He loved this tiger. A constant friend by his side for as long as he could remember and even before. The shaman made a gift of him. He was to be his life long protector, and the boy grew up feeling the same way about the tiger. They ate, slept, and played together from that first moment of the boy’s birth. There was a natural bond that developed, even when the boy’s mother was present. She also respected the shaman’s wishes, not really knowing his plan for her son.
There were times the tiger protected the boy even from his own kind. There were many dangers near but he was always there, watching, aware of the enemy’s presence. The shaman knew the boy’s secret destiny. He would be a great leader some day. He also knew the tiger would be ever faithful in protecting him. A tiger was a special gift he received himself, at an early age. His own mother had received the protector when he was born. And so the legend goes, from one generation to another. Except this was not a legend, but a truth.
Many years ago the truth was passed down from one shaman to another. The tiger was not a mythical character, but a living animal. He would be born at the same instant as the new shaman, both infants growing together. The elder shaman would present the newborn tiger to the boy’s mother and she would accept the gift without fear. This was the faith of the mother and her family and all those before her. The boy and the tiger were gifts of her faith and she did not question. Instead she felt honored and proud that her son was chosen. It was only the elder shaman that knew their true destiny.