Dan Sandman

36: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

In Adventure, Books, Fiction, Short Stories on 02/09/2016 at 12:00 pm

The Jungle Book by Rudyard KiplingMowgli (meaning little frog) is found as a baby and saved by Mother Wolf & Father Wolf from the sinister clutches of Sheer Khan the tiger. He is then taken in by the Pack and taught the Law of the Jungle by the friendly bear Baloo. After Mowgli is captured by the Bander-log (monkeys), the black panther Bagheera sets out on an heroic rescue mission, calling on the help of the giant snake Kaa. Following his rescue, Mowgli enters the village and learns from man-folk how to use the human tongue. The myth ends when Mowgli defeats his sworn enemy Sheer Khan and returns to the jungle.

The Jungle Book is a compilation of animal stories written by Kipling to appeal to children. Three of these short pieces, those beginning the book, are written about Mowgli; the others are based on other animal adventures. My edition, borrowed from Primrose Hill Community Library (the library below my house) also contains The Second Jungle Book. I haven’t got round to reading this yet.

Having read Kipling’s poetry and his literary novel Kim, I am now curious to find out how Kipling’s prose works in his fiction for children. What I am discovering is very pleasing to the imagination, and demonstrates Kipling’s master storytelling. The narrator never questions the fact that a boy can talk to an animal, so neither does the reader.

Timeless classic.


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