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