An old tiger is on a hunt but is frustrated by his lack of success. Then he finds himself stalked by a leopard, a lesser, smaller and weaker animal, but his forbearance and benign character allows him to tolerate the leopard and the two animals develop a co-operative relationship.
The Tiger and the Leopardess is about a time in Malaysia when life was more laid back and people were more preoccupied with the immediate world around them than with politics. So when a tiger attacks a boy out on a picnic, suddenly everybody feels the need to be involved in resolving the situation.
The immediate happenings are intertwined with the backgrounds of the animals and the people. The animals think and act but do not talk: they are absorbed with the business of living from day to day. The people talk and act but do not think, at least they do not think through: they are absorbed with the pursuit of their daily doses of happiness. The two worlds come to a dramatic clash on a mundane sunny day, and the threat of one world over the other becomes a reality.