Journey With Story


Journey With Story

The Ungrateful Tiger-E:164

The Ungrateful Tiger

The Ungrateful Tiger-E:164

Instead of being grateful to the kind hearted young man who rescues him from a  deep pit, this hungry tiger turns on his rescuer and threatens eat him up, but a clever young rabbit comes along and teaches him a lesson that saves the young man’s life and reminds him not to – rescue hungry tigers!  An episode from storytelling podcast, Journey with Story. (duration-10 minutes)

You can check out this other lovely Korean tale by Soma Han and John C.Stickler, Maya and the Turtle audio book here

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Did you know Kathleen is also a children’s picture book author? You can find out more about her books here  

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A Fun Korean Folktale that Warns us to Beware of Rescuing Hungry Tigers

November 25th  

#164 The Ungrateful Tiger 

Have you ever done something kind for someone?  How did that person thank you?  Have you ever done something kind for someone who then did not even bother to thank you?  How did that make you feel?  Not very good, I imagine, right? 

Hello everyone.  I’m Kathleen Pelley.  Welcome to Journey with Story.  Today’s story is an old folktale from Korea about a young man who rescues a tiger from a terrible predicament, only to discover that this is one very ungrateful tiger.  This is a fitting story for this time of year, because, this month in America, we celebrate one of my favorite holidays – THANKSGIVING – it is a time to reflect on all of life’s blessings and to give thanks for all of the people who light up our world.  

Oh, if you If you enjoy this tale from Korea, then you might like to check out another Korean story – beautiful Korean fairytale, from my friends Soma Han and John C. Stickler.  It is called Maya and the Turtle and they have just released the audio version of it –narrated by Talulah Shadrick – take a quick listen here.  

Isn’t that lovely, what a wonderful job Talual does of narrating this tale – makes me want to hear the rest of this story…. You can find out more details about this tale and where to buy in my episode notes.   


Let’s take a journey with – The Ungrateful Tiger. 

A long time ago, high in the mountains,  

there was once a small Korean village where a fearsome tiger roamed, terrorizing all the people. 

The attacks became so bad that the villagers were too scared to leave their houses, even in the daytime. The village elders gathered together to work out what to do, because something had to be done. 

After a night of pondering and pontificating, arguing and quarreling, they finally came to an agreement.  They would set traps for the tiger by digging deep holes all around the perimeter of the village, filling each hole with a chunks of red meat, and covering them up with branches and leaves. 

The whole village set to work, each family providing whatever red meat they could spare. Then they waited in their houses…waited for the tiger to come lurking.  

The next morning, the nephew of the village chief, who had come from the city, arrived on foot. As he approached the village he heard an almighty roar. Cautiously, he approached and saw at the bottom of a pit – a miserable tiger. 

“Oh, please please help me get out of here. I’m trapped and I’ll die if you don’t help me. If you help me, I would be eternally in your debt. Forever…” 

The young man was confused. “ You promise you wont eat me?” 

“Promise, cross my heart!” 

The young man, who had a kind heart and a loving spirit, took pity on the tiger.   Immediately he started to looked around for something to help pull the tiger free.  He found a long branch sturdy enough for the tiger to grip onto. He lowered it into the pit and the tiger hauled himself up. 

The tiger heaved a deep sigh of relief, then licked his lips and simpered, “Why thank you little snack, you’re just in time for tea.” 

“But, but, but, you said you’d be eternally grateful! Forever! You promised not to eat me!” 

“Everyone knows that you can’t trust the promise of a hungry tiger. And tigers are ALWAYS hungry.” 

Just as he was about to pounce, the young man yelled, “WAIT! Let’s ask that cow over there if you should keep your promise and NOT eat me.” 

The tiger liked games, because it made his kill so much more interesting, and so he agreed to ask the cow.  

The glum looking cow yawned. “Man makes me work hard in the field, then, when I’m too old to work, they make food and shoes out of me.  Tiger, go ahead and eat him.” 

The tiger prepared to attack, “STOOOOP!” yelled the young man. “I think we need a second opinion, lets ask that little rabbit over there.” 

“This is your last chance juicy young man…” 

The young man anxiously explained the situation to the little brown rabbit. 

The rabbit had a little think and then he said. “Before I make my decision, I need to see exactly what happened.” 

When they arrived at the deep pit, the rabbit said, “Now, show me exactly where you were when this young man passed by.” 

The hungry tiger, impatient for his meal, leapt into the pit. “Well, I was in this deep pit, and I started roaring because I was stuck. I was stuck….in this deep, deep pit. I’m stuck again!” The tiger began roaring with rage. 

The little brown rabbit quickly urged the young man to be on his way and to think very carefully before rescuing another hungry, ungrateful tiger. 

Well, I am sure that young man was very grateful to that little brown rabbit – don’t you agree. And what do you think this story’s souvenir is?  That little nugget of truth about what it means to live in this world?  Yes, I think it is that if you are ungrateful to those who help you when you are in a bit of a pickle, then you just might find yourself back in that same pickle!   

But of course, I am sure that all of you are very grateful for all the wonderful people in your life who are there to help you whenever you are in need.  

Don’t forget- if you want to hear another tale from Korea, check out the audio version of Maya and the Turtle by Soma Han and John C. Stickler and narrated by Talulah Shadrick…..See all the info in the episode notes. 


Giving thanks for all of you – our wonderful listeners –  

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Cheerio then, join me next time for JWS 

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