to try to clean the mess.
A helpful local cleaner there now pointed out too late,
A notice on the Tiger’s cage, up high there on the gate,
In German it advised you not to get up close to see,
Or that irritated Tiger might baptize you with its wee.
I tried to cheer my wife up, but I was doomed to fail,
“You’ve been wee’d on by a Tiger, and survived to tell the tale”.
That didn’t go down well of course, and although it’s been a while,
Today when I see Esso signs, I always have to smile.
Don’t get too close to Tigers, and stay clear of their flank,
Or with a squirt, they may assert what’s stored there in their tank…