The Grasshopper and The Tiger

The Informant is in his mid-30’s and I know him through my affiliation with an off-campus fitness center. He’s originally from Missouri.

Him: One day a grasshopper was hopping down a trail where he crossed paths with a tiger. They both stopped for a moment. Then the tiger told the grasshopper that it would crush him if he kept going, like if he tried to pass him, the tiger. But the grasshopper wasn’t scared of the tiger and begins to hop forward. So the tiger tries and tries over and over again to crush the grasshopper under its paws. But it keeps hoppin’ around! The tiger begins to claw away at himself trying to kill the grasshopper. But then… grasshopper leaps inside the tiger’s ear. The tiger began to scratch the area in and around the ears. But instead of killing the grasshopper, he’s scratching at himself and he’s just bleeding everywhere. Despite of this, the tiger continued to scrape the area around the ear the grasshopper managed to nest in. Blood is spraying out of the tiger’s neck. The blood eventually became a thin pools of blood all over the tiger’s head and front paws. The tiger fell to the ground dead. Which is ironic because it’s like the same ground he claimed at the beginning. Then the grasshopper continued on his way.

Me: Who told it to you?

Him: My Uncle. At a baptism in Mexico. Don’t ask me how it was brought up *laughs*


I think the moral of this tale is that if you can’t physically beat your opponent, you must outsmart him. Or, I think it could also be something like oppressive regimes must be destroyed within instead of head on. It’s an interesting story, and because it involves a tiger and a grasshopper, I’m more inclined to believe that it originated in China rather than Mexico. It also brings about the familiar comparison of a tiny, or slow, creature to a larger, or dominant, creature, wherein the smaller creature always comes out the victor in some way.

Other examples are:

The Tortoise and The Hare:

The Lion and The Mouse:

Both of which are Aesop’s fables.