The Mouse that Became a Tiger that became a Mouse

By Bruce Farrow NLP trainer (Master) on June 10, 2015

bruce farrow nlp trainer mouse & the tigerA long time ago there was a little grey mouse who busied itself with things that mice do. She was timid of her jungle surroundings and was frightened of every animal in the vicinity. When she popped her nose out of her little burrow, her nose would quiver to ensure there was no-one else around before venturing out to scamper around for food to feed her babies.

One day, she was out looking for food, when she came across a bear. She was scared of the bear because of his size and reputation and looked for somewhere to hide, but unfortunately for her, she was out in the open.

“Relax, little mouse, I won’t eat you!” said the bear, “you are too small to eat anyway!”

The little mouse relaxed a little and admired the bear. He was very large and had a very shiny coat and, in a funny kind of way, he had a kind face.

“I wish I was like you so I would not have to be scared of everything”, she said.

The bear studied the mouse carefully. She was a pretty little mouse, as mice go, and the bear saw something special in her eyes.

“Little mouse, you can be whatever you want to be. You just have to believe it and to change how you think about yourself. You then have to maintain that thinking and you can be whoever you want to be. It’s a funny thing, the animal that you want to be is probably who you are anyway.”

The little mouse’s eyes watered. She had always dreamed of being a tiger but was destined to a life of being a mouse and here was a magnificent bear who was telling her different.

“Could I be a tiger?” said the mouse quizzically.

“Of course,” said the bear, “in fact, when I look into your eyes, I see the eyes of a tiger wanting to get out.”

“But how?” said the mouse.

“Listen to everything I say and do everything I tell you to do and you will be a tiger,” said the bear. “Is that what you want?”

“It is everything I want” said the mouse, “please help me be a tiger.” The mouse was so excited about the prospect of being a tiger that her head almost came off!

Over the next few months the mouse returned to the bear every day and listened to everything he said and did everything he told her to do and she became friends with the bear.

Then one day, the bear took the little mouse to the lake and told her to look at her reflection in the glass-like surface. As she bent over the edge of the lake she saw her reflection. A most beautiful, elegant and graceful tiger looked back at her. She was surprised and leapt back from the edge and then, after a few moments, she had another peek. The tiger was still there.

“Am I really a tiger now?”

“Yes, you are,” said the bear, “and you will remain a beautiful tiger so long as you do everything I have told you and live like a tiger. Think like a tiger, act like a tiger, be a tiger.”

The tiger, that once was a mouse, returned to its burrow and called to its babies. She was amazed that the baby mice had become beautiful baby tigers. She rejoiced in their beauty and together they went off and found a new home suitable for such fine creatures.

Time moved on and the tiger really enjoyed her new life and her life as a mouse began to fade. She was stunningly beautiful and was much admired by all that set eyes on her and the story of how she had become a tiger spread like wild fire through the jungle and pretty well most other animals were thrilled for the tiger . . . apart from the snake.

The snake was, by definition and reality, the lowest form of life in the jungle and was jealous of the beautiful tiger. No-one liked him and everyone liked the tiger and he couldn’t, for the life of him, understand why. Perhaps he should have looked in a mirror!

So, every time he saw the tiger he would remind the tiger that she was really a mouse and was not worthy of being a beautiful animal. He made it his mission to be wherever the tiger was in the forest so he could constantly jibe at the tiger.

Unfortunately, over a period of time, the tiger started to believe the snake until one day she went to wash in the lake and when she looked in, she saw a mouse looking back at her. She had become a mouse again.

Sadly she returned to her babies and, they too, had become mice again.

Many moons went by until the little mouse could take no more. She went in search of the bear.

She found the bear sitting alone by the lake. He was a little greyer and a little wiser. He lit up when he saw her.

“I have been waiting for you. I missed you.” said the bear smiling, “I was hoping you would be back. You became the finest tiger in the jungle and now you are a mouse again. What went wrong?”

“I think I listened to the wrong animals – namely a snake,” said the mouse, “it seemed, at the time, that it was the right thing to do.”

“How ridiculous,” said the bear, “Oh well, why don’t you sit with me and talk and you will once again make yourself become a beautiful and graceful and elegant tiger. Hopefully you have learned your lesson and this time, you will stay a tiger because I won’t let you out of my sight! Always remember – snakes are losers and tigers are winners!”

Bruce Farrow NLP trainer (Master) conducted NLP trainings for 15 years before going into semi-retirement in 2016. He now teaches advanced Presentation skills to corporate presenters around the globe.

During his NLP trainings, Bruce Farrow NLP Trainer (Master), developed a reputation for designing and telling metaphors for the purpose of change and this website is just some of the stories he wrote.