[Page 3, Heading] Fourteen lines of verse beginning, ‘The stream is shrunk – the pool is dry’ replace “The Law of the Jungle” which headed the magazine versions and was placed at the end of the story on book publication. The untitled lines were collected in Songs from Books as a Chapter Heading.
[Page 3, line 5] drouthy usually spelt droughty, affected by the lack of rain. Kipling uses the same spelling in his poem “The Land”, verse 3 line 3: ‘in drouthy middle August.’ (P.H.)
[Page 3, line 24] If you have read about Mowgli there were at least four other variations in this linking sentence in magazines, first editions, All the Mowgli Stories and the Sussex Edition.
[Page 4, line 28] Bee Rocks ‘bees’ nest’ in Pall Mall Budget, probably changed to match the location in “Red Dog” (see page 242 et seq.).
[Page 5, line 3] in those days omitted in First English Edition.
[Page 5, line 12] the Man-cub First English Edition has ‘my Man-cub’.
[Page 5, line 14] mohwa see
Kipling’s list of names (ORG has Bassia Latifolia). This is another reference which Kipling seems to have taken from
Sterndale’s Mammalia: which notes that ‘the bear revels in the luscious petals that fall from the trees’ (pp. 119-120).
[Page 7, line 1] Hathi See note on “Kaa’s Hunting” (page 49, line 22). Elephants may live as long as seventy years or more.
[Page 11, line 15] Ngaayah! intended to represent a contemptuous snarl.
[Page 11, line 23] bud-horn The sprouting horns of a young deer are small bud-like nodules covered with a substance looking like moss or velvet. (ORG).
[Page 13, line 9] paddy paw meaning that the claws were retracted presenting a pad-like surface which could do no harm (ORG). See “The Cat that Walked by Himself” in Just So Stories (page 189, line 18).
[Page 17, line 1] know him to be ‘hold him to be’ in First English Edition and reprints only.
[Page 17, line 21] Tha, the First of the Elephants See
Kipling’s list of names The title of the story, and the tale told by Hathi are not unlike the later Just So Stories.
[Page 19, line 9] Marshes of the North ‘swamp’ in Pall Mall Gazette and also at page 21, line 9.
[Page 19, line 15] smell of the blood made us foolish followed by: ‘even as that same smell makes us foolish today’ in First English Edition and reprints only.
[Page 20, line 18] Mysa, the leader of the buffaloes See Kipling’s list of names. The leader of the buffaloes was not named in the Pall Mall Budget version until the start of the next paragraph, so that the sentence was: ‘Ugh!’ said the leader of the buffaloes.
[Page 23, line 23] Evening Star The planet Venus, the brightest star in the evening sky when it is visible at that time of day.
[Page 25, line 23] 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 25, line 24] Ho-Igoo This is another reference to Sterndale’s Mammalia, which gives Ho-igu as the Gondi name for the Common Indian Porcupine.
[Page 26, line 12] Red Flower Fire.
[Page 29] The Law of the Jungle a short prose introduction followed by nineteen rhymed couplets citing laws for the wolves. Collected in Songs from Books.
Peter Keating (p. 96) notes that:
“The Law of the Jungle” is the first of Kipling’s experiments in a type of poetry with which his name would become closely, and sometimes embarrassingly, associated. Its purpose was to inculcate fundamental values and beliefs by means of epigrammatic lines which would be easily memorised. Within the context of the Jungle Books Kipling’s main concern was to compose moral precepts which had a suitably ancient or primitive feel to them. Baloo, we are told: ‘always recited them in a sort of sing-song.’
If Kipling had an ancient model in mind, it may have been the Biblical Proverbs: nearer at hand there were such varied examples as Walt Whitman and Martin Tupper for him to draw on. In comparison with some of his later poems of this kind, the “laws” of the jungle are of limited or indirect relevance to human life: the original title of “The Law of the Jungle” was the more specific “The Law for the Wolves”. However, two of what Kipling calls “rulings” are particularly important. First, the assertion that all communities are compact units, in which individualism must thrive but never be allowed to fragment the whole: “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” Secondly, the insistence that the well-being and safety of a community rest on all of its members accepting the primacy of “The Law” and “obeying” it.
[F. A. U.]
©F A Underwood 2007 All rights reserved