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… inch by inch, the untempered heat crept into the heart of the Jungle, turning it yellow, brown, and at last black. The green growths in the sides of the ravines burned up to broken wires and curled films of dead stuff; the hidden pools sank down and caked over, keeping the last least footmark on their edges as if it had been cast in iron; the juicy-stemmed creepers fell away from the trees they clung to and died at their feet …


This is from “How Fear Came” in The Second Jungle Book.

One year the rains fail, the streams dry up, and all the jiungle people are short of food. Hathi, the elephant, proclaims the Water Truce according to the Law of the Jungle, so that all animals can come and drink at the shrunken Waingunga River with no fear of being killed by predators. Shere Khan comes to the river, boasting that he has killed Man because it is ‘his right and his Night’. He fouls the water and is dismissed to his lair by Hathi and his sons. The great elephant then tells an old tale that shows what Shere Khan means.