A few days ago I found the following soliloquy on a New Territories, Hong Kong, tiger of October 1954. Unfortunately I didn`t take a note of the Web site. I think it was a Chinese literary web site from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Translated well into English this time ! The original soliloquy was dated October 29th 1954 from a Taiwan publication the Chinese Student Weekly. It gives a rather interesting insight into a Chinese person`s (presumably)view of the tiger in Hong Kong about 60 years ago.
Enters the N.T. Tiger, roaming meditatively
Tiger, Tiger,hides and seeks
Amidst N.T. forests and peaks,
What presumptuous mortal or fool
Dare shake thy fearful majesty?
To stay,or to leave:that is the question:
Whether it`s worthwhile to continue abstaining
Ever since the time I`ve come here
And to suffer against my better will
The noises and filthy air of an over-crowded city,
Or better to cease humoring these ignorant,presumptous mortals,
And by frightening them with my omnipotence
Thus leave them in perpetual frustration?
To study mankind, to seek for a paradise-these were my motives
That drove me to rove around this world of wonder.
And realising that I`m poles apart from Man
Whether in physique,temperament,habit or wisdom.
I have struggled hard to entame myself
So as to cope with Man,and to study his culture.
Alas! What disappointment and shock to discover
That Man is nothing but a wicked,selfish, ambitious animal.
A barrel of vanity.
Look how these H.K. people `re hunting me
While I remain as tame as a suckling dove.
I tried to offer them peace and friendship, what they`ve returned
Was enmity,disturbance and distrust.
Ha! They`re breeders of rumours, myopes!
They said I was a wildcat, a leopard, a racoon ………………..(1)
Not seeing the mark on my forehead that signifies
The dignity and fierceness of my majesty.
Know you,Man: I am King of the forest;
The Chief of my tribe,and
The Head of my family, who could have destroyed you
As an ant in an instant. Your attitude
Sickens my heart, frustrates my plan and upsets me
With vacillation between staying here or leaving,
Continuing with my project,or giving up.
Whate`er will be my decision,one thing I`d like to warn you:
Challenge not with my greater power,
- A power that`s dangerous to conquer-
When it appears friendly and tame,
For life is precious,treat it not as a game. (2)
1. This may refer to escaped racoon dogs.
2. Chinese Student Weekly Oct 29th 1954 693 ed.