"Letting in
the Jungle"

Notes on the text

These notes, by Alan Underwood, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Standard Edition of The Second Jungle Book, as published and frequently reprinted between 1899 and 1950.



[March 19th 2013]

[Page 61, Heading] Veil them, cover them … one four-line and one six-line verse, collected as a Chapter Heading in Songs from Books.

Philip Holberton notes: This poem echoes Mowgli’s "Song against People" which follows the story. It is spoken by Mowgli, who wants all memory of the village and its people to be lost:

'Let us forget the sight and the sound,
The smell and the touch of the breed!'

(lines 3 & 4)
[Page 61, line 11] none shall inhabit again! 'none may' in First English Edition.

[Page 61, line 12] if you … Jungle Book not in magazine versions, or Outward Bound, Sussex or All the Mowgli Stories.

[Page 61, line 16] Shere Khan’s hide See “Tiger! Tiger!”.

[Page 63, line 5] Raksha see Kipling's List of Names.

[Page 64, line 1] hawking catching moths and other insects on the wing like a hawk.

[Page 64, line 7] paw-paws yellow edible fruit (Annonaceae).

[Page 64, line 20] not for us the free hunters In various other editions, including the magazine versions, usis in italics, but not in the First English Edition.

[Page 66, line 6] heliograph instrument used by the Army for signalling by reflecting sunlight to send flashes in Morse code, especially in India and other countries where conditions were often favourable.

[Page 66, line 11] as a mole melts into a lawn a rather incongruous phrase in the jungle, not in First English Edition, but in others, including the Pall Mall Budget.

[Page 68, line 4] trail of overnight 'two days old trail' in First English Edition, but 'overnight' in other versions including Pall Mall Budget.

[Page 68, line 5] dog-trot alternative to 'jog-trot', meaning to run at a slow, regular pace.

[Page 71, line 29] Brahmin In this context, the Priest.

[Page 71, line 29] Does Man trap Man? 'Do men trap men?' in Pall Mall Budget and First English Edition. The question is put by Gray Brother in First English rather than by Bagheera as in other versions.

[Page 73, line 16] Nilghai the largest antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus) found in India, where it is the equivalent of the kudu and eland group of Africa. Only the bulls have horns and these are short. The colour of the old bulls is blue-grey, but younger bulls and cows are browner. It can grow to about 5ft 2ins. (“The Nilghai” is the nick-name of a corpulent and physically formidable war correspondent covering the Sudan Expedition in The Light that Failed.)

[Page 74] Morning Song in the Jungle Four eight-line verses printed as part of the story. Collected in Songs from Books.

[Page 74, line 16] Talao A lake or pond (ORG)

[Page 75, line 19] Dhâk tree Butea frondaxa has brilliant red flowers.

[Page 79, line 5] peepul-tree Bo, or bhodi-tree, is the name given by the Buddhists of India and Ceylon to the sacred wild fig (Ficus religiosa) under which the Buddha is said to have attained perfect knowledge.

[Page 79, line 18] Bandar-log Monkey-people, see the note on “Kaa’s Hunting”.

[Page 80, line 28] Khanhiwara see Kipling's List of Names.

[Page 85, line 8] Mowgli stared see the note on “Mowgli’s Brothers” (The Jungle Book, page 25, line 19).

[Page 85, line 26] gentled in this sense to gentle is to praise, stroke or pat an animal, usually a horse, as in the cavalry order Make much of your horses!.

[Page 87, line 8] Brahmin being of the highest caste a Brahmin naturally takes the leading social and administrative position in any Hindu community (ORG). Here it is the village priest. (see page 99, line 18).

[Page 88, line 25] like a dead man omitted in the First English but present in Pall Mall Budget and other versions.

[Page 89, line 26] Hathi the wild Elephant. See Kipling's List of Names. He is the Master of the Jungle, and so Bagheera is surprised and alarmed at Mowgli’s demands on him.

[Page 90, line 6] Master-wordsi Words for each of the jungle peoples that enable a stranger to claim their protection. See “Kaa’s Hunting” (The Jungle Book, pp. 48-49).

[Page 90, line 11] The sack of the Fields of Bhurtpore Probably fictional.

[Page 92, line 16] three sons 'four sons' in First English Edition and reprints only: presumably this is an error. Hathi has three sons in “How Fear Came” (page 15, line 27).

[Page 94, line 19] spindles round sticks with tapered ends used to form and twist the yarn in hand spinning.

[Page 97, line 5] Sahi the Porcupine called “Sahi” in the First English Edition and “Ikki” in most places except here in the First American. “Ikki” replaced “Sahi” in most places in the English Standard editions, although not in early printings, but neither in the “Preface” to The Jungle Book in England. The alteration to “Ikki” was made here in the Sussex Edition, but not in the “Preface”.

[Page 97, line 20] machans These structures, often built in trees, were also used by hunters of the larger game, including tigers (ORG).

[Page 99, line 15] leeped with cow dung Kim Bastin notes that the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (5th edition, 2002) explains that 'leep' means 'smear'. from the Sanscrit via Hindi lip, lipna. Baskets, walls or floors in the Indian countryside were sometimes daubed with a mixture of mud or cow-dung and water so as to seal them. The wicker trunk in the story would thus have been made somewhat airtight and waterproof by this means. [K.B.]

[Page 99, line 204] Gonds An ancient tribal people of Central India. Part of the Central Provinces was known as Gondwana, the Kingdom of the Gonds, who held the wildest part of the country.(ORG).

[Page 100, line 6] karela The bitter gourd, Momordica Charantia.

[Page 101, line 2] no time 'no heart' in First English Edition and reprints.

[Page 101, line 7] like the lances of a goblin army following a retreat a curious simile, not in the First English Edition. In Something of Myself (page 8 line 19) Kipling refers to two books of verse he read as a child, which he had tried in vain to identify, in one of which 'forty wicked goblins were somehow mixed up in the plot'. It may be that here he was remembering a particular illustration from this book, which was 'brown and fat ... full of lovely tales in strange metres.

It might also echo an illustration from George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblins (1871) which Kipling might also have read in his childhood.

[Page 101, line 18] had no more to be robbed of 'had no more to go' in First English Edition.

[Page 102, line 14] wild elephant enraged See KJ 144, December 1962 (page 12) for extracts from Sir Andrew Fraser’s Among Indian Rajahs and Ryots, describing devastation by elephants in 1884 an area about 100 miles north-east of the Seoni country.

During the lifetime of the last Zamindar the estate had become overrun with wild elephants, and many of the people had been driven from their villages. In the course of a tour in the Bilaspur District, I visited this Zamindar, and I found whole villages depopulated.

The elephants came down, kicking the houses and the granaries to pieces and consuming the grain. Sometimes lives were lost of those who might be attempting to defend their property against them. It was manifest that measures must be taken for the capture of these elephants.

[Among Indian Rajahs and Ryots p. 151]
[Page 104-5] Mowgli’s Song against People five six-line verses. Collected in Songs from Books.


[F. A. U.]

©F A Underwood 2007 All rights reserved