Tumi Tiger Talks

Outline: Counseling for traumatized children. Goes with the toy tiger cub from Wildlife Story Tellers.

Script Number:477
Language:English: South African
Theme:Fear; Problems, troubles, worries; Trauma
Bible Quotation:Unknown

Script Text

Tumi Tiger’s Tiger Talks - Introduction to Concept - 38 Chats

Narrator: Claude Vosloo - Home of Creativity Unlimited
The script is © 2014 Claude Vosloo - Home of Creativity (Pledge: We turn your dreams into text that changes lives.)

Orientation beforehand
It is important to note that this text primarily transfers Christian life skills to a child (possibly traumatised) and is not meant as a methodology for conversion: i.e. steps leading a child to Christ. The 37 ‘chats’ are intended as independent units that the child can tune into randomly, and each time internalise a different skill from a Christian perspective through Scriptural guidelines. The units do keep facts and information from previous ‘chats’ in mind, but do not aim to explore a single, basic theme, as would be the case with a written text, such as a story book.

The strategy and structure
Tumi Tiger as narrative character is used as a counselling tool, but does not act as counsellor itself. The child learns and is guided through Tumi’s adventures and mistakes on crucial matters.
Tumi as character has its own frame of reference as a tiger cub. Thus, it views, addresses and engages the child as a playmate and a tiger as well (or a human ‘cub’). This technique is employed to ensure authenticity in the interaction.
Some aspects or topics that the text conveys can be problematic or strange to certain cultures. Our recommendation is that the exceptions should not be made a universal ‘maxime’, but that those aspects be explained or altered according to the context. Possible examples: hugging as ‘good touching vs bad touching’; ‘boundaries ‘protecting property/ something precious; focus on parents and family as environment.
Keep in mind that the ‘chats’ on life skills do also focus on self-empowerment, which can be problematic in certain cultures (e.g. a girl empowered to say ‘No’). Thus contextualisation of the text is recommended if necessary.
Even though the ‘chats’ are only numbered, hidden titles are provided in brackets to structure the topics functionally in case of a table of contents or for marketing purposes.
The repetition of various actions may seem unnecessary and even irritating to readers, particularly when working continuously through the themes. However, it should be remembered that children do not have such an analytical approach and is introduced to and handles a unit at time.
The stories (chats) follow a progress and up the ante, especially when the level covers more complex life skills such as power, post-traumatic stress syndrome, forgiveness, grieving and well-being.

The presentation and performance
Interaction possibilities are built into the chats (some may be cut if necessary) without influencing the story line (e.g. the hug a day, which keeps the tears away).
Use the pauses to correlate with the movement and interaction as suggested. Insert additional pauses if needed.
Play on tiger imitation with words containing rrr (e.g. cubs errr … kids).
The text will guide the recordists and actor by bold or italicised formatting about which words to emphasise in presenting new information and for inculcation.
Use standardised tiger mood noises (e.g. purring or Aahh after a tiger hug).
The chats are structured and planned in such a way that basic skills and knowledge are transferred and inculcated (e.g. left/right knee or ear, colours or meaning of names).
The children get focused and are taught basic discipline through conditioning: their right knee as ‘story bench’ and right ear as ‘secrets ear’, etc.
The units are also structured and programmed to stand alone, hence the repeated intro where Tumi introduces itself.
There are some options inserted for interaction (e.g. scratching the tiger’s ears or placing the tiger on shoulders). The recordists should make the final decision about which options could enhance or may interrupt the recording.
The title to each story is functional in structuring the chats according to themes; however, it could be used as captions for the different sections of the CD/tape.
In the course of the chats, certain tiger sayings are coined (e.g. Tigers who growl don’t grow). These can be used for marketing (e.g. mottos on paraphernalia and stickers, or themes for blurbs).

Chat 1 - Tiger Intro

Chat 1 - Tiger Intro

Hi there! My name is Tumi, Tumi Tiger. I like it when you hold me close. Aah prrrr [purring sound – standard sound effect] yeah, this feels soooo good. Now I feel safe and happy. Thanks, you give me courage, because you are my friend.
What is your name? Say again, just next to my ear. No, the other one. [pause]

Oh, that is a lovely name. Do you know what? My name, Tumi, means courage and happiness. Hmm. Let me say that again: Tumi means courage and happiness. Do you know what your name means? Say again next to my left ear. Shh … not so loud. Whisper it. Or, you do not know? That’s OK. Just ask your Mom and Dad or someone taking care of you.
See, I am a tiger – look at my stripes. But I am a tiny tiger, so I am your friend and I can play with you. Can you count the stripes from the tip of my tail to the top of my head? Wheee, that tickles! OK, how many stripes on my back? [pause]

I have seven stripes on my back. Well, some stripes are not full, but they are there. Did you know? The stripes of each of us tigers look different; We all have different patterns. Why? Because each one of us is special. Look at me again. Which part of me looks really special to you? [pause]

I’m glad.
Now, look at yourself. See your arms and your legs. Which part of you do you really like? Say again? [Pause] Hold me close so I can hear better. [pause]

You see, you are also special. There is no one like you. The Bible tells us this. In Isaiah 49:16 Father God says to people who belong to Him: “I have engraved you on the palm of my hands.” Do you see how important your name is to Father God? He writes your name on his hands. This is to show how important you are to him.
How do you feel now? Say it again. That’s right. Remember you are a special tiger. Can you rub your hand over my back, over my stripes? Aahh … now Tumi feels special too.
Remember, you are a special tiger. So, if things happened that don’t make you feel happy and special, or if you need courage to go on, you can talk to someone.
There is a number* hidden inside my tiger tummy that you can dial. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

* These phone numbers can be inserted in any of the ‘tiger chats’. The option is written in.

Chat 2 - Tiger Precious

Chat 2 - Tiger Precious

Hi there, how are you today? Have you ever lost something verrry special? I mean something rrreally close to you? Pinch your nose [pause].

Now pinch mine. Ouch! Not so hard, a bit softer. Well, you know where your nose is. And you are holding me close. You remember my name? I am Tumi Tiger, your friend and I like to be hugged, like now. That’s it! Now place me on your right knee and hold me. [pause]

This will be our story bench, OK? Now, I want to tell you a tiger tale about something that happened to me.

One fine day I was playing and skipping in the field. It was the third month of the year. Errr … I think it was … [pause]. What’s that? [pause]

Yes, yes,right, March. So I was marching along, being on my own. And then I trampled on something. “Ouch, what? What is this?” What did I see? Spin me around once and then hold me close and I will tell you. I looked down and I saw something glittering. It was like a pebble, only bigger. “This is a special stone,” I told myself. I ran to our tiger den and called my Mom, Thandiwe Tiger. Do you know what Thandiwe means? Thandiwe means: loved one. Mom looked at the stone. “This is a gemstone,” she said [alter voice for Mom]. Then my Dad, Tandile Tiger, came back from hunting. Dad’s name means: fire. Oh, this is an emerald, Tumi,” he said [make voice somewhat gruff for Dad]. “It is veeerrry special and most precious.”

“Can I keep it?” I asked. “I think so. You found it. So it’s yours.” And I, Tumi, was very happy. I found something precious. Now, do you know, this is how Father God sees you. He made you and you are valuable to him. You know what valuable means? You are more than special. You make Him smile and make Him proud. That’s because he wants you to be just the way you are. You are valuable, because you are a tiger. Take a look at me. Hold me a bit away [pause] that’s right, so you can see me better, the whole of me. Now, the other tigers say my ears look a bit like my Mom tiger’s and my nose and mouth like my Dad tiger’s.

But that’s not what makes me special. Tap my heart, now tap yourself on your heart. You are special because of what is inside there. That is your character. You look like your Mom and Dad. But what really makes you special is this. You want to know something really special? We all have the character of Father God. He created us to be just like him. Have you thought about the way you do things right and how you care about others? In the Bible (Psalm 1) David, tells you in a poem about a tree that is planted by a stream. This tree has enough water and gives good fruits. You are like the tree when you live close to Father God and listen to His words and then you do nice things.

Now, be a gem and scratch me behind my right ear. Yeaah, that feels nice, a little lower, move around where you can see the pink … purrrfect.
Remember, you are valuable; so when you feel like talking to someone or you really, rrrreally need help:
There is a special number hidden inside my Tumi tiger tummy that you can dial. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 3 - Tiger Friend

Chat 3 - Tiger Friend

Hi, Tumi here with you. Oh! I forgot your name. [pause]
Oh, that’s right. You have a beautiful name. Do you also have a second name? [pause]
You humans also call it a surname. Say it close to my ear, the right ear. [pause]
Oh, so that is your surname? I like it. Now the important part first. Give me a huge tiger hug. [pause]
Aaahh … purrrrr … yeah. Now we are close tigers. You and I are tiger buddies. You know, if you hold me close, I feel like my name – I feel happy. Because I have a close friend. What is your name again? [pause]

No [heheheh tiger chuckle], I did not forget. I am just having a bit of tiger fun with you. That’s what real friends do. You can have fun and make fun with a buddy. And your friend will not get cross or growl at you.
But let me tell you something very special [talk softer]. Hold me close to your right ear. This will be our ear for sharing, right? Did you know that your name is not just a word? If my Mom tiger calls: “Themba!” I don’t move a paw. ‘Cause she wants something from my brother. But if she calls: “Tumi!” I move quickly on all four legs. I know it is me she wants. So, my name is also who I am. And your name, say that lovely name again. [pause]

Yes, that name is who you are.
Do you want to hear another, special something? Hold me close to our secrets ear. That’s right, your right ear. Did you know that we both have a more special Friend? He is our VBF, our Very Best Friend. You and I have a Friend and we belong to Him. His Name is Jesus. And, if you help me stretch out, lightly pull my arms above my head … wow, buddy, not so hard … then I will tell you something verrry special. You know, the Name Jesus says who He is for us.

Let me explain with a story. Now, place me on our story bench (that’s rrright, your rrright knee), I want to tell you about my brother, Themba . One day he was playing near the river, around the corner. “Nice pools!” He shouted. He made a huge splash … Too late we saw the sign: Danger: whirlpools. Oh! The water was pulling Themba in. It was too deep for me to help. And then … we saw a bigger Tiger. He jumped in and helped Themba out. “Let me show you where it is safe to swim,” he said.

Themba shook the water off his fur: “Brrrrrrwwrrrrbrrrrrrr.” He also made me wet. “Hey!” But we were so busy getting dry. We did not ask the bigger tiger’s name. “Oh well,” Themba said and blew drops off his snout: “He is our special friend who saved me, right?”

You see, this is what the Name Jesus means: He is our special Friend Who saved us. He shows us where it is safe. He shows you and me the way to Father God. With Jesus we are totally safe. Now we belong to Him. So He calls us His close friends. We follow Him. He shows us the right way to make God proud and happy. Jesus says in John 15:14-16 we are His friends if we do what He says: We must think of other tigers first and what they would like.

So, tell me: Don’t you think it is cool to need someone? My cousin, Thaba, doesn’t like it when he doesn’t feel in charge. “I do not need any other tiger,” he often growls. But just the other day I found him under the thorn tree: “Tumi, I am so alone.”

OK, so you are my tiger buddy. So I can tell you: do not be afraid to turn to Jesus. He is our special Friend. So we do not have to feel alone. Now, give me a last huggg … just for friendship.
And remember you can also contact friends:
There also is a number hidden inside my Tumi tummy that you can dial. Here where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 4 - Tiger's Den

Chat 4 - Tiger's Den

Hi there, this is Tumi, your tiger buddy. How are you doing? Some types of tigers say: “I see you,” when they meet. Hallo, I see you. You can hold me up so that I can look into your eyes. That’s right. Do you also see me? [pause]

Now we can both see each other’s eyes. Let us play a tiger game. We switch places. Let’s say, you are Tumi. How do you see yourself if you look through my tiger eyes? Are you feeling what my name means (happy)? Do you feel safe and do people care for you? Say it close to my left ear.

You know what I like best? Hold me close to your heart. [pause]

Shhh … I can really hear your heart beating. When I hear this, I feel good and safe. I feel that someone cares for me. Now I can tell you about my friend, Tate [say it Tá-teh] Tiger. Sometimes she does not look happy. She just sits and doesn’t want to play. When I chase butterflies, she sits. She is unhappy and she says she does not have tiger parents to care for her. They were both taken away by a huge box on wheels, oh yes, people call it a truck. Then my Dad tiger took her into our tiger den. This is the place where we all feel safe. Now she is safe and has somebody to look after her – to care for her. Now she is my new sister tiger.

What do you do when you feel bad or you are a really sad cub? If something makes you feel bad? Or if someone makes you really unhappy? Hold me closer and I will tell you something special – in your right ear. That is our ear for sharing, remember? You can be close to Someone’s heart. Do you belong to Jesus as your best Friend? Then you can know Father God. I mean, really be so close to Father God, that you can talk to Him softly or with the things that you think about. Then you can know God is with you. God is Spirit. He talks to you through the Bible. Listen to what He says about you in Isaiah 43:1: “Don’t be afraid, I have saved you; I called you by your name and you are mine.”
If you feel lonely or unhappy, like my new sister, Tate Tiger, you can talk to Father God. Say what is in your heart, we call talking to God, praying.
When God is with you and you feel that close to Him, you get the purrfect care. You cannot see Father God, but He is all around you. Where you play or do your homework, or walk in the park. See Him smiling and giving you love. He wants the best for you. Remember, Father God is your Den. With Him you can feel safe. If you want to talk to someone who really understands, call a number hidden inside my tummy. Look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

My den today is in your arms. If you could just hold me against your shoulder until I … zzzzzzzzzz [tiger snoring]

Chat 5 - Tall Tiger?

Chat 5 - Tall Tiger?

Hi, hallo. How do you feel today? Say it close to my ear. [pause]

Oh, do you feel that way? Yes, this is Tumi, your tiger buddy. Today I want to ask you a riddle. First, give me a nice tiger hug. Aaaaaaah, that’s it. Now, hold me close to your ear for our sharing. That’s the right ear. Can you tell me … [pause for effect] what my favourite colour is? [pause]

You will not guess, or maybe you will. It is yellow, the colour I like best. Yellow like my skin. See my skin? Yellow, yellow for mellow. Mellow means: be calm and do not make things hard for yourself and others.
I have a friend, Luhlaza Tiger. Do you know what his name means? Wait. First, let me sit on your shoulder. [pause]

That’s it. Ooops, hold me so that I don’t fall off. Hey, it’s high from up here. Now I feel like a tall tiger. Where was I … Oh yea … Luhlaza, Luhlaza means ‘green’. So, you know what his favourite colour is? … green of course. Well, Luhlaza () is always trying to be the best. He walks upright. Put me, put me down from your shoulder [pause].

