Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Tyger Voyage

The Tyger Voyage
Richard Adams ~ illustrations by Nicola Bayley
Alfred A. Knopf, 1976

Most kids born in the seventies of a certain ilk had this book by the author of the classic rabbit novel Watership Down -- of which, the book and subsequent animated feature had a huge impact on me when I was wee, but I digress. This is my original childhood edition, though I think, technically, way back then it belonged to my sister. She loves tigers, and I think the reason might be largely based on these pages.

(As I'm writing this, maybe I should send it to her? Duh.)

Anyway, mysterious and wonderful, the story is meant for any child with adventure in their hearts. A tiger father and his son set sail on a voyage from Victorian England to nowhere and end up stranded on a shore where volcanoes erupt and gypsies become their only ally.

For days, till all their food was gone,
Through woods and swamps, they struggled on,
Crossing on rafts the muddy lakes
Infested with bright water-snakes

This picture, in particular, used to scare the crap out of me... The snakes are literally coming out of everywhere. CREEPY. Come to think of it, my sister has a deathly fear of snakes, and again, maybe it was born out of this picture, too. Wow.


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