Old Korean story of the tiger and little boy

“There once was a little village that feared this tiger which kidnapped and ate children. One day, the tiger kidnapped this little boy from the village and took him to the mountains. As the tiger was getting ready to eat the boy, the terrified little boy began to remember what his mother told him: “Be calm and never lose focus no matter what.” The little boy began to use his mind and quickly came up with a plan. He decided to tell the tiger a lie. He told the tiger that he once had an older brother that died and reincarnated into a tiger. The little boy convinced the tiger that he was his little brother and shouldn’t eat him. The tiger (being just an animal) believed the child and set him free.”

My informer particularly enjoyed this old tale she heard as a child and decided to tell it to me since it was her favorite. To her, this story carries the lesson of perseverance. Even in the face of extreme danger, the child kept his composure and used his clever mind to get out of it. My informer uses this tale to help her keep her composure not matter what is going on in her life. She frames her daily problems in contrast to the boy and the tiger. Most of her difficulties has to with money, exams, boyfriend, and insecurities about her body, none of which are a threat to her life and so nothing is impossible to conquer.

I personally enjoyed this short story and found it simple yet powerful. From it, I got the message clearly that perseverance and diligence is possible even in the face of death. Instead of panicking, it is possible to think your way through as long as you remain calm and give yourself the chance to see an opportunity. I sometimes give a situation way too much emotion that I don’t think a proper resolution exists because my judgement is clouded by fear.