Wall Tiger

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Gekko on the carpet

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Wall Tiger
        Xu Baoguang 1671-1740

On green wall
        looks like a tiger,
Surely he's a cold-blooded creature.
Chirps loudly like a sparrow,
I hold him in my hand
        as he spouts dragon fumes.
He wags his tail and it breaks off
        still he lives,
Hard to catch
        leaps spirtedly to the eves.
A talented performer
        invisible when he stops,
Do you think he was really
        bannished from the new moon?!

Xú Bǎoguāng 1671-1740

Lǜ bì zìchēng hú,
Yīrán qí mài shēn.
Dàshēng wèi què yǔ,
Wēi zú tuō lóng yīn.
Diàowěi duàn yóu huó,
Téng yán jué yǒushén.
Cáng xíng xiū chèn jì,
Fāng shuò shè lái zhēn.
Translator: Dongbo 東波

The Wall Tiger is the ubiquitous gekko, found all over East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Xu Baoguang's description is accurate. It darts about quicky and is difficult to capture. If you hold it by its tail, the tail will snap off and he will scurry away and soon grow a new one!

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