Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Tiny Tiger

        | HSW

Three tiger cubs come tumbling out of their dark cave.
Three tiger cubs come tumbling out of their dark cave.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

It is morning in the jungle. Steam rises up from the ground. Jungle plants sparkle with dew. Monkeys and birds chatter in the treetops. It's a morning just like any other morning. Or is it?

Look! Three tiger cubs come tumbling out of their dark cave. Today is their first day outdoors. They are eight weeks old and ready to explore.

The cubs' whiskers twitch as they move through the tall grasses and leaves. A tiger's whiskers are almost as sensitive as fingertips. They help a tiger avoid objects, judge spaces, and feel its way in the dark.

The bright sun makes the cubs blink. Their eyes are used to the darkness of the cave. A monkey screams, and two cubs scramble for cover.

The third cub is a little smaller, but much braver, than her brothers. She looks for the noisy monkey swinging through the trees.

Her name is Tiny Tiger, and one day she will grow up to be a beautiful tigress.

Tigers' eyes work well even in low light, so tigers are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night.

A low grunting sound brings all three cubs running. The cubs know the familiar sound of their mother's voice.

Tiny Tiger and her brothers follow Mother Tiger through the tall jungle grass. Their stripes hide them very well. To other animals, they look like swaying grasses filled with shadows and sunlight. 

To other animals, the Tigers look like swaying grasses filled with shadows.
To other animals, the Tigers look like swaying grasses filled with shadows.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Every tiger's stripes are unique. A tiger's face markings are so distinctive that they can be used to tell two tigers apart.

Tiny Tiger is amazed by the world around her. There is so much to see, smell, and hear!

Tiny Tiger sees her mother's long, swinging tail. She tries to catch it! Mother holds her tail high out of her baby's reach. Tiny Tiger doesn't use her claws. That would hurt Mother Tiger! Tigers' claws are retractable, which means they can be withdrawn into a tiger's paw like a turtle's head is pulled into its shell.

Tiny Tiger turns to chase her own tail. Round in circles she goes. Her mother grunts softly. Keep moving!

Tiny Tiger tries to catch her mother's long, swinging tail.
Tiny Tiger tries to catch her mother's long, swinging tail.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The tiger family comes upon a small lake. It is quiet, cool, and shady-perfect for the hot tigers. First, Mother Tiger checks the area for danger. No jackals or jaguars. Just a few harmless little birds. Mother Tiger heads for the water, and her cubs

follow her.

The three young tiger cubs have never been swimming. Like all tigers, the three cubs love water. They march right in!

To find out what happens next in "Tiny Tiger," go to the next page.

For more children's stories and activities, check out:


More to Explore