"The Crab that played
with the Sea"

Notes on the text

These notes draw on those written by Lisa Lewis for the OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS edition of Just So Stories (1995) with the kind permission of Oxford University Press, together with material from the Kipling Society's ORG. The page numbers below refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of Just So Stories.

[April 10th 2016]

[Page 153, initial] The drawing shows a horseshoe or king crab, which is not a crustacean (like other crabs) but a marine arachnid.

[Page 155, line 18] great Indian desert The Bikanir desert in northern India.

[Page 156, line 5] Magic Flowers The Magicianís pose resembles the Hindu god Vishnu, holding three (Tibetan) lotus blossoms. The lotus symbolises the birth of a divine being in Egyptian, Hindu, and Buddhist mythology.

[Page 156, line 33] magic mark The swastika was part of Kiplingís logo, accompanying an elephantís head with a lotus-flower held in its trunk.

This was designed by his father John Lockwood Kipling, after the traditional Hindu merchantís sign, drawn on account books to bring good luck. When Hitler came to power in Germany Kipling had the swastika removed from the covers of his books.

[Page 159, line 10] Perak river Flows through Perak, a state in western Malaya.

[Page 159, line 11] sweet-water Fresh or river water, as opposed to sea water.

[Page 160, line 3] kris Malay dagger.

[Page 160, line 8] SelangorÖ Malacca States of western Malaya, south of Perak.

[Page 162, lines 21-2] Raja Moyang Kaban This phrase is not in Pearsonís.

[Page 162, line 26] Raja Abdullah This phrase is also not in Pearsonís.

[Page 163, line 9] king crab The giant king crab (Tachypleus gigas moluccanus) is mentioned in Skeatís book Malay Magic (see headnote).

[Page 163, lines 11-2] Sarawak State in north-west Borneo.

Pahang An eastern Malayan state.

[Page 164, line 5] King crab The crab in the drawing is a monster crustacean, but his eyes are not on his shell as in ordinary crabs.

[Page 170, line 33] Bintang An island off Singapore.

"China-going P. and O.'s"

(The Riddle)

[Page 173, line 1] P. and O.ís Ships of the Peninsular and Orient Steamship Company and other companies in the Inchcape group sailed to India, the far east and Australia.

[Page 173, line 4] B.I.ís British India liners, another Inchcape group company, had similar routes and also sailed to East Africa.

[Page 173, line 4] N.Y.K and N.D.L. Nippon Yusen Kaisha (Japan Shipping Company) and Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) served eastern Asia and Australia.

[Page 173, line 7] Bens, M.M.ís and Rubattinos The Ben Line steamers of Edinburgh plied to the middle and far east, particularly Hong Kong. They were all called after Scottish mountains, e.g. Ben Lomond. M.M.ís were ships of the French Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes serving the middle and far east, including India, Indo-China (now Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), the Dutch East Indies, China and Japan. The Societe Reunite Florio-Rubattino sailed from Genoa to Bombay.

[Page 173, line 9] A.T.L.ís The Atlantic Transport Line between London and New York.

[Page 173, line 10] O. and O. and D.O.A. ORG suggested that the American line Oregon and Oriental is perhaps meant by O. and O. D.O.A. was the Deutsche Ost Afrika (German East Africa) line operating round the coasts of Africa.

[Page l73, line 12] Orient, Anchor, Bibby, Hall The Orient Line, a branch of Inchcape, sailed to Australia. The Anchor Line ran on the North Atlantic and Indian services. The Bibby Line ran from Liverpool to Colombo and Rangoon, but no further east. The Hall Line chiefly served the Mediterranean and Levant.

[Page 173, line 14] U.C.S. The Union Castle Steamship Company, plying to South and East Africa.

[Page 173, line 16] ĎBeaversí The Elder Dempster Companyís Beaver service to West Africa.

[Page 173, line 18] Shaw-Savill The Shaw Savill and Albion Company sailed to New Zealand. It was a subsidiary of the White Star line.

[Page 173, line 21] White Star The White Star line was mainly an Atlantic service. [

[Page 173, line 23] B.S.A. ORG did not identify this line, but suggested the British and South American S.N. Co. as a possibility.

[Page 173, line 25] Mr. Lloyds Lloydís insurance market, so-called after Lloydís Coffee House where it began, specialised in marine insurance.

[Page 173, line 26] wire ORGsuggested a pun on the double meaning, telegram or towing hauser.

[Page 173, line 28] mangosteens Fruits of the tree Garcinia mangostana, native to Malaya. They resemble oranges with brown skins and pink flesh.

[Page 173, line 30] page of The Times Shipping news was regularly published in the position described.


©Lisa Lewis 2006 All rights reserved