“The Misfortunes of Tiger”, by Kelly Shu, age 11

friends and enemies

Fables are stories that teach lessons and whose characters are often animals. Here is a fable based on the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, published in our 2015 book “Friends and Enemies”.

“Snake crept up on the wavy snake. He realised that what he saw was only the back of the other serpent. So he gently wound his thick emerald green scales around the back of the other snake. He tugged on the coils. Hard. So hard, in fact, that Tiger jumped up and yowled from the pain. She turned around and snarled, her claws unsheathed and her usually calm face contorted in an evil grimace, ready to kill.”

“Snake,” continued Dog, cutting in, “scared literally out of his skin, shed an entire length, an exact copy of himself, and slithered off into the leaves.”

“Tiger,” interrupted Ox, “dug her claws into the shed skin and growled. She hated Snake for injuring her!

She turned, lashing her tail angrily, stalking back to her cub. She gasped. Alex was whimpering, groaning at the deep scratch his mother had given him when she bared her claws and went after Snake. After tending to Alex’s wound, she swore that all proper tigers after her would hate snakes.”

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