In ancient times, it was common for families to live in the wilderness on their own, and little did a Hmong family of three know that their lives were in grave danger from a shape-shifting tiger. The shapeshifter had been watching this family for quite some time; the mother sewed late at night, while the father and young son worked during the day. One evening, as the mother was sewing by candlelight in the living room, the shapeshifter became a tiger and snuck into the bedroom to quickly devour the father and son in their sleep. The vile creature hung a bloody hand from the father and one from the son on the woven basket of spoons by the stove before going back outside to sing an eerie riddle in a deep heavy voice, “Beauty creates flowers in the day, and in the night she sews while her husband and son die in bed with their hands hanging from a basket of spoons and woes.” Upon hearing the chilling riddle, the mother glances to the stove to see two torn hands dangling from the woven basket and dripping with blood. She frightfully ran into the bedroom where she discovered the bones of her family on their bloody bed, but the thought of fleeing was too late as heavy breathing from a monstrous creature entered the bedroom door behind her.
Art by Bao Xiong