The Tigers and the Strawberry

A parable of life from the Zen Buddhist faith tradition


A man traveling across the land encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where another tiger was waiting, stalking the ravine far below.

Tiger above, tiger below.

Only the vine sustained him, and two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine.

At that precise moment, the man saw a luscious strawberry near him, warmed by the sunshine, and grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!



Frédéric Bagutti

Organizational behavior consultant and executive coach, licensed psychologist, EMCCC INSEAD. You can find me at: