Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boreham on Befriending One’s Fears

I wish I could do for Cecil what a very eminent physician recently did for a young patient to whom he was called. It is Dr. H. E. Fosdick who tells the story. The boy's nerves were being frayed and lacerated by a terrible dream that came to him, night after night, with pitiless regularity. As soon as he dropped off to sleep he found himself confronted by a frightful tiger. At their wits' ends, his parents called in a specialist in child psychology. After thinking it over, the great man took the child on his knee.

‘See here, sonnie,’ he said, ‘they tell me that every night you meet a tiger. Now, really, he is a nice, kind, friendly tiger, and he wants you to like him, so, the next time you meet him, just put out your hand and say, "Hello, old chap!" and you will find that he will chum up to you and become a pet!'

That night, after a period of pleasant repose, the boy manifested all the symptoms of his former terror. He tossed about, ground his teeth, puckered his face, and broke into a violent perspiration. Then, all at once, we are told, his muscles relaxed. ‘He thrust a small hand out from under the bed-clothes and murmuring softly: ‘Hello, old chap!” his frightened breathing quietened into the perfect restfulness of natural sleep.’

He had discovered that the tiger, however terrible in aspect, was not necessarily hostile, after all!

F W Boreham, A Witch’s Brewing (London: The Epworth Press, 1932), 229.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: “He is a nice, kind, friendly tiger…”