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Jungle

Mowgli's Training


Baloo the bear taught Mowgli the Law of the Jungle. Baloo was very happy to have such a good student. The young wolves will learn only the parts of the Law of the Jungle that apply to their pack or tribe, and run away when they can repeat the Hunting Verse: - "Feet that make no noise; eyes that can see in the dark; ears that can hear the winds in the lairs, and sharp white teeth, all these things are the marks of our brothers except Tabaqui the Jackal and the hyaena whom we hate". But Mowgli, being a man-cub had to learn a great deal more than this.

Bagheera often came to watch Mowgli learn his lessons. Since he could climb the trees well and could swim he had to learn the wood laws and how to warn the water snakes that he was coming, so as not to startle them.

He also had to learn the Strangers' Hunting Call, which must be repeated until it is answered whenever one of the Jungle-People hunts outside his own grounds. Translated, it goes like this: Give me leave to hunt here because I am hungry.". The reply is "Hunt then for food, not for pleasure".

Mowgli became very tired of repeating all this over and over and Baloo gave him a cuff which sent him running off in a temper. Bagheera said that Baloo was being too hard on the boy, but Baloo replied that he was a Man-cub and must learn the whole Law. He considered that it as better that Mowgli receive a few bruises from him in teaching him everything than that he should come to harm through ignorance.

Baloo taught Mowgli the Master Words of the jungle. These would protect him from the birds and the Snake people and all those animals that hunt on four feet except his own people. These words were "We be of one blood, you and I". Mowgli had to learn these words in the language of the Hunting-people, the Birds and the Snakes.