My Lord Tiger


Hon cop. The Lord Tiger in Vietnamese. Not too sure about the spelling. Why my parents used a Vietnamese name  in Cambodia beats me. (Tiger in Khmer is Khla) But that was the name I knew, when I met a tiger face to face for the first time. I wrote about that encounter in “The little boy and the tiger” in a previous post:

Lord Tiger is a fine name. Then came the infamous Shere Khan. My father would read us the Jungle book, during the long starry African nights. No TV then. Thank God for small favours.

Jungle 3

Mowgly and Shere Khan, by Paul Durant, in Le livre de la jungle, (c) Delagrave, 1962.


White tiger, Singapore zoo, 2017.

The lord Tiger is the largest and most ferocious predator on Earth. They roamed the planet in most of Asia. There were 100,000 tigers in the early 1900’s. Only 3,000 to 4,000 remain in the wild today. Half in India.


Unlike cats, tigers love water. Singapore zoo. 2017. Tuan marimau would be the Malay name?

2016-07-08 12.25.27

A rare California tiger. San Francisco. 2016.


My Lord Tiger in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. 2017


Like the Dragon, my Lord Tiger is ever present in Chinese representations. Here at a Buddhist temple in Penang.


Or here. Is that a warrior facing the dreaded Tiger?


At second glance I realize that most tiger representations in Chinese temples involve a Mother Tiger and her cub. A symbol of motherly love? Family? Note the bat above and the exquisite flowers and birds work on either side of the Mother Tiger


The despised rival. By the Tiger. Lion on Khao San Road, Bangkok.


Tiger beer is perfect for a hot afternoon. Try the Black Tiger if you ever have the chance.


The Lord Tiger is everywhere. Even as the base of a shrine:


Shrine. Georgetown, Penang. Lao Hu would be Lord Tiger in Mandarin? With a bunch of accents my keyboard does not handle.


Strangely enough, hardly saw any tiger in Bangkok. Live or represented. Except for this shrine, a tad dilapidated, on the way to Khlong Ban Luang, where the Artist House is. Preamcheasa Khla would be the Lord Tiger in Thai.

Scotty claims to be working on transferring the family 8mm movies to digital. But it’s taking forever. Will have to do it myself. ‘Meantime, here is a photo of a copy of the original film of yours truly with the Baby Tiger in Phnom Penh, c.1957:


Leap saamnang. 🙂



29 thoughts on “My Lord Tiger

    • Yes! Yes! You are right. But I have a self-imposed limit of 10-15 pix. Otherwise I feel the post is too long. (Could have included Calvin & Hobbes too) 🙂
      Be good.

  1. Tiger teams, “mettez un tigre dans votre moteur” … ils sont partout. Dans les 5 animaux du qigong, le tigre arrive le premier, un très beau mouvement. L’ours arrive au milieu, avec une énergie considérable. En dernier arrive l’élégance de la grue. J’ai entendu mon mâitre de taïchi dire : “Carry Tiger to the mountain (un mouvement) : vas déposer ta colère dans la montagne !” Du coup, mon mouvement a une amplitude inhabituelle !!!! Merci, Brieuc, et une belle journée à vous.

  2. Oh Brian, you do the most wonderful posts! I enjoyed this so much. You were such a handsome little boy. What a pity, that this magnificent animal has been reduced to such minimal numbers…mankind…tsk, tsk!!

  3. You are a very good writer Brian, this was a great read. I love that your father read you “the jungle book” one of my all time favourites.

    Look forward to your next piece,

  4. I love animal totems…the tiger some say…. in the kingdom of spirit animal, the tiger puts a special emphasis on raw feelings and emotions….and it also a tasty beer even though I’m not so fond of beer 🤔🤗💫 have a happy day Brian

  5. That’s an interesting blend of artistic representations. The live creatures (including young, enthusiastic boy) are magnificent.

  6. I hope you’ll find space for the “tyger” of one of my favourite poems, Brian? Studied Blake at school but “The Tyger” was always my favourite (18th century tigers were spelled differently!):

    Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
    In the forests of the night;
    What immortal hand or eye,
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

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