Adapted from an Indian folktale by Jean Warren

Once upon a time, a young boy was walking down a road by the edge of a large jungle.  He soon passed a large wooden cage with a tiger inside.

“Could you help me,” said the tiger.  “Could you please let me out of this cage?”

The boy felt sorry for the tiger, so he opened the cage.  As soon as the tiger was free, he grabbed the boy and started dragging him off towards the jungle.

“Where are you taking me?” cried the boy.

“I am taking you home for my dinner,” said the tiger.

“But that’s not fair,” said the boy.  “I let you out of the cage you were in.”

“So you did,” said the tiger.  “I like to be fair but I also like to eat young boys.  What should I do?”

“Why don’t you ask someone else’s opinion,” said the boy.

“I will,” said the tiger.  And they sat by the side of the road waiting for someone to come along.

Soon, a young girl came down the road.  The tiger stopped the girl and explained about the cage and what had happened and how he now didn’t know what was fair.  Should he eat the boy or let him go?

“I am sorry,” said the girl, “but I do not see a cage”.  How can I tell what is fair, if I am not even sure that there was a cage?  So they walked the girl back to where the cage set.

“How did you get in the cage?” asked the girl.

The tiger explained that the night before he was caught stealing a lamb and the farmer had put him into the cage.

“This cage does not look big enough for you to fit in,” said the girl.  “I am not sure you were even in the cage.”

“Let me show you,” said the tiger, as he walked into the cage.

“But you could easily get out of the cage,” said the girl.

By this time, the tiger was getting very annoyed at the girl.

“The cage had a lock,” said the tiger.  “See it lying on the ground.”

The girl picked up the lock.  “Just let me see if it really locks,” said the girl.
Quickly, the girl slipped the lock into place, locking the tiger inside.

“Well,” said the tiger.  “See, I was telling you the truth.”  “Now tell me what is fair”.

“Well,” said the girl.  “What is fair, is for you to stop eating sheep and young boys.”  And with that, the boy and the girl walked off down the road, leaving the tiger locked in the cage.
What do you think is fair?  What would you have done with the tiger?
Let your children think of other endings for the story.

My favorite ending would be…
Later, the farmer came back and took the tiger in the cage back to the jungle.  When he let him out, the tiger promise to stay in the jungle and not bother sheep or little boys ever again.