Indian mythology creates great fantasy
“Tiger’s Curse” by Colleen Houck follows an 18-year-old girl named Kelsey Hayes. Kelsey lost her parents in a car accident a few years earlier and is now living with a foster family that she loves. Starting in the summer, Kelsey looks for summer work in order to pay for the community college she plans to attend in the fall. When the agent at the employment agency gets her a two-week job at a circus working with the animals, Kelsey is a bit wary but willing to go.
When she starts, she tries to get a hang of the job and how busy it is, but as she gets to watch the show, she finds herself fascinated with the tiger performing tiger, Dhiren. Knowing that part of her job is to work with the animals, she asks to help the tiger’s trainer with him.
As she starts to work with him, she begins to sense something strange about the tiger. Not only is he very calm all the time, he seems to pay her special attention. Intrigued, Kelsey starts to hang around him, sleeping near his cage at night, reads to him before she goes to sleep and starts calling him Ren.
About a week into her job, a mysterious man comes to buy Ren and take him back to India. Kelsey is quite saddened by the news, but the man, who introduces himself as Mr. Kadam, ends up asking Kelsey to take the trip with Ren to make sure he gets settled into India well, offering her a generous compensation for doing so. After talking with Sarah and Mike, Kelsey’s foster parents, arrangements are made and she ends up making the trip with him to India.
Right when they return to India, Kelsey and Mr. Kadam need to part ways as Mr. Kadam has business he needs to attend to in the city while Kelsey continues on to the reserve. Ren will live in with a driver. When they stop for gas, Kelsey is told to go get something to eat, so she does, but when she comes back out to leave again, she finds the truck is gone, but Ren is still in his cage at the side of the road. Scared, Kelsey ends up letting Ren out and follows him into the woods, after Ren seems to sort of nudge her in that direction.
After following him for a little while, they find a house and when she ties up Ren so he doesn’t scare the people who live there. She turns her back and hears a voice coming from behind her. When she turns back around, instead of the tiger, she finds a handsome young man, who claims he’s still is the tiger, and he’s a prince who was put under a curse to be a tiger. He hadn’t been able to turn into a man for a long time, until Kelsey came. Now, he could be a man for 24 minutes of the day, and thought she was the one who would help him and his brother break the curse. 12
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