My head is ringing like a bee-tree, said a sullen little voice over their heads, and Mowgli slid down a tree-trunk very angry and indignant, adding as he reached the ground: I come for Bagheera and not for thee, fat old Baloo!
That is all one to me, said Baloo, though he was hurt and grieved. Tell Bagheera, then, the Master- Words of the Jungle that I have taught thee this day.
Master-Words for which people? said Mowgli, delighted to show off. The Jungle has many tongues. I know them all.
A little thou knowest, but not much. See, O Bagheera, they never thank their teacher. Not one small wolfling has ever come back to thank old Baloo for his teachings. Say the word for the Hunting-People, thengreat scholar.
We be of one blood, ye and I, said Mowgli, giving the words the Bear accent which all the Hunting- People use.
Good. Now for the birds.
Mowgli repeated, with the Kites whistle at the end of the sentence.
Now for the Snake-People, said Bagheera.
The answer was a perfectly indescribable hiss, and Mowgli kicked up his feet behind, clapped his hands together to applaud himself, and jumped on to Bagheeras back, where he sat sideways, drumming with his heels on the glossy skin and making the worst faces he could think of at Baloo.
Therethere! That was worth a little bruise, said the brown bear tenderly. Some day thou wilt remember me. Then he turned aside to tell Bagheera how he had begged the Master-Words from Hathi the Wild Elephant who knows all about these things, and how Hathi had taken Mowgli down to a pool to get the Snake Word from a water-snake, because Baloo could not pronounce it, and how Mowgli was now reasonably safe against all accidents in the Jungle, because neither snake, bird, nor beast would hurt him.
No one, then, is to be feared, Baloo wound up, patting his big furry stomach with pride.
Except his own tribe, said Bagheera, under his breath, and then aloud to Mowgli: Have a care for my ribs, Little Brother! What is all this dancing up and down?
Mowgli had been trying to make himself heard by pulling at Bagheeras shoulder-fur and kicking hard. When the two listened to him he was shouting at the top of his voice, And so I shall have a tribe of my own, and lead them through the branches all day long.
What is this new folly, little dreamer of dreams? said Bagheera.
Yes, and throw branches and dirt at old Baloo, Mowgli went on. They have promised me this. Ah!
Whoof! Baloos big paw scooped Mowgli off Bagheeras back, and as the boy lay between the big forepaws he could see the Bear was angry.
Mowgli, said Baloo, thou hast been talking with the Banker-logthe Monkey-People.
Mowgli looked at Bagheera to see if the Panther was angry too, and Bagheeras eyes were as hard as jade-stones.
Thou hast been with the Monkey-Peoplethe grey apesthe people without a Lawthe eaters of everything. That is great shame.
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