Shere Khan’s ears lay flat back on his head, and he shut his eyes, for the blazing branch was very near.
“This cattle-killer said he would kill me in the Council because he had not killed me when I was a cub. Thus and thus, then, do we beat dogs when we are men. Stir a whisker, Lungri, and I ram the Red Flower down thy gullet!” He beat Shere Khan over the head with the branch, and the tiger whimpered and whined in an agony of fear.
“Pah! Singed jungle cat—go now! But remember when next I come to the Council Rock, as a man should come, it will be with Shere Khan’s hide on my head. For the rest, Akela goes free to live as he pleases. Ye will not kill him, because that is not my will. Nor do I think that ye will sit here any longer, lolling out your tongues as though ye were somebodies, instead of dogs whom I drive out—thus! Go!” The fire was burning furiously at the end of the branch, and Mowgli struck right and left round the circle, and the wolves ran howling with the sparks burning their fur. At last there were only Akela, Bagheera, and perhaps ten wolves that had taken Mowgli’s part. Then something began to hurt Mowgli inside him, as he had never been hurt in his life before, and he caught his breath and sobbed, and the tears ran down his face.
“What is it? What is it?” he said. “I do not wish to leave the jungle, and I do not know what this is. Am I dying, Bagheera?”
“No, Little Brother. That is only tears such as men use,” said Bagheera. “Now I know thou art a man, and a man’s cub no longer. The jungle is shut indeed to thee henceforward. Let them fall, Mowgli. They are only tears.” So Mowgli sat and cried as though his heart would break; and he had never cried in all his life before.
“Now,” he said, “I will go to men. But first I must say farewell to my mother.” And he went to the cave where she lived with Father Wolf, and he cried on her coat, while the four cubs howled miserably.
“Ye will not forget me?” said Mowgli.
“Never while we can follow a trail,” said the cubs. “Come to the foot of the hill when thou art a man, and we will talk to thee; and we will come into the croplands to play with thee by night.”
“Come soon!” said Father Wolf. “Oh, wise little frog, come again soon; for we be old, thy mother and I.”
“Come soon,” said Mother Wolf, “little naked son of mine. For, listen, child of man, I loved thee more than ever I loved my cubs.”
“I will surely come,” said Mowgli. “And when I come it will be to lay out Shere Khan’s hide upon the Council Rock. Do not forget me! Tell them in the jungle never to forget me!”
The dawn was beginning to break when Mowgli went down the hillside alone, to meet those mysterious things that are called men.
Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled Once, twice and again! And a doe leaped up, and a doe leaped up From the pond in the wood where the wild deer sup. This I, scouting alone, beheld, Once, twice and again!
As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled Once, twice and again! And a wolf stole back, and a wolf stole back To carry the word to the waiting pack, And we sought and we found and we bayed on his track Once, twice and again!
As the dawn was breaking the Wolf Pack yelled Once, twice and again! Feet in the jungle that leave no mark!
Eyes that can see in the dark—the dark! Tongue—give tongue to it! Hark! O hark! Once, twice and again! ——————————————————–
Kaa’s Hunting His spots are the joy of the Leopard: his horns are the Buffalo’s pride. Be clean, for the strength of the hunter is known by the gloss of his hide. If ye find that the Bullock can toss you, or the heavy-browed Sambhur can gore; Ye need not stop work to inform us: we knew it ten seasons before. Oppress not the cubs of the stranger, but hail them as Sister and Brother, For though they are little and fubsy, it may be the Bear is their mother. “There is none like to me!” says the Cub in the pride of his earliest kill; But the jungle is large and the Cub he is small. Let him think and be still. Maxims of Baloo