Creative Fiction: The Tiger or The Lady?
In the past, there was king who was brutal and whose acuities, though somehow refined by the reformism of Roman neighbors, were still unimpeded and flamboyant. Additionally, he was rather fancy, and since his word could not be questioned he did whatever he pleased to fulfill his needs. A fun fact about this king was that he was devoted to self-communing such that when he decided on something, it had to be done. When every member of his kingdom moved and acted upon the king’s desires, he was very kind with his subjects, but whenever any person went astray, then he was very genial with his punishment since nothing pleased him than crashing down uneven places and making the crooked straight.
Among the many barbaric notions that the King borrowed from his Roman neighbors was a public arena whereby the hearts of his subjects were entertained by exhibitions of manly and beastly valor. Nevertheless, the area was neither meant to display the deaths of gladiators nor enjoy the thrill of the fights but to enhance the king’s subject’s mental energy. This large amphitheater, inclusive of secretive vaults, hidden passages, and encircling galleries, was meant to propagate barbaric justice, whereby virtuous actions were compensated and crime penalized by the decrees of an principled and unprejudiced chance.
When a subject in the king's kingdom was accused of a crime, which had a sufficient interest to the king, then notice was widely passed by the beating of drums, as well as the passing of the message by a messenger to each homestead of the day in which the fate of the accused would be determined in the king’s arena. It was a requirement by law that every member of the kingdom be present during such periods of fate determination. After all the people under the rule of the king had gathered at the galleries, and he sat at his throne which was located at one side of the arena, he would issue a gesture, and the indicted person would step at the middle of the amphitheater. Additionally, two doors stood opposite of the accused which looked similar and located side by side. Behind one door, there would be a ferocious tiger, which would devour the accused the moment he/she opened the door. Behind the second door would be a fair lady if the subject was a man or a very handsome man if the subject was a lady whom the subject would be married irrespective of whether the subject had been married or not. The accused was supposed to open either of the two similar doors without any guidance or external influence but through sheer chance; the accused would then open a door and hence be served with an immediate fate: either death by being devoured by a tiger or immediate celebrations of a wedding with a fair being.
This became the signature methodology that the king used to administer justice. The methodology was distinctive because it made it impossible for the criminal to know from which of the door would a fair person or the tiger emerge. Therefore the subject would be oblivious of the fate that awaited him or her, that is whether he/she would be married or eaten by the predator. The mystery surrounding the situation also affected the audience because they had no idea of what they were going to witness during the occasion. This element of uncertainty led to the ordeal being very popular in the barbaric kingdom.
The king had a beautiful daughter who was his most treasured possession. Certainly, she was virtuous. She was the apple of his eyes, and he loved her more than anything that he had known. Among the suitors of the princess was a handsome, athletic young man. The love affair between the two went on for a couple of months before the king got wind of it. He was incensed with this type of affair and did not hesitate in stating that the suitor would have to pass through the tiger-lady ordeal. The suitor was instantly condemned into a prison the king set the day in which the suitor will face the arena. The effectiveness of this trial was a big interest to the king, as well as to the kingdom’s subjects since he had a personal interest in it.
The kingdom’s army was instructed to find the largest and the most ferocious tiger that it could find, which would act as the arena’s monster in the appointed day. On the other hand, the kingdom’s maidens underwent a beauty pageant to select the fairest of the maidens who would be behind the second door. In this case, the princess’s suitor would have two destinies; either get devoured by the most ferocious tiger in the kingdom or get married to the fairest of the kingdom’s maidens. With those two requirements achieved, the princess’s suitor was just about to face his fate.
The appointed day arrived. The amphitheater was packed to the brim, and the people who could not get access to the already full amphitheater massed themselves against the outside walls. The king and his court sat in their high places opposite the two twin doors which would decide the princess’s suitor’s destiny. A signal was given and a door beneath the royal seats opened, and the suitor walked into the middle of the arena. His entry was acknowledged by a low hum of approval together with anxiety because he was tall, good looking, and extremely fair. Apparently, many of the subjects did not know that such a man existed in their community. In fact, it was not surprising that the princess had fallen in love with him.
Unknown to the other people, the princess had undergone a terrible internal conflict with herself (Hague 48). From the moment that it had been declared that her lover would undergo trial in the king’s arena, she had not thought of anything else. She had even taken to herself to find which of the two doors held the tiger. Unfortunately, she knew the lady who had been chosen to stand behind one of the doors. The chosen lady was the princess’s sworn enemy since she was jealous of her beauty. Besides, the princess had previously caught her suitor on various occasions talking with the lady. As such, the princess had known which of the two doors presented which destiny for her suitor and she knew she had the power to help her suitor. But would she rather lose her suitor to her enemy or lose him to an immediate death with the tiger and hope to see him in the after-life? Such was the big question!
As was the custom, the suitor bowed before the king and approached the two doors. At that juncture, the suitor threw the princess a glance, and he quickly knew through some instinct that she knew behind which door lay the tiger or the lady. She quickly raised her right hand signaling him to open the right door. The suitor then turned and walked straight to the right door and opened it and the most ferocious tiger sprang forth. The princess had solved her internal conflict by deciding that she would rather lose her suitor to the tiger rather than to her enemy, the fairest girl in the kingdom.