“Pssst! Hey Buddy, wanna buy a tiger?”
Rick Copper noticed that I often write about tigers.
Tigers, for me, are a metaphor. An important one.
When Rick told me about a life-sized bronze tiger,
a copy of the sculpture done by Antoine Barye of France in 1833,
I said, “Damn! Just when the Academy has no money.”
But this most gorgeous tiger could be bought for just $2,000,
a miraculous price, and I knew exactly where a tiger
could happily prowl the campus.
Fincher and Ozment are the guardian lions of the Grand Tower.
This is the tiger of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book,
the tiger Borges could never drive out of his mind,
the tiger Sambo turned into butter for his pancakes,
the tiger spoken of by Henry V at the gates of Harfleur.
Jeff Sexton, aware of my disconcertion, mentioned our predicament
a few hours later to the people in the photo above.
They stormed into Becke's office at lunchtime,
checkbooks and credit cards in hand,
insisting that we bring Antoine Barye's tiger
to Wizard Academy.
If ever you notice a tiger pacing the limestone ridge
above Engelbrecht House and clamber up the hill to investigate,
you will see a small bronze plaque listing the names
of the TigerWriters of 2010.
This really is your school.