A Tiger’s Decree

Yuan Shuipai (袁水拍, 1919 – 1983) was one of China’s great contemporary poets with his best works being 400 satirical poems.

The following is his famous Tiger’s Decree, depicting a self-appointed dictator in a jungle world, composed about half a century ago:

I, the tiger,
Declare to the world:
My peace policy
Is consistent.
Protect the forest
Is my holy task.
So hereby I proclaim
My ruling verdict.
本虎张贴告示,
众兽一体周知:
执行和平政策,
本虎向所坚持;
保护山林安全,
本虎义不容辞。
宣布三条禁令,
遵守必须一致。

Horns are the triggers
For head-on clashes.
I swear to God
I’ll never grow bony buds;
You bulls
And deer
Must cut off
Your thorny crowns.
一禁头上生角,
永绝抵触争吵。
本虎指天发誓,
头顶只生短毛;
尔等野牛山鹿,
理应把角据掉。
禁令不偏不向,
可谓天公地道。

Air traveling is the cause
Of high level disturbance.
I swear to God
I’ll never fly to the skies;
You eagles
And birds
Must pull out
Your feathers.
二禁天空飞行,
保证上帝安宁。
本虎当众赌咒:
绝不飞上天空。
尔等大鹏小雀,
均需拔掉翅翎。
鸟兽同居地上,
待遇完全平等。

Swimming is the source
Of water contaminations.
I swear to God
I’ll never plunge into the oceans;
You fish and prawns
And all marine lives
Must forever leave
Every watercourse.
三禁水中游泳,
保证饮水卫生。
本虎安分守己,
绝不闯进池中。
尔等鱼虾蟹蚌,
赶快上岸谋生。
同归自由世界,
从此天下太平。

As for sharp claws and fangs,
That’s essential equipments,
Anybody is allowed
To possess
And to utilize.
I share this basic animal rights
With all of you,
My dear buddies.
至于利爪尖牙,
理应例行宽大,
允许自由使用,
无论啃咬撕抓。
本虎绝不垄断,
权利均分大家。
各位生牙生爪,
一律宣布合法。

Thus is our new world order,
Please follow my command.
Whoever challenging my word
Is a grave threat
To the peace on planet,
And will face condemnation,
And economic sanction,
And be air stricken.
三条禁令讲完,
着即一律照办。
谁说半个不字,
惩罚必定从严。
破坏和平大业,
罪名由他承担。

The decree takes effect from this very moment!
切切此布!

An ink painting of a hunger tiger dashing down the hill by a Chinese artist

A hungry tiger dashing down the hill is one of the common themes in traditional Chinese painting, and often used as a feng shui cue.

But painting of tigner, especially hungry tiger, is not recommended for residence, since it indicates an aggressive and restless mentality. Instead, it is often seen in the offices of politicians or businessmen, especially in the headquarters of kung fu sect or war ministry.

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