"Elise! We've got a new arrival!"

"Coming, Dad!"

I patted Lilly, the tiger that I was tending to. 

“I’ll be right back,” I whispered. 

I raced across the field to where my dad and mom were standing, next to the new tiger. It was a baby boy! I came up to him and tickled his fur. He purred and nuzzled into me. 

“What’s his name?,” I asked my parents. 

“Actually, he doesn’t have a name. His mother died right when he was born, so the zoo-owners brought him to us. No-one else wanted to take in a baby tiger.”

“Poor little baby. Can I name him?”

“Sure! You’ve always had a knack with names.”

I studied the baby. He was small, but I could see that he had sturdy legs that would help him run very fast. I suddenly thought of a name. 


“As always, perfect!”


That night, I remembered something important. 

“What are we gonna feed Flash?”

My mom answered, “Don’t worry. Your dad already thought of that. He contacted another sanctuary and they told him what they feed their newborn tigers. We’ll mostly give him milk, but we’ll have to start giving him little pieces of meat in a few months.”

“Ok. Is Dad going to sleep with Flash for tonight?”

“You know your dad. Of course he is.”

Dad had a tradition of spending the night next to any new tiger that we got. He wasn’t scared of them. I wasn’t either. My mom was still getting used to them. My grandparents had started this sanctuary when my dad was a little kid, so he had basically grown up with tigers. It was the same thing with me. But, my mom had never been close with tigers, and she was still trying to fight her fear of them. 

“Ok. Well, goodnight.”

“Elise. Wait.”

“What's up?"

"I've got a bad feeling about this tiger."


"I just do."

"Dad will be fine. Don't worry."

"It's not just tonight. We have to raise a baby tiger by ourselves. How are we going to pull this off?"

"Mom. It'll be fine. Stop worrying. Let's go to bed."


The next morning, I woke up to muffled voices downstairs.

"You shouldn't have slept out there last night."

"It's fine. Just a few scratches."

"I don't know, honey. Maybe we should just call all of this off."

"No! This baby needs us."

“We’ve never raised a baby tiger before! There are many other sanctuaries that have volunteered to take him off our hands.”

“Did you call other sanctuaries?”

“I’m sorry. I just had to.”

“Do you think I’m not capable?”

“I didn’t say that!”


That afternoon, I was feeding the tigers when I saw my dad feeding Flash. I ran over to him. 




“Mom’s right. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.”

My dad took a deep breath and sighed. 

“We’ll talk about this later. Right now we’ve got to open up to visitors.”

Every Saturday and Sunday, we opened up our sanctuary to visitors. 

“You’re right. I’ll go get ready to open up.”



“Hello! How many tickets?”

“5, please.”

“Ok. Here you go. Please stay in your cars, and do not go near the tigers.”

“Don’t worry. We won’t.”


I repeated the same instructions for the following customers. Just then, I heard someone scream. 

“AAAAAA! Tiger! Help!!!”

I turned my head to see Flash scratching the window of a lady’s car. 


My dad came running out. 



I ran towards Flash and persuaded him to get off. 


The woman screamed, “What is this? I thought this was a safe sanctuary! I won’t be coming here again. That tiger almost killed me!”

“I’m so sorry. He’s a baby. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

“I don’t care!”


That night, there was a knock on the door. It was a lawyer. 


“Hello. I’m Richard Stevenson. I’m here to help understand your side of the story.”

“What story? There is no story! Our baby tiger just got on a woman’s car! He didn’t even hurt her!”

“Well, the lady said that the tiger harassed her. She filed a complaint against your sanctuary. One more complaint, and we’ll have to take all your tigers away.”

“What! That’s utter nonsense!”

“Rules are rules. Have a good night.”


We were faced with a big decision. Either we let Flash go, or we risk another complaint. My dad argued that after this incident, no-one would want to take Flash. They would put him in the wild, and he would die there, because he wasn’t used to living in the wild. I thought he made a good point, but I knew that we were risking a lot. We were basically letting the fate of our sanctuary fall into the hands of a baby tiger. 

My dad said, “Maybe we could stop our weekend openings.”

My mom argued, “We need the money.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“I think we should let Flash go. I was always against him from the start. Now, even after he made us get a complaint, you still want to keep him!”

“We have to. He depends on us.”




“We already gave you a warning. We’ll have to take all your tigers away.”

“No! Please.”

“I’m very sorry. You got a second complaint.”

“At least take them to a place where they’ll be cared for. Please.”

“You can be ensured that we will take them all to a top-notch sanctuary.”

“What about Flash?”

“We will take him to a place where he will actually be cared for, unlike here.”


After saying goodbye to Lilly, Jacob, Beanie, Titi, Amber and Flash, we all went back inside, defeated and dejected. I had grown up with those tigers, and now, because of a few complaints, they were all gone. I already missed them. 

My dad, mom, and I sat down at the table. I started crying. 

I moaned, "How am I going to live without them? They were my life!"

I started thinking about all the fun I had had throughout my life with them. Lilly, the leader. Jacob, the silly one. Beanie, the naughty one. Titi, the glamorous one. Amber, the mysterious one. Finally, Flash, the one who had caused all these troubles. But, I couldn't blame him. He had just been a baby. Would they actually take them to a better place? I had thought that there wasn't a better place than this. We had always cared and loved our tigers. But, people had thought that we were reckless and careless owners. They had taken my family away from me. I started weeping.

My mom said, “Hey. It’s okay. You still have us. We can start over again. This time, without tigers.”

Then to my dad, she said, “I know I shouldn’t say this right now, but I told you so.”

May 16, 2020 03:49

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A. Y. R
20:23 May 17, 2020

Hate it that the dad was right in the end! One thing that I would work on is building depth to your scenes in your writing. Elaborate a bit more. Mabye when the doorbell rings the family are confused as they weren't expecting anyone, or instead of "a week later" mabye elaborate that even after a long week, the family still couldn't bring themselves to separate from their precious tiger - it's the little details that add great depth!


Ananya M
23:22 May 19, 2020

Thank you for the feeback!


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05:19 Sep 24, 2020

Hey, Ananya would you be kind to watch the first video it's on Harry potter. https://youtu.be/KxfnREWgN14 Sorry for asking your time


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