Tipu’s Tiger

RDP Wednesday:  TIGER

Tipu’s Tiger has been in a museum for a long time and there is a lot of information about what the Tiger symbolizes. I caught onto the history later is life but Tipu’s Tiger gave me nightmares when I was a kid.

One nightmare was so vivid that when I woke up I actually had scratch marks on my back ( they faded about 15 minutes after I had woken up ) and from that night  to this day I have a healthy respect- tinged with fear- of Tigers.

So here is how I learned about Tipu’s Tiger.

When I was a child my family used to take the ferry up to Victoria BC during the Spring and Summer and our first stop was always the Miniature Museum. The Second stop was Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

My Dad used to bribe me, if I didn’t beg and plead go to see the Waxworks ( which I started as soon as I heard we were going up to Victoria  and didn’t stop until I walked through the doors ) he would let me spend as much time as I wanted in the Chamber of Horrors section.

My favorite was a guy hanging on a meat hook. I really looked forward to seeing that one.

Anyway.

One year my Grandpa Bert told me it was to bad I couldn’t see Tipu’s Tiger because that mechanical tiger was good and scary.

He told me you could see Tipu’s Tiger on top of a man’s chest and and you could watch the man’s trying to fend the tiger off with one bloodless hand ( did the Tiger chew it off I asked? )  and that you could see the man screaming  too.

I was about seven  at the time and a dingbat so that probably explains why I thought a robot tiger was eating visitors in a museum and for an extra fee you could turn a handle and help him.

” If I get to close, will he eat me too?”

My Grandfather worked his mouth from side to side, which is something I do before I tell a whopper and he said, ” I wouldn’t recommend tapping on the glass. ”

That year when I went to Madame Tussaud’s I peeked around the corners just to make sure I didn’t run into Tipu’s Tiger-

and I guess to this day I still am.

Photo credit: Victoria and Albert Museum

Photo credit: Victoria and Albert Museum

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