Tarik's Adventure

Tarik, the little tiger, stalked up to his sleeping brother on quiet paws. When he reached him, he lifted his little tiger paw and cheekily slapped him in the face. Balan woke up.

Tarik, the little tiger, stalked up to his sleeping brother on quiet paws. When he reached him, he lifted his little tiger paw and cheekily slapped him in the face. Balan woke up.

'What did you do that for, Tarik? Let me sleep!' he murmured and stretched languidly.

But Tarik was absolutely not in the mood for that. He prodded his brother again. Then he pulled his lips back and hissed — just like he'd seen his mother do.

'Should I be scared of you, or something?' chuckled Balan, 'Just you wait.'

He pounced.

Tariq turned around as quick as a flash and raced away.

'Come on, catch me!' he cried and bolted through the plains towards the jungle.

'Don't go into the jungle, Tarik,' Balan called after him. 'Mum said we should stay under this group of trees until she comes back.'

'Scaredy-cat! Scaredy-cat!' jeered Tarik.

He stopped at the edge of the forest and looked at his brother tauntingly. 'Come on, let's go on a discovery tour!'

But Balan shook his head. 'Mum said it's too dangerous,' he warned.

'Then I'll go all by myself!' threatened Tarik.

'Go on then — you wouldn't dare,' answered Balan.

Tarik wasn't going to stand for that. The baby tiger turned around and stared into the thick jungle. He had never been in there alone. The eerie noises of other animals drifted out. Tarik thought about it. He looked over at his smirking brother.

'What the heck, I'm a tiger, after all,' thought Tarik. He proudly lifted his head and marched into the jungle.

After the brightness of the savannah, he could barely recognise anything in the gloomy forest. After a few steps he stumbled over a root.

'Ouch,' he miaowed in fright and licked his paw.

He continued on his way more carefully.

A colourful butterfly flew around him. Tarik snapped after it but he couldn't catch it. The butterfly now fluttered back and forth past his nose, right up close. This irritated Tarik.

'I'll get you,' he thought and chased after the butterfly.

However, every time he got near it, the butterfly flew a little bit higher than Tarik could jump. Disappointed, the little tiger ended up abandoning pursuit.

He looked around disconcertedly. Because of his game of chase, he had strayed further into the jungle than he had planned. He had never been here before.

Suddenly, something plopped onto his back. Tarik jumped up high in surprise. A shriek could be heard and then something else landed on his head. And another on his back again. Now little sticks and stones were hailing down on him. Brown animals with long arms and legs appeared between the trees and were having fun throwing things at him. While doing so, they shrieked in amusement.

Tarik made a getaway.

A green parrot had observed it all. Musing over the event, he watched as the baby tiger fled.

'What is the tiger doing all alone in the forest,' he wondered. 'I had better keep an eye on him.'

He spread his wings and flew after him.

By then, Tarik had fortunately escaped the troop of monkeys. Out of breath, he collapsed under a bush.

'Now how do I find my way back to the savannah?' worried Tarik. 'I don't like it here! It's loud and dark and no one wants to be my friend.'

He sank his head sadly onto his paws. Then he heard a caw. Tarik looked up. Nearby, a green bird was flying up and down excitedly.

'Just leave me in peace!' hissed Tarik.

Instead, the parrot plummeted towards him. Tarik pulled his head in and the bird landed on the ground right beside him. He made a huge spectacle and seemed to be pecking at something.

Tarik looked more closely and froze in shock. A little snake had sneaked up on him. It looked as if it would bite him at any moment.

'Run away!' cawed the parrot. 'I'll distract it.'

He didn't have to say it twice. Tarik jumped up and got to safety with a few wild leaps. The snake hissed in vexation.

'That was close,' said Tarik in relief when the bird flew to him. 'Thank you!'

'I was happy to help,' assured the parrot. 'By the way, I'm called Coco.'

'I'm Tarik,' said the little tiger. 'And I would like to go back to the savannah to my brother and my mum.'

'I can show you the way,' promised Coco. 'After all, we're friends now. Come on, follow me!'

He flew in front of Tarik and guided him safely back to the edge of the jungle and they said goodbye to each other there.

The baby tiger stomped back to his brother through the dry grass. Balan had waited a long time for him to come back and had fallen asleep. Tarik was tired too. He cuddled up to Balan and yawned, then fell asleep.

A short time later, the tiger mother arrived back from her hunt. She looked lovingly at her sleeping boys.

'It must have been some wild game,' she grinned as she looked at Tarik's dishevelled fur. Then she lowered her head and used her tongue to lick out all the little pieces of wood that had gotten caught in his soft tiger fur. Tarik purred contentedly in his sleep.

A story by K. Greiner aus Abstatt.