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He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount

Whatever the discomfort of his present condition — for nobody really favours this means of transport — it is better than dismounting and being eaten by the tiger. A similar  predicament is to have a wolf by the ears; one cannot continue holding on indefinitely, yet dare not let go. In a figurative sense, a man can be sad to be riding a tiger when he is compelled to go on doing what he is doing because of what bay happen when he stops. For example, a manager who has been defrauding his employers cannot take a holiday for the fear that his dishonesty will be discovered while he is away.