(Dec 7th to 19th)

Format: Triple

They have no Law. They are outcasts. They have no speech of their own, but use the stolen words which they overhear when they listen, and peep, and wait up above in the branches. Their way is not our way. They are without leaders. They have no remembrance. They boast and chatter and pretend that they are a great people about to do great affairs in the Jungle, but the falling of a nut turns their minds to laughter and all is forgotten. .


This is from “Kaa’s Hunting” in The Jungle Book.

The Bandar-log, the monkey-people, have been filling Mowgli’s head with empty promises of a free and easy life. Baloo is telling Mowgli what he thinks of them. Later they carry Mowgli off, but he is rescued by Kaa, the great python, who visits vengeance on the Bandar-log.

“Tell them,” he cried, “that if a hair of any one of their heads is touched by any official on any account whatever, all England shall ring with it. Good God! What callous oppression! The dark places of the earth are full of cruelty.” He wiped his face, and throwing out his arms cried: “Tell them, oh! tell the poor, serfs not to be afraid of me. Tell them I come to redress their wrongs—not, heaven knows, to add to their burden.”

The long-drawn gurgle of the practised public speaker pleased them much.


This is from “Little Foxes” in Actions and Reactions.

In a British colony not unlike the Sudan, the Governor has hit on an ingenious way of settling land disputes. They establish a hunt, and punish land-owners who fail to block off their lairs. A visiting MP has beeen persuaded that this is an example of colonialist oppression. The people laugh him to scorn.

In a raucous voice he cried aloud little matters, like the hope of Honour and the dream of Glory, that boys do not discuss even with their most intimate equals; cheerfully assuming that, till he spoke, they had never considered these possibilities. He pointed them to shining goals, with fingers which smudged out all radiance on all horizons. He profaned the most secret places of their souls with outcries and gesticulations. He bade them consider the deeds of their ancestors in such a fashion that they were flushed to their tingling ears.


This is from “The Flag of their Country” in Stalky & Co.

A visiting MP addresses the boys at Kipling’s school on “Patriotism”. Many come from military families and will go on to serve in the army to follow their fathers. But these are matters to be thought about quietly, not blurted out by a a tall, generously-designed, pink-and-white stranger. They look on in silence.