Summaries from

by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Books was originally published as two separate volumes of short stories:

The Jungle Book (1894)                                                          The Second Jungle Book (1895)

_________________________                                  ________________________________

1. Mowgliıs Brothers *                                                 1. How Fear Came *

2. Kaaıs Hunting *                                                       2. The Miracle of Purun Bhagat

3. Tiger-Tiger *                                                             3. Letting in the Jungle *

4. The White Seal                                                          4. The Undertakers

5. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi                                                       5. The Kingıs Ankus *

6. Toomai of the Elephants                                            6. Quiquern

7. Servants of the Queen                                               7. Red Dog *

                                                                                     8. The Spring Running *

An * denotes the stories with Mowgli

³Mowgliıs Brothers²

(1)  Mowgli, a male infant (or man-cub), miraculously escapes Shere Khan (the Bengal tiger) and makes his way to a wolf pack.  A wolf couple, who recently had four cubs of their own, adopt Mowgli and protect him from Shere Khan.  At the wolf gathering, Father and Mother Wolf present Mowgli.  Akela, the wolf leader, proclaims that Mowgli needs two other sponsors besides the wolf couple.  Baloo (the brown bear) and Bagheera (the black panther) sponsor Mowgli.  Shere Khan becomes angry that the wolves do not give him Mowgli.

(2)  Ten or eleven years later, Mowgli has learned to live in the jungle according to Jungle Law.  But in the meantime, Shere Khan had made friends with many of the younger wolves and had convinced them to despise Mowgli.  Bagheera warns Mowgli and tells him to get the Red Flower (fire) from the man village.  When Akela becomes too old to be an effective leader, Shere Khan makes his move.  The wolves who follow the tiger advance on Mowgli.  But Mowgli takes a burning branch and beats Shere Khan with it and swings it at the rebellious wolves.  Although Mowgli scares off Shere Khan and his followers, the boy realizes he is no longer part of the Wolf Pack.  So, he goes off to the man village.

³Kaaıs Hunting²

This story takes place before Mowgli left the Wolf Pack.  Baloo teaches Mowgli the Master Words so that he can communicate and enlist the aid of the various animals of the jungle.  But Mowgli is misled by the Monkey-People, who tell him that they will make him their leader.  Baloo and Bagheera warn Mowgli that the Monkeys are foolish and are incapable of carrying out any plan for any sustained length of time.  But the warning comes too late: the Monkeys want Mowgli and kidnap him.  However, Mowgli remembers a Master Word and asks Chil (a kite: a predatory bird) to notify Baloo and Bagheera.  Baloo asks Kaa (a 30-foot python) for help, and they track Mowgli to the Lost City [or Monkey City].  With the help of Kaa, Baloo and Bagheera defeat the Monkeys and rescue Mowgli.


This story takes place after Mowgli left the Wolf Pack.  Mowgli goes to a man village and is rescued by Messua and her husband, who believe Mowgli to be their own son who was taken by a tiger many years ago.  Mowgli learns the ways and speech of man.  But soon Mowgli hears from Grey Brother (one of his wolf cub step-brothers) that Shere Khan is plotting revenge.  In the village Mowgli makes enemies of Buldeo (the hunter) and the priest and other men when he, Mowgli, criticizes their foolish stories about the jungle and the animals and when he mocks the village god.  Mowgli is given the menial task of herding the cattle.  Later, when Mowgli hears that Shere Khan has come back, he divides the cattle up into two groups.  Mowgli takes one group of cattle on one side of a ravine, and Akela and Grey Brother take charge of the other cattle on the opposite side of the ravine.  Mowgli taunts Shere Khan and traps him in the middle of the ravine.  Mowgli charges the cattle to stampede, and Shere Khan is trampled to death.  When Mowgli is skinning the tiger, Buldeo comes and tries to take the tiger skin for himself.  But Mowgli and Akela scare Buldeo away.  Buldeo tells the villagers that Mowgli is a sorcerer and demon, and they stop Mowgli from returning to the village.  Mowgli places the tiger hide on Council Rock for all of the Wolf Pack to see, but then Mowgli leaves the Wolf Pack once again.

