Three Quotations

(Jan 5th to 12th)


1. ...Sick and giddy as Mowgli was he could not help enjoying the wild rush, though the glimpses of earth far down below frightened him, and the terrible check and jerk at the end of the swing over nothing but empty air brought his heart between his teeth. His escort would rush him up a tree till he felt the thinnest topmost branches crackle and bend under them, and then with a cough and a whoop would fling themselves into the air outward and downward, and bring up, hanging by their hands or their feet to the lower limbs of the next tree. This is from "Kaa's Hunting" in The Jungle Book.

Mowgli has been captured by the feckless chattering bandar-log, the monkey people, who are carrying him off to Cold Lairs, a ruined city deep in the jungle. Later he is rescued by Baloo, Bagheera, and Kaa, the great python, who strikes terror into the hearts of the monkeys.


2. ‘Ha! Ha!’ said Mowgli, on his back. ‘Now thou knowest!’ and the torrent of black horns, foaming muzzles, and staring eyes whirled down the ravine like boulders in flood-time; the weaker buffaloes being shouldered out to the sides of the ravine, where they tore through the creepers. They knew what the business was before them—the terrible charge of the buffalo-herd, against which no tiger can hope to stand. Shere Khan heard the thunder of their hoofs, picked himself up, and lumbered down the ravine, looking from side to side for some way of escape; but the walls of the ravine were straight, and he had to keep on, heavy with his dinner and his drink, willing to do anything rather than fight. This is from "Tiger! Tiger!" in The JUnge Book.

Mowgli, now living in a village in the jungle, has set a trap for his enemy, Shere Khan the lame tiger. The tiger has been asleep in a deep ravine, and Mowgli, riding on the back of Rama, the great herd bull, has driven the village buffaloes down on him, where they will trample him to death.


3. ...There were still, hot hollows surrounded by wet rocks where he could hardly breathe for the heavy scents of the night flowers and the bloom along the creeper buds; dark avenues where the moonlight lay in belts as regular as checkered marbles in a church aisle; thickets where the wet young growth stood breast-high about him and threw its arms round his waist; and hilltops crowned with broken rock, where he leaped from stone to stone above the lairs of the frightened little foxes. He would hear, very faint and far off, the chug-drug of a boar sharpening his tusks on a bole; and would come across the great gray brute all alone, scribing and rending the bark of a tall tree, his mouth dripping with foam, and his eyes blazing like fire. This is from "The Spring Running" in The Second Jungle Book.

Mowgli is now a young man, strong, active, and adventurous, the Master of the Jungle. When the Indian Spring is coming with a rush, the green things are growing fast, and all the jungle people feel the coming of the new season, Mowgli is restless and unhappy. He decides to make a running to the marshes of the North.