SI Vault
 
THE TIGER AND THE FLY
December 22, 1958
Prime ministers are seldom free of their countries' problems. But when Ylla, Sports Illustrated's late great animal photographer, found Pandit Nehru of India in his garden a while back, he was playing with a baby tiger.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 22, 1958

The Tiger And The Fly

Prime ministers are seldom free of their countries' problems. But when Ylla, Sports Illustrated's late great animal photographer, found Pandit Nehru of India in his garden a while back, he was playing with a baby tiger.

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Few people in this world are lucky enough to have baby tigers around the house, and few baby tigers are lucky enough to live and play in the gardens of Pandit Nehru. Mr. Nehru leans to young tigers and from time to time has a few on hand. When they get older, he leans away from them and by and by perhaps he gets some new young ones. He plays with them in the morning and in the evening, usually for only about 15 minutes, because Mr. Nehru is a busy man. At other times the tigers are permitted to romp around in the house. They also go out in the gardens and spacious lawns that surround the Prime Minister's residence where they stalk imaginary enemies through the flower beds. Young tigers are somewhat rough on flowers but Mr. Nehru doesn't seem to mind. The cubs are allowed to roam, and there is a special man to feed them when they are hungry. It is a good life, but even a young tiger residing with a prime minister can have his troubles. While Ylla was taking pictures on the lawn this one had a small but persistent trouble. There was a fly, an insolent common housefly, in the eye of the tiger. It kept coming back. How could a young tiger be dignified and stalk imaginary enemies with a fly in his eye?

He slapped at the fly and blinked his eye and the fly went away. Then the tired little tiger stretched out in some nasturtiums and went to sleep

Perhaps he dreamed a little tiger dream—anyway, when he awoke he sat up with his eyes opened very wide and looked around for the fly. No fly

The little tiger began to feel more like a tiger. He moved across the lawn at a slow pace, stalking an imaginary enemy. This was much better. Lucky tiger

1