A young widow has lost not only her husband but her infant son in a plague. She takes the creature in and he is starving; she nurses him and the narrator tells us that she obeys the great commandment of the Universe, that one life equals another. A man going by the house hears a noise and concludes that there is a wild animal in the house—the woman there are no names, a common motif of much parabolic literature runs out the back door of the cottage and a snake stops her and tells her that she should have no fear—that her great love has transformed the tiger cub and he will only lose his humanity when another mother calls for his blood. She goes back in the house and lets the frantic man in—he searches everywhere but finds only the woman and her baby boy.
|Published (Last):||4 June 2017|
|PDF File Size:||12.6 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||13.32 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Herein lies the tale of a tiger who was raised and educated among men, and whose name was Juan Darien. For four years he attended school dressed in pants and a long sleeve shirt, and completed all his assignments correctly even though he was a tiger of the jungle. But these misperceptions can be attributed to his human appearance, as it is told in the following lines. Once, at the beginning of fall, smallpox passed through a town of a faraway country and killed many people.
Brothers lost little sisters, and children just beginning to walk were left without a mother or father. Mothers likewise lost their children, and a poor young widow carried out the task of burying her young child, her only child. Once home, she sat and thought about her little boy. She murmured,. There will be angels in heaven, but my child will never know them.
The only one he knows is me, my poor son! Seated in the recess of her house, she stared into the distance beyond a small fence where the jungle could be seen. However, there were many ferocious animals that howl in the jungle as the sun sets and the sun rises. The poor woman, still seated, began to distinguish a small and shivering object in the darkness that came in through the door like a cat that hardly had the energy to walk.
The woman bent down and lifted in her arms a tiger only a few days old whose eyes had yet to open. The wretched pup purred contently upon feeling the touch of her hands because he was no longer alone.
The mother held that tiny enemy of man in the air for a while, she could have so easily exterminated that defenseless beast. But she remained lost in thought in front of the helpless pup who came from who knows where and whose mother had surely died. Without thinking well in what she was doing, she wrapped the child in her arms and brought him to her chest.
The little tiger, feeling the heat of her chest, sought a comfortable position, purred calmly and slept with his neck rested upon the maternal breast. The woman, always thoughtful, went into the house. The kitten was saved, and the mother had found a great comfort to her pain. So real was her comfort that she foresaw the moment that the village would come and take her child, for they would surely kill the little beast if it ever came to be known that she nurtured a wild animal with her breast.
What to do? The kitten, soft and loving, huddled to her chest and there was no doubt that he was now her child. The man froze and knocked on the door while searching for his revolver. The mother, hearing his steps, frantically hid the little tiger in the garden. But her good luck so had it that when she opened the door to the backyard, there before her was a tame, old, and wise snake that stood in her way.
The unlucky woman was about to scream when the snake spoke to her. But men will never understand and will want to murder your child. Do not be afraid, go peacefully. From this moment on your son will have the human form; they will never recognize him for what he is. Shape his heart, teach him to be good like you, and he will never know that he is not a man.
Unless…unless a mother amongst men sees his true nature; unless a mother does not demand that he return to his fellow kin everything that you have given him, your son will always be worthy of your love.
Go calmly, mother, and go quickly, for the man is about to break down your door. Opening the door, the man furiously pushed his way into the house with the revolver in his hand and searched every corner without finding a thing. After he left, she shakingly opened the lid where she had hid the little tiger that had rested on her chest. In his place she saw a small child sleeping peacefully.
Overcome with happiness, she silently sobbed over the fate of the savage turned into man; tears of gratitude that twelve years later this same child would pay with blood. Time passed. The child needed a name: she gave him the name of Juan Darien.
He needed food, clothes, shoes: the mother worked day and night to give him everything. She was still very young and could have remarried, if she desired; but the endearing love of her child was enough, love that she returned with all of her heart. Juan Darien was, truly, worthy of being loved: noble, good, generous like no one else. He had a particular deep veneration for his mother. He never lied.
Could it be because his true nature lied in being a wild animal? Yet so was Juan Darien. And he went to school with children his age, who often made fun of him for his shyness and rough, dry hair. Juan Darien was not very smart, but he made up for his lack of intellect with a great passion for study. Juan Darien suffered unspeakable pain, until time healed his wounds. Yet from then on he was a sad child whose only desire was to endlessly improve himself. There is something that must be admitted: Juan Darien was not loved in the town.
