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Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tyger tyger

the jungle

All this rain and sun has created a real jungle in our garden. In fact I think the description "A Cottage Garden" is just a euphemism for "A garden that's in a mess." There is currently no breathing space in our beds. Where there are no plants there are weeds. But no tigers in our jungle.

 We went to the London Zoo this week to a writer's talk about tigers in literature given by Helen Dunmore and Ruth Padel. As I have written a children's book(12yrs plus) called The Boy with the Tiger's Heart, I thought it would be an interesting event. My book is presently languishing in a publishing house just like the two Sumatran tigers at the zoo. They have built a fantastic enclosure for them, planted up with grasses and trees and separated from the public by thick glass so you can see them up close. The female was in season and one of the keepers told us she and her mate had had sex thirty times that day. When he saw the look of inadequacy that spread across  the faces of the men in our group, the keeper helpfully added that each time barely lasted a minute! A sigh of relief from the male members.

up against the glass

Pocket{ quarter Bengal}not dissimilar eh?
 I don't usually like zoos but this a long way from those big cats prowling up and down inside a small cage. When we had the talk on tiger conservation and they said that these tigers were supporting their cousins in the wild I felt slightly better about it. After all there are barely 3500 tigers left living in the wild throughout the whole world. These guys are certainly bringing people's attention to their dreadful plight and their near extinction. They are such magnificent creatures, a real symbol of wildness and the conservation programme is well worth supporting.
What immortal hand and eye dare frame thy fearful symmetry? I was lucky enough to see a tiger and her cubs in the wild in India and those markings are the most fantastic camourflage. The stripes look just like sunlit shadows rippling across the dry grasses.We must somehow help to stop the poaching and trafficking of tigers who are killed mainly for their bones to grind into medicines in China. They still hold tiger fights in some places where people place bets on which one will win and in Thailand there are places where the tigers are drugged and you can go and hug one. Please don't.

the female tiger exhausted after having sex thirty times.

 Meanwhile the Allium Christophii are hot on the tails of the Purple Sensation and easily find a space to shoot up between all the other plants. Just when you don't want their leaves taking up so much room they conveniently die back just leaving the slender stem that takes up no room at all.
In the garden right now the buds of the huge 'Super poppies' are about to burst forth along with all the hundreds of roses I couldn't resist.

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