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[Tidbits] Bronze and gold Tiger

Tiger tiger burning bright,
Whatchoo doin’ out tonight?

To which you would get a smug look of contempt and the beast would
stalk off… for you see… he had permission. And so begins this tale
of a brooch. Or is it a plaque? Or a medallion perhaps?

Look at the tiger. It has upon its back four gold Chinese characters
which this mean? I am befuddled. I am unable to extract an exact
interpretation. Does it mean that it’s a brooch and the wearer has
permission to carry it about. Is it a plaque which is affixed to a
horse drawn carriage which allows the passengers within to travel
about… its use being akin to today’s passport? Is it a shipping
medallion which is worn by the workers of yesteryear’s postal system
allowing carriage of goods to be delivered to their final

I dunno. It was issued as a safe conduct permit by the ruler of the
southern kingdom of Nanyue during the Western Han Dynasty in China.
It was crafted by men with elegant skills during a period in history
which gave birth to one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

Of course we can narrow the meaning down a bit if we look for
alternate interpretations of the characters such as: The king orders
the carriage to move. This brings a whole different texture to the
meaning and usage of the tiger. The earlier version is in the book.
The latter is on the net.

But in a way… you are all in luck. I will leave its meaning to you
old chaps. If a man is a chap… is a lady a chapette? I am doing
this because Thanksgiving had cut deeply into my time and I’ve decided
to take the easy way out. I know this tack covers unfamiliar territory
for you as I very much doubt there is a single one amongst you that
would take the short and easy road when the long and tortuous one is
available. But there it is. I’m a sluggard by nature.

Now go… and tell me the true purpose of my tiger. I await your

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… click it… and you will see represented on our
pages an image of a magnificent bronze and gold tiger

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

The tiger is usually providing safe passage from this world to the
next. This one looks like it would be hung by it’s tail - hence the
phrase tiger by the tail? Never could read Chinese characters though
despite my ancestors’ time in China. No genetic memory there. Looking
forward to what others say… Barbara on another breezy day on the