If Tigers Could Talk

Based on the recent rash of novels with “tiger” in their titles, one might think that tigers can talk, English that is.

Yesterday I saw the Disney movie African Cats. It was wonderful in a cinematography, nature-loving, awe-inspiring sort of way. It was also heartbreaking in a motherly, circle-of-life kind of way. Oh, my stars, no one has it harder than lions! Unless it’s cheetahs or gazelles or wildebeests or water buffalo. The only ones I didn’t feel sorry for were the crocodiles, but I’m sure, they too have sad stories to tell. The circle of life is cruel! My husband even felt sorry for me as a mother, because the movie was essentially about a mother lion and a mother cheetah and the struggles they go through to raise their cubs, and how they often have watch them die or leave them behind.

And this is a DISNEY movie? Well, it did bring back memories of Bambi.

But what I was thinking was, if tigers could talk all of us writers would be hungry, cold, and penniless. The big cats’ tales (not tails) were so difficult and sad that they put humans’ stories to shame.

Then again, if I was hungry, cold, penniless, and being chased by a full-grown male lion, I think I could tell a pretty heart-wrenching story. I’ll try to remember that thought as I work on my next novel. (Come to think of it, maybe that’s what Jonathan Lethem was thinking when he wrote Chronic City.)

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