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How to survive a tiger attack




A man came across a hungry tiger. [When he] was about to be devoured, [he] begged it wretchedly, saying, “[I] have a fat pig in my pigsty and would like to offer [it] instead of myself.” The tiger agreed and followed him to his place.

[The man] asked his wife to fetch the pig to feed to the tiger. His wife was reluctant, saying, “[I’ve] got plenty of tofu – that should also be enough to make a good meal.”

The man said, “Forget it. Have a look at this guest! Does it look like a vegetarian?” [1]

[1] In colloquial Chinese, a "vegetarian" also implies a mild temperament or meekness. This figurative sense is more often used in rhetorical questions (as in this joke) and negative expressions (e.g. "someone is not a vegetarian", meaning that person is not to be messed with).

Hanging scroll by an anonymous artist of the Qing dynasty, in the style of Chen Juzhong 陳居中 (fl. early 13th century)

© The Trustees of the British Museum.


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Makes me want to start eating meat again.

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