Borges and the Tiger

Tigers were his emblematic beast, from his early childhood. “What a pity not to have been born a tiger,” he once said . . .

A few months before he died, a rich Argentine landowner invited Borges to his estancia and promised “a surprise.” He sat the old man on a bench in the garden, left him there and suddenly Borges felt a large warm body next to him, and large paws resting on his shoulders. The estanciero’s pet tiger had paid homage to his dreamer. Borges was unafraid. Only the hot breath that stank of raw meat bothered him. “I had forgotten that tigers are carnivorous.”

– Alberto Manguel – With Borges

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