I return! Over a month since my last post, oops. I’ve been pretty busy, visiting friends, camping, and spending two weeks in the Peak District with my family. I have, though, also finished five books in that time. First, The Jungle Book.
The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
I went camping in Rye on the last weekend of July, with some friends (including Lauren). It rained all day on the Sunday, and we had a puddle situation in our tent. It was stressful. But other than that, we had a lovely time, and barbecued meats and had a good laugh. It was also the furthest I have ever driven, and I am still pretty pleased with myself.
We decided that, as we are all National Trust members, we would visit Rudyard Kipling’s house, Bateman’s, on the way home. The house is beautiful, and has some fascinating features, and I had no idea that Kipling had such an interesting (and sad) life. So, later that week, when I needed a book to take with me on a train, I picked up The Jungle Book. My copy is much-loved (battered, faded, dog-eared), given to me when I was about 9, in a big set of Puffin Classics which has, sadly, been whittled down over the years (I was so daft to get rid of so many books) – these days, only this, Just So Stories and A Little Princess survived the culls. I devoured it as a child, and have returned to it many times – it’s one of my most-read books. I remember being fascinated by the thought of India as Kipling tells it – I also read A Little Princess around the same time, and the two worked together to create this wonderful, intangible imagery, this idea of a country that I had so little context for. It was like magic without a single spell.
The Disney film was one of my Grandad’s favourite films (he loved cartoons), so I associate it strongly with him. I love it, too, but I wish more people had read the book as well. I wish they knew, too, about The Dance Of The Hunger Of Kaa, and everything that Baloo taught Mowgli, and the other stories, too, like Rikki Tikki Tavi the Mongoose and Kotick the Seal.
Other categories that The Jungle Book fits into: a book that became a movie, a book with non-human characters, a book of short stories, a book more than 100 years old, a book you can finish in a day, a book from your childhood