Once upon a time in a town, there was a big enclosure. The enclosure had the biggest tiger anyone had ever seen. He had expressionless eyes and he simply walked around round and round in his enclosure.
One day, the bolt of the enclosure gave away and with a slight nudge of his paw, the tiger broke free. It’s eyes were still expressionless but for his movements. The way he moved was slow and graceful. It had an air of authority he had easily assumed which silently gave away a simple message: The town now was his.
The people of the town were filled with fear. I was one of them.
We closed our doors tightly shut and hoped he would not choose our gates to enter. The curtains were drawn and the town seemed deserted.
One day, I sat on the floor by the door, enjoying the sun the drawn curtains had denied us of. It was the temptation of freedom, that gave me the courage to open the door a little, and now even the air felt good. I felt more greedy and it was immediately swallowed as soon as it was felt by what I saw next…
The tiger on this day had chosen the gates of my house. It rested near the gates of my house, thus denying anyone to come in or me to go out.
Panic gripped my heart. Heart thumping, I wondered if this was it: the loss of my freedom and living in constant fear.
I heard a distant yelp from inside, and my white Pomeranian came rushing by my side. He was so tiny and adorable, that you would feel like cuddling him forever. His presence brought some relief to my anxiety.
He saw the door of our house was creak open and me peeking out, staring at the tiger. He didn’t know fear. He didn’t know what lay ahead of the open door. He only knew he wanted to get out and run on the grass as freely as he could like before. And before I could stop my puppy, he rushed out of the door and saw the tiger.
He gave an angry bark at the tiger, the house after all was his territory and he bolted towards the tiger. The tiger was unperturbed. That didn’t stop my puppy and he kept running at the intruder. I screamed at my puppy in terror asking him to come back. I just screamed, paralyzed at the door hoping he would listen to me and come running back to me. He paid me no heed and kept running at my fear till he was face to face to the tiger.
The tiger looked down at my puppy as he kept barking. Probably my puppy’s patience gave away and he bit the tiger. That got the tiger’s attention and it looked down. It had first expression in his eyes: rage. And just when I saw him move to react to my puppy, I opened my eyes.
It was just a dream.
I woke up feeling like it was my fight. It was my fear to some unknown. And unless, I do not run towards my fears and fight it, I will never know what will lie on the other side. I will always toss and turn that I never even tried and that I let the fear control my mind.
Probably what I needed as a reminder to a known philosophy was this nightmare with the tiger.