The Jungle Books

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

Letting in the Jungle

Veil them, cover them, wall them round--
Blossom, and creeper, and weed--
Let us forget the sight and the sound,
The smell and the touch of the breed!

Fat black ash by the altar-stone,
Here is the white-foot rain,
And the does bring forth in the fields unsown,
And none shall affright them again;
And the blind walls crumble, unknown, o'erthrown,
And none shall inhabit again!

YOU will remember, if you have read the tales in the first Jungle Book, that after Mowgli had pinned Shere Khan's hide to the Council Rock, he told as many as were left of the Seeonee Pack that henceforward he would hunt in the Jungle alone; and the four children of Mother and Father Wolf said that they would hunt with him. But it is not easy to change one's life all in a minute--particularly in the Jungle. The first thing Mowgli did, when the disorderly Pack had slunk off, was to go to the home-cave, and sleep for a day and a night. Then he told Mother Wolf and Father Wolf as much as they could understand of his adventures among men; and when he made the morning sun flicker up and down the blade of his skinning-knife,-- the same he had skinned Shere Khan with,--they said he had learned something. Then Akela* and Gray Brother had to explain their share of the great buffalo-drive in the ravine, and Baloo toiled up the hill to hear all about it, and Bagheera scratched himself all over with pure delight at the way in which Mowgli had managed his war.

It was long after sunrise, but no one dreamed of going to sleep, and from time to time, during the talk, Mother Wolf would throw up her head, and sniff a deep snuff of satisfaction as the wind brought her the smell of the tiger- skin on the Council Rock.

'But for Akela and Gray Brother here,' Mowgli said, at

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