Many, many, many moons ago, the idea of celebrating Easter with baskets and eggs and such was born. The resurrection of Christ had been celebrated for centuries. Knowing the new idea of Santa at Christmas was a great success among the children, they felt it prudent to celebrate Easter in a similar manner. The reason the council wanted these holidays to be particularly enjoyable for the children was because Christ had such a soft spot for children himself. It was believed, Christ would be very happy to be honored in this way, by making His children smile on these special days.
The council, of this village, felt the Easter image for the children should be something strong, to make them feel safe. It should also be beautiful so the child will not fear. The members mulled over several different possible representations, however, in the end it was decided the Tiger would make best character.
He was strong and could carry Easter baskets filled with goodies in his jaw. He was fast, so he was capable of making all of his deliveries quickly, just like Santa. He was also beautiful, soft and large. A child could easily snuggle up against the tiger and have wonderful pictures made for blessed memories many years to come.
And so, the first Easter Tiger was created. The king of this fair land hand many tigers in his possession. He enjoyed using the tigers to maim or kill thieves and murderers. He joyfully donated a tiger for the council’s cause. The men were allowed to select one tiger.
The council was made up of 17 men. Together they went, accompanied by the king, to the tiger chambers. The chamber was below the castle. Several individual cages were there to separate the tigers when necessary, for example: when a cub is birthed, or a tiger is injured.
Today, none of the tigers were isolated. They all were loose in the chambers with the men. The tigers seemed to know the king and his guards. However, they snarled their disapproval of the 17 strangers. Naturally, the council were collectively feeling more nervous by the second.
The leader of the men asked the king whether the children would be safe with the tigers. After being in the stall with the furious beasts, they were beginning to second guess their decision. The king insisted his tigers were the best, the smartest, most trained and tamest in the land. The men wondered who else besides the king had tigers. However, to challenge the king’s authority would be the same as feeding themselves to the tigers.
Following the king’s footsteps, they examined each tiger the king approved. The men took turns examining the tigers due to their extreme fear. It seemed, each tiger they approached was meaner than the last.
They came to a smaller female tiger who lounged sleepily and did not seem to mind their presence. They thought they may have finally found their candidate. It so happened, this same tiger is the only tiger the king was secretly going to give up. He intentionally directed the men to his most powerful tigers first, knowing the men would be scared. Thus, when they came to the most scrawny tiger, the king knew the men would eagerly select her. The king would also manage to keep his integrity and be adored for his generosity.
It was Abraham’s turn to examine a tiger. As he approached this pathetic looking tiger, he found himself feeling sorry for her. She seemed to be near starvation. (Another of the king’s secrets. When he was displeased with a tiger’s performance, he enjoyed thinking of cruel ways to slowly abuse and then kill them. The slower the death, the better.)
Abraham began to talk soothingly to the tiger. She was listless. He noticed the ribs sticking out and the sharpness of her hipbone. It was then, he realized, this poor beast was being starved to death. He nearly said something, but quickly stopped himself. The king would deny the accusation and feed Abraham to this very tiger just to prove his point.
Abraham remembered he has some goat jerky in the hem of his garment. Slowly, so it would not be noticed, he retrieved the jerky. With every ounce of courage he had, he reached his hand out to the tiger’s mouth. She looked at him questionably. It seemed to Abraham, she was saying “thank you”. She gobbled the jerky without anyone noticing. He then reached for the rope to tie around the tiger’s neck.
At this point, the king had lost his patience. He bellowed at Abraham.
“For the love of God, what is taking you so long?” he demanded. The king pushed his way between the tiger and Abraham.
“Abraham, what in the world is taking you so long? Are you trying to make love to that cat?” The king grabbed the rope out of Abraham’s hand. He roughly placed the rope around the tiger’s neck. He pulled on the rope, forcing the poor weak cat to her feet. She glared up at him intently. He took his fist and slammed it hard into the tiger’s head. He continued to pull her to her feet.
After several more strikes, she was up on her feet. The skinny pathetic looking cat made direct eye contact with the king. Her ears were laying flat and she made a low guttural growl. The king only beat her harder, this time kicking at her ribs. The council stood there and helplessly watched. There was nothing they could do, lest they would each be tortured and killed.
