Sunday, August 06, 2006

Illustration Friday - Capture

This drawing in pastel is taken from a photo of a tiger I met near Luang Prabang in Laos. Her name is Phet (meaning "jewel" in Laotian). This looks like a very sad drawing, but I'm pleased to say it has a happy ending.

Phet and her two brothers were captured by poachers when they were tiny cubs. The poachers killed their mother. Phet's brothers died, but Phet survived. The local people didn't know what to do with her. So they brought her up like a normal cat to begin with. Then she got BIG. She couldn't just wander around the village any more. They had to put her in a cage (the small cage in this picture). However, they started a fund to raise money to place Phet in a local reserve just for her.

In the picture, Phet is not sad - she is excited because she has seen our tour guide, Wendy. Wendy had known her since she was a small cub. When Wendy approached, Phet let out a yowl of excitement and stretched herself right up to the top of the cage. Then she started to purr, and put her head down for Wendy to scratch behind her ears. That's what she's doing in this drawing.

I did a search on the internet and found that Phet eventually got her reserve and didn't have to stay in the small cage for much longer. That made me very pleased. I see this drawing as capturing the brave and curious spirit of Phet.

11 comments:

Gemma said...

Are you Tiger Mouse because of Phet? Glad Phet didn't stay caged up too long.

Michele said...

I love the illustration and I love the story of Phet as well. I hope she will be happy and well cared for.

Tiger Mouse said...

Yes, the tiger in Tiger Mouse is because of Phet and my consequent love of tigers. The mouse is because "mouse" is my nickname for my daughter. My husband came up with the name - clever man!

String said...

What a great story! Very cool that it is true, very nice illo to go along with...!

Liz Jones said...

Oh, lovely!! I think you did a great job with the expression here, and the shape of the head. I can see why you love tigers so much!

Jana Bouc said...

I'm glad you told the story as well as showed the picture. I love animals and was afraid that too many of the illos this week would be of sad captured animals. Beautifully drawn!

murphy girl said...

great story, love the happy ending. also looooove your zebras! always fun to find something you did long ago, and are still pleased with

missv said...

Nice perspective!

Anonymous said...

Love the colours on the poor tiger and the contrast between stripes and the bars. glad there was a happy ending!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

I was looking at the exotic animals on your site; have you thought of persuing a career in zoo animals? I really like the tiger - but would like to help set it free.

Alison said...

it's so great when art has a story behind itk, and this is a great picture. Also, I love happy endings, don't we all?