Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Zookeeper And The Not So Dead Tiger, An Illustration of Grace

The Story of The
Not So Dead Tiger
This is a retelling of a true story as related in a newspaper about thirty years ago.  It is a great example of grace and mercy.  I tell it to the kids in my Church Bible Class as part of a lesson on Salvation.


In the city was a famous zoo.  One of the greatest attractions was the Big Cats House where lions, tigers, panthers and other large "cats" were kept.  Around the building were the big cats exhibits; these were large enclosures that had a deep wide channel, to separate the animals from the people who wanted to see them.  The channel was too deep for the cats to climb and too wide for them to jump over.  People could enjoy seeing the animals without cage bars and the animals had a lot of room to roam and be happy.

One day a new tiger named Princess Sheba was brought to the zoo.  Everybody hoped the new tiger would get along with the one they already had, named Kahn.  The people watched as the two met for the first time, but were horrified when the two tigers began to fight.  No one ever saw tigers fight before and it was a dreadful thing to see.  The battle was fierce!  The snarling was louder than anyone imagined.  The tigers thrashed and tumbled over each other in a blur.  They ripped at each other with huge bloody claws and tore into each other with terrible fangs.  Even though it was a horrible fight it ended soon and Kahn was dead. His body fell into the channel.

Randy Wilson was the zookeeper whose job was to take care of the lions and tigers.  His heart broke that the beautiful rare tiger was dead.

After Princess Sheba was chased back into her den Randy went down into the channel enclosure with ropes and tackle to lift out the dead tiger.  It would take a crane since this adult tiger weighed about six hundred pounds.  Randy set the ropes and tackle down next to the tiger that he loved so much.  In sadness he leaned over and put his hand on Kahn's bloody shoulder.

The moment he touched the tiger it growled and got up on its feet!  Kahn's head was low and threatening, he curled back his lips and showed huge teeth stained with blood.

Randy was facing a wild tiger, one that was injured and angry.  It is said that there is no creature as dangerous as one that is injured.  Randy was sure the tiger would spring on him and kill him.  They were in the channel and there was no place to run or hide.  A single swipe of the tiger's claws would rip him open.

Kahn turned.  Instead of attacking Randy the tiger slowly walked back to his den and lay down.

Kahn gave grace to the Zookeeper.


We say grace is undeserved favor but it is more than that, it is undeserved favor when the giver has the power to condemn.

Beyond These Dark Lands Are Edges of Joy
Words of Comfort and Hope ©
By A.E. Dozat
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 (c)Adron Dozat 5/2/15