Thanks. I was getting a bit dizzy.
Now, about Luhlaza … he tries to run faster than the other tiger cubs like me. He tries to be the best tiger and do everything right. You know, I wash my paws after I eat. He washes his paws before and after he eats. And the other tiger cubs begin to walk away when they see Luhlaza tiger coming on the path. One day when we came to our den, Luhlaza was gone. The other tiger cubs were feeling sorry. “Maybe we said the wrong things.” Themba tiger, my brother cub, says: “I saw him sitting under the mulberry bush. He looked unhappy.”
All the tiger cubs went to look for Luhlaza. “Look there,” said Thandi, our sister cub. And we saw a white roof standing out behind the treetops. Carefully, on all four paws, we crept closer. Then, we saw Luhlaza. He was in a box behind bars, in a cage. Luhlaza was caught and had to perform in the circus. And he looked so unhappy. When he saw us, he cried and tiger tears rolled off his face. Luhlaza was not free to be a real tiger anymore.
Do you try to be a tall tiger, like Luhlaza? Do you want to be the best tiger and always do everything better than others? Then you will just be unhappy. Why? Remember what happened to Luhlaza. He was not free anymore, and had to perform better than others. When you always have to show you are better than others, then you are also not free. And you know what? Like Luhlaza tiger, the other cubs won’t like you if you always try to be stronger and better than them. But let me tell you something special. You don’t have to try so hard to be good and do everything right. Father God doesn’t work that way. He tells you in his Word (the Bible): 2 Corinth 12:9: “I care for you and that is enough. When you are weak, then I am strong.” See, Father God will carry you. That’s a prrromise.
Remember, yellow for mellow. Do not try to be better or smarter than you are. When you are just what you are and you don’t try to always be better than others, or show off before others, then you are really strong. Why? Father God gives you the strength. He carries you when you cannot go on. Remember also if you feel weak and need friends you can call the number hidden inside my tiger tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Now, I want to practice to be tall – just kidding! Let me stretch out and you can rub my tummy, aahh that’s good. Now that’s what I call mellow.

Chat 6 - Tiger Tracks

Chat 6 - Tiger Tracks

Hi there, my friend. You are my special friend. I am Tumi, your playfriend. Where did you come from just now? I mean, before you picked me up? You know, when I was lying waiting, I saw you coming. Now, lift me up … whooaa, gentle – you can see my paws. I have four paws, that’s two pairs. How many do you have? [pause]

Oh, you do not have paws? Well, my paws make tracks where I walk in the path. So I can see where I come from if I look back. Do you want to make me walk? You can do it after our Tiger-talk. But remember: we tigers walk on four legs.
Did you know? You also make tracks. Take a look when you walk in the sand, or when you are on the beach. Your tracks show the way that you came from. But do you want to know something really special? Pick me up, and let me talk into your sharing ear – that’s right, your right ear. Did you know [talking in a whisper tone]: you make other tracks. This shows where you really came from and what makes you special.
Can we go outside? Or can you look out the window? If you have a Mom and Dad, can you now look and see the crops that they have planted? What type of crops do you see? [pause]

We have wild berries planted in the ground, in soil outside our den, for a special treat. The plant has roots that go into the soil. It helps the plants to grow. And you? You want to know something very special? You are also planted and your roots go deep. That is what type of tiger you are, and the way you do things (your custom). Do you have a language that you learnt when you were small? Say “planted” in your own language. [pause]
That sounds grrreeeeaat. And look at the clothes that you wear. You have your own way with clothes. We call that fashion.
Do you want to know one more special thing? Pick me up. That’s it. Just next to our sharing ear, your right ear. Father God made you a special tiger cub, err … human kid. Listen carefully. This is very, very, very important. In His Word, the Bible, Father God tells all babies this: “Before you were born, I saw you and loved you very much.” If you have a Mom or Dad, ask your parent to read you Psalm 139:16-17.
So, now you know: Father God has a special way for you to follow. We call that a plan. So you can make new tracks. And you can know that yourFather God is with you. When things get bad or hard, He picks you up. Now, do you want to make your own tracks? When our tiger chat is over, take a page of paper or a newspaper. Go outside and walk in the mud. Then, stand on the paper, very still. And see, you made tracks, footprints. Remember to go wash your feet before you go back into the den (errr ... house). Keep this print of your tracks to remind you: Before you were born, you were special to Father God.
Oh yes. Maybe you want to talk to someone about your roots or anything, you can call the number hidden inside my tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Now it is time for me to go back to my roots. Scratch my neck, just below my head. Aaahhh, … ZZZZZZZZZ [snoring sound – standard]

Chat 7 - Tiger Treats

Chat 7 - Tiger Treats

Hallo, my tiger buddy. I am Tumi, your special friend. You know, I am really glad you picked me up. Now, first things first. Hold me tight. [pause]

Not so tight that you press my tummy again. Because then I could stop talking. That’s right. You know what my name means, hey? [pause]

Yes, Tumi means I have courage and I am a happy tiger. Of course I am happy. I am with my friend and we can have our tiger chat. Hold me up before you. See, I am a tiny tiger. So I am your play friend. We do things together and learn important stuff. Isn’t that cool?
Would you like to be small like me? I know, you are a bit bigger than me – you are a human cub. How old are you? Say again? In my left ear. [pause]

Oh, OK. So you are that young. When is your next birthday? Say into my left ear? [pause]

Oh, well, remind me before the time. But just in case we both forget, I want to sing you a birthday song. Yes, yes, I’d like to do it now. Sit me on your lap, gently. [pause]

Now, close your eyes and I will sing. “Happy birthday to you (x2) Happy birthday tiger buddy, haaapyyy birthday to YOU!”
Do you like to be a cub and play with other human cubs? Or sit and chat with Tumi, your play friend? You know, you are allowed to be a cub (errr ...kid) and enjoy the things we cubs like to do. What’s your favourite game? Say again? [pause]

Hold me up so you can say it into my left ear. [pause]

That sounds like a grrrreat game. Now, I have another friend, Thoho. But he is not a playfriend. He must look after his brothers and sisters. Their Mom tiger and Dad tiger just left them and went away. Yes, this is so sad, it makes me want to cry [sniff – sound]. Thoho tiger did not really get a chance to be a cub. He must be like a grownup tiger. He and his two sister cubs have a difficult time. And you know what makes me sad? His name, Thoho, means to be happy, and now he is so very unhappy.
So, play and be a kid, enjoy games. That is your tiger treat. Father God wants you to be happy. He also wants you to have parents or someone who takes care of you. The Bible tells us this: Jesus, your VBF, Verrrry Best Friend is also God’s Son. So, He wants all the children to come to Him. He says this in God’s Word: “Let the little children come to me and don’t hinder them” (That’s in Mark 10:14).Then they can also be cared for by Father God. Do you want to talk to Father God? Say after me: “Father, thank you [pause]
for the treat [pause]
of being a child.” Now, if you want to talk about things that hurt you as a child, you have friends who care:
There is a number hidden inside my tummy that you can dial. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.
Do you want to go and play outside? Just give me a last tiger hug and put me down [pause]

Aaahh purrrr, byeee!

Chat 8 - Tiger Trouble

Chat 8 - Tiger Trouble

Hi there. How are you doing? Like: What are you doing now? Well, yes, you are holding me. I am Tumi, your tiger play friend. Give me a tiger huggg. [pause]

Oh yeeaahhh, prrrrr [standard sound]. Now, listen carefully. I want to tell you something. Sometimes when we do things, we do the wrong things. Then we feel bad afterwards.
Like yesterday, when my Tiger Mom called: “Tumi, clean up our den!” I said: “OK, Mom, in a while!” But then I went out and played. Suddenly I heard a tiger cry [sound effect like a cat howling]. It was my sister cub, Thandi. I ran and went to look. My Mom was very cross: “I told you to clean our den. Now your sister stepped on a sharp bone.” I looked and saw the blood on her paw. She was crying. It was very sore. “I am sorry,” I mumbled. But it was too late. I wanted to listen to my Mom. But then I just did not do it. I don’t want to be a bad tiger. But sometimes I just am. And other tigers get hurt.
When it was getting dark, my Tiger Dad, Tandile, came home. He was out hunting. I was very afraid. I looked at his paws. They are huge and can hurt. “Please don’t hit me,” I said. My Dad, Tandile, came nearer. But he was not cross. He hugged me to his heart: “You do bad things, but you are not a bad tiger. You are my cub.”
Hold me close to you. [pause]

Then tell me: Don’t you sometimes do bad things, even if you do want to be good? Like, you do not listen to your parents And you or other people get hurt. Bad things we do can have very bad results. It can make us feel bad and think we are bad. This is what the Word of God calls sin.
But let me tell you a secret. Hold me close to our sharing ear – your right ear. [pause]

You know, like my Dad, Tandile, Father God cares for you so much. When you feel bad because you do things that hurt other people, God also feels bad. But He wants to forget this bad thing. He gives you another chance. In the Bible David, who did some very bad things, could say: “Make me clean again, make me whiter than snow” [that’s in Psalm 51:4 and 9]. Have you seen snowflakes? [pause]

It is like white and totally clean when it falls. You are a cub (err … child) of God. Why? Because you belong to His Son, Jesus, your VBF. So you are like a snowflake to Father God. He loves you and doesn’t think about the bad things anymore. We call that forgiveness.
Now, remember, when you do bad things, you can ask Father God to forgive you. Say after me: “Father God,” [pause]

“I am sorry that I did … (tell Him about that bad thing) [pause].

Then say: “Thank you for another chance.” [pause]
“Amen.” [pause]

Now be a veeerry good tiger buddy and scratch me … just here in the pink of my ear. Aahh that’s goooood purrrr. Remember, when you want to talk about bad things, call the number hidden inside my tummy where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 9 - Tiger Food

Chat 9 - Tiger Food

Hi there again. I am Tumi, your tiger play friend. Sometimes people say: “I see you.” And then also: “How are you keeping?” Now, what are you keeping … around to eat? I feel hungry. Huh, well tigers in the wild eat meat and fruits; also wheat and plants. They eat just about anything that is good for their tiger tummies. I can eat what you eat. But I am a play tiger. So I make believe that I eat. So, you eat, and I eat my play food. But we get hungry again.
You know, our Very Best Friend (VBF) Jesus, was also hungry. His close friends, his disciples, brought Him food. But He did not eat. He said: I have food that you do not know of. “Huh?” they all looked at each other. Maybe He had too little to eat and now He is just saying things. That’s what Jesus’s friends thought. Then Jesus said: “My food is to do the will of my Father” (that’s in John 4:34).
Do you know what food Jesus is talking about? Doing God’s will, means to live the way God wants you to. Place me on your right knee. [pause]

This is our story bench, remember? Now listen carefully.
One day I was playing near a big city. I saw a pipe and I strolled closer. Then, I saw a sign: “Danger, stay away!” But I wanted to see inside the pipe. So, I stuck in my head. I did not fit. But I pressed and I, pressed … then I was inside. Oh! But I COULD NOT GET OUT! Ooh! I made a bad choice. But then my best friend, Tumelo tiger, came along. Did you know? Tumelo means “faith”. His name says: You can believe you will be safe. He pulled me out by my tail. Do you want to pull my tail? [pause]

Hey, buddy, not so hard!
He gave me a tiger tip. Do you want to hear? Place me close to your sharing ear – your right ear. Do you see these thin white hairs on both sides of my mouth? You can touch it. Please, do not pull, hey. Those are my whiskers. Our whiskers help us to know when a hole or a pipe is not safe. When my whiskers don’t fit in, I know it’s dangerous. And then I stay out, or I will know I did not do the right thing.
You also have something like whiskers. A little voice inside tells you when things are not safe. You must listen. Do you know why you have this voice? Because Father God is with you. He loves you very much, so, Father God shows you the right way to stay close to Him. Do you want to do the right thing; and not get stuck like me? [pause]
Sure you do. Listen carefully. You want to know one more special something? [pause].

Jesus tells us of one special rule to remember: “Do to others what you want them to do to you” (That’s in Matthew 7:12). Do you like being sad or hurt? [pause]
No, hey? Well, then you don’t hurt others. Or do you like it if someone bullies you, and hurt you on purrrpose? [pause]
Of courrrse not! So, then you don’t bully other cups (errr … kids). And you help other kids when they are bullied. So, buddy, if Father God is the most important for you, then you will be good to other tigers (errr … people). This is rrrreal love.
So, how do you like this food? You cannot eat it like with your mouth, hey. This food is to know God’s will – what He wants for you, and that is the best. Do you want this food? You just have to ask Father God for it – like pray. Let’s do it now: “Father God, help me to live the way you want me to. Amen.” If you feel like talking about things that worry you, call the number hidden inside my tummy where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.
Now, I will take my tiger nap.
M-mm. ZZZZZZZZZ [standard snoring sound]

Chat 10 - Tiger Snack

Chat 10 - Tiger Snack

Hi there again. I am Tumi, the tiny tiger. Jip, your playfriend. Today, I want you to sit down with me. We are going to learn to relax. I have a cousin named Thula Tiger. That means, quiet. Thula knows how to sit and just be calm. Now, practice how to be calm and to relax. Breath in, and out, slowly. Deep breath in, then out. Keep on doing this. Now, say words when you breath in: God [pause],
then when you breath out: loves me [pause].
Keep this up. Like this [Tiger demonstrates].
God [pause] loves me [pause].
God [pause] loves me [pause].

That’s nice, you are doing fine. Now, think of a place where you like to be – a safe place. Is it next to a river? Is it on the beach? Or high up in the mountains looking at the sun rising? Then, see yourself in that place right now. How do you know that Father God loves you? My Tiger Dad thinks I am special. So, he sometimes gives me a small present. Just because he loves me.
When do you get presents? Oh yes, yes, on you birthday and Christmas. And other times? Did your Mom or Dad, or the people looking after you, give you something little to show they love you? Say it against my ear. [pause] Oh!

