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Tame Tiger Cape

Date: 1973
Manufacturer: Small World Enterprises

In Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Daniel Striped Tiger, for whom this cape is named, is a mild sort of cat; somethings afraid of the dark and nervous about Santa Claus; often bolstered by an imaginary friend, and protected by the careful explanations of his other neighbors. Your child may see this Tame Tiger Cape that way; A cover allows someone to wrap up awhile in childlike needs, in laps and comfy times, in being fed and reassured. It may let your child talk with you about things that would sound too tentative, too uncertain, too fearful for harsher times or braver costumes -- what becomes of bad children, what really happens if you eat too much, why people kiss, whether a scary creature could hide in the closet at night ... all sorts of important things.

But there is another side to tigers: The fierce, the angry, the bossy and the brave. Your child might see this Tame Tiger Cape that way too: A symbol of toughness, to bend a stubborn world to his or her tiger powers, and tell it off with tiger growls and roaring. What's important is that the sympathy-seeking cub and the house-shaking beast are both one inside -- a child, who like all of us has a share of weakness and a share of strength.

Because each child's version of himself or herself is unique, we have printed Daniel's stripes on the rougher side of the vinyl and left the smooth side plan for your child to crayon in what patterns or pictures he or she wishes. The crayon design can be wiped off with a paper towel whenever your child wants to change it. Maybe your daughter would like an S for Superman on her cape or maybe your son wants leopard spots instead of tiger stripes. The imagination of a girl or boy is big; we always try to leave room for it.



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