“The She-Tiger”


An iron-chef challenge set out by RLobinske to “write a fanfic without ANY martial arts references whatsoever, anything else is fair game though” as he said.  So without further ado I present a Daria reworking of an old personal favourite


“The She-Tiger’ written by DJ “What do you mean no martial arts?” W and based on a short story by Hector Hugh “Put that bloody cigarette out” Munro.

Usual copyright blah blah blah.


The following shall play the following characters:

Daria – Darias Morgrail: A young gentlewoman but gentle only in name.  An expert schemer who is not above causing some chaos for her own ends or amusement.

Tom – Lord Sloaneham: A young lord and menagerie owner.

Jane – Ms Laneton: the hostess of the party.

Trent – Colonel Laneton: The head of the household.

Upchuck’ – Charles Rilsiter the IIIrd: a young man who claims to be an ‘expert’ on the occult who will enlighten ‘the few’ AKA: Anyone who will listen to him.

Lindy – Lindilia Hoops: the aunt of Charles and his biggest advertiser/admirer.

Stacy – Stacy Rellington: another houseguest, easily excitable, not much more can be said really.

Jesse – Dr Moreno: an old friend of the colonels, no one quite remembers inviting him or when he turned up.



(SCENE: a period setting circa 1913ish drawing room, sat at a table enjoying ‘luncheon’ are the above mentioned people all dressed in the appropriate attire and talking in upper-class British accents, Charles appears to have been talking for quite some time, his Aunt; Lindilia seems to be paying rapt attention while everyone else ranges from passing interest to complete indifference, except Dr Moreno who is asleep face down on the table, throughout this scene Darias remains unusually silent and is looking thoughtful)

CHARLES: …and so you see from my journeys I came across the wonders of the occult, and during that business with the rail strike I learned from a pair of travellers who though slow witted and suffering of such terribly irksome guffaws did enlighten me to the amazing knowledge of ‘Highland Magic’ which I have since then become a practitioner of some high regards, as my dear Aunt will vouch for…

LINDILLIA: its true (taking a drink) I once saw him transmigrate a vegetable marrow into a wood pigeon…

LORD SLOANEHAM: (whispering to Darias) no doubt we should be paying more respect to lady Hoops powers of imagination than to her nephews status as a wonder-worker or charlatan.

(Darias nods but remains contemplative)

LINDILLIA: And once he turned me into a newt!

STACY RELLINGTON: (surprised) Turned you into a newt?

LINDILLIA: (Slurred) I got better…

(Lindillia slumps forwards while Ms Laneton addresses her guest)

MS LANETON: I wish you would turn me into a tiger, Mr. Rilsiter.

COLONEL LANETON: my dear Janey I never knew you had a craving in that direction!

DR MORENO: (sitting up) cool (falling back to sleep)

MS LANETON: A she-tiger of course, it would be too confusing to change one’s sex as well as one’s species at a moment’s notice.

CHARLES: I don’t think one should jest on these subjects.

MS LANETON: I’m not jesting, I’m quite serious, I assure you.  Only don’t do it today; we have only eight available bridge players, and it would break up one of our tables.  Tomorrow we shall be a larger party.  Tomorrow night after dinner—

CHARLES: In our present imperfect understanding of these hidden forces I think one should approach them with humbleness rather than mockery.

(This is said with such a severity that the subject was forthwith dropped.  The guests return to their luncheon and converse amongst themselves, except Daria who remains silent still as we fade out.)


(SCENE: The billiard room, it is empty except for Lord Sloaneham and Darias Morgrail setting up a table)

DARIAS: Tell me, (aiming to break) have you such a thing as a she-tiger in your collection of wild animals?  (Takes the shot) A she-tiger of moderately good temper?

LORD SLOANEHAM: (Considering) there is Elsie…a rather fine specimen of the Bengal-tiger.  (Aims for his shot) I got her two years ago in exchange for some Arctic foxes.  Most of my animals get to be fairly tame before they’ve been with me very long; (takes his shot) I think I can say that Elsie has an angelic temper, as far as she-tigers go.  Why do you ask?

DARIAS: I was wondering whether you would lend her to me for tomorrow night, (Said with the careless solicitude of one who borrows a collar stud or a tennis racquet)

LORD SLOANEHAM: (perplexed while Darias lines up her shot) Tomorrow night? 

DARIAS: Yes, tigers are not nocturnal animals but the late hours won’t hurt her, (taking the shot and speaking with the air of one who has taken everything into consideration) one of your men could bring her over from Sloaneham park after dusk, and with a little help he ought to be able to smuggle her into the observatory at the same moment that Jane Laneton makes an unobtrusive exit.

(Lord Sloaneham stares at Darias for moment in pardonable bewilderment; then his face breaks into a network of laughter)

LORD SLOANEHAM: Oh, that’s your game, is it?  You are going to do a little ‘Highland Magic’ on your own account.  Surely you cannot be serious?

DARIAS: I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

LORD SLOANEHAM: And is Mrs. Laneton willing to be a fellow-conspirator?

