Into the Tigers' Den

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
17th February 2014 a Chinese guy jumped into a Tigers' Den at his local zoo. Why? This short story explores this event and what it means to people around the world.

Submitted: February 18, 2014

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Submitted: February 18, 2014



A guy jumped into a tigers’ den. This is a true event. I’m writing an untrue story. I read the event in the news and then I cried. They called him insane. They called him depressed. I think he was quite normal; he had a job in telesales. That’s what made him sad. He’s on medication now so all will be well.


He went to the local zoo somewhere in China – I don’t remember where exactly. He saw the white tigers and he got emotional. ‘They shouldn’t be kept in here,’ he thought - according to the Daily Mail. He wanted to sacrifice himself to the tigers so that they had a glimmer of an insight into what it meant to be alive. He was prepared to die to be their din dins.


He climbed the fence and stood there. The tigers were scared and ran away. They had forgotten they could or should kill people. The paper said he had to pull faces and make noises to piss them off. The male tiger then grabbed him by the neck.


He didn’t die. It would have been a spectacular suicide if it had worked. Instead the tiger was darted with a tranquilizer gun and the man is now on medication. He won’t be doing that again soon.


His family said he had been depressed for a little while. He thought there was nothing significant he could do with his life. He was only 20.


I wondered how many others are out there, willing to be a Tiger’s din dins. My mother wants me to be a consultant. I think I’d rather be Tiger’s din dins. At least she doesn’t want me to work in telesales.


I used to write for online news. I haven’t written much but I have tried. I found a woman who wanted to build a floating hospital in the Congo, to help women with birthing issues around a lake. The editor turned it down as ‘the story wasn’t strong enough’. I told the lady they weren’t going to run it anymore. ‘But it’s a catch 22’, she replied. ‘If people don’t know what I am doing then there’d be no funding for the boat.’ I agreed. I felt so guilty it didn’t happen I haven’t talked to her since. All the while more mothers die in the Congo.


‘Why do you bother?’ Asked a friend on a bench with some crisps - I’m not paid you see, so she doesn’t think it’s worth it. ‘Because they’re human’, I reply. ‘Oh’, she nods and bites some more crisps. ‘I see.’ Smile.


In the twenty-first century I think more people than ever want to jump in a tiger den. This piece of writing will probably never reach the guy who actually did the deed. He’s Chinese and probably doesn’t speak much English.


Even so, this story is for all those who feel like doing the same. You are not so alone. I feel like jumping into a tiger den. Although British health and safety standards would no doubt render me unsuccessful.


I wish I could meet you in a zoo with the monkeys, giraffes and tigers that aren’t too bothered about eating you and cry. Crying together is much better than crying alone.


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