The Jungle Book is made up of 7 short stories surrounding India. The first three feature Mowgli [translation; Little Frog:] a human baby raised by the Seeonee wolf-pack in the jungles of India.
Shere Khan, a tiger, planed to kill him, but a family of wolves rescued him, dubbed him Mowgli, and refused to let Shere Khan take him. The tiger swears to hunt Mowgli, and Mother Wolf tells Shere Khan that one day, Mowgli shall hunt him down. (And so it is, in the story "Tiger, Tiger!")
"Ye choose and ye do not choose! What talk is this of choosing? By the bull that I killed, am I to stand nosing into your dog's den for my fair dues? It is I, Shere Khan, who speak!"
The tiger's roar filled the cave with thunder. Mother Wolf shook herself clear of the cubs and sprang forward, her eyes, like to green moons in the darkness, facing the blazing eyes of Shere Khan.
"And it is I, Rasha [the Demon:] who answer. The mans cub is mine, Lungri--mine to me! He shall not be killed. He shall live to run with the Pack and to hunt with the Pack; and in the end, look you, hunter of little naked cubs--frog-eater--fish-killer--he shall hunt thee! Now get hence, or by the Sambhur that I killed (I eat no starved cattle) back thou goest to thy mother, burned beast of the Jungle, lamer than ever thou camest into the wold! Go!"
The tales of Mowgli were my favorite, but another good one was chapter 5, "Rikki-tikki-tavi!" A tale of a mongoose, adopted by a human family. He saves their lives from the poisonous snakes in the garden, Nag and Nagaina.
Rikki-tikki felt his eyes go red (when a mongoose's eyes grow red, he is angry), and he sat back on his tail and hind legs like a kangaroo, and looked round him, and chattered with rage. But Nag and Nagaina had disappeared into the grass. When a snake misses its stroke, it never says anything or gives any sign of what it means to do next. Rikki-tikki did not care to follow them, for he did not feel sure that he could manage two snakes at once.
The other three stories are good, but not as good as the ones mentioned above. I did like them, though.
There is "The White Seal", in which a pure while seal named Kotick journeys off to find an island not inhabited by man, so all seals can live in peace, without the worry of being skinned;
"Hi! It's me," said Kotick, bobbing in the surf and looking like a little white slug.
"Well! May I be--skinned!" said Sea Vitch, and they all looked at Kotick as you fancy a club full of drowsy old gentleman would look at a little boy. Kotick did not care to hear any more about skinning just then; he had seen enough of it, so he called out: "Isn't there any place for seals to go where men don't ever come?"
And "Toomia of the Elephants", in which a young boy witness The Dance of the Elephants;
Little Toomia's face was grey and pinched, and his hair was full of leaves and drenched with dew; but he tried to salute Petersen Sahib, and cried faintly: "The dance--the elephant-dance! I have seen it, and--I die!" as Kala Nag sat down, he slid off his [the elephant's:] neck in a dead faint.
And the last story of the whole Jungle Book, "The Queen's Servants." Some animals meet in the night at a war camp, and have a lengthy conversation.
"True enough," said Billy. "Stop shaking, youngster. The first time they put the full harness on with all its chains on my back, I stood on my forelegs and kicked every bit of it off. of course, I hadn't learned the real science of kicking then, but the battery said they had never seen anything like it."
I liked this book very much, I found the old language fascinating to read, and the characters had so much depth! My favorite character was Rikki-tikki-tavi, I would very much like to have him as a pet. This book was a great read. I finished it in a matter of days. I recommend reading this when you are waiting for another book to come in from the library. (That's what I did.) I liked it very much!