Genre: Children’s Fiction
Like most of my generation, I was introduced to the story of the Jungle Book, through the animated series which came on TV in the early 90s. The adventures of Mowgli and his friends were a staple ingredient of Sunday morning TV viewing. Now all these years I had thought of reading up the novel yet never got down to doing so till now. And then came a surprise for me as “The Jungle Book” turned out to be not one novel but a collection of short stories. Mowgli’s adventures comprise only three of the tales while the others narrate different wildlife tales.
The book comprises of seven short stories
- "Mowgli’s Brothers" is the story of how a human baby, Mowgli got adopted by a family of wolves and how he has to leave the wolf pack to fight the tiger Shere Khan.
- In "Kaa’s Hunting", Mowgli gets kidnapped by the Bandar-log and is rescued by his friends Baloo and Bagheera with the aid of Kaa.
- "Tiger, Tiger" goes back to main story where an outcast Mowgli reaches a human village and his troubles in adjusting to the human life. Mowgli aided by his brothers also gets into a final decisive battle with his arch-enemy Shere Khan.
- "The White Seal" is the story of a young seal Kotick, who searches the oceans for a place away from human beings who hunt baby seals.
- "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" is a mongoose who defends his adopted human family from a pair of snakes.
- "Toomai of the Elephants" is a story of a young boy who tends to working elephants set in Indian jungles. He gets the privilege of watching an elephant’s dance.
- "Her Majesty’s Servants" is the story of a night-time meeting of a group of animals all employed in different divisions of Her Majesty's Army. Their meeting is overheard by a British officer.
The stories are all set in late 19th century British India with the exception of the White Seal. The stories mostly depict anthramorphised animals with humans often being the secondary characters. The tales are also intended to be a good moral lesson for all.
Extra – Just to revive the memories of our good old (or young) days
Previously on BookMarks – Mrs Funnybones