Father God also gave you something, a gift. You say you did not get a present from Him? Listen carefully.
Your gift is the thing, or things, that you are good in. Maybe you are good with counting numbers. Or you are good in sports. Some kids can make things, like little cars from wires. This is your strong point. Father God gave you this present so that you can help others. If you understand lessons quickly, m-mm, maybe you can help your classmates who are a bit slower. Or, if you are good at soccer, you can help a friend to play better. What is your strong point? [pause]

That is wonderful! Now think: how can you use it to help other tigers (errr ...kids)? [pause]
Want to know something special? Place me close to your sharing ear – your right ear, of course. [pause]

You see, this is like a gift that you can enjoy just on your own…or you can enjoy it more by sharing it with others. You use your gift, the things you do well, to help others also learn this skill. But there’s still the best gift that you get from Father God. You know what this is? [pause]

It is love. Love! He wants you to know you are verrrry special to Him. And you give love back – back to Father God, but also, back to other people. Because you have the love of Father God, you can give him the best that you have. That is your gift.
Now, do you have a toy that is most precious to you? Will you give this toy away to Father God? [pause]

Mm. It’s hard, hey? But, God does not want these things from you. He wants you to give your best – your time. Spend time with Him. Show Him that you like to be with Him. You can talk to him now (pray to Him). Just after you show some love to me: give me our last hug [pause]

Aahhh, purrrr ….
Or you can speak with other friends who give you their time if you ask of them. Call the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 11 - Tiger Needs

Chat 11 - Tiger Needs

Hi there, my playfriend. This is Tumi here. Today I want to ask you something important: Do you have a secret place where you go to? You know, sometimes we tigers feel hurt or unhappy. So unhappy, We just want to be alone to feel more safe. Where do you go to when you feel like that? We can go there now if you want to.
But now, let’s talk about important stuff. First the most important thing: give me a nice tiger hug. [pause]

Ooh yes, that feels good. This is what I really need. A hug a day keeps the tears away – I always say. Now hold me on your right knee, our story bench. Let me first tell you all about us tigers, what we need. We as tigers want to feel safe. That is why we hide in the thick bushes. We also need a tiger den to sleep in. We must have food to eat and other tigers to be our friends.
Sometimes, as a tiger, I have to make important choices, like: where do I walk so I don’t get into trouble? I need another tiger to talk to and share these big choices. I have this other tiger friend. But he is much older than me, Themba, his name means ‘trustworthy’. That is someone you know you can trust. Trust means you know that person will listen and really want to help. This tiger, errr ... person will also not talk to others about what you told.
Now tell me: what do you really, really, rrrreally need? Is it food or a shelter? Or is it just someone to trust? You know you can trust me, your tiger buddy. You can also trust Father God. Our VBF: Verrry best Friend, Jesus, teaches us how to talk to Father God. We call it The Lord’s Prayer. You can tell Him what you want – what your needs are. You can talk to Him now, if you want to. Close your eyes and say after me: “Father God, these are my needs …” [pause]

Now, tell Father God what you rrreaaly want. Remember also to think of what others want. Think of your family, or your friends. What are their needs? Of course, if you want to talk to other friends whom you can trust:

There also is a number hidden inside my tiger tummy that you can dial. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Now, put me down and I will ZZZZZZZZZ [standard snoring sound].

Chat 12 - Tiger Spirit

Chat 12 - Tiger Spirit

Hallo from Tumi, your playfriend. Hold me up. See, I am a tiny tiger. And I am always there for you. You just have to pick me up and we talk tiger tales. But the first thing I like most when I am with you. Give me a nice tiger huggg. [pause]

Ooooh yeeerrrs! Now, I want to tell you something special. Hold me closer to your right ear. [pause].

You know, that you and I have a veerrry special Friend. Jesus is our VBF (yes, Very Best Friend). And did you know? Because you have Jesus as your VBF, God is always with you. Jesus is Spirit, like Father God. You cannot see Him or touch Him, but you know He is here with you.
The Bible is God’s way of telling you good news. Do you know how you feel when you get everything ready to play … and Mom calls you to come and take your bath? How do you feel? [pause]

That’s right: “Aww Mom, I want to play.” Now Jesus’s group of friends –we call them His disciples, they were getting ready for Jesus to become king. Then they will be important and help Jesus to chase the bad people, the Romans, away. So, they are ready for great times. But Jesus told them: “I have to go away.” The disciples were very sad. How can Jesus go, just when the people want to make Him king?
Jesus saw it and said: “You must not be sad. I will send you someone to look over you and show you the way.” He is the Comforter. Like Father God and Jesus are Spirit, you also cannot see the Comforter. He is the Spirit inside your heart. So, we call Him the Holy Spirit. You can read about your Comforter in John 16:1-15. Ask Mom or Dad, or the person looking after you, to read it to you after our chat. Remember, John 16.
Put your hand on your heart. You cannot see what is happening inside of you. But you can know that you have Someone to watch over you. The Comforter helps you do the right things. He also leads you to know what Father God wants, how you can make Him happy. The Spirit is your guide, showing the right way. You know, sometimes things just get rough, or bad. You are afraid or sad. Or someone hurt you and you do not know where to go. Remember, you are not alone. Your Comforter will stand by you. So you don’t have to be afraid. You can tell Him how you feel, and He will pass your message on to Father God. Psst, if you want to talk to other tigers, errr ... people, you can also call the number hidden inside my tiger tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Ah! Now, you can be my guide – show me the way to dreamland. Just lay me on my side and scratch my tummy softly. You can sing something for me if you want to [pause
and then ZZZZZZZZZZ = snoring sound]

Chat 13 - Tiger Pack

Chat 13 - Tiger Pack

Hi there, Tumi again. My name says, I am happy and brave … and I am you tiger friend. Tell me: Are you happy today? [pause].

I hear you. Now, tell me: What makes you happy, rrrealy [imitate a slight tiger growl] happy? Say it in my left ear. [pause]

OK, yes, that would also make me happy.
But do you know what makes me tiger happy? Of course: to be close to you, my playfriend. Yes, give me a nice tiger hugggg. [pause]

Aahhh that’s tooo cooool. Now, I can tell you what makes me rrrealy tiger happy. That is, to belong with other tigers. I have a home, a den, to go to when it gets dark or rainy. This is my family. You know them already: Tandile, my Dad tiger, Thandiwe, my Mom tiger, Thandi, my sister tiger and Themba, my brother tiger. And, there’s also our new sister, Tate Tiger. They are the tigers closest to me. Do you have a family? Can you tell me their names? Slowly … [longish pause]

P-r-r-rr. So, now I also know them.
Did you know, a family can also make one unhappy. Come, put me onto your left knee and hold me. [pause]

I want to tell you about my other tiger friend, Tebogo Tiger. He has a very interesting name. It means: “We are thankful.” But it is also a sad name. Do you know why? His family is broken. His dad tiger is moving out of the den. So now, Tebogo has two dens to go to: the old den where they live with his mom and the new den where his dad lives alone. This family is broken – they call it divorce. Oh!
Then, there’s my other friend Thatau tiger. One day, after we went to play in the grass, I saw him. He was sitting under the shades of a tree. And he was crying, really sobbing. When I got nearer, I saw the red scratches on his arm. I knew his mom got a new tiger friend after his dad went away. “Did your Mom’s friend hurt you?” He just nodded. I took him to one of the tiger teachers that we trust. The teacher went to other tigers that could help Thatau. He phoned special numbers. And now he is in a safe place and feels better. So you see, sometimes bad things happen to good and happy tiger cubs, errr ...kids. They don’t know why, and it makes them very sad. But it happens and sometimes they can get hurt, rrrrealy hurt. Can I ask you something? Are you in a broken family? Are there unhappy tigers in your pack? And do you sometimes get hurt? Oh! You must remember: this is not because of something that you did. Say it after me: “It is not my fault.” Say it again: it …. is …. not … my … fault.
Now, about the special numbers that Thatau Tiger called. If you feel like you must talk to somebody about a broken den, call the number inside my tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Now, I think you must give me a last hug. [pause]

Aahhhh, purrrrr. You and I are like family, a twin pack, you and I.

Chat 14 - Tiger in the Woods

Chat 14 - Tiger in the Woods

Hallo again. This is Tumi, your tiger play friend. We talk tiger stories. First, I want you to go to a safe place. You don’t have to move anywhere. Just find a place where we are alone. Close your eyes and think of a place where you feel happy and safe. Now, let’s play you are in this place. Maybe on the beach, or near a river. Or maybe your place is along the mountainside. Tell me: What do you see? [pause]

What do you hear? [pause]
What do you smell? [pause]
Now sit and relax – take in all of these things. Remember, this is your safe place. When you feel sad or afraid, you can try to be alone. Then close your eyes and visit this place. And I will be waiting there for you . [pause]

Now, I want to tell you about places that are not safe. I do not look for trouble. But sometimes I must go – into the woods. You know, there where it is scary and dark. Remember, if you find yourself in dangerous places, here are a few hints:
Stay away from places where there are no other tigers, errr ... people around.
Walk upright and do not look scared or ready to run away or scared.
And do not carry a lot of packages and stuff. It makes you look just ready to be robbed, like a victim.
And, if you have a cell phone, keep it ready, but hide it away.
And, if you are alone at the gate with a stranger, try to act as if there are other tigers in the den.
But the dangerous places are not only in the woods. Place me on our story bench, your right knee, and hold me. I want to tell you about my cousin, Thula. She is very quiet, but one day she was even more quiet than the last time I saw her. She told me about her uncle. He came into her corner of the den. They were alone in the den. And then he touched her on her private parts. She screamed and he ran away. After it happened, she said: “I should have seen the bad signs.” So, you see? Your den can also become like the woods. Make sure you are not alone in the den with an older person. You know, someone you don’t trust or don’t know very well. Also, look out for the bad signs, like:
If an older person just walks into the bathroom when you bath.
If that person keeps on talking about ‘how your body have changed’.
If that person wants to be alone with you, and nobody may be with you.
If that person buys you expensive presents and lots of sweets – just for nothing.
Then you must talk about these signs with Mom or Dad or a grownup you can trust. Now, hold me close. Remember, you are a special tiger. Other grownups cannot make you do things if you do not want to. You are allowed to feel safe and have somebody to look after you. You have the right to be protected. If you do not feel safe, remember, you have friends. Call the number hidden inside my tiger tummy. Look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Now, did I tell you? For me a safe place is in your arms. If you scratch me behind my ears … like that, I feel grrreat. [low tiger roar]

Chat 15 - Tiger Pals

Chat 15 - Tiger Pals

Hallo to you. I am Tumi, your tiger buddy. You know what? I like this time we can be together and can have our tiger talk. This is a special time for me. And for you? [pause]

I am glad we are pals. Now, give me a nice tiger hug – yes, just because we are frrrriends. You know, I have a few other close friends. Now, hold me on your lap. Do you also have friends? Who is your BFF (like, best friend forever)? [pause]

Oh? I see. This is a good friend. And do you play and hang out with other friends? OK, I see. Now tell me: Is there a kid that you do not like so much? [pause]

Why don’t you like that kid? Say it quickly in my left ear. [pause]

Oh, OK. You may choose your friends. You know that, don’t you?
You may enjoy your friends. That is one of the presents Father God gives to us cubs, errr ...kids.. You can be part of a group of special friends. But, you may also be a part of a bigger circle of pals. And sometimes, in such a group, things can become nasty. In a bigger circle of playmates, not all are friends, like on the school grounds. Then some of the kids can show their bad side. There is always some cub, errr ...kid, that is not the favourite or cool one. So the other children say nasty things to this friend of yours. Or, sometimes they hurt that friend. This is called bullying.
Maybe you have that problem: someone is punching your arm, or pulling your hair. Or, it can be a nasty SMS or WhatsApp on a cellphone, or a mean message on your Facebook wall. No, you don’t have to take this. Look out and stay out of their way if you can. They are not your friends. If this keeps on, talk to someone about it – like a real friend or someone you can trust.
You know, when a few friends are together, they can make trouble. The stronger kids can make the group do bad things. And the others must also go along, even if they do not want to. Now, let me tell you something very important. Hold me closer to our sharing ear, the right ear. Do you know how many kids can make the group change or stop doing these things? Guess. [pause]

Only one. If you do not want to, you can stand up. Look out in the group for the friends who are weak and forced to go along. You can be a true friend for them. Just stand in for them. Help them to stand up. See who feels the same as you. Maybe they are also too scared to talk about it. A wise person in the Bible tells us how friends work. Where two or three stand together, it is like a rope that you fold three times, it cannot break so easily. So, look for a pal you can trust. Or, you be that friend to others in the group.
And, you know other friends you can trust. Remember, you know that you can call the number hidden inside my tiger tummy.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Because you are my friend, we two make a strong pair. Give me a Tiger-high five. Put out your paw, errr … hand. That’s it, my playfriend.

Chat 16 - Tiger Tremble

Chat 16 - Tiger Tremble

Hi there. This is Tumi, your play friend. Let’s go to your safe place. You know, when you close your eyes you can see a place where you feel safe and happy. Like at the beach, or the river. Or maybe somewhere along the mountainside. Now see me, Tumi, together with you in this place. When you see me with you, you can feel: “I’m not alone.” Give me a tiger hugggg. That’s sooo nice … purrrrrr.
Now put me on our story bench, your right knee, and hold me. Are you nice and comfortable? That’s good. Because I want to speak about things we don’t normally like to talk about. Let me begin with this story. One day I was playing hide and seek with my brother, Themba, and a few tiger friends. I found a nice place to hide – a hollow tree trunk. So, they couldn’t find me.
But suddenly the sun hid its face behind the mountain. I stayed too long in the trunk! It became very dark. I cried hard: “Themba! Themba!” No sound. I tried again: “Theeembaa!” The other tiger cubs went home. I was alone. And it was very dark. And, I started hearing sounds around me: things creaked and scraped. Then I thought I heard something hiss behind me … Something … grabbed me! I jumped when two strong tiger hands my shoulders. “Shhh, Tumi, it’s Dad. Why did you stay out so late?” There was my Dad, Tandile Tiger, behind me. But I tell you: I was so scared, I did not know what to do.
Let me ask you, tiger to tiger: are there also things that scare you? When you turn out the light in the night – do you see and hear things moving in the dark? Like when I was in the tree trunk? My friend, Thulani tiger, says she is afraid that someone close to her will leave her and go away, like her dad. Or, my other friend, Thoho tiger, told me the other day his uncle tiger is very sick. He did not want his uncle to die. Hey, but it’s okay. His uncle got better.
But you know, people can get rrreally sick. Sometimes they get this totally bad illness. They cannot get better and it just makes them weaker and breaks them down. Do you know about Aids? Aids is an illness that you can get from someone else’s blood. Now, your blood is very special. But only your parents and you may touch your blood, if you get hurt. Other persons may not touch it. And you may not touch other people’s blood. It can give you that person’s illness.
Talk to your mom or dad about it, or to a grownup you can trust. Some kids lose both parents because of Aids. And then they have to look after themselves.
So, tell me: what a makes you tremble – like what really makes you scared? Say it in my right ear. [pause].

Mm. OK, this is just between us, right? But let me tell you something else. When you are really scared, like I felt in the tree trunk, you can know one thing: you are not alone. Father God is always with his cubs, errr ...… children. You cannot see Him, because He is Spirit. But you can talk to Him – softly. You don’t have to say a word. He knows what you feel, and think. Just feel close to Him. With Father God, you can feel Safe. Say it now: I am not alone. And you can believe it.

If you keep on being scared, you can talk to people who want to help.
There is a number hidden inside my tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or a councillor, to discuss these things.

And remember, you can also talk to me. If you hold me close, we are two tigers, you and I. When we are together we don’t have to be afraid of the things that creep and creak in the dark.

Chat 17 - Tiger Tummy

Chat 17 - Tiger Tummy

Hallo there. As you know, I am Tumi tiny tiger. I am your playfriend. Before we have our tiger chat, the most important thing, give me a tiger huggg, a huge one. [pause]

Ahhhh! That feels good, like good food. Now, speaking of food, I am hungry. Do you have something to eat? Hey, no, my friend, I cannot eat real food. I am you play tiger. But we can play that we eat anything we want. It is make belief. Just talk about something very nice to eat [pause].

