Weretigers, "harimau jadian" or "Top-Tap"
My fascination with "harimau jadian" or the mythical creature known as "weretiger" began when I was six years old. My favourite bedtime story from Atah was called "Top-tap". It was about a weretiger that was sneaking on two villagers walking at night, ready to maul them for its meal. But before it could pounce on them, it overheard their conversation about a strong mysterious creature called "Top-tap".
"We better get inside before "top-tap" arrives! I don't want to get sick and I heard it will be a strong "top-tap" tonight!" The first villager said. The other villager added, "The last time it "top-tap", my crops were destroyed and I got a fever for days!".
"Hmm..."top-tap" sounds far more powerful than I am", the weretiger thought. What it did not know was that the villagers were in fact, talking about the anticipated heavy rainstorm as it was the monsoon season. ("top-tap" was the sound that the raindrops made when they fell on the roof of their houses). Suddenly the thunder rolled and the villagers shouted in unison, "TOP-TAP IS HERE!" The weretiger, in its moment of confusion and fear, fled for its life and vowed to never return to the village again.
Mythical tigers exist in almost every local folklore in the region; possibly less clumsy and funny than the one in "Top-tap". This is my visualisation of several mythical tigers in the Asian cultures that I learned from various online resources. Most of the information visualised here can be found in a wonderful blogsite that you can check out here.