Inhabitants of cities closed off to the outside world from their forested walls did not like children who were generous and studied with all of their heart. He was, after all, the best student in his class. These combined factors foresaw the events prophesied by the serpent. The school and the children were up for a review and an inspector was said to be on his way to observe the class.
When the inspector arrived, the teacher decided to give her lesson to her best student: Juan Darien. Juan was the most advanced student; but with the pressure of the review, he began to stutter and his tongue froze uttering a strange sound.
The inspector observed the student extensively, and immediately asked the teacher in a low voice,. Very strange. The inspector knew that there were things in the world more strange than things that could never be invented. At the same time, he knew that questions could never uncover whether or not the child had once been what he feared, a wild beast. Yet just as there are men who, in certain mental states, could remember things that had happened to their grandparents, it was possible that under a hypnotic suggestion, Juan Darien could remember his life as an animal.
And to all the children who read this and do not know of what I speak, ask an adult. I would now like for one of you to describe the jungle. You were all practically raised there and know it well. How is the jungle? What happens there? This is what I want to know. The young boy got up and even though he was afraid, he spoke in detail. He said that the jungle has enormous trees, upwardly creeping plants, and all types of flowers.
When he finished, another child came up, then another. Even though all knew the jungle well, they all gave the same answers because the boys and most men never tell what they have seen, only what they have read. Finally the inspector spoke up and said,. Juan Darien said more or less the same as everyone else. But the inspector, putting his hand on his shoulder said,. I want you to think hard on what you have seen. Close your eyes. Juan Darien, with his eyes closed, delayed a minute to respond.
Juan Darien stayed silent. The classroom and the jungle outside the window fell into a great silence. Suddenly, Juan Darien began to shake and with a soft voice, as if he were dreaming, said,.
He saw that the rocks that a tiger or panther could see would be down close to the river, at the same level as their eyes as they lap at the water. He repeated,. Dusk was settling in, and through the window shadow was beginning to consume the nearby jungle. Class ended. The inspector was not a bad man; but, like all men who live close to the jungle, he hated tigers with a blinding anger. Which is why he said to the teacher,. He is a wild beast from the jungle, possibly a tiger.
If we do not kill him, he will sooner or later kill us all. He has not yet awoken the beast inside him, but one day he will and he will devour us all, even more so given that we allow him to live amongst us. We should, well, kill him. The problem is that we cannot kill him as long as he looks human, we would not be able to prove he was a tiger. He looks like a man, and we must always be careful when dealing with men. I know a beast tamer in the city. We can call him and he will find a way to return Juan Darien to his real form.
And even though he will not be a tiger, people will believe us and we can toss him back into the jungle. We will call the tamer soon, before Juan Darien can escape. But Juan Darien was thinking about everything but escaping, because he did not realize their was a plot against him.
Review/Theater; 'Juan Darien,' a Tragic Story Told Without Talk
Herein lies the tale of a tiger who was raised and educated among men, and whose name was Juan Darien. For four years he attended school dressed in pants and a long sleeve shirt, and completed all his assignments correctly even though he was a tiger of the jungle. But these misperceptions can be attributed to his human appearance, as it is told in the following lines. Once, at the beginning of fall, smallpox passed through a town of a faraway country and killed many people. Brothers lost little sisters, and children just beginning to walk were left without a mother or father. Mothers likewise lost their children, and a poor young widow carried out the task of burying her young child, her only child.
Juan Darién y otros relatos
The musical premiered Off-Broadway in in the former St. Clement's Church. The musical, based on a modern fable of the same name by Horacio Quiroga , is set in the jungle in South America, with a jaunty skeletal Death ever present. Its story concerns an orphaned jaguar cub who is miraculously transformed into a human child by the compassion of a woman who has lost her own baby; the boy must then confront the savagery of human civilization.
In the distance on the deep St. Clement's stage, there is a tiny church, and, as we watch, the church windows crumble and the building itself seems to disintegrate. Suddenly, lush foliage descends until the stage becomes a jungle. Strange serpentine creatures slither through the vines and leaves.