Why There Are White Tigers by Jane M. Lindskold
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
P’an Ku hatches from the Cosmic Egg as he grows separating the two halves of the shell into Heaven and Earth, he decides that assistance is needed to organize the divide order from Chaos. P’an Ku creates Dragon, Phoenix, Chi’lin, Tortoise, and Tiger then orders them to explore everything, return, and tell him what is happening. After realizing that only three of the five have wings, he attempts to remedy that only to accidently give Tortoise Snake for a tail and Tiger wishes not to be changed. As time passes, Tiger is last to every meeting and soon P’an Ku starts dividing up honors to his five assistants only Tiger is increasingly left out. Getting ambitious Tiger tricks Chi’lin and traps her before heading off to meet with P’an Ku during which he gets many honors but Tortoise and Snake are suspicious and discover Tiger’s ruse. Tiger submits to P’an Ku who decides to place Chi’lin above the others and be his messenger, but changes Tiger’s coat from yellow & black to white & black as a reminder to curb his ambition.
Based on the fragmentary stories of the Chinese, or East Asian, creation mythology, fit the anthology’s Legends moniker while also being a good beginning piece to the collection.