Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thwarting the Tiger Curse

From India comes yet another example of cutting-edge magical technology, if by cutting edge one means magical technology that confuses even the most advanced spiritual practitioners. In order to protect their 18-month-old son from being killed by a tiger, his family had him married to a dog. Seriously.

They were worried that a tooth growing from his upper gum was an omen he would be killed by a tiger.

The weird wedding ceremony was seen as the best symbolic way to avoid such a fate, according to tribal elders in the Jajpur district village.

These tribal elders apparently failed to explain how this remedy was actually supposed to work, and one wonders if these might be the same elders who diagnosed the "tiger curse" in the first place and whether or not they were paid for their role in the canine wedding.

Normally I would try to analyze this procedure magically and come up with some sort of rationale, but this one has me stumped. It's not clear to me why a tiger would be drawn to a child with a tooth growing from an odd place, and it's even less clear to me why being married to a dog would prevent that. Is the dog supposed to defend its "husband" against tiger attacks? Last I checked a tiger was a lot bigger and tougher than a dog. Or is there some kind of relationship in Hindu mysticism that I don't know about that classifies dogs and tigers as opposites or something?

If anyone can enlighten me on this one, it would be much appreciated.

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