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THE BE(E)ING OF A TIGER

August 29, 2014

Prose Version

The identical coloration of tigers and bees is no random coincidence without any significance to it. The real reason for this pun of evolution is actually quite astounding, almost beyond belief.

The simple truth is that there never has existed an animal that the world knows as “tiger”. The true nature of this creature is revealed if you are brave enough to give it a good shake. Once you have done so, you would witness an incredible transformation taking place: the tiger will begin crumbling into pieces, until there is nothing left of it, not even a piece of hide and in its place, thousands upon thousands of bees will appear, as if out of nowhere, buzzing angrily and flying off in all directions.

For you see, a tiger is not a real animal. Rather it is a great collection of Africanised honeybees, also known as killer bees, that have formed themselves into the shape of a tiger. They use this particular configuration to satisfy their great hunger for fresh meat. All the characteristics of a tiger can be easily explained by this state of affairs: the tiger’s roar is actually the collective humming of countless bees; the colour of its stripes comes from the hue of bees’ bodies; its sharp fangs and claws are composed of bees’ stings and its ferocity is due to the notoriously aggressive nature of the killer bees.

Verse Version

Tyger, tyger burning bright
In the forests of the night.
Yet look closer,
you will see
all is not what seems to be.

Bees and tiger
the same colour
a coincidence?
Surely that makes
little sense!

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
Catch the tiger by the toe
Shake him hard
and make him hiss.
This reveals
he’s made of bees.

Once you stir him
you will find
bees are gone,
naught left behind.

In their hunger for fresh meat,
bees are practicing deceit.
Alas, the tiger we adore
is but nothing but a roar.

painting by Vladimir Kush

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8 Comments
  1. I greatly enjoyed the prose, but without it, I wouldn’t have understood the poem. Please don’t ask why, just let me enjoy your posts—posts that I truly enjoy.

    • right I won’t say anything then and will just let you enjoy them Pam.

  2. Which came first, the poem or the painting? 🙂 You’ve got some awesome painter friends!

    • Although a number of artists have created images to accompany various of my poems and stories, in majority of cases (such as this one) I write stories/poems inspired by images that I come across on the net. So you could say that I am a big fan of ekphrasis. (Now there’s a great topic for one of your prompts – ekphrasis)

      So, any thoughts about this parody Doug?

  3. maadmaax permalink

    Quite the comment on teamwork and that is just about perfect, Boris. Why? Because I actually enjoyed the poem.

  4. I remember this story and the poem very well. I just love the poem, it flows so easily, putting a smile on my face as I picture the scenes. I think Blake would smile too. The story now appears in your book “aMUSEing tales”.

    • thank you Irina! It was an interesting challenge to express the same idea both through prose and poetry.

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