The Jungle Books

By Rudyard Kipling; W. W. Robson | Go to book overview

Kaa's* Hunting

His spots are the joy of the Leopard: his horns are the
Buffalo's pride.
Be clean, for the strength of the hunter is known by the
gloss of his hide.
If ye find that the bullock can toss you, or the heavy-browed
Sambhur can gore;
Ye need not stop work to inform us: we knew it ten seasons
before.
Oppress not the cubs of the stranger, but hail them as Sister
and Brother,
For though they are little and fubsy, it may be the Bear is
their mother.
'There is none like to me!' says the Cub in the pride of his
earliest kill;
But the jungle is large and the Cub he is small. Let him
think and be still.

Maxims of Baloo

ALL that is told here happened some time before Mowgli was turned out of the Seeonee wolf-pack, or revenged himself on Shere Khan the tiger. It was in the days when Baloo was teaching him the Law of the Jungle.* The big, serious, old brown bear was delighted to have so quick a pupil, for the young wolves will only learn as much of the Law of the Jungle as applies to their own pack and tribe, and run away as soon as they can repeat the Hunting Verse:--'Feet that make no noise; eyes that can see in the dark; ears that can hear the winds in their fairs, and sharp white teeth, all these things are the marks of our brothers except Tabaqui the Jackal and the Hyæna whom we hate.' But Mowgli, as a man-cub, had to learn a great deal more than this. Sometimes Bagheera, the Black Panther, would come lounging through the jungle to see how his pet was getting on, and would purr with his head against a tree while Mowgli recited the day's lesson to Baloo. The boy could climb almost as well as he could swim, and swim almost as well as he could run; so Baloo, the Teacher of the Law, taught him the Wood and Water Laws: how to tell a rotten branch from a sound one; how to speak politely to the wild bees when he came upon a hive of them fifty feet

-22-

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