“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


the shadows of tigers

There once was a woman who lived with 2 cats
in a magic forest
at the edge of enchanted jungle.

The magic of this forest was not that it did special things for her, but that it gave her the strength & the belief that she could do these things for herself. The forest was filled with wolves & white owls, foxes & raccoons, but in the jungle lived strange & wonderful creatures with truly magical gifts & powers.

When the elephants came near, she could hear the sound of cellos playing.

The woman wasn't lonely, for she knew a man she loved very much, but his life was too exhausting for her to spend too much time in, so she would return to the cats & the house in the forest, and listen for the cello music & the sound of the nearby stream & wait for the white owl to fly overhead in the full moonlight, and she would inhale deeply and the strength & the magic of the forest would once again return to her body and her soul.

In the jungle there also lived a tiger the woman had never seen, but she knew he was there and could imagine the terrible-ness of him. She knew he was big & bright and could change her life with just one whisper or one thought or even one breath.

Once, a long time ago, someone she loved had gone away (for the forest was magic, but not perfect, and could not protect her from the sadness of life), and the woman blamed this on the tiger and pictured him in her mind as even bigger. His stripes grew darker & his claws were sharper, but, most frightening of all, his step became even more quiet, so she could never be quite sure if he was really there. No music played to hint of his presence, but sometimes she thought she heard drums & believed that these were the sound of the tiger (sometimes they grew very loud and powerful and overwhelming), but sometimes she knew the drums were just the sound of her frightened heart.

Sometimes it seemed that the tiger carried an hourglass around his neck, and would empty the minutes and hours she should have. She could sense his presence as she hurried to get things done, and the less time she had, the closer the tiger seemed. She thought that perhaps it was the tiger's breath that took in these missing minutes, and as he held his breath, she found it harder to catch hers, and seemed always to be running from him.

The forest tried to help. When she was lost, the leaves became arrows, pointing her towards home. Blue flowers would spring up in forgotten places, and the wolves would howl in the night to remind her she was not alone . . .

(to be continued)

~ I am fighting a tiger today,
though I know he isn't there. ~
burning bright


  1. Oh Debi..... how beautiful, I look forward to more :-)


  2. I am still too sick to fully comprhend the beauty of your wordS!

  3. Cookie, Carol, Michelle - This is an ending I don't know. A work in progress. But the tiger HAS thankfully moved away a bit today. :)

    Love, debi

  4. it sounds to have been a terrible tiger indeed! i am glad he has stepped out of the jungle for the present moment... and the forest has stepped in to nurse her back to breathing health again right?


  5. Robin - Quite big & quite fierce. He has backed away for now.

    Thank you.
    Love, Debi

  6. I know what the tiger is. He lives in my forest too. I shouldn't let him be what he becomes, but he strikes so swiftly; I cannot seem to keep him at bay.
    Debi, your writing is so deep and I have no adequate words to tell you how they affect me. I am so moved by the beauty of what you write, that I am often at the brink of tears. Tears that inspire. Joy that someone has a way to express what too lies within me. Relief at the connection and power of the words.
    I stand in awe of you and what you do.

  7. Paula I have been thinking of this tiger. I may have a new chapter. It is brewing.

    I am so pleased to find someone else who knows him. It is good to know I am not alone. (He should be listening.)

    Love, Debi

  8. Do you think he hears?

    Anxiously awaiting the next chapter...

  9. I think he hears & I think he listens.

  10. Oh Debi, how I have missed you!!!!!!

    I have been away. These are times of deep love for me...have been distracted away from my computer but have come back and as I read this enchanting story, I realise how important you are, how much I love to come here and read your words that inspire me so.
    I have so much catching up to do! And writing as well!

    I have a tiger too. ;)

  11. Jaime - I am glad you are back, but so, so happy for you!

    Is your tiger a big one?

    :) Debi


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