This was tiger country, monkey territory.
Lush, wild and only the lonely. As it was early spring the birds were still
somewhat subdued, the earlier cold spells had left a mark on their presence and
exuberance. Both Tiger and Monkey had been — each in their own way — preparing
themselves for their anticipated return. Year after year spring had come, so had
the birds. [What was to come arrived so fast it didn’t have time to rearrange
these presuppositions.] It has always been inappropriate to contemplate the
renewal of life without the presence of flower beds and birdsong; so the heavens
themselves were approached to give the skin of life a massage.
Monkey. Monkey was the one who had left the
troop. There was no future there. Only monkeys to play with and to choose from.
For Monkey that awareness had caused some teeth-chattering laughter. The whole
troop had taken it badly, they had surrounded and challenged him, there was only
one way to go: up in the tree given to him at birth. He knew, he had been
sleeping in his tree of life ever since. It had given him food, shelter and the
freedom of tree life. And, on good days the forest, from floor to canopy, it was
all his. Yes, and yet.
Tiger. Tiger had been a tiger all her life, as
a cub the entire class of pioneers had unanimously chosen her as the one that
should be called: “Tiger the only Tiger who was promised to be a Tiger”. She
could catch her tail faster than any other cub; her stripes were more varied
than those of any other tiger; her movements were so delightful to watch and so
innately gracious that already after a few days playing just a few feet away
from her mother she had been chosen as a future queen of the forest. Her paws
were chocolate soft and lily white, her little claws were already as sharp as
lightning. No doubt she was the only Tiger that was going to move with absolute
determination and infallible certainty along the path towards her promised life.
And so it happened that time instead of
running after ran ahead of itself. Clearly there was something in the air that a
sleeve couldn’t wipe clean. On a bright and sunny afternoon there was this
weather vane directing the traffic. Mock attacks, fancy dress parties and
exchanges of good will, they all passed by. It was to be as much a sight as an
enjoyment on all fours. All of a sudden, ears stretched, nostrils vibrating,
muscles at the ready, there was this roaring tremor, it was like the earth
opening up, ready to receive its offspring. Monkey leapt on the back of Tiger.
Whirling and twirling, sunning and bathing, rolling and frolicking. Hair and
skin were from now on bed and kin; air and breath became the pathway to their
intertwined future. No would never be any more a sound cleaving the sky. What’s
more, there was this smell penetrating their skin, this foreboding, this
magnetism and mutuality: two bodies one purpose; four legs one direction. It all
happened with such an incredible force and speed that it felt as if time was
shrinking and shifting shape. Monkey and Tiger were given the times of their
lives back. The sun had made their dreams come true. The forest had to be
explored and prepared for a new experience: how to dare together, how to share
the result of this earthquake they had set in motion? How to recognise the new
opportunities but also the new dangers? What is to come will never be the same
as what has been. Face to face, Monkey and Tiger were ready and all over the
place; they were grooming each other for both the short and the long haul. Their
day had come.
Gradually their eyes were adapting to this new
life form. Being together provided even the sun with a new task: just to be
there was enough. Whether the night took the sky away or the rain the heat
Monkey and Tiger kept the order of the universe going. It was the world of
dreams that was giving them food, shelter and life.