FIRST LINES FRIDAY: The Jungle Books, by Rudyard Kipling

Hello, Friday! First Lines Friday is a feature on my blog in which I post the first lines from a book I am interested in reading, either a new release or a backlist title! For the next several Fridays, I will be featuring titles I am going to hopefully read as part of my 12 Decades/12 Months/12 Books challenge (#12decades12books). I read The Jungle Books in 2013 for my master’s thesis to compare parts of it and its significance to Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, but I want to revisit it as a more mature and aware reader!

It was seven o’clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day’s rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips. Mother Wolf lay with her big gray nose dropped across her four tumbling, squealing cubs, and the moon shone into the mouth of the cave where they all lived. ‘Augrh!’ said Father Wolf, ‘it is time to hunt again’; and he was going to spring down hill when a little shadow with a bushy tail crossed the threshold and whined: ‘Good luck go with you, O Chief of the Wolves; and good luck and strong teeth go with the noble children, that they may never forget the hungry in this world.’

It was the jackal — Tabaqui, the Dish-licker — and the wolves of India despise Tabaqui because he runs about making mischief, and telling tales, and eating rags and pieces of leather from the village rubbish-heaps. But they are afraid of him too, because Tabaqui, more than anyone else in the jungle, is apt to go mad, and then he forgets that he was ever afraid of anyone, and runs through the forest biting everything in his way. Even the tiger runs and rides when little Tabaqui goes mad, for madness is the most disgraceful thing that can overtake a wild creature. We call it hydrophobia, but they call it dewanee — the madness — and run.

What do you think of The Jungle Books and any of its adaptations?

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