Aah, that was good [smack lips]. Now, put me on our story bench, your right knee, and hold me.
One day, a few years ago, I remember, we had a very dry summer. There was no rain and our food was nearly finished. There was famine in the tiger patch where we all stayed. Do you know what famine is? When there is rrreally no food to eat. So tigers, or people get weaker and sometimes … they do not make it; they starve. One night we really had no food to eat. We were very worried. But then all us tigers shared our food with each other. So, there was just enough to eat. But I do still remember that one bad night.
Now, tell me in my right ear: Can you remember when you were rrrreally hungry? [longish pause]

It’s like that time when we had famine. Did you know? Food can’t take away all the hunger. The real hunger does not come from your tummy. It comes from deep inside of you. Some cubs want to feel special or they want someone to care for them. It’s like a huge hole. You cannot eat food stuff to fill this hole.
Now I want to tell you about my other friend, Thatau Tiger. His name means “take”. He took some leaves and chewed them. It made him feel better. But after a while he felt very sick. So these leaves were bad stuff. It did not fix the empty feeling he had. But he kept on eating them. Later on he just could not get away from this stuff. He had to go away from his den. His tiger pack could not take it when he just lay around and sometimes growled at the other tigers. Thatau tiger left his family . And he ended up with another pack of loser tigers. All of them were hooked on that stuff. Sometimes I see Thatau tiger. But he doesn’t remember me. The bad stuff made him lose everything and later also damaged his brain.
You know that some cubs, errr … kids, use this bad stuff, like drugs. Can you name a few? [pause].

Yes, that’s all bad stuff. But these drugs do not fix the hunger that is not in your tummy. And you know how it works? Later you need this stuff to feel good, but you cannot get away from it. And kids look for stronger and stronger stuff to take away the empty feeling. Now I have something very special to tell you. Hold me close to our sharing ear, your right ear. Your VBF, Very Best Friend, Jesus, said in John 10:10, that He came to be with us, so that we can know life in abundance. This means: He takes away that empty feeling. You feel special and happy. This happiness fills more than your tummy. It fills that hole inside of you.
Maybe you know of some other friends who have tried this bad stuff, drugs. Or, maybe you are having that empty feeling. Then you know your special friends whom you can call on the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy.
And find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Now, I have an empty spot just there in my tummy. But, if you can rub it for me, then I will feel good. [pause]

That’s it, purrrrrfect [low purring sound].

Chat 18 - Tiger Trapped

Chat 18 - Tiger Trapped

Hallo, this is Tumi again. I rrrreally enjoy our tiger chats. How do you feel today? You know, other tigers, errr … people, ask you this: “I say, how are you today?” [imitate a voice]. But then when you answer: “Oh well, I feel …,” you suddenly just see their tails. They’re around the corner already. They do not really want to know. But today you can tell me: How do you really feel? [longish pause]

I hear you, my friend.
OK, first things first. Give me a good-feeling tiger hug. [pause]

That’s it. Yeeaah. I want to tell you about my uncle, Tumelo Tiger. First put me on our story bench, your right knee. [pause]

I will tell you what his name means. Just scratch my ear – that’s it, inside the pink patch [pause].

Well, Tumelo means ‘faith’, that is, you know you can trust something you know is true. Now, uncle Tumelo was walking in the deep grass one day. And he heard a terrible noise [imitate a trap closing: clank, clip, clank]. “Owww, rooaaar” [Tumi imitates tiger caught in trap]. His ankle was suddenly very sore – there was a pain. He knew: “I must get away!” He wanted to run, but he could not. He could not move his leg. He was caught in a trap!
Now you can tell me, tiger to tiger: Do you sometimes get that feeling? Like you are caught and want to break free, but you can’t? You feel trapped, like my uncle Tumelo Tiger? Sometimes bad things happen. Or maybe you did something bad. Now you keep on thinking about it. Then you get this feeling [special effects of trap: clang, clip, clang]. And you cannot get away. You are trapped! Some cubs, errr ...kids, begin to think bad things. They say: “I am no good, I keep on doing bad things.” It’s like they take themselves to the headmaster to get punished. We call this feeling guilty.
Or if something bad happened to you, you do not feel good. No, I don’t mean you are sick. You just sit around or lie around, doing nothing. You feel: “I just cannot make it.” Sometimes you feel like you are sinking into a deep whirlpool. You cannot break free. Then it is like [special effects of trap: clang, clip, clang] and you are trapped.
Do you also have these bad feelings and do you keep on reminding yourself about How do you get out of the trap? Think of a traffic light:
Red: stop telling yourself you are bad. Tell yourself: “I will make it. I am a tiger.”
Orange: see the warnings: you are all by yourself and have bad thoughts.
Green: Go, move away – go outside and find something you like to do. Find other cubs, errr … kids, to play with.
Are there bad things that make you feel guilty? Relax, and do not worry that you cannot break free. You must talk about it. If you hurt another tiger, I mean person, go say sorry. Or talk to Father God about it. He is with you always. He understands and will take the feeling away. You also know you can talk to friends who understand. You can call the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or a councillor, to discuss these things.

Or, you know what? You can just talk softly to me, your tiger buddy. And, for starters, you can give me a nice rub between my ears.

Chat 19 - Tiger Touching

Chat 19 - Tiger Touching

Hallo there, this is Tumi, your playfriend. What does my tiger skin feel like? We tigers call it a hide. That’s right, I said you may touch me. I gave you purrrmission. See, it feels soft and warm, just like a fur jacket. Now, feel your own hide, errr … skin. And … how does it feel? [pause].

That is your skin and nobody may touch it if you do not want them to.
Now, before we start our tiger chat, you know what I like best. Give me that big tiger huggg. Ahhh purrrrrr. Now, remember, you may hug friends and they may hug you. Hugging friends and family is good touching. But, there is also bad touching. First tell me: if you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? Remember, your body is Father God’s work of art. It is special.
Think of your body, from your head to your toes, as your own space. No other tiger, errr … person, may come into this space, if you do not want them to. If you do not give permission, it is bad touch. Let me give you a good tip: Nobody should touch you between your shoulders and your knees.
If another person touches you anywhere here and you do not feel good or safe? Then, that is bad touch. Remember the tree.
Let me tell you a story. Put me on our story bench, your right knee. One day I was swimming in a river near a pool. Then suddenly, I felt like I was falling. It was a whirlpool. I tried to claw my way up, but the water was pulling me in. “If I don’t get out, I will drown.” I was scared, but could do nothing. Then, I felt a huge tiger paw pulling me out – my dad, Tandile Tiger. He helped me out.
This whirlpool reminds me of what happens when someone breaks into your private space. This happened to a friend of my sister, Thandi Tiger. Her teacher tiger touched her private parts and hurt her. We call it sexual abuse. But, how can a tiger cub talk against your own teacher?? This was very hard. But at last she talked to my sister Thandi. She said it’s like falling, being pulled down in a whirlpool. You first think: “This is not happening.” Then you feel nothing, “This is not me doing these things,” you say. Then, you get pulled in deeper. “I am bad,” you think. You cannot talk to your friends: “They will not believe me in any case,” you think. At the end you cannot get out.
But, Thandi’s friend did tell a real friend. And she got help. But she was deeply hurt for a long, long time. Is one your friends abused? Talk to someone you can trust. You can call your friends at the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Hold me close. I give you purrrmission to scratch my nose, like that ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Chat 20 - Tiny Tiger

Chat 20 - Tiny Tiger

Hi there again. This is Tumi. You and me are good friends now. Oops, I meant you and I, if one wants to say it right. Sorry for that mistake. But let’s have our tiger chat. I think first I need a special tiger huggg. [pause]

That’s it. Yes, let’s do the friend thing. Sorry, I mean, if that’s OK with you?
You know what? There’s a new cub in our jungle class, Tau Tiger. His name means ‘lion’. Tau is very strong and very tall. If I stand next to Tau Tiger, I feel like a tiny tiger. So I think I am not good enough. I am not Tau Tiger. Now I have a problem. I keep saying sorry. Buddy, would you help me? Would you just pat me on my head when I say that word: ‘sorry’? When I go to the pool near our den, I look at my reflection in the water, and see how short I am. Do you have a shining glass to look in? Yes, sorry [pause for pat], you humans call it a mirror. Or otherwise you and I can just look at each other. [pause]

Like that, yeeerrrs.
OK. Now tell me what parts do you like about yourself? [pause].

Yes, hold me so that I can look at you. Yes. I also like those parts. Look at me. Which parts of me do you like very much? You can tell me. [longish pause].

OK, oh really? Now I tell you what I like. I like … the fluffy white collar around my head and my nice, long whiskers. You can pat my whiskers if you want to. You see, I have these long whiskers.
Now tell me: Did we like the same parts of me? [pause]

Hold me close to our sharing ear. Sorry, I mean your right ear. [pause for pat].

OK, you can whisper: which part of you don’t you like? [pause]
Oh, I see. OK. I would never have picked that part. Now, I will tell you of the part of me that I do not like. Which part do you think? [pause].

You know, it is my tail, that black patch. It does not stand up like … who’s that tall tiger cub again? Sorry? [pause ]

Say it again – loud. [pause]

Oh yes, Tau Tiger.
You see what happens? I just see the parts of me I do not like. Then I say: “I am in a sorrrry state.” There’s also another cub at school who is more round than me. So, he has longer whiskers [whisper] don’t tell anyone. He doesn’t see his own beautiful whiskers. No. He just thinks he is fat and a loser. “The other tiger cubs pick on me. Everybody thinks I am trash,” he says.
But do you know what happened to the tall Tau Tiger? Place me on our story bench, your right knee. He became part of a gang. He mixed with rrrreally bad tigers. He got into an ugly tiger fight and rrrreaaly hurt another tiger. I found him in a jail for tiger cubs. It’s like a bamboo cage. “Tumi,” [imitate somewhat tougher voice] he told me: “It is not a nice place, a gang. No one trust no one; you hate everybody.” I asked him: “Why do you hate others?” He looked down at me, remember, I am tiny tiger, and got very sad: “I think that’s because I don’t like myself.” You could knock me down with a tiger whisker! He cried and said: “I just trashed my life.”
You see? Sometimes we feel rrreally sorry for ourselves. We think other people see our bad parts. But tell me: You and me, oops … I, talked about our good parts and bad parts. But did we see the same things? Think carefully [pause]

Now, this is important: We think other tigers, errr … people, see us like we see ourselves. No, they don’t see the same picture we see in the mirror. So, we feel sorry for ourselves for no reason.
There is only one Tumi. If I don’t like parts of Tumi, I can feel sad about it and feel like trash. Or, I can make friends with my whole body, also the tail’s black patch. Look at your body again when you get a chance. Think of all the good parts and the parts you don’t like. Tell yourself: Father God made me, and He doesn’t make trash. If you still feel bad and don’t like yourself, call friends who look out for you:

Or, phone the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or a councillor, to discuss these things.

So, because I did not say sorry again. Oops, sorry. You can give that black patch on my tail a pinch. Oe! Not too hard, hey.

Chat 21 - Tiger Shine

Chat 21 - Tiger Shine

Hi there. This is Tumi, your playfriend. I may be a tiny tiger, but I can talk about important things. First you must give me my tiger huggg. [pause]

Aahh oooh. Now I feel really important. Now, I want to ask you: Who are you? No, this is not a trick question. I know your name. Say it again. [pause]

I know that you have a beautiful name. But who am I? Look again at my stripes. You know only I have these stripes, ten stripes from my head to my tail. See? Seven stripes on my back and three stripes on my tail. But these stripes do not tell you about me. Take a look at the clothes that you wear. These clothes do not say who you are.
Today we’ll talk about the special things. Not things that we see. It is not in our clothes or our hide, errr … skin. We are going to play this game: When I see myself, I see …
OK I will go first: When I see myself, I see … a happy and healthy tiger who likes to chat and is soft so that human cubs can touch me, and of course they like to huggg me. These things rrreally make me who I am: Tumi tiger, special friend.
Now, close your eyes. Say: “When I see myself …” Think of the things you don’t see in the mirror. Because it is not rrreally about looks. When I look at my auntie Tobeta Tiger, she doesn’t look too pretty anymore. Shhh, don’t let she hear that I said that. See, looks do not last. But what’s inside of you, that’s important. Maybe you laugh easily or you are more quiet, or you like to help other cubs. These are what make you who you are. These are called your special qualities. Have you ever heard of a gemstone? A gemstone is a very special, precious stone – like a diamond. There are different kinds of gemstones with different colours. You see, a gemstone can be green or yellow or blue on the outside. But a gem has the special quality that it can glitter and shine. What is inside of you, makes you shine. This is a present from Father God. It makes you a gem and very special.
But sometimes you do not shine. I think of one of my other tiger friends, Thulani Tiger. She is a nice cub, and not so loud. Thulani is shy and humble. That means: she doesn’t try to be better than other cubs. So, of course the other cubs like her. But because she is shy, she did not put up her paw when the teacher tiger asked who would like to be in the jungle concert. So she missed out because she did not use her qualities. Do you know how to use your qualities? You just look out for the things you like doing. Thulani likes books, and can read three different tiger tongues, oh yes, languages. So she begins to do what she likes. This is called our interests. Think about yourself: What are the things you like doing, what interests you?
If you like what you do, you can also make friends with yourself. Then you also like who you are on the inside. So, how do you use this present Father God gave you? We tigers say: Know your own stripes. Remember: you are your own tiger. Don’t try to be another tiger. Then you can be the gem that shines in other tigers’ lives. If you want to find out more about how you can shine, phone your friends at the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

You know what one of my interests is? When you scratch my white, fluffy collar, then I get very happy and easily ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ [standard snoring sound].

