Mowgli’s Song

Mowgli’s Song

<p><p>THAT HE SANG AT THE COUNCIL ROCK WHEN HE<br> DANCED ON SHERE KHAN’S HIDE<br><br>The Song of Mowgli–I, Mowgli, am singing. Let the jungle<br> listen to the things I have done.<br><br>Shere Khan said he would kill–would kill! At the gates in the<br> twilight he would kill Mowgli, the Frog!<br><br>He ate and he drank. Drink deep, Shere Khan, for when wilt thou<br> drink again? Sleep and dream of the kill.<br><br>I am alone on the grazing-grounds. Gray Brother, come to me!<br> Come to me, Lone Wolf, for there is big game afoot!<br><br>Bring up the great bull buffaloes, the blue-skinned herd bulls<br> with the angry eyes. Drive them to and fro as I order.<br><br>Sleepest thou still, Shere Khan? Wake, oh, wake! Here come I,<br> and the bulls are behind.<br><br>Rama, the King of the Buffaloes, stamped with his foot. Waters of<br> the Waingunga, whither went Shere Khan?<br><br>He is not Ikki to dig holes, nor Mao, the Peacock, that he should<br> fly. He is not Mang the Bat, to hang in the branches. Little<br> bamboos that creak together, tell me where he ran?<br><br>Ow! He is there. Ahoo! He is there. Under the feet of Rama<br> lies the Lame One! Up, Shere Khan!<br><br>Up and kill! Here is meat; break the necks of the bulls!<br><br>Hsh! He is asleep. We will not wake him, for his strength is<br> very great. The kites have come down to see it. The black<br> ants have come up to know it. There is a great assembly in his<br> honor.<br><br>Alala! I have no cloth to wrap me. The kites will see that I am<br> naked. I am ashamed to meet all these people.<br><br>Lend me thy coat, Shere Khan. Lend me thy gay striped coat that I<br> may go to the Council Rock.<br><br>By the Bull that bought me I made a promise–a little promise.<br> Only thy coat is lacking before I keep my word.<br><br>With the knife, with the knife that men use, with the knife of the<br> hunter, I will stoop down for my gift.<br><br>Waters of the Waingunga, Shere Khan gives me his coat for the love<br> that he bears me. Pull, Gray Brother! Pull, Akela! Heavy is<br> the hide of Shere Khan.<br><br>The Man Pack are angry. They throw stones and talk child’s talk.<br> My mouth is bleeding. Let me run away.<br><br>Through the night, through the hot night, run swiftly with me, my<br> brothers. We will leave the lights of the village and go to<br> the low moon.<br><br>Waters of the Waingunga, the Man-Pack have cast me out. I did<br> them no harm, but they were afraid of me. Why?<br><br>Wolf Pack, ye have cast me out too. The jungle is shut to me and<br> the village gates are shut. Why?<br><br>As Mang flies between the beasts and birds, so fly I between the<br> village and the jungle. Why?<br><br>I dance on the hide of Shere Khan, but my heart is very heavy. My<br> mouth is cut and wounded with the stones from the village, but<br> my heart is very light, because I have come back to the jungle.<br> Why?<br><br>These two things fight together in me as the snakes fight in the<br> spring. The water comes out of my eyes; yet I laugh while it<br> falls. Why?<br><br>I am two Mowglis, but the hide of Shere Khan is under my feet.<br><br>All the jungle knows that I have killed Shere Khan. Look–look<br> well, O Wolves!<br><br>Ahae! My heart is heavy with the things that I do not understand.