Is there a reason you chose to get a tiger tattoo?
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A story about greed
Manas Pratim Sarma, 28
Recited the story in their mothertongue, Assamese
This is an Assamese story about a tiger and a wood logger. Its an ancient story told to kids to teach them to not be greedy.
A long time ago, in an ancient forest there used to be a tiger. When he was younger, he would roam the forest killing all sorts of animals to eat. As the tiger grew older, he became very sick. He wasn’t able to move or hunt much.
One day while wandering near his cave, he found some gold jewellery that someone had dropped. He brought it back to his cave and hatched a plan.
A couple days later, a wood logger came to the forest. The tiger’s cave for right in front of a river. The wood logger started cutting trees on the opposite bank. The tiger came and sat in front of his cave and in a very sickly voice called out to the wood logger.
He said “Hey brother, please listen to me. I am really sick, I don’t know how many days I have left. I have some jewellery that I would like you to take for your woman. I don’t have any other possessions, giving this jewellery away is the last thing I want to do before I am no more.”
As soon as the wood logger heard this, he got greedy. He was still a little cautious. He asked the tiger “how can I trust you wont pounce on me as soon as I come near you?”. The tiger repeated himself, saying he is incredibly sick and can’t move at all, convincing the wood logger that he is harmless.
The wood logger crossed the river. As the logger approached, the tiger acted even more sick than he actually was, and the logger was fully convinced that this tiger could do no harm. The tiger asked the logger to step inside the cave to pick up the jewellery. At this point, the logger’s greed had grown bigger than his ability to think rationally, and he stepped into the cave. The tiger then pounced on him, killing him instantly.