Explanation Of Tigers In The Forest By Katie Bagli

No tiger! Not a trace.

Time up, back we race.

Soon they’d close the Sanctuary gates.

Ours was the last jeep

Still lingering inside the verdant greens,

In this stanza, the speaker expresses disappointment and a sense of urgency as their chance to see a tiger in the wildlife sanctuary appears to be slipping away. The absence of the tiger is emphasized with the phrase “No tiger! Not a trace,” and the impending closure of the sanctuary gates adds to the urgency. The stanza also highlights that their jeep is the last one inside the sanctuary, suggesting a narrowing window of opportunity. The term “lingering” implies a reluctance to leave, even as time runs short. The phrase “verdant greens” emphasizes the lush surroundings. Overall, the stanza conveys a race against time to witness the tiger’s presence before the sanctuary gates close, capturing the fleeting nature of such encounters in the natural world.

Screech! The brakes are jammed.

I fell headlong on plump Mr.Sam.

Minnie banged her long pointed nose

And tumbled upon Mr Philly’s toes.

And Mr. Philly became desperate

As out of the jeep flew his beret.

In this stanza, a sudden and comedic shift occurs as the jeep’s brakes screech to a halt with the exclamation “Screech!” This abrupt interruption creates a sense of surprise and urgency. The narrator’s fall onto Mr. Sam, humorously described as “plump,” and Minnie’s collision with Mr. Philly’s toes, are comical mishaps that reflect the chaotic nature of the moment. Amidst the physical chaos, Mr. Philly’s beret is propelled out of the jeep, adding a whimsical touch to the scene. His desperation over the lost beret, while seemingly trivial, highlights the unexpected disruptions that can provoke strong reactions. This stanza briefly diverts attention from the impending encounter with the tiger, offering a light-hearted and relatable break in the narrative. It underscores the unpredictability of human reactions in unexpected situations and provides a moment of shared experience among the passengers. Overall, this segment contributes to the poem’s dynamic tone, blending humor and tension in the unfolding story of encountering nature.

The driver hissed, “Hush, hush!

Listen. Alarm calls all about us:”

True, the monkeys were chattering

And a distant peacock was miaowing.

Just then we saw her – a large tiger.

In this portion of the poem, the driver’s urgent command to “Hush, hush!” and his mention of “Alarm calls all about us” signals a shift in the atmosphere, heightening the sense of anticipation and tension. The use of the word “hissed” adds a sense of urgency and secrecy to his tone. The description of monkeys chattering and a distant peacock “miaowing” (an onomatopoeic word choice for the peacock’s call) amplifies the feeling of being surrounded by a vigilant and aware natural environment, as if the animals are collectively sounding an alert. This underscores the interconnectedness of the wildlife and their ability to communicate danger to one another.

The stanza culminates with the long-awaited sighting: “Just then we saw her – a large tiger.” This moment of revelation is marked by a dash, emphasizing the suddenness of the appearance. The emphasis on “large” underscores the awe-inspiring nature of the creature, and the use of the definite article “the” suggests a significant and singular encounter. This line delivers on the poem’s buildup and sets the stage for the subsequent observations of the tiger and her cubs, evoking a blend of excitement, reverence, and a touch of trepidation as the majestic predator finally emerges within the narrative.

T19-what kind of a name

For such a charming, majestic dame..

Black stripes on orange

Gliding with such grace,

She peered at us through golden eyes

Full of haughty disdain,

In this excerpt, the speaker questions the appropriateness of the name “T19” for a creature as captivating and majestic as the tiger being described. The choice of “what kind of a name” expresses the speaker’s astonishment that a mere label could encapsulate the essence of such a magnificent being. The contrasting terms “charming” and “majestic” convey the multifaceted nature of the tiger’s presence, highlighting its combination of allure and grandeur. The vivid imagery of “Black stripes on orange” vividly paints the tiger’s distinctive appearance, and the term “gliding” adds a sense of fluid and graceful movement to its description. The tiger’s gaze is evocatively depicted as it “peered at us through golden eyes,” establishing a connection between the observer and the wild creature. The description of the tiger’s eyes as “full of haughty disdain” suggests a mix of curiosity and aloofness, further enhancing its regal and powerful aura. This passage not only provides sensory-rich imagery but also delves into the intricacies of naming and encapsulating the essence of such a magnificent and elusive creature.

Walking out regally from behinda bush she called-

No growl, no snarl, no roar

In a motherly affectionate voice

And there appeared in answer three cubs.


In this stanza, a remarkable scene unfolds as the majestic tiger emerges with regal grace from behind a bush. The phrase “Walking out regally” underscores the creature’s dignified presence, captivating the reader’s imagination. The stanza takes a surprising turn as the tiger’s call breaks the expectation of a fierce growl or snarl, replaced by a “motherly affectionate voice.” This unexpected portrayal humanizes the tiger, revealing a nurturing aspect that contrasts its usual depiction as a fearsome predator.