It was then, like fierce lightening the tiger struck the king. She knocked him onto his feet and was biting at his head. He had his head and neck covered with his arms and hands. The cat was tearing flesh off his hands and arms trying to get the king to let loose. She wanted the neck. She wanted the death kill.
Abraham was frantically calling out to the tiger. He was trying to get her to stop. He had 1 final piece of jerky. He called to the cat, he had no idea what her name was, but he called her Stormy for the slow rage she had boiling silently within her before exploding at her captor.
Stormy turned toward Abraham immediately, as if she knew this to be her name. Abraham began to wonder, if this was her actual name. He knew the king never named any of the animals. The king had no personal attachments to any beast, or man for that matter. Abraham believed Stormy somehow told him her name.
Once Stormy was off the king. He laid bleeding and crying like a baby. He displayed a weakness that no man had ever witnessed before them. Luckily for the king, he was not seriously wounded. He may need a few stitches in his hand, but aside from that nothing that a good cleaning and bandages couldn’t cure.
Once the king got his bearings, he was ashamed the council had seen the attack, and worse, seen his tears. He called for his guards to collect the tiger. She was to be beheaded. The tiger’s head would be displayed on the square. The people of the village will be told how valiantly the king fought the vicious beast off when she chose to attack him and the council.
“Why, I managed to get out with barely a scratch!” he boasted.
The men looked at him in shielded disbelief. It was Abraham who spoke up first. He begged the king to allow him to take the tiger as planned. The king looked at him.
“Have you lost your mind? That beast just attacked me! She can not be trusted around children! My people will know of this attack! I guess I am supposed to tell the villagers I decided to donate the cat? How can I tell them this cat has been given to the council? Oh! I have a great idea! I will tell them I am donating her for population control. I will post a sign that says If your child comes up missing, thank you for the sacrifice–Signed, Census Bureau.” The king’s face was red with rage.
Abraham proceeded to tell the king how he has an ability to communicate with animals. (Abraham was making this story up as he went along, but something was telling him this was the way to deal with the king). The king had a great deal of fear and respect for magic and witchcraft. Abraham knew these things were sinful, but Stormy!….Yes, it is Stormy who is somehow talking to him. She knows how the king ticks. He does not hide his fears, thoughts or anything else in front of the animals. Stormy knows everything about the king.
Under Stormy’s direction, Abraham used the king’s fear of witchcraft against him. Abraham showed how he could communicate with Stormy. Stormy began to tell Abraham how:
“the king once ripped his britches in the seat, while trying to woo a fair maiden who was not his wife. The maiden began to laugh at him. She said the villagers were right, he is to big for his britches. The king can not stand to be laughed at. He grabbed a spear from his wall and beheaded her himself. He did this in his own private chambers! He simply called for the maids, told them the “whore” had wanted to have “relations” with him. He was so angry she suggested such a thing, he beheaded her.
However, later on,( Stormy communicated) the king’s story changed when talking to the villagers. The maiden was the daughter of one of the king’s men. Therefore, he insisted he never saw the girl on the night in question. No one challenged the king, for fear of death.
Everyone stared at the king. He was as white as a long, since dead ghost. He knew he was being challenged. There were too many of them for him to kill. HOW could he even think of having them killed, when Abraham has proven he is a warlock. Abraham would strike him down dead if he tried to come near him or any other councilman.
Therefore, the king agreed to whatever demands Abraham made, including giving that mangy beast to him. The king’s only hope was that some day, the tiger would turn of Abraham, ripping his throat out, thus doing the king a favor.
Later on, Abraham had explained to the council how he can hear Stormy’s thoughts. Abraham, with the council present asked Stormy what she thought about being an Easter Tiger, explaining what would be expected of her.
Stormy looked at him with laughing eyes. She waved her paw toward the wood’s edge. Stormy made a funny purring sound, catching the attention of a rabbit who was grazing nearby. The rabbit approached, not only the council but the tiger without even so much as a flinch!
Stormy said; the rabbit, Cotton, would be very pleased to take over the duty of Easter Tiger. The council chuckled, saying they might need to change the name to “Easter Bunny”.
by Renee Robinson