DARIAS: Jane is pledged to see me through with it, if you will guarantee Elsie’s temper.

LORD SLOANEHAM: I’ll vouch for Elsie.

(The two shake hands bearing roguish grins, the billiards game forgotten as we fade out.)


(SCENE: the following day, the house-party has swollen to larger proportions, evidently Rilsiter’s instinct for self-advertisement has expanded duly under the stimulant of an increased audience, it is now evening and dinner is served, clearly he has been talking at great lengths on unseen forces and untested powers, his flow of impressive eloquence *cough* bullshit *cough* continues unabated while coffee is being served in the drawing-room preparatory, people are not really paying attention but his aunt is held in rapt attention…the half empty sherry glass in her hand may be why)

LINDILLIA: won’t you do something to convince them of your powers, Charles?  (She downs the glass and fills it again before continuing) Change something into another shape.  (Turning to address the company) he can you know, if he only chooses.

STACY RELLINGTON: Oh do…(this is echoed by nearly everyone present, including those not normally open to conviction were perfectly willing to be entertained by an exhibition of amateur conjuring.)

CHARLES: (feeling that something tangible is expected of him) rrr feisty, Has anyone present got a three-penny bit or some small object of no particular value—

DARIAS: (interrupting contemptuously) You’re surely not going to make coins disappear or something primitive of that sort?

MS LANETON: I think it very unkind of you not to carry out my suggestion of turning me into a tiger.

(She then crossed over to the conservatory to give the macaws…and one parrot their usual tribute from the desert dishes,)

CHARLES: (Solemnly) I have already warned you of the danger of treating these powers in a mocking spirit.

MS LANETON: I don’t believe you can do it (laughing provocatively) I dare you to do it if you can.  I defy you to turn me into a tiger.

(With that she is lost to view behind a clump of azaleas)

CHARLES: (with increased solemnity) Ms Laneton—

(He stops as a breath of chill air seems to rush across the room, at the same time the macaws…and one parrot break forth into ear-splitting screams.)


COLONEL LANETON: what on earth is the matter with those confounded birds, Janey?

(An even more ear piercing scream from Stacy Rellington stampedes them all from their seats, with various expressions they confront the evil-looking orange and black striped beast that was peering at them from amid a setting of fern and azalea, Darias and Lord Sloaneham are the only two who remain calm.)

LINDILLIA: (being the first to recover from the general chaos of fright and bewilderment) Charles!  Turn it back into Ms. Laneton at once!  It may fly at us at any moment.  Turn it back!

CHARLES: (looking more scared and horrified than the rest) I—I don’t know how to.

COLONEL LANETON: (shouting) WHAT!  You’ve taken the abominable liberty of turning my sister into a tiger, and now you stand there calmly and say you can’t turn her back again!

CHARLES: (to do him strict justice, calmness was not a distinguishing feature of his attitude at the moment.) I assure you I didn’t turn Ms Laneton into a tiger; nothing was farther from my intentions.

COLONEL LANETON: (demanding) Then where is she, and how came that animal into the conservatory?

DR MORENO: Not cool…

DARIAS: (politely) Of course we must accept your assurance that you didn't turn Ms Laneton into a tiger but you will agree that appearances are against you.

STACY RELLINGTON: Are we to have all these recriminations with that beast standing there ready to tear us to pieces?

COLONEL LANETON: Lord Sloaneham, you know a good deal about wild beasts—

LORD SLOANEHAM: The wild-beasts that I have been accustomed to, have come with proper credentials from well-known dealers, or have been bred in my own menagerie, I’ve never before been confronted with an animal that walks unconcernedly out of an azalea bush, leaving a charming and popular hostess unaccounted for.  As far as one can judge from outward characteristics, it has the appearance of a well-grown female of the Bengal-tiger, a variety of the common species f…

STACY RELLINGTON: (screaming as the tiger comes a step or two further into the room) Oh never mind its Latin name, can’t you entice it away with food, and shut it up where it can’t do any harm?

DARIAS: If it really is Ms Laneton, who has just had a very good dinner, I don’t suppose food will appeal to it very strongly.

LINDILLIA: (tears in her eyes) Charles, even if this is none of your doing can’t you use your great powers to turn this dreadful beast into something harmless before it bites us all-a rabbit or something?

(Charles is about to speak when Darias interposes…I think that means interrupts)

DARIAS: I don’t suppose Colonel Laneton would care to have his sister turned into a succession of fancy animals as though we where playing a round game with her,

DR MORENO: Can you do a monkey?

COLONEL LANETON: (thundering) I absolutely forbid it.

LORD SLOANEHAM: Most tigers that I’ve had anything to do with have been inordinately fond of sugar, if you like I’ll try the effect on this one.

(Lord Sloaneham takes a piece of sugar from his coffee-cup saucer and flings it at the expectant Elsie who snaps it up in mid-air.  There is a sigh of relief from the company; a tiger that ate sugar when it might at the least have been employed in tearing macaws…and one parrot to pieces had already shed some of its terrors.)

LORD SLOANEHAM: Come on girl, more out here.

