Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck
I closed my book and gazed reflectively at the tiger. I imagined him proud and noble, racing through the jungle on a hunt. I suddenly felt very, very sorry about his situation. It can’t be a good life, performing in a circus, even if you have a good trainer. A tiger isn’t a dog or a cat to be somebody’s pet. He should be free in the wild.
I stood up and walked back over to the tiger’s cage. Hesitantly, I reached my hand into his cage to pat his paw again. Immediately, his tongue flew out to lick my hand. I laughed at first and then sobered. Slowly, I moved my hand up to his cheek and stroked the soft fur. Then, feeling brave, I scratched him behind his ear. A deep vibration rumbled in his throat, and I realized he was purring. I grinned and scratched his ear some more. “Like that, do you?”
I pulled my hand out of the cage, slowly again, and watched him for a minute, deliberating on what had happened. He had an almost human expression of melancholy on his face. If tigers have souls, and I believe they do, I imagine his to be a lonely and sad one. I looked into those big blue eyes and whispered, “I wish you were free.”
"Perhaps in another time and another place we will meet again"
-Kishan (Tiger’s destiny)