Chat 22 - Tiger Thoughts

Chat 22 - Tiger Thoughts

[This is Option 1]
Hallo again. This is Tumi, your tiger playfriend. Did you know? I tickle easily under my armpits. OK, you can try now. Heh heh, gie gie gie … hey! [imitate tiger laughs and giggles]. Phew, buddy, that was tiger fun, but I nearly fell out of your arms. I nearly hurt myself. It is good to laugh and have a nice time. Now you just saw: if you tickle me, then something happens. I do things that I would not normally choose to do. I just could’ve got hurt, hey?
Now place me on your lap for our tiger chat. I want to tell you about another friend. Luhlaza Tiger was skipping in the field. Then he came to a large tree with rough bark around the trunk. He saw lots of fruit lying around. He started to pick up these loose fruits. But when he tasted one, it was very strong – because it had been lying on the ground for a long time. Before he could eat the fruit, his Dad Tiger came and took him home: “Never pick up loose fruits lying in the sun. They go bad and can make you do things that you later feel sorry about.”
Tell me, what are you thinking of now? If you close your eyes, what picture do you see in front of you? [pause]. You see, sometimes the things we think of are like loose fruits lying around. These are loose thoughts in our head. Hold me closer. I want to tell you something. [pause] You know, sometimes I think bad things of other tigers. I think of doing bad things. Yes, I know, I don’t do those things or hurt other tigers. But, do you know, a wise man in the Bible said: When I look into a puddle, I see a reflection of myself. This is the same with things I am thinking. When I close my eyes and see the picture in my head, I see me. What you think is who you are. So, if you keep on thinking bad thoughts, it is like eating the loose fruits lying around. You get sick and do things you feel sorry about afterwards.
It is like our other friend, Tebogo Tiger. One day he saw another cub playing with a lovely yellow ball. He wanted to have the ball for himself. So, when he closed his eyes, he saw himself playing with the ball. But in that picture he left out the other tiger cub – like he was rrrripped out. So, Tebogo Tiger kicked the ball away and it fell into the thorns. The yellow ball just went flat. You see, when you think bad things, you can also do them. Oh! Tebogo then felt very bad: “I am a bad tiger,” he said and ran away.
Now let’s play a game. I will think of a picture. Can you tell me what the picture I saw was? [pause]. A-ha! You see, no other tiger, errr … person, can know what you think. Only you know what loose thoughts lie around your head. So only you can stop this. How? It’s easy: STOP and GO.
STOP: When that loose thought comes into your head, you just say to yourself: STOP! NO!
GO: then go – play or do something you like. And then concentrate: think about good things and about being nice to others. Like in Philippians 4:7 in the Bible, the missionary Paul writes: think of everything nice, everything worth it and everything that is right.
Remember, if you have loose thoughts, don’t make yourself feel bad. Just stop the bad picture in your head. Then go on to new pictures. You can talk to friends about the bad pictures in your head. They’ll understand, and help. Just call the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy.

Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Option 2
Tiger trigger
Hallo again. This is Tumi, your tiger playfriend. Did you know? I tickle easily under my armpits. OK, you can try now. Heh heh, gie gie gie … hey! [imitate tiger laughs and giggles]. Phew, buddy, that was tiger fun, but I nearly fell out of your arms. It is good to laugh and have a nice time. Now you just saw: if you tickle me, then something happens. I do things that I would not do out of my own. It is like my friend, Tebogo Tiger. He sometimes likes to pull tricks on the other tiger cubs. He has a toy water pistol. When you squeeze the trigger, it squirts water in an unlucky tiger’s face.
Tell me, what are you thinking of now? If you close your eyes, what pictures do you see in front of you? [pause]. You see, sometimes the things we think of are like a Tebogo’s water pistol. It is loaded and just waiting for you to pull the trigger. What am I saying? Hold me closer. I want to tell you something. [pause] You know, sometimes I think bad things of other tigers. I think of doing bad things. Yes, I know, I don’t do it and don’t hurt other tigers. But, did you know, a wise man in the Bible said: When I look into a puddle, I see a picture of myself. This is the same with things I am thinking. When I close my eyes and see the picture in my head, I see me. What you think is who you are. So, if you keep on thinking bad thoughts, it is like having a loaded water pistol. One day you pull the trigger. An unlucky tiger gets it! Then you do things you feel sorry afterwards.
Now, about Tebogo Tiger. He got more nasty, not only playing tricks. One day he saw another cub playing with a lovely yellow ball. He wanted to have the ball for himself. So, when he closed his eyes, he saw himself playing with the ball. But in that picture he left out the other tiger cub – like he was rrrripped out. So, Tebogo Tiger kicked the ball away and it fell into the thorns. The yellow ball just went flat. You see, when you think bad things, it is like you’re ready to pull a trigger. If you think bad things, you can also do them. Tebogo then felt very bad: “I am a bad tiger,” he said and ran away.
Now let’s play a game. I will think of something. Can you tell me what was the picture I saw? [pause]. You see, no other tiger, errr … person, can know what you think. Only you can know what loose thoughts lie around your head. So only you can stop this. How? It’s easy: STOP and GO.
STOP: When that loose thought comes into your head, you just say to yourself: STOP! NO!
GO: then go – play or do something you like. And then concentrate: think about good things and about being nice to others. Like in Philippians 4:7 the missionary Paul writes: think of everything nice, everything worth it and everything that is right.
Remember, if you have loose thoughts, don’t make yourself feel bad. Just stop the bad picture in your head; leave the trigger, and go on to new pictures. You can talk to friends about the bad pictures in your head. They’ll understand and help. Just call:

Chat 23 - Tiger Fences

Chat 23 - Tiger Fences

Hallo to you. Tumi here, your tiger friend. Now, put me down. See I sit away from you. I am on my own, I’m my own tiger. But we need each other for our chat. So, we agreed: each of us can have our own space. But not too far away, right? We can be very close … if you give me one of those huge tiger hugggs. [pause]

Ohhhhh yeees, that’s rrright.
Now put me on our story bench, that’s right, your right knee. I want to tell you about my uncle, Thaba Tiger. You know what Thaba means, hey? [pause]

Mountain. Now, uncle Thaba has a nice hill on his farm. There is a cave with coloured drawings in it. You should see these drawings, of little men and little animals, so cool. But other tigers came to the cave and wrote silly things on the walls. So uncle Thaba placed a fence around the hill. The fence is to protect this hill that is precious to him. Other tigers can only come inside the fence when he says so, when he gives them purrrmission. He put up his fence to show where other tigers may not pass. We call that a boundary.
We also have our fences. But it isn’t a fence made out of poles and wire around ourselves. Our boundaries are to say clearly what we like and don’t like. My body is precious to me, so I have fences that other tigers cannot cross. You too. Other tigers, errr … persons, should know about your fences.
This is all about a big word: respect … Hey, first you say, what is respect to you? [pause].

Yes. Respect is when others think you are special – so special that they will not cross your fences. They will not ask you to do things that you do not feel good about. But this is also important: Father God knows what is special to you. First you know that Father God loves you and cares for you. He shows you how to build your fences. So that you and other people do not hurt each other.
But before you can build your fences, you must know something very important. Hold me to your right ear. [pause]
You must first like yourself. Then you will know what you can or cannot do. I don’t let others touch me if I don’t like it. I will not try things that are dangerous, like diving off a cliff into the river. How can you build your fences? First, listen to your heart: if you don’t feel good, don’t do it. Then, listen to your head: can or may you do it?
If you know your fences, you can tell other tigers about it. How? You do the talk and you walk the walk. First the talk. You must make clear what you will do and will not do. Learn to say when you don’t want to do something. My friend Thulani Tiger, doesn’t want to say what she feels. She is afraid she will lose her friends. You must learn to say NO and mean it. There are two not so nice ways to say NO.
You say NO with a growl – like go away! But then you lose your friends and their respect.
You say NO with a whimper – like oh, I don’t really mean it, sorry. Then you lose your friends’ respect.
But the best way is: You say NO and mean it: “I won’t do it and if you really are my friends, you will respect me.” Then you win your friends and their respect.
But then you must also walk like a true tiger. Stand up straight. You are a tiger. Be honost about how you feel. And say straight how you see things.
Do you want to see me standing on my hind legs? Hold me up like this. Now, if you stand on your knees, you can give me a last tiger huggg. Remember, if you want rrreaaly good friends to help you stand up straight, you can call the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy, right here where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 24 - Tiger Talks

Chat 24 - Tiger Talks

Hallo again! This is Tumi, your talking tiger buddy. Now hold me closer to your face. I want to tell you something [silence 10 seconds]. Did you hear anything? No. That is because I said nothing. I kept quiet. When we tigers don’t talk, how can others hear or know if something bad happened to us? Hold me close to your left ear, but not too close. Listen now: Rooaaaar [tiny tiger roar, not to scare kids]. Did you hear me? Am I a tiger or am I not a tiger? [pause]

Oh yes, you see, we tigers roar [imitate the noise again] when there is danger, or when we get hurt. OK. Now put me on our story bench, your right knee. Remember my uncle Tumelo Tiger? One day he walked into the longer grass, he saw the sun shine on something. When he walked closer, he heard Clang … click … clang! It was a trap. Uncle Tumelo roared hard. And my dad, Tandile Tiger, heard him roar. He ran and helped uncle Tumelo. How did my dad do it? [talk softer]. He knows how a tiger trap works. There are two levers that you have to pull, then the trap opens. So, you must be a clever tiger, like my dad.
But did you know? Traps are not only things in the grass. I remember my friend Thatau Tiger at our tiger school. One day Thatau cried when he was alone. On that day I saw the red scratches on his arm. So Thatau talked to me. I saw he was trapped. His mom’s friend really hurt him bad. So I helped him call a special number. Now Thatau is in a safe place, his mom’s friend cannot harm him. You want to know something very important? Place me at our secrets ear, your right one. [talk softer] You learn to open traps. Listen carefully. There are two levers to remember.
Talk hard. We tigers know how to roaaar. If you don’t say something, then others won’t know and you will still be in the trap.
Talk clever: Sometimes things are just bad, like what happened to my cousin Thula, when her uncle touched her private parts and she was so scared. Then she told her auntie Tiger, but her auntie did not believe her. So she couldn’t really trust her. She did not talk for a long time. But finally she talked to someone she knew she could really trust. And she got help. If you need help, find a tiger you can trust – know that person will do the right thing. It could be a friend or your pastor. Then don’t be afraid that they will think you are bad.
You must also look out for friends like Thatau Tiger or Thula Tiger. If you see that bad things are happening to your friends, then you must roooaaar for them. Ask them what is wrong. Then listen clever:
Stay calm and don’t get upset if you hear bad things.
Don’t say things that will make your friend feel bad.
Don’t ask your friend to tell you everything, like all the detail.
Just say you believe your friend and that you both must tell someone who will help.
You are a tiger, so you must learn to roooaaar. And help other tigers to also do that. Did you hear how I can roaaar? Can you roaaar? Let me hear. [pause]

Wow, that is what I call a load tiger. And you know the special number, where you can find friends who know how to listen clever. You can call the number hidden inside my tummy.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 25 - Tiger Hide

Chat 25 - Tiger Hide

Hallo, Tumi Tiger here. … Pick me up so I can see your face. I like looking into your eyes. You can see a lot in another tiger’s eye. When he is happy, or when he is sad. Also when that tiger is afraid or hurt. You know what some tigers do when there’s danger or when they get hurt? They hide away. No, not a game like hide and seek. They lie in the bushes, or hide under the long leaves. There they think they can get away from what is hurting them.
What do you do when you are in trouble or hurt? Do you also hide under the long leaves? Sometimes one just feels: “I must get away.” But you know when we tigers have this problem, we can do two things. Of course we can turn and run or hide. Or, we can stand strong and face the problem.
Place me on our story bench, your right knee. I will tell you about the great bush fire. One day I was with my dad, Tandile Tiger. He was teaching me how to jump. We tigers can jump far. After our chat you can make me jump, very high OK? Now, you know what my dad, Tandile’s name means? [pause]

It means fire. And that is just what we saw.
I heard Dad Tandile’s roaaar: “Rrrrrun, Tumi!” [imitate louder roar and gruff voice – but not to frighten child]. Fire! We saw the flames creeping up. It jumped across the road. Now it was on both sides of us. Oh!I just wanted to turn around and get away from the fire! But the flames were coming closer very fast. Then Dad Tandile cried: “The fire will catch you and burn you. Look at me, Tumi!” And then my dad took my paw. We ran as fast as we could – into the fire. I screamed. But Dad pulled me. And then we were through. Phew. The fire did not burn me or my dad. We made it.
You know, wise tigers say: If you hide under the long leaves, the hurt stays longer. Sometimes your hiding place is not in real bushes or long grass. Sometimes you hide in here. Tap me on my heart. [pause]

Yes, that’s where you hide. You just keep the hurt inside and don’t tell any tiger, errr … person, about it. You don’t go out to play with other cubs, errr … kids, and you just want to sleep or lie down. But then you hide so deep, you do not know how to get out.
Tell me: Where do you hide away when you get hurt? Do you just close up, and not talk and play with other kids? Let me tell you what I saw: The fire was there. I knew and my dad knew: It would not go away. If you run, it will follow you. You will get rrrreally hurt. So you have to do two things:
Stand: You must know and tell yourself: This is my problem, and I must do something.
Face: Face the fire. You think of how you can change things. Talk to someone you can trust. If you are ready to face the fire, you can call the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or a councillor, to discuss these things.

Now let me tell you something important. When you hide from hurt, you are not alone. When you don’t know how to get out and talk to other tigers or play with your friends, you should know you have a special Friend. Your VBF, Very Best Friend, Jesus, is there, in your heart, where you are hiding. He will give you the courage and strength.
Now, face me, look into my yellow eyes. Hold me close and give me a tiger huggg for the day

Aahhhh … you are such a special friend.

Chat 26 - Tiger Inside

Chat 26 - Tiger Inside

Hallo there; Tumi, your tiger friend here. Tell me: How do I look? [pause]. You know, I asked my brother Themba Tiger. He said: “you look with your eyes, hey.” Duh … Themba can be funny sometimes. Now look at me through your eyes. I bet you don’t know the colour of your eyes. Say it closer to my left ear. [pause]. Oh yes, you have beautiful eyes. Now, what colour are my eyes? [pause] Yep, that’s me: black and yellow-eyes Tumi! You see me how I look from the outside.
Now, I think of my auntie Thoho Tiger. She likes to look good. So, she uses charcoal to make some more stripes around her eyes. Nice black stripes make her eyes stand out. She is one tiger with beautiful green eyes. Yes, she is verrrry pretty, … if you look from the outside.
You can see how you look on the outside, and make yourself look even better. Yerrs, like auntie Thoho Tiger. But what about your inside? That is the side you don’t see. What’s inside of me? You can give me a soft squeeze just below my neck; or squeeze my leg. [pause]. Whooa, buddy, softly, hey! Do you feel it – that is just the stuffing in me. Yes, I am a play tiger, so I have some things stuffed into me to make me nice to hold. See? [pause]
But let me tell you something verrry special. Hold me to your right ear – that’s our ear for sharing. The nice stuffing is not what makes me who I rrrreally am. After our chat, when you open my Tumi tummy, you find this little box. This is where my voice comes from. This is also where I think and feel happy or sad. This is my Tumi heart. The stuffing is just to make me look soft and look nice on the outside, and to protect the little box. You see it is what’s inside of the stuffing that matters, that’s who I rrreaaly am.
Now place me on our story bench, your right knee. I want to tell you about my uncle Thabo. He went to visit his friend in the city zoo. He had to go quietly in the night, so that people wouldn’t see him. He came to a cold and dark place. He saw lots of wild animals just standing there. “Oh, I am glad I found the zoo in the dark,” he thought. He also saw a tiger. He was glad to meet another tiger. “Hallo there, tiger friend,” he cried. The tiger did not move or answer him! So, my uncle got cross and went to shake the tiger. Then, he saw the tiger was not alive. “Where am I?” He growled softly. Do you know where? [pause]. He was not in the zoo. He was in a museum – that’s a place full of animals that are stuffed to look real from the outside. Just for the show.
But, remember, you are more than just stuffing. What is rrreaally inside you? Your heart, how you feel, what you think? These make you stronger when you have to handle a problem, like when you get hurt, or want to help another tiger, errr … person. We tigers say: Show your true colours from the inside. Do other people see what is rrrrealy inside of you? Yes. We talk of character. This is more than just the stuff that makes you look nice on the outside. This is what makes you special, who you are.
But some tigers do not show who they really are. They try to be better and stronger than what they really are. So, this is just like stuffing. They do things just for show. Then they are like that tiger in the museum, not real. They can fool some tigers. But, let me ask you. Why do they want to be like another tiger? [Whisper] It’s because they do not feel good about themselves.
But you, my buddy? You don’t have to try to be like another tiger, errr …. person. Say to yourself: I am more than just stuffing. Father God gave you character, what is inside of you. And you can feel good about it. Now, if you can give my outside another squeeze, a nice tiger hugggg, then I feel rrreeally good about myself on the inside. If you want to talk about what’s in your heart to real friends, you can call the number hidden inside my tummy.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 27 - Tiger Fellows