(The tiger follows him out of the room as the sigh turns to a gasp of thanksgiving.  Everyone rushes instantly to the conservatory)

STACY RELLINGTON: Why there is no trace of Ms Laneton except the plate containing the macaws…(there is a squawk) and one parrots supper!

DARIAS: (going to test the key) The door is locked on the inside!  (This is because she turned the key as she affected to test it.)

(Everyone turns towards Charles Rilsiter the IIIrd)

COLONEL LANETON: if you haven’t turned my sister into a tiger, will you kindly explain where she has disappeared to, since she obviously could not have gone through a locked door?  I will not press you for an explanation of how a Bengal Tiger suddenly appeared in the conservatory, but I think I have some right to inquire what has become of Ms Laneton.

CHARLES: honestly colonel I can no more explain Ms Laneton’s disappearance than I can explain the presence of that tiger…

LINDILLIA: But surely Charles…oh I picked the wrong week to quit drinking (takes the sherry bottle and takes a hearty gulp from it.)

DARIAS: Dr Moreno, I assume you have some experience in these matters, might you suggest a way such a transformation could come to pass?

DR MORENO: Maybe it was a …thing she ate?

COLONEL LANETON: A ‘thing’?  And yet you have 8000 words for breast?

DR MORENO: (smiling) And counting.

COLONEL LANETON: Very well, assuming it was a… ‘Thing’ then what could it have been?  I do believe our choice at mealtime was either steak or fish.

DARIAS: Ah yes, (remembering) I had the lasagne.

(Colonel Laneton looks at Darias exasperatedly, but before he can say any more Stacy Rellington makes a declaration)

STACY RELLINGTON: I refuse to stay another hour under this roof,

LINDILIA: If our hostess has really vanished out of human form, none of the ladies of the party can very well remain.  I absolutely decline to be chaperoned by a tiger!  Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking opium (she takes a lungful and gets a big grin before falling over)

DARIAS: (soothingly to the figure on the floor) It is a SHE-tiger.

(The correct etiquette to be observed under the unusual circumstances receives no further elucidation.  The sudden entry of Jane Laneton deprives the discussion of its immediate interest.  Before anyone else notices she nods at her fellow conspirator Darias.)

MS LANETON: (crossly) Someone has mesmerized me, I found myself in the game larder, of all places, being fed sugar by Lord Sloaneham.  (Lord Sloaneham enters behind and discreetly gives a wink to Darias) I hate being mesmerized and the doctor has forbidden me to touch sugar.

(We fade out on the assembled party explaining the situation to her, as far as is permitted of anything that could be called an explanation.)


(SCENE: The same place after it has all been explained)

MS LANETON: (excitedly) Then you really did turn me into a tiger, Mr. Rilsiter?

(Charles burns the boat in which he might now have embarked on a sea of glory by shaking his head feebly.)

DARIAS: It was I who took that liberty, you see I happen to have lived for a couple of years in North-eastern Highland, and I have more than a tourist’s acquaintance with the magic crafts of that region.  One does not care to speak about these strange powers, but once in a way, when one hears a lot of nonsense being talked about them, one is tempted to show what Highland magic can accomplish in the hands of some one who really understands it.  I yielded to that temptation.  May I have some more coffee?  The effort has left me rather faint.

(She gives a familiar Mona Lisa smile while Charles Rilsiter the IIIrd looks like if he could at that moment transform Darias into a cockroach and then step on her he would gladly perform both operations.)


(SCENE: Daria’s bedroom, she wakes up suddenly and looks around, she has a book in her hand and the TV is on)

DARIA: What the?

VOICE FROM TV: I just wanted to wish you both good luck; we’re all counting on you.

(She looks at the TV and then at the book in her hands, it is a book of Saki’s short stories.)

DARIA: That does it; first thing tomorrow I’m going downstairs and burning every one of dads cookbooks.

(She turns off the TV, puts the book away and goes back to sleep, after a while we hear her mumble)

DARAI: You may call me Melodyaus; my other name doesn’t matter.  The bishop and Colonel DeMarti may be here to lunch; I shall be here in any case…




Author’s notes:


Well there we go, this story is roughly 90% an adaptation of ‘the she-wolf’ by Saki, I changed the names to fit Daria characters, I kept the dialogue faithful to the original otherwise except for the additions of certain lines to make the change from short story to transcript.  Also just to spice things up a little I added a few quotes from Airplane and one or two other quotes for fun.  Also I am aware that Daria has no idea who Lindy is even after IICY?  Although I figured what the hell, say she once saw a drunken Lindy at McGrundy’s or The Zen and the memory stuck or something.

Well RLobinske I hope this measures up to your challenge, I apologise for the delay but I had to leave the country for two weeks and…but the details are not important,

As always send your comments or criticism or whatever to mechahead@hotmail.com

Now if you excuse me I need to grind up a DVD of ‘Iron Monkey’ and inject it directly into my brain, I am going through withdrawals from lack of kung-fu stuff.  See you all next time.

Your friendly neighbourhood DJW.