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the Tiger and the Strawberry

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 08 October 2007 02:24

Ladies and gentlemen, I digress.

It seems Marty over at AimClear, whom I have only recently ran into here and there, was diagnosed with Lymphoma (3B) and survived for over 2 years … I wanted to say something of support in his Blog comments of a recent post, but felt limited. Since I have the platform I do here, I simply have to use it to express.

This is for Marty and anyone else that is listening… it is based upon an old Asian Buddhist/Zen tale. It seeks to put value in life where it is often not obvious.

The Tiger and the Strawberry

A man was walking across a field when he heard a rustling in the tall grass beside him, and turned to see the hungry eyes of a large tiger staring at him. The man began to run, fear giving him greater speed and stamina than he knew he possessed.

But always, just behind him, he could hear the easy breathing of the hungry tiger. Finally, the man stopped, not because his strength had failed but because he had come to the edge of a high cliff and could go no further. "I can let the tiger eat me, or take my life in my own hands and jump." The man turned and saw the tiger slowly walking toward him, licking its mouth in anticipation. Resolved to take his own life, the man stepped to the edge of the cliff and bent his legs to jump, when he suddenly noticed a thick vine growing out of the side of the cliff, several feet from the top.

Carefully, he let himself drop down the cliff face, catching hold of the vine as he slid past, and thanked God when it was strong enough to support his weight. Hanging now, the man looked up and saw the tiger's eyes peering over the edge of the cliff. It roared down at him, then began to pace back and forth along the top of the cliff. For the first time, the man looked at the vine that had saved his life. It was thick enough for him to wrap his legs around, resting his arms, and long enough that he might be able to let himself far enough down to jump safely to the ground below.

And the moment he had this thought was the same moment that he saw the second tiger, pacing back and forth at the foot of the cliff, licking its mouth, and looking hungrily up at him. Well, thought the man, if my strength and the strength of the vine are great enough, perhaps I can outwait the tigers. Surely, they'll go someplace else to eat when they're hungry enough. And the man prepared to settle in for a long wait.

His preparations halted quickly, however, when he heard a scurrying, scratching sound close to his own face. Glancing upwards, he saw two mice, one white and one black, emerge from a small hole in the cliff. They made their way swiftly to the base of the vine, and began to gnaw through it with their small sharp teeth. There was nothing else he could do, a tiger above, a tiger below, and the vine that kept him from their jaws about to break.

The man was closing his eyes to begin his prayers, when he noticed, a little to his right, a tiny patch of red color on the face of the cliff. He reached toward it precariously, pulled, and brought his hand back beneath his eyes. There, in his palm, was a luscious, red strawberry. The man swiftly pressed the strawberry between his lips, onto his tongue, and hanging between those still visible tigers, he enjoyed the finest , juiciest, sweetest meal of his life. 

adaptation from; Story Lovers

We should all remember to value each and every moment of our lives and never lose sight. If it is your parents, your children, your relatives and loved ones – time is fleeting and each and every moment has a great value. I am a man with no extended family (at 41) they are all gone now. Outside of my immediate family (wife and children) – holidays are a lonely place. It is Thanksgiving here in Canada, so give ‘thanks’ for each and every moment you have in this life - and for what you have even though it may seem trivial.

Now, go pay your respects – support is one of the strongest healers that there is – here’s the gig;

From Marty –“The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, sponsors of Light the Night, was a critical informational resource and support structure for me and my family. Now it’s time to give back.
Link Love is as Good as Money! Please Circulate the Event URL by linking to and tag 3 other bloggers”

So let’s get on it people……………….. Marty – thanks for sharing. Being strong is huge in the battle, as U likely know, this step was a great one. Peace and best wishes to ya!! (start ranting more… it will help – hee hee)

We will return to the usual ranting shortly… thanks.


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