Chat 27 - Tiger Fellows

Hi there, this is Tumi Tiger. I’m your playfriend, of course. We are good buddies. And you know what buddies do? First give me a huge tiger hugggg. AAAhhhh ooh, that’s rrrreally good. What do buddies do? We look out for each other. That is why we are together. Now tell me: who are the tigers, err … people, who are closest to you? Let’s say you can make a picture of the people who are around you. Who would be in your picture?OK, I’ll go first. There’s my dad, Tandile and my mom, Thandiwe; I have my brother, Themba, and my sister, Thandi; and then we also have another sister, Tate Tiger. See, her parents died. So my dad and mom tigers adopted her. That means we made her part of our family, like a new sister. In our larger family there is my uncle, Thaba, and my aunt, Thoho; and ‘humm’ I also have a granddad, Tandile, and a grandmother, Thobeka Tiger. We have a tiger pack and the leader of our pack is not one of our family. His name is Themba Tiger Chief – like my brother’s name.
Now tell me: Who is the leader of your pack? The one who is in charge and runs your jungle, errr … country? Tell me at my right ear, for secrets. [pause]

Oh, that chief? I bet he can roar and walk like a big tiger.
Now hold me on your lap. Think of your picture and the other tigers, errrr … people, in it. If you take the people away? You will be just one tiger – on your own. That would not be nice, hey?See, you need other tigers around you. So we call them our fellow tigers, errr … men. You hear grownups talk about “the world”. What do they mean? Think about your world. This is all the people: around you, but also people in other places, in other countries. People make up the world that you live in.
So, you see, tigers cannot say: “I don’t need other tigers”? And people need other people. Think about the way you talk. You talk like your mom and dad and people like you. Also, when you do things you see other tigers do, you know, tiger things, we call that customs, like going to church. You are part of other people. You learn from them, so later on you can teach others these things.
Did I tell you how my dad, Tandile Tiger, taught me how to jump – faaaaar. Tigers have strong legs and muscles. Show me your muscles. [pause].

Those are biiiig muscles. Now, feel my muscles. [pause]

No, also on my legs, hey! [pause]

You see, we tigers have to jump when there is danger or we want to move quickly. So, I also taught my younger sister, Thandi, the trick of jumping. And one day there was a tree full of juicy red fruits. But the branches were thin, so I could not climb the tree. So Thandi jumped into the tree and picked some fruit. She is smaller than me, so she could stand on the thin branches.
Now you see? If you are there for other tigers – they will be there for you when you need them. Some humans call this Ubuntu. It means: you are a tiger, errr … a person, because other people look out for you. So you help them. Now, there is a special place, where you can pray and worship Father God. This is the church. In church you and your fellow men are together and you worship Father God together. Do you know what? You can also talk with Father God about others. Think of someone you want to pray for. Just say: “Father God, I want to ask this …” And then, you say what you want to ask for this person.
If you want to talk to other people, fellow men, who rrreally care, call
the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 28 - Tiger Turns

Chat 28 - Tiger Turns

Hallo there. This is Tumi, your playfriend. First give me one of our huge tiger hugggs [pause].

Ohhhh, aaah, this is a good thing. Remember to give your mom and dad and your friends a huggg. That will help start their day in a very happy way. A hug a day help you feel goooood, hey?
Do you know why we can have these special times together? Someone chose to give me as a present to you. No, I’m not only a soft play tiger. I chose to be your special friend, your tiger buddy. But before that, someone chose to make me like I am today: a nice, soft tiger to hold and cuddle. Hold me up. [pause]

Can you see my lovely yellow coat and black stripes? Someone chose me to bring Father God’s good news to cubs, errr … kids, like you. Don’t you think I am a nice present? Hold me close and I will tell you something really special. You see, before I was made, someone listened to Father God when He gave this idea. Father God made the big Plan: He wants all the people in the world to be close to Him. So that He can love them and care for them. And He uses little play tigers like me. Yup.

So, you see, there were a lot of choices so that I could be in your arms right now. These are good choices. But people can also make bad choices. They can have the wrong plans that work out badly and hurt others. We tigers say: What you eat, others can smell from your breath. Now you must know, there is not always food for us tigers in the wild. One day I was walking in the field. I was hungry and I saw verrrry lovely little plants growing. It looked like verrry tiny tiger chairs and tables. Verrry pretty, red with white spots on them. I bent down and gulped a few of the tiny tables. When I got back to the den my tummy was sore. It was like sharp stones scraping inside me. My mom, Thandiwe Tiger, smelled and said: “Poisonous mushrooms. Quick, get doctor Softpaw.” I was verrry sick.

You see, eating is like choosing. How do you start? In 1 John 2:16 the Bible tells us about the bad things. You see something with your eyes. And you want to have it so much… that you make the wrong choice. Like Thoho Tiger who saw a play car lying outside the gate of our den. He knew it was my brother, Themba’s toy. But he just took it. He chose to make as if the toy car was his. But! He got caught out and felt rrrreally ashamed.

We tigers also say: When you make the wrong turn, you get lost in the woods. Now I want you to think back. How did you choose in the past week? You see, you had to make some tiger turns.

It can be a little turn, like if you want to put on your warm jacket or not.
That can become a bigger turn, when you see some kid who’s cold and getting sick, and you will not lend him your spare jacket.
It becomes a huge turn when you steal a warm jacket in the shop. Then it’s like a tiger getting lost in the woods. You have a bad ending to the choice.

In a short time, we can make lots of tiger turns. When you take a rrreally bad turn, you can end up in a bad place. Like when you choose not to do your school homework and then you get in trouble at school. You may even fail a test. And then you feel bad. It’is a sad ending … sniff [tiger noise]. But I want to tell you something. Hold out your paws, errr … your hands. Now, think of Father God. He holds each of us in his hands. He is with you. Even when you make the wrong turn, He is with you. So you know: If you made the wrong turn and ended up in a bad place, you can turn back. Say to yourself: I can make a tiger turn. [pause]

You don’t have to fail. Now, if you want to talk to real friends about bad turns, call the special number hidden inside my Tumi tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

You know what the best choice is for now? If you would choose to rrrub my tummy, and then I’ll ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Chat 29 - Tiger Fights

Chat 29 - Tiger Fights

Hallo, my playfriend! This is Tumi, your tiger buddy. Before we do anything else, how about one of those nice tiger hugggs? Aaaahhh yeeeaah. You know: A hug a day keeps the tears away. Can you remember when we last had our chat? Was it the day before yesterday? OK, I don’t want to quarrrrel with you. Now that we are close, do you know what makes me really cross? When some other tiger rubs me the wrong way. If they rub me backwards from my tail to my head, and then press my ears flat against my head, then, grrrrr [tiger low growl]. Right, you are my play buddy. You may have one rub the wrong way [pause].

Hmm, grrrrr … You see, I don’t like it, even if you are my friend.
Do you also sometimes get the feeling that you want to turn and growl at other tigers, errr … people? Like you want to say nasty things to them and you aren’t sure why? Sometimes I can be like that with other tigers. I don’t mean to be nasty, but sometimes before I know what happens, I turn and growl at them.

So, I went to ask my mom, Thandiwe Tiger: “Why do I have this feeling in me? I just want to fight.” Then she told me: “Look at Themba, your brother. Why do you always have to try and beat him? You try to get the best snacks first. Or you try to run faster and jump higher?”
Then I said: “But, Mom, I CAN beat Themba in running and jumping.” So she just said: “Exactly.” When we have finished our chat, you can make me jump verrrry high, right?
You know, then I saw it: My problem is that I always try to be better than other tiger cubs. I just want to win, like in a competition. I think, other tigers will only like me if I am a winner. So Mom told me that Father God knows what is going on inside us.
Did you know there is a verse in the Bible about being nasty? We find it in Galatians 5:14-15. Father God wants us to: Love others as we like ourselves. But just listen to what we do: We keep on biting each other, until we have eaten each other. Oh. Now, this means we growl and turn and bite – saying nasty things. Sometimes we rrrreally hurt other tigers.
Do you know why we do this? Mom Thandiwe is a wise tiger. “Tumi,” Mom said, “Remember one thing. “Yerrrss?” I asked, just feeling ready to growl again. “You are not the only tiger in the world.” Like, I know that. “Yerrss, Mom” (low growl). “So, you cannot just think about what you want. You live together with other tigers, like your sisters and your brother, Themba, but also with other cubs like Thatau Tiger.” “I don’t like him …” I said (low growl). Mom said: “Exactly. You must first think of other tigers. If you try to be better than others and want everything to go your way, you will just be unhappy and growl all day.”

Want to know something special? Hold me at your right ear [pause]. We tigers say: Tigers who just growl, don’t grow. You must remember that you will not always get what you want, or get everything right. Things cannot just be sweet and easy. You know, it’s like when Mom Tiger puts some salt in the soup. Have you tasted salt? Yeghhrrr (low growl). But salt in soup makes it taste better, hey? So you see, it is good for you if things are sometimes hard and not as you want them. Then you get stronger and learn. Tigers, errr … people, that always get the best of everything, do not learn to be strong. They stay weak.

But you are strong. You know you don’t have to be bigger, faster and better, or prettier than other human cubs, errrr … kids. Because you are the tiger that Father God wants you to be. So, you can like who you are. If you rrrreally have problems with feelings ,like you want to turn and bite others, talk to friends who won’t bite back. Then you can callthe number hidden inside my tummy Just look where my voice is hidden. Here inside my Tumi tummy.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Now, let’s end this chat with a nice tiger huggg. You see: A hug a day, keeps the fights away … hey!

Chat 30 - Tiger Paws

Chat 30 - Tiger Paws

Hi there. You know me well by now. I’m Tumi Tiger, your playfriend.I bet: You can’t guess what my favorite part of our chats is. [pause]

Oh, yes, you know? Then give me one of our nice tiger hugggs to start with. Aaahhhh that feels grrrreaaaat [low growl].
Take a look at my paws. Yes, you can touch them if you want to; or give me a paw shake. [pause]

That’s it, we are palls, aren’t we? Now show me your paws, errr … hands. [pause]

They are a bit bigger than mine, hey? You must see my dad Tandile Tiger’s paws. They are about a hundred times larger than mine, but my uncle Thabo has massive paws – it’s like the roof of a large cave. For some tigers, large paws make them the stronger tiger.
Tigers with the bigger paws can act nasty towards tigers who are smaller and weaker. There is a bad bully at our jungle school. We other tigers are not as big and strong. So, we just give in. Yeah, we do what this bully wants. Even if we don’t want to. This we call power. Do you also have bullies at your school? [pause].

I hear you. Rrrreal baddies, hey! You know, there are also those tigers, err … persons, who want to be the best, in the top of their class, or in sport. So then they cheat and shove others out of the way. Just so that they can be on top. They do not worry if they hurt other tigers. Because to them these tigers are not important, you know, those with smaller paws.
And, other people can also bully you just by the way they make you feel. Say they make you feel bad about something that you did. I know, my auntie Tobeta Tiger will never let me forget that I tied her baby tiger’s tail into a knot. Not tight, hey, just tied. But I was only a baby tiger at the time, hey. Other strong tigers can also make you feel bad about yourself: you think that you are the one that’s always wrong. You feel: I am not good enough. This, is bad power, it can hurt very deeply.
Now, place me on our story bench; that’s it, your right knee. I want to tell you about my cousin, Thandiwe Tiger. Yep, the same name as my mom. She got a job as a waitress at the Green Fern Café. One day we visited her and saw how she ran around. She always has to take other tiger’s orders. Sometimes, tigers are just mean to her: “No, kitten, this mushroom soup is so soppy.” But she just smiles and brings the gnarling tiger new soup. But she looks really happy every time we see her. Then she says: “Tumi, I know that I serve other tigers. This is my job, and I do it well.”
We tigers also say: Those with large paws are not always the strongest. This is very important. Listen carefully. Put me close to our sharing ear. Oh yes, your right ear. You see, it is not hard to act strong and shove other tigers out of the way, like a bully. But when you are rrrealy strong, and a tall tiger, how do you show this power? Real power is to have the bigger paws and use it to help others who can’t help themselves. Like the other night when uncle Thabo carried an old tiger who was too weak and could not stand up anymore. This is a good use of power, don’t you think?
Now, place me on your lap. Listen to what our VBF, Verrrry best Friend, Jesus, said to his close friends – his disciples. In Mark 9:35, He said: Those that are rrrreally strong, they serve others. Serve? This means, they are there for others and are good to those who just need a friend. You know, like a waiter, who makes you feel good and enjoy the meal. So, if you’re rrreally strong, you are like a waiter bringing Father God’s care to others, so that they feel special too. Now, if you want to serve me, you can scratch me behind my ear. Oh! That feels grrrrreat. Do you have a problem with someone who makes you feel small or hurts you? You can talk to friends who are ready to serve you. Why? Because you’re special. And, you know just to call the number hidden inside my tummy.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 31 - Tiger Terror

Chat 31 - Tiger Terror

Hallo there. I am Tumi. And you are? [pause].

Heh heh heh [nice tiger chuckle]. I knew that. Just having a tiger chuckle with my special friend. Today I want to talk about important things. First, give me one of our tiger hugggs. [pause].

Ahhh yeeaah. That’s it. Now, I want you to go to your safe place. You remember: the place that you think about. Where you feel calm and we can talk about the serious stuff. First, I want to know if I can trust you. You will not tell this to other tigers? [pause].

OK, now place me on our story bench, you know, your right knee.
One day I was playing with my friend, Thoho Tiger. We were getting close to the woods. I saw the dark alleys through the trees. It looked so scary. I was afraid. But I did not want Thoho to see. So, I went after Thoho. Suddenly … BANG …BANG! Something bit into the tree trunk where I was hiding. But Thoho?

