Originally written for his young daughter Josephine, who died tragically aged six, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is a collection of short stories which were published separately in magazines before being compiled into a book.
The stories are in the form of fables, where animals communicate and speak to each other as humans do and the purpose of each story was to convey a moral or message to the reader.
Modern readers would be more familiar with the Disney animated version in which Mowgli the little “man-cub” is raised by wolves. As he grows, he is trained by denizens of the jungle like Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the snake. The dreaded tiger Sher Khan is a diabolical villain, feared by all. However, the book is quite different from the Disney film which tends to romanticize some of the characters and demonize others! The original Jungle Book includes the delightful Riki Tiki Tavi tales about a valiant and clever mongoose who protects his friends from the dan…