It was the kind of environment that cause all my senses to remain on full alert. There were strange creatures everywhere and my eyes constantly shifted left and right. I kept LaWanna always just to my left and within reach. Even with my constant watchfulness, she saw it before I did. Her screams caused my heightened senses to send instant messages to all my muscles to coil for the pending attack. I could not believe it when her screams evolved into the word T-I-G-E-R!!! Could it be true? I still did not see the menacing creature! Then suddenly there were the piercing eyes, the huge paws, the fiendishly camouflaged stripes. It really was a tiger! I know it is difficult to believe. Fortunately, there was someone nearby with a camera and here is the proof.
O.K., it was a young tiger. And the jungle was downtown Montgomery during Jubilee weekend. But you have to admit that there are some wild creatures downtown during Jubilee--some who only come to town on that weekend--and perhaps during the fair. Maybe I will write later about the resemblance to Sodom-francisco. But this post is about the tiger. Yes, it is true that LaWanna's screams were not screams of terror but of delight. "I've always wanted to pet a tiger" she said like a kid in a candy store. "And you shall" says I. So I pulled a few strings and not only were we allowed to pet the tiger, but the caretakers also felt that we looked so good with the tiger that they insisted on taking our pictures. Young people, let this be a lesson to you; be nice to enough people....and give enough people $15 and you can have anything you want in life. You may be wondering "LaWanna, why are you holding the poor tiger so high under her armpits?" Well, LaWanna can explain to you, as an expert tiger handler, with minutes or at least seconds of training, that you hold them that way instead of cuddling them as you would be inclined so that they will not claw your eyes out. The very pregnant handler would actually hold the little cub with one hand under one shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Actually, it was more like a gallon of milk--you know with the little milk-filled handle, only she used a leg and shoulder like the handle. She explained that this most resembles the way the mother carries the cubs. And while it looked a little rough, sure enough the cub just went limp when picked up that way and did not squirm or attempt to break free. The bands were fun at Jubilee, my tickets were free, and we saw several friends we haven't seen in a while. But what we will probably remember most was the few minutes spent with "our own" little tiger. A good time was had by all.