I saw him lying on his side. I saw blood. He was hit in his leg. When I went to him, I suddenly, ouh!, felt a sting in my tail. Something bit me as well. Aaawrrr, ouch!! You see this black patch at the end of my tail? [pause]

It hit me just there. Now, I tried to help Thoho get up. But he could not stand up. I had to pull him behind a shrub. There we could both hide. I was so scared … I couldn’t breathe. And then I heard a rustle behind me. I jumped into the air. You remember how high I can jump? I was so scared. Then, I saw a huge paw! It was Tandile Tiger, my dad. He came when he heard the BANGS. He carried Thoho out of the woods. But I could not remember how we got to our den.

Thoho Tiger was hurt. He couldn’t walk anymore and play with us other cubs. When I think back, I don’t want to see that picture again: Thoho lying there. I was so scared, I could not move a paw. Now put me on your lap. Tell me: Can you think of something rrrrealy bad that happened to you? Or maybe to a friend? You know, like you are having a bad dream, but you are not sleeping? This we call terrrror. We tigers say terrroaaar. It is the worst thing that could happen. Terrrrooaar frightens us and hurts us. This is like what happened back in the woods. When I close my eyes, I still see that picture, Thoho lying there ... But I don’t see it so clearly any more. I want to forget. So, what happens? It comes back in my dreams. In my bad dreams I am still back in the woods.

How do you get out of the woods? You take tiny tiger steps. Tiny steps. You must first say to yourself: This terror is not going to trap me. I want to break free of the bad thing that happened to me. Then you take the first tiger step: See what rrrreally happened. It’s like you colour a picture. Go back to that place and don’t try to look away. Then you colour the picture further: Feel what happened. How did you feel? If you say “scared”, ask yourself, “why did it scare me?” Then, for a third step you must talk: What do you want to say to the one who hurt you? Like the man who was shooting at me and Thoho? Talk straight, as if that person is right here in front of you. If you need to say bad things, do it. It is okay. You can trust Tumi.

Now, change the picture that you have. Like, draw a new picture. Think: How could I have changed things? I could have pulled Thoho out of the deep woods. Or I could have charged and scared off the bad person. So you go through it, all again. But now you draw the picture like yóu want it. If you can do this, then you are ready to leave that place, in the dark woods. This is the last step. Do not turn around again. And you will feel free.

Now you take tiny steps. Maybe you cannot see clearly what happened. Then go back and look again. It’s like you colour the picture. Think again, how it made you feel. Maybe you still want to say things to the one who hurt you. Do it. This is to make you feel better. But you must remember: These are just a few tiger steps to help you turn around and look the terror in the eye. This is not a quick way to get better on your own. If you still have deep problems about this rrrrealy bad thing, talk to someone who can help. You may call the number hidden inside my Tumi tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Now, I know how you and I can take our tiny tiger steps. First, scratch me behind my left ear, … then my right ear … then underneath my chin. Ahhh purrrr, tiny tiger steps is just the thing …

Chat 32 - Tiger Past

Chat 32 - Tiger Past

Hi there, this is Tumi. Do you remember me? Can you think back on our tiger chats? And remember all the things we chatted about? Of course not. It is true, tigers do forget things. But you know, some things we just never forget. We just pack them away deep inside. I told you about that bully in our jungle school? You remember? This bully’s name is Tau Tiger. Do you know what Tau means? [pause]

aLion. So, this one thinks he is a tall tiger, like a lion. He is not like us and can do as he likes. One day he just shoved me. I fell on the ground and scraped my chin. Feel under my chin – just there was a very bad sore. It became a scar – an ugly mark I carry around. And so, I do will not forget what happened. I say to myself: One day … I will hit back … when my paws are also big. Just you wait, Tau.
Oops, you see, I sit here and carry on. But I forgot the special way that we start our chats. You did not forget, did you? Now give me a nice, long tiger hugggg. [pause]

Ahhh … ooohhh grrreat. This I will always remember. Now, where was I? Oh yes, Tau, and me wanting to hit back. So, after that I walked around with this picture in my head. I saw how I shove Tau. And he did not only scrape his face. Oh no, he broke his nose. So there. But I just kept on seeing this bad picture, it was eating me from the inside.
Then I remembered Thatau Tiger. Place me on our story bench, yes, your right knee. Thatau was fishing with a paw line, like us tigers do. He stood by the river and … got a bite. A little fish got hooked onto his line. Then suddenly … a large fish swallowed the little one. And Thatau was pulling in the line. He was fighting with the large fish. But, but… the thing in the water was pulling him in! “Let go, Thatau!” we cried, where we were sitting higher up on the bank. But he just hold onto the line. His paws were bleeding, but he just held on. Then, from the bank we saw it: an ugly green log with eyes. “Crocodile!” we all screamed. But Thatau, who was lower at the river, did not see it. So I ran to him: “Crocodile, let go NOW!” He let go and was free. Phew, that was close. But no crocodile will eat him.
See, this is the same if we cannot forget bad things that others did to us. You see, it starts with something small, like somebody shoves you. Then it becomes a bigger “thing” between you and the person who hurt you. And then, the feeling grows even bigger, it’s like trying to pull in a crocodile. You cannot let go. You end up getting pulled in deeper and deeper. Hold me to our sharing ear. Yes, your right one. Did you, Thatau was rrreally the one that was caught – , well, nearly. What did he have to do? He had to choose: keep holding on or let go? And then he was free, like, on the spot. He set himself free, not the crocodile. You see, this is not about how you feel. It is what you choose. You do three things when you choose.
Let go – stop yourself from feeling that you want to hit back. Don’t keep on seeing that picture of how you hurt the other one.
Let know – stop feeling the hurt and seeing the bad pictures. You can now talk about it. You can tell the other person: “I put things behind us.” This we call forgiveness. Or you can say softly to yourself: “I forgive you.” Then you can forget what happened. Stop the bad picture in your head, and move on.
Let grow – now you are ready for a new picture to grow in your head. You don’t want to hurt the other tiger, errrr… person. Now you want the other one to be happy and also free. So you see a nice new picture.
But also remember: Thatau Tiger cut his paws trying to cling to that ‘thing’. So, you are free like now, but you need to get healed. You are hurt from the inside and you have made things worse by keeping the bad pictures in your head. So, remember, this will take time. But you can start by saying: “I am free from the ‘thing’ that was eating me from the inside.” Your crocodile is in the past.
But you and I are here now. And if you want to rub my tummy, maybe I can forget that I want to ZZZZ. [Briefly awake between snores] Oh, and if you want to talk about something eating you, you can call the number hidden inside my tiger tummy. Remember to look where my voice is hidden.
Also find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 33 - Tiger Happy

Chat 33 - Tiger Happy

Oh, there you are. It’s grrreat to see you. We always have a trrrruly good time together. Now, first I want you to sit and think: What rrrrealy makes you a happy tiger, errr … kid? What makes you just feel: Life is good; everything fits nicely together. Just think about these things. Now, name the two best things: the first [pause];
OK, the second [pause]. I hear you, my friend. Now, I don’t have to tell you what makes me tiger happy. That, is to be close to you, and when you give me one of those tiger hugggs. [pause]

Ahhhh grrreaat.
Do you know what I was doing before our chat? Guess [pause]. No, not quite. I was looking at my brother Themba’s Tiger cycle. It is like, what do you call it? Oh yeeerrs, a bicycle. Do you have a bicycle, or a tri-cycle? [pause].

Themba’s tiger cycle has two wheels with spokes. You know, what makes it go around.
Do you know what happens when he rides his tiger cycle? All the spokes mix together … with a lovely whirrrrrr. And I get the feeling that everything just fits nicely. But then one day … BUMP! Oh no! He hit a stone in the bush path. The one spoke was bent. So, when he then rode his tiger cycle, I heard: whacrararra, whacrararra, whacrararra. No more nice, soft whirrrrr.
Now, hold me close to your right ear, I want to tell you something special. [pause]

Did you know? This is how things are when you feel happy and well. Who you are on the inside and what you do fit together nicely. Put me on your lap and I will show you [pause].

Like the spokes of Themba’s tiger cycle’s wheel, you also have different parts that make you, who you rrreally are.
See, I’m a tiger, and you, are a human cub. I have an outside part: that is my body that you are holding. Look at my arms and my legs and tail … and my tummy. So, I must eat the right food. I must get enough sleep and also enough exercise to give me a nice, healthy body. Look at your body and feel your tummy. Take a deep breath. [pause]

Do you look after your outside part, your body? Mm. But remember, how you look from the outside, is just one part. OK.

There is another outside part: That is how you behave when you are with other tigers, errrr … people. Do you make friends easily? Some tigers are shy and do not know how to be in front of other tigers. You spend your time with other people. You need others around you. So, you must learn how to be a good friend as well.

Then, there is a whole different part, and that is how you feel and how you think. Others can see how we feel. But we can show people we are happy and maybe feel sad on the inside. Or, we can be straight and show people how we really feel. That’s our choice, how much we want to share and show people of what we think and feel.
Do you know how you really feel about things, and then say so? Do you feel good about yourself? In school we have to think hard sometimes! Some tigers can think and figure things out better than others. They are good at making sums. But sometimes they do not know how to treat other tigers, or how to be friends. Then it’s like a bent spoke in their wheel: whacrararra, whacrararra, whacrararra!

Oh yes. And then, there is your spirit, the part deep inside of you. This part no other tiger sees. Here you get close to things that you cannot see or touch. But you know it is there. When you are close to Father God, He lives inside you. So, your spirit is where Father God turns you into the tiger, errr … person. He wants you to be. If you just stay close to Father God, but don’t want to worship with others, then it’s also like a spoke that is bent and, whacrararra, whacrararra, whacrararra …
Now, ask me: “How are you?” [pause].

“I am well, thank you.” Did you know? This is like saying: “I am together.” So, the different parts of your life, who you are and what you do, fits nicely. If you are not ‘together’, it means on the inside you do not feel good and it shows on the outside. Yerrrss, like a bent spoke in your wheel. But, when you are ‘together’, you look after yourself, your body. Stay clean, and healthy. No dirty nails. See my nails, nicely pulled in, and smooth.
This is important: to feel well, all the parts must fit nicely together. Do not forget: Your outside, your body, is also special. If you feel good on the inside, it will show on the outside. You will make sure you are clean and a nice tiger to be with. Remember, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19, your body is the place where Father God lives with his good Spirit. So, say to yourself: My body, my outside, is also important. [pause].

Now, you know what makes me feel ‘together’ and well? If you can stroke me from the top of my head down to my tail. Ahhh, I am well. If you want to talk to good friends about how you can be happy and well, call the number hidden inside my tummy.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 34 - Tiger News

Chat 34 - Tiger News

Hallo my friend. I’m Tumi Tiger, your playfriend. And now, we are together again. That’s good news. You know what I’m rrreally looking forward to? One of our big and friendly tiger hugggs. Like now. [pause]

Ahhh yeeah, that I can take any day. Now: Do you know the name of the newspaper people read in your area? [pause]

I see [catering for various responses]. Our pack of tigers read the Jungle Scout. But isn’t it funny? There are so many sad tales, bad news, in the newspaper. So, why do tigers, errr… people) buy it? One morning my Dad, Tandile Tiger, was reading the Scout. My Mom, Thandiwe, said: “I wish there was some good news for a change.” Dad said: “No, Thandi, tigers like bad news. Good news does not sell newspapers.”
An important thing about the news in the newspaper or on the TV: Those things are not just stories from far away. Those are things happening close to you. You become part of the story, or you are glad you are not part of some bad news. Now, you know, not all the news is bad. Think about your favourite sports team. Tell me their name. [pause]

Say it in my left ear. [pause].

Oh, that team. My team is the Grrreat Grrrowlers. Now, what happens when our teams win? Ah, oh yes. It’s grrrreat news, and we are part of it ...? Huh? No. You and I did not play, they played for us.
Now you can hold me close to your right ear. I want to tell you something very special. You and I are part of a Grrreater Team. We do not only hear the good news. We are really part of it. And here’s the best news. We are part of Father God’s Story. If you have a Bible at home, you can ask your mom and dad or the people looking after you, to show you. The Bible is like one large library full of adventure stories. Can you name any of the books in the Bible? [pause]

Uh-huh. Did you know? The Bible has two parts. First is the part about Father God Who made the earth and takes care of his people. This is called the Old Testament. This part also gives bad news: the people did not love Father God back. They turned away from him. That would have been their end.
But, Father God made a promise that He will make a new world and set things right. That’s where the second part of the Bible comes in, the New Testament. It is God’s new Agrrreement: “Things will be rrright from there on,” He promised. And then, Father God sent his Son, Jesus, to be like one of us, like a rrrreal tiger, errrr … human.
Now place me on our story bench. Yup, your right knee. [pause]

You see? Our jungle stops just before a cliff. Tigers from older times put up notices warning: “Danger, cliff ahead. Turn back.” But what do the tigers do? They just walk toward that cliff. One day I was verrrry naughty. I went to the cliff and looked … and my foot slipped! I only gripped on with my paws. “Oh no! This is the end,” I thought. When I looked down, I saw: Tumelo Tiger, my friend. He jumped off after me to help me. Rrrreally! He got hold of a tree – just below me. So, I could stand on his head. This tree was rrrealy good news to me. And you know what Tumelo means? [pause]

Faith. It says: You can believe, everything will be alright. So my friend, faith, almost gave his life. He did it to save me …
You know, that’s what the Bible tells us. First it’s bad news: People don’t listen to the danger signs. “I will make it on my own,” they say. Then they slip. They begin to think and say and do bad things that hurt Father God. When you turn away from Father God, you end up unhappy. But then we hear the good news. And this is the Best News: We have a VBF, our Verrry best Friend, Jesus. He gave his life to save us, to bring us back to Father God.
Jesus teaches us to love Father God back. You know, without Father God, we are in a bad, bad state. It is like being verrrry ill. Have you ever been sick before? [pause]

I’m sure your Mom or Dad or the people who take care of you called the doctor, and he gave you the right medicine, rrrright? [pause] Now this is the Grrreat News. Our VBF, Jesus, is like the right Medicine for us. He says in Mark 2:17 that He is there for people who need a doctor, to show them the right path. What do you think about this Good, Best, Grrreat News? [pause]

I think we can tell Father God. You listen, I’ll talk for both of us: “Father God, thank you for your right Medicine, Jesus, our Friend.” Now, if you still need to talk to friends about bad news, call the special number hidden inside my Tumi tummy.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 35 - Tiger Chance

Chat 35 - Tiger Chance

Hi there, my friend. This is Tumi, remember me? I rrrealy don’t just see you as a new playmate. We are totally like family, you and me. Now, you know what families like to do? To be together. So, let’s do the family thing. Hold me rrrreally close for our tiger hugggg. Aaah ooh puurrrr [tiger sounds]. That’s was verrry good. Now, let’s talk about our families. You know, my brother Themba and I sometimes grrrrowl at each other … he sometimes makes me crrross. Or even my Dad, Tandile Tiger, gets strict. Don’t you also have those times when your family makes you unhappy a nd cross? [pause]