³How Fear Came²

During a time of drought and famine, when all of the animals are allowed to drink at the river in peace with one another, Shere Khan boasts that he had killed a man (against Jungle Law) because it was his ancient right.  Hathi (the old elephant) tells a story that explains the tigerıs ancient right:

In the golden days of long ago, animals lived in peace with one another, and none of the animals ate meat.  Tha (the leader of the elephants) made the laws, but he made the First of the Tigers (the tiger leader) a judge to act in his absence.  One night two bucks quarrel, and the Tiger gets knocked over in the scuffle.  The Tiger gets angry and kills the buck who knocked him down.  That was the first Death, and the Tiger runs away because of the madness that occurs when he smells the blood of the buck.  Tha orders the creeping vines to mark the Tiger, who up to that time had a pure golden coat.  Later Tha chooses a Grey Ape as his judge, but the Apeıs foolishness and stupidity brings Shame to the jungle.  Tha warns the animals about Fear, and a buffalo reveals that he has seen Fear living in a cave.  Soon the Tiger discovers that all of the animals live in fear of him except the hairless one (man) who lives in a cave.  The Tiger is afraid of the hairless one.  The Tiger gets upset that all the animals are afraid of him.  Tha, as a consolation, grants the tiger a right: for one night out of every year man will become afraid of the tiger but the tiger will not be afraid of man.  On that night the Tiger kills the man because the Tiger thinks that he will get rid of all Fear by doing this.  Tha tells the foolish Tiger that he has taught man to kill.  Soon after, another man stabs the Tiger with his spear.

³Letting in the Jungle²

Buldeo (the man hunter) ventures into the forest to hunt down Mowgli.  Mowgli overhears Buldeo tell other men that Messua and her husband are being kept prisoners since they befriended Mowgli.  Buldeo adds that the couple will be burned to death when he returns to the village.  Mowgli returns to the village first and helps Messua and her husband to escape.  Mowgli then enlists the aid of Hathi (the elephant) and his sons to trample the fields and to stampede the village.  The villagers are unhurt, but they are forced to leave their homes.  The jungle soon grows over the ruins of the village.

³The Kingıs Ankus²

Kaa (the python) tells Mowgli of a White Cobra that he met in the Cold Lairs (underground, beneath the Lost City), who told Kaa that there is a fabulous treasure there.  The Cobra is the guardian of the treasure and believes that the Lost City is still populated by man.  The Cobra shows Kaa and Mowgli the treasure, but only an ankus (a jewelled stick with a golden spike and hook used for goading elephants) interests Mowgli.  However, the Cobra tries to kill Mowgli, so Mowgli pins the Cobra down with the ankus and discovers that the old Cobraıs fangs are withered and useless.  The Cobra warns Mowgli that the ankus will only bring death, but Mowgli takes it anyway.  Later Bagheera tells Mowgli that the ankus is used to hurt elephants, so Mowgli throws it away.  Later a man finds the object, and another man kills him in order to take it from him.  Mowgli and Bagheera find the body of the second man, who was killed by four men.  Mowgli and Bagheera track the four men and find a third dead body.  Finally, they arrive at the campsite of the other three men, all of whom are dead.  The ankus is lying nearby.

³Red Dog²

A group of hundreds of dholes, or Red Dogs (jackals or coyotes, probably), from the south come into the Jungle and drive out all other animals in their path.  Mowgli, with Kaaıs help, leads the Red Dogs into a trap, where many are killed by deadly bees while the surviving dogs are forced to battle the wolves.  The wolves are victorious, but Akela dies in the battle.

³The Spring Running²

Two years after the fight with the Red Dogs, Mowgli is 17 years old.  During the Time of the New Talk (spring), all of the animals go a little mad with excitement.  Mowgli is restless and yearns for something, but he doesnıt know what exactly it is that he wants.  He thinks he has been poisoned and runs and cries in order to shake the horrible feeling.  Eventually he goes to a village and finds Messua, who now has a baby son but whose husband has died.  Mowgli stays with her for a while, but then leaves with Grey Brother.  However, Mowgli canıt help but stare at a pretty village girl before he leaves.  At Council Rock Mowgli reunites with his four wolf brothers, Baloo, and Kaa.  Mowgli tells them that a Red Flower burns inside him.  Baloo tells Mowgli that it is an urge to return to his own kind, to return to the man village.  Bagheera arrives and tells Mowgli to do as Baloo suggests.  So, Mowgli goes.  This is the last of the Mowgli stories.

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