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The phrase “And there appeared in answer three cubs” brings an element of wonder, as the mother’s call summons the emergence of her offspring. The use of the word “REJOICE!” adds an exuberant tone, encapsulating the sense of celebration and awe that accompanies the sight of the cubs. This moment not only challenges stereotypes about wild animals but also invokes a sense of unity and familial bonds in the animal kingdom. Through this stanza, the poem explores the intricate balance of power, tenderness, and natural instincts within the wild world, inviting readers to reevaluate their perceptions of these majestic creatures.

Though large and strong.

Only six months old, we were told.

Very playfully they followed their mum,

Frolicking, rollicking having so much fun.

In this stanza, the poem continues to depict the scene of the tiger and her cubs with vivid imagery. The initial line, “Though large and strong,” highlights the inherent strength of the tiger, underscoring its majestic nature. However, the subsequent revelation that the cubs are only six months old adds a layer of contrast, revealing the vulnerability and youth of these seemingly powerful creatures.

The stanza beautifully captures the playful and carefree nature of the cubs as they follow their mother. The phrases “Very playfully they followed their mum” and “Frolicking, rollicking having so much fun” evoke a sense of joy and innocence. This portrayal humanizes the animals, showcasing a tender family dynamic and resonating with the readers’ sense of relatability.

The juxtaposition of the tiger’s strength and the cubs’ youthful exuberance creates a harmonious balance within the natural world. This stanza highlights the various facets of wildlife, from their powerful presence to their capacity for affection and playfulness. Overall, the poem continues to challenge preconceived notions and invites readers to see beyond the surface, fostering a deeper connection with the beauty and complexity of nature.

Ignoring our excited presence

Their mother led them to her kill.

Here, they ate till their stomachs were filled.

And then all four settled to repose,

Lying on their backs, striking such a charming pose.

In this stanza, the poem delves deeper into the interaction between the tiger family and the observing group. The line “Ignoring our excited presence” underscores the natural behavior of the tigers, highlighting their focus on their immediate surroundings rather than being influenced by the human spectators.

The mother’s action of leading her cubs to her kill demonstrates a pivotal aspect of the predator-prey relationship in the wild. This act not only sustains the tigers’ survival but also illustrates the circle of life and the intricate balance of nature. The phrase “Here, they ate till their stomachs were filled” portrays a scene of primal nourishment and survival, capturing a raw and fundamental aspect of the animal world.

As the tigers’ hunger is satiated, the stanza takes a poignant turn as it describes the four animals settling down to rest. The phrase “Lying on their backs, striking such a charming pose” presents an image of vulnerability and relaxation, revealing the intimate moments of respite in the midst of the wild landscape. This contrast between the fierce hunting moments and the tranquil aftermath offers a glimpse into the multifaceted lives of these creatures, engaging the readers with a profound sense of connection to the natural world.

But now the driver was desperate,

“We have to leave with much haste”

While the jeep almost flew

Towards the sanctuary’s gates

We were full of good cheer, regaled.

In this stanza, a sense of urgency and transition is conveyed as the poem shifts its focus from the tiger family to the actions of the observing group. The opening lines, “But now the driver was desperate, / ‘We have to leave with much haste,'” emphasize the sudden change in the situation. The driver’s desperation to leave the area swiftly implies the importance of adhering to the rules and regulations of the sanctuary and the necessity of respecting the animals’ space.

The phrase “While the jeep almost flew / Towards the sanctuary’s gates” vividly portrays the speed and urgency with which the jeep is moving. This image captures the tense atmosphere as the group prepares to exit the sanctuary. However, despite the rush, the last line, “We were full of good cheer, regaled,” introduces an element of positivity and contentment. The word “regaled” suggests that the experience of witnessing the tiger and her cubs has left the group feeling entertained and enriched, even as they depart.

This stanza encapsulates the blend of excitement and responsibility that comes with encountering wildlife in their natural habitat. It underscores the importance of balancing the thrill of observation with the necessity of maintaining the safety and well-being of both the animals and the visitors.

Except for poor Philly,

The cause of his misery?

He had lost his precious beret,

He kept patting his bald pate.

But the cubs had gained a new toy

A soft, wooly beret with which to play. 

In this stanza, the focus shifts to the aftermath of the tiger encounter, with a touch of humor and contrast. The opening line, “Except for poor Philly,” signals a change in tone, bringing attention to one individual’s experience. The phrase “The cause of his misery?” sets up the question of what has caused Philly’s distress, creating intrigue for the reader.

The subsequent lines reveal the reason for Philly’s unhappiness: he has lost his beret. The description “He had lost his precious beret” implies that the beret holds sentimental value for Philly, making his distress relatable on a human level. The phrase “He kept patting his bald pate” adds a touch of comedy as it visualizes Philly’s futile attempts to comfort his now exposed head.

The contrast between Philly’s distress and the cubs’ playfulness is evident in the next lines. The stanza takes a surprising turn as it reveals that the cubs have found Philly’s lost beret and are now using it as a toy. The phrase “A soft, wooly beret with which to play” creates a whimsical image of the cubs engaging with the beret, highlighting the unpredictability of nature and the unexpected ways in which animals interact with their environment.

This stanza brings a lighthearted conclusion to the encounter, juxtaposing human concerns with the instinctive behaviors of the animal world. It emphasizes the joy and unpredictability of such encounters while adding a touch of humor that resonates with the readers’ understanding of both the human and animal experiences.



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