But we cannot choose our families, hey? My Dad, Tandile, sometimes says: “As long as you live in this den, you are part of this family.” So, then I think: Of course, I am. I cannot go anywhere.” My friend, we are born as part of a pack, errr … family.
Now, let’s play a game, just for tiger fun. Place me on your left knee, just for fun, hey. OK, say you can change your family. Say there was a Family Shop, where you could choose a new family? Choose a new mom, dad, and the rest. Just see the picture in your head. You don’t have to tell me. How would a new Dad look? And a new Mom? And brother or sister? Wasn’t that fun? [pause]

Now, place me at our ear for sharing, your right ear: Did you know, this is the good news. [Talk softer, near tiger whisper accentuating certain vowels] You do get a second chance. You are born into a new pack, errr … family. You don’t believe me? [pause]

Oh yes, you can be born again. Isn’t that a bargain? But this is not like becoming a weak, soft baby cub who cries and crawls around [mimic catlike baby sounds and crying].
No, this is the Best News Ever. We read of this in John 3 in the Bible. Your VBF, Jesus, had a visitor one night. Jesus said he must be born again to become a child of Father God – a part of His family, like all who believe in Him.. The man said, “What?”. “Must I become like a baby again? C’mon”. Then Jesus just talked about the wind. You know the wind? It is like, when my whiskers rustle. You can tickle it if you want to. [pause]

See how it rustles? This is when I know there is a wind outside. Sometimes it blows hard and you know something is coming. Other times it is just a soft breeze. But you know the wind is there. You cannot see it, like there’s a hole somewhere blowing out air. You cannot make it stop, or make it blow softer. But you can see what the wind does: see the leaves moving. Sometimes, I see the branches dancing, like to a tune that only they can hear.
So Jesus had to explain to his visitor. This is how you get your second chance. When you belong to Jesus, Father God is changing you. He is making you like the tiger, errr … person, that He wants you to be. Father God changes you by his good Spirit deep inside you. And you can’t see what is happening. But it is like the wind: you see how you change. You see you don’t like the bad things anymore – things you always did. You don’t feel like hanging with bad tiger cubs or say nasty things to other tigers. You don’t growl and try to be the tall tiger. But now you enjoy new feelings. You like giving Father God’s love to other tigers. You look out for tigers that are weak and need a friend. You enjoy reading about your Father God and your VBF, Jesus, and what they do. You choose to be part of a new family, the church or your prayer group.
You see, this is a whole new start. Yep, like being born again. And in this family of people who believe in God, you are glad for your second chance. You come together with other born-again people and like to pray to God and sings songs to God. You listen to his words from the Bible and worship Him. So, when you feel the wind on your face, say to yourself: I am a new tiger, born again, because Father God loves me. And, talking about second chances. Do I have a chance of a second huggg? [pause]

Auuur yesss purrrr. If you want to talk to friends who feel the same Wind, you may call a special number hidden inside my Tumi tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Chat 36 - Tiger Tears

Chat 36 - Tiger Tears

Hallo there. This is Tumi, your playfriendToday I want to talk to you about … errrr but first one of those huge tiger hugggs [pause] Aaaaahrrr yeess. Now, keep on holding me. Softly pat the back of my head. [pause]

Now we are close. I want to talk about something that is difficult. First tell me: Do you have a toy that is verrry special to you? [pause]

Hey buddy? Now, say you lose that toy? Oh no! That will be bad. Now, OK. What person is verrry special to you? [pause]

Oh yes, I forgot. Say you lose this special tiger, errr … person? This is like way, waay bad.
Now, put me on your lap. I want to tell you about one day when I came home from jungle school. There were other tigers in our den. I was so excited when I saw uncle Themba Tiger. He and auntie Thembeka are special to me. I love it when they come visit. Ánd they always bring tiger toffees – it’s yellow and verrry chewy. “Hiya Uncle Themba!” I called. “Where’s Auntie Thembeka?” Then I saw my mom, Thandiwe Tiger. She was crying. “Auntie is verrrry sick. She has … leopard disease.” Oh no! I know about this sickness. The white tigers, like auntie Thembeka, can get sore spots from the sun burning their ears. And many times they die from it. This is horrrrrible news.
So, I just ran to the darkest corner of the den. “No, this is not happening. No, Auntie just stayed at home. This is just a bad dream. No, no, NO. Everything will be like always.” But after a few days, I got verrry cross: Why did uncle Themba not take her to lady doctor Furry Paws on time? Why couldn’t auntie Thembeka stay out of the sun? And why does Father God want to take her away? This is not fair! I was so cross, and sad, at the same time.
So, we went to visit auntie Thembeka in the Tiger Tender Hospital. She did not give us tiger toffees. But I looked at her. She looked better, her eyes were pretty and green, like always. When we got back to our den, I felt happy. I said to Father God: “OK, I’ll do my homework, and won’t fight with my brother Themba; I will not growl at Thandi, OK, not always. So you will make auntie Thembeka better. Deal?” Then I said to Mom: “She’ll be back.” I saw Mom and Dad tiger just look at each other.
But one day, Dad Tandile Tiger came to fetch us at the jungle school. We ran to the Hospital. There I saw auntie Thembeka. Her eyes were … gray like the mist in the woods at night. I was so scared. That night I did not want to eat. I could not sleep in my tiger cot. I just felt like doing nothing. No more visits to Auntie. “Tumi, we must go say good bye to her,” Mom said. I did not want to go out and play with other cubs. You know that feeling? [pause].

Then Mom said: “Tumi, you must eat. Dad and I have some pudding as well, tiger chews.” So, Dad walked me to school and when I got back, Mom was waiting and she gave me a long huggg. You know I like hugggss, right?
Then, one day, I got up. I felt: the sun shining on my snout. And in my head I saw auntie Thembeka before me, her green eyes shining. Then I said to Mom: “I am ready. Let’s go say goodbye to auntie Thembeka.” And I know I will always remember her and her green eyes. Then I went to my part of the den and I cried. Mom took me outside. We looked at a tree. “That’s an ugly tree,” I said. “This is a leopard tree, see the spots?” Mom said. “Yes, ugly spots,” I answered. Mom said: “That’s because it sheds its bark little by little to grow stronger. You see, Tumi, we call that grieving.” Then she showed me other leopard trees. “See those trees?” I looked: they had no bark. “Those trees are sick,” she said. I looked again: “Huh?” Mom answered: “That’s because other tigers break off the bark. Before the tree itself is ready to do it.” I asked: “And what happens then?” Mom Tiger looked sad: “Then the trees can never, never grow strong.”
I looked at Mom. Then I understood. When you lose someone, you must grieve. You must lose your sad and bad feelings. It is like the tree losing its bark, little by little. You cannot do it all at once. Then you won’t grow strong. So, you lose tiny pieces. Like first, you don’t want to know. “It’s just a bad dream.” That’s a piece off. Then, you get so cross you just want to growl. But you see: growling doesn’t help. You lose another piece. So then, you try to make a deal with Father God: “If I am a good tiger … you will let Auntie live. OK?” Another piece is off.
But that special tiger, errr … person, gets sicker and … dies. You just feel so sad and like doing nothing. It’s like you’re in a dark cave. You have so much hurt inside you. You lose another piece. But one day, you feel the sun on your snout, errr … nose. Then you’ll know like I did: I did lose all the pieces of my grief. Now I am stronger. Just like the leopard tree that lost all its pieces of bark. Now I can help to heal other tigers who have lost someone special.
If you are still sad, and feel like you need a friend to help you take these steps, you can call the special number hidden inside my tummy.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

Hey, you know, there’s one thing you and I cannot lose. You make me feel special and cared for. So, Tumi says thank you.

Chat 37 - Tiger Stars

Chat 37 - Tiger Stars

Hallo, my playfriend. I am Tumi and we have good times together. There is something that I look forward to every day. I look forward to our chats. Now, place me on our story bench, that’s your right knee. I want to tell you about us tigers. We do not come out in the open a lot. We like to stay in the jungle. But we tiny tigers stay near our den. We do not go into the deep woods. There it’s dark and dangerous. We do not know what is waiting behind the next tree trunk. Now, buddy, don’t get scared. Because I want to tell you about a verrry special night.
Our tiger pack went out one night. We just walked together and then … suddenly there were no tree branches above our heads, also no tree tops. We were in a clearing. I looked up and what did I see? Stars, many, many, bright and shining lights in the sky. If I tried to count the stars, I would need all the paws of our pack and of all the tigers in our jungle. And then that would still not be enough. When you get the chance in the night and it’s safe, go outside. Look at the stars. Take your paw, errr … finger, and draw lines in the sky between the stars. It makes nice shapes, hey?
We saw all those lovely lights high in the sky. Then my dad, Tandile Tiger, said: “Look, Tumi, this shows that we are part of something bigger.” He pointed his paw, and I looked. “Like the dots on a guinea fowl, or like grains of sand on the river bank,” Dad said. And you know, when I look at the stars at night, what do I see? I see things that lie ahead for me. I see what I dream about: “One day I will have this stuff,” I say. Do you have things that you look forward to? Whisper, I can hear [pause].

OK, now hold me close and let me tell you. Some things I look forward to can happen in like a moment. Like, you can give me one of those huge tiger huggggs. [pause].

Aaaah … ooohh … grrrreat. Now, other things are not for today or tomorrow, but lie further ahead. Like our tiger holiday on the green grassy plains near the big, blue waterhole. A holiday means there is no school. We can just play all day – in the water, and, and [excited] sometimes we ride on a yellow bamboo float. I look forward to this fun every summer. Do you also look forward to a holiday, where? [longish pause].

Sounds like a nice place to go.
But, do you know what I also look forward to very much? My uncle Thabo rides a tiger bike. It is yellow with stripes and makes a gggggrowling sound. I saw a tiger cycle in the jungle shop – it’s like a tiger bike for tiny tigers like me, and makes a nice purrrring sound. Now I am saving all my money. One day, I will have my own tiger cycle. And when I am as old as uncle Thabo, I will ride my own yellow tiger bike. Just close your eyes. Think about your special dream. OK, do you want to share it? [longish pause].

I went with my uncle when he got his tiger bike. He asked Mr Tumelo Tiger, the shopkeeper: “What is the guarantee for this bike?” This was a new word: “Guarantee, uncle Thabo?” He explained: “Tumi, this is like a big promise that lasts for a long time. Mr Tumelo promised that my bike will last 20 tiger years, before it breaks.” I said: “Wow, that’s a long time, like for ever.” Then he told me of a bigger promise that lasts even longer.
Place me close to your sharing ear, you right ear. Our VBF, Verrry best Friend, Jesus, tells us about Father God’s special guarantee. It’s a promise of how long we will last. If you accept Jesus as your VBF, then He becomes your VBFF, Very Best Friend Forever. And then you are part of something verrrrry big. You are part of Father God’s life. So, how long will you last? Say again? [pause].

That’s right. Foreverrrr.
But you know what’s the best part? You don’t have to wait for some day … when you are grown up, or when you are old like my grandpa tiger. You can already be part of Father God’s life, yes NOW. Jesus said in John 17:3. When you belong to Father God, and Jesus is your VBFF, then you can be happy forever. Because Father God will be with you foreverrrr.
Remember, if you want to talk about your dreams, you can also call the number hidden inside my tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden.
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.

OK, you can’t count the stars, but you can count my stripes. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ [standard snoring sound]

Chat 38 - Tiger Safe

Chat 38 - Tiger Safe

Hallo again. This is Tumi, your tiger play-friend, remember me? Of courrrrse you do. We are rrrreally close, you know, like you’re my SFF – my special friend forever. I feel like I can tell you anything. Or ask you anything. Are you a child of Father God? Do you know the way to be saved forever? Let’s talk about this a bit more. But first, how do we begin our chats? Oh yeerrrrs. Give me a nice tiger huggg. Hold me close. Can you smell my fur …? [pause].

How do I smell? [pause]


Now place me on our story bench – your right knee, remember? Close your eyes and smell what I want to tell you about. Yerrrrs, smell ... [sniffing in the air]
smoke, thick smoke … that [cough]
makes you choke … and you feel you cannot breathe … Do you smell it? OK, now relax a bit. Now let me tell you about my other friend, Tholakele Tiger.

This tiger is always in trouble. One day he was in the veld and then … there was smoke all around him. Like, he couldn’t breathe. He was in a runaway veld fire! Oh no! But listen … Just as he was about to give up, he saw it. A figure broke through the smoke. It was my bigger tiger friend, Themba Tiger! Themba jumped into the fire and through the flames. He carried Tholakele out. “Phew, that was close,” Tholakele said. But then the other tigers saw it. Just underneath his elbow. Tholakele tried to hide it. It was a fire lighter!

“Heyrrrr!” growled the other tigers. “What’s this? You started the fire. You played with fire. So it would be your own fault if something bad happened.”

“That’s right,” said Tholakele Tiger and he smiled. We just saw white tiger teeth sparkling in a face black with smoke and burnt whiskers. “I know,” he said. “But now I am saved. And it is not because of what I did, or ’cause I was a good or naughty tiger.” He tapped his heart. Can you point to my heart? [pause]

Yerrss, that’s the spot. OK. Let’s hear what Tholakele then said: “Someone cared and carried me out.” And his smile just grew wider: “I am so thankful. I thought that was the end of me and my tiger tail. But I was found. Now I am a new tiger.” And Tholakele could not stop smiling or telling the other tigers about it.

Do you know what his name means? [pause].

Tholakele means: ‘born’ or ‘been found’. Like if you were lost and are now a new tiger … err person. Now, let me tell you something special. The way to be saved goes like this. We are all like Tholakele Tiger. It is as if we are saved from a runaway veld fire. And remember what the other tigers saw: Tholakele played with fire. It was his own fault. Sometimes we also play with fire. We do things that we know are wrong. We hurt others. And we make Father God sad. Oh, we want to be good tigers, but … it’s hard. And then it is just like we don’t care anymore. And then it is like we are lost. We started the fire and there is only smoke … we can’t breathe. This is what we call sin.

But then, like Tholakele, you see Someone coming through the smoke. He is there to save you. This is Jesus, Father God’s Son. He takes you away from that place where you only feel bad and later don’t care. You can read about this in Titus 3:3-4, in the Bible. Why is Father God so good to us? Because He cares. He cares for all of us. So He gave his Son, Jesus, who gave his life to save you. How do you feel about this? Say again – in my right ear … [pause].

Now, put me on your lap. Find a place where you can be alone. You can talk to Father God. Say this prayer after me: Father God, I know, it’s like I started the fire, I do bad things and hurt others. But thank you that Jesus gave his life to save me. I want to be your child. I want to tell other people how you loved us and want to make us happy for ever. Amen.

And now? You can be sure that you are a child of Father God. Why? Not because you are a good or nice cub … err kid. It is because He cares. He gives you a new chance. To be saved is like being plucked out of a fire. If you want to talk about how glad you are, or maybe feel you need more help, call special friends or the number hidden inside my tiger tummy. Just look where my voice is hidden, okay?
Also, find a grown-up whom you can trust, maybe a teacher or councillor, to discuss these things.