How the Whale Got His Throat

Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML

Rudyard Kipling

With English notes by Jesse Steele

In the sea, once upon a time, O my Best Beloved, there was a Whale, and he ate fishes. He ate the starfish and the garfish, and the crab and the dab, and the plaice and the dace, and the skate and his mate, and the mackereel and the pickereel, and the really truly twirly-whirly eel. All the fishes he could find in all the sea he ate with his mouth—so! Till at last there was only one small fish left in all the sea, and he was a small ‘Stute Fish (quite astute indeed), and he swam a little behind the Whale’s right ear, so as to be out of harm’s way. Then the Whale stood up on his tail and said, “I’m hungry.” And the small ‘Stute Fish said in a small ‘stute voice, “Noble and generous Cetacean, have you ever tasted Man?”

“No,” said the Whale. “What is it like?”

“Nice,” said the small ‘Stute Fish. “Nice but nubbly.”

“Then fetch me some,” said the Whale, and he made the sea froth up with his tail. Continue reading “How the Whale Got His Throat”

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML

Rudyard Kipling

With English notes by Jesse Steele

Once upon a time, on an uninhabited island on the shores of the Red Sea, there lived a Parsee (having a very mystical sentiency) from whose hat the rays of the sun were reflected in more-than-oriental splendour. And the Parsee lived by the Red Sea with nothing but his hat and his knife and a cooking-stove of the kind that you must particularly never touch. And one day he took flour and water and currants and plums and sugar and things, and made himself one cake which was two feet across and three feet thick. It was indeed a Superior Comestible (that’s magic), and he put it on the stove because he was allowed to cook on that stove, and he baked it and he baked it till it was all done brown and smelt most sentimental. But just as he was going to eat it there came down to the beach from the Altogether Uninhabited Interior one Rhinoceros with a horn on his nose, two piggy eyes, and few manners. In those days the Rhinoceros’s skin fitted him quite tight. There were no wrinkles in it anywhere. He looked exactly like a Noah’s Ark Rhinoceros, but of course much bigger. All the same, he had no manners then, and he has no manners now, and he never will have any manners. He said, “How!” and the Parsee left that cake and climbed to the top of a palm tree with nothing on but his hat, from which the rays of the sun were always reflected in more-than-oriental splendour. And the Rhinoceros upset the oil-stove with his nose, and the cake rolled on the sand, and he spiked that cake on the horn of his nose, and he ate it, and he went away, waving his tail, to the desolate and Exclusively Uninhabited Interior which abuts on the islands of Mazanderan, Socotra, and the Promontories of the Larger Equinox. Then the Parsee came down from his palm-tree and put the stove on its legs and recited the following Sloka, which, as you have not heard, I will now proceed to relate:— Continue reading “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin”

How the Camel Got His Hump

Doc on Google Drive | Simple HTML

Rudyard Kipling

With English notes by Jesse Steele

Now this is the next tale, and it tells how the Camel got his big hump.

In the beginning of years, when the world was so new and all, and the Animals were just beginning to work for Man, there was a Camel, and he lived in the middle of a Howling Desert because he did not want to work; and besides, he was a Howler himself. So he ate sticks and thorns and tamarisks and milkweed and prickles, most ‘scruciating idle (that is, ‘excruciating idle’); and when anybody spoke to him he said “Humph!” Just “Humph!” and no more.

Presently the Horse came to him on Monday morning, with a saddle on his back and a bit in his mouth, and said, “Camel, O Camel, come out and trot like the rest of us.”

“Humph!” said the Camel; and the Horse went away and told the Man. Continue reading “How the Camel Got His Hump”