Father Wolf: [hearing Shere Khan roar] That fool! To begin a night's work with that noise. Does Shere Kahn think that...

Mother Wolf: Shh! It is neither buck nor bullock that he hunts tonight - it is man.

Father Wolf: Man? Not man on our hunting ground!

Narrator: The law of the Jungle, which never orders anything without reason, forbids every beast to eat man. The reason for this is that man-killing means sooner or later that men will come with guns and set the grass alight, and hundreds of men will scour the jungle for the killer with gongs and rockets and torches. Then, everybody in the jungle suffers.

Father Wolf: Shere Khan does us great honor. What does Shere Khan need?

Shere Khan: My quarry - the Man's Cub. It's parents escaped me - give him to me!

Tabaqui the Jackal: It is his. Give it to him.

Father Wolf: The wolves are a free people. They take orders from the head of the pack, and not from any striped cattle killer. The Man's Cub is ours, to kill if we choose.

Shere Khan: You choose and you do not choose!

Tabaqui the Jackal: What is this talk of choosing, O master?

Shere Khan: Am I to stand nosing into your dog's den for my fair dues?

Tabaqui the Jackal: Fair dues!

Shere Khan: It is I, Shere Khan who speaks!

Mother Wolf: And it is I, Raksha the demon who answer. The Man's Cub is mine - 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, he shall hunt you. Now get hence, back to your starved cattle, branded beast of the jungle! Go!

Narrator: Now this is the law of the jungle/ as old and as true as the sky/ And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runs both forward and back/ For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

Mother Wolf: [seeing Mowgli for the first time] How little. How naked - and how bold! So this is a man's cub.

Father Wolf: He is altogether without a hair, and I could kill him with a touch of my paw.

Mother Wolf: But see? He looks up, and is not afraid.

Akela: Look well O wolves, you know the law!

Narrator: Now, the Law of the Jungle lays down that if there is any dispute as to the right of a cub to be accepted by the pack, he must be spoken for by at least two members of the pack, who are not his father and mother.

Baloo the Bear: Mm, the Man's Cub? The Man's Cub? I speak for the Man's Cub. There is no harm in a Man's Cub. I have no gift for words, but I speak the truth.

Bagheera the Panter: O Akela, and you Free People, I have no right to speak in your assembly. But the Law of the Jungle says, that if there is a doubt in regard to a new cub, the life of that cub may be bought at a price. Am I right?

Wolves: Good! Good! Listen to Bagheera! The cub can be bought for a price! It is the law!

Bagheera the Panter: Baloo has spoken on his behalf. Now, to Baloo's word, I will add one bull, and a fat one, newly killed, not half a mile from here, if you will accept the Man's Cub according to the law. Is it difficult?

Wolves: What does it matter? He will die in the rain! He will scorch in the sun! Let him run with the pack! What harm can a naked frog do us?

Akela: Look well, look well O wolves!

Narrator: And that is how Mowgli was entered into the Seonee wolf pack, for the price of a bull, and Baloo's good word.

Narrator: Now, we must be content to skip ten or eleven whole years, and only guess at the wonderful life Mowgli led among the wolves, because if it were written, it would fill an enormous book. He lived with the Seonee wolf pack, and with the cubs, although they of course were grown wolves almost before he was a child. Father Wolf taught him the meaning of all things in the Jungle, until every rustle in the grass, every breath of warm night air, every note of an owl above his head, every scratch of a bat's claws as it roosted for a while in a tree, and every splash of every little fish jumping in a pool, meant just as much to him as our everyday work means to us.

Bagheera the Panther: Little Brother, how often have I told you that Shere Khan is your enemy?

Mowgli: [yawns] As many times as there are nuts on that palm. What of it? I am sleepy Bagheera, and Shere Khan is all long tail, and loud talk.

Bagheera the Panther: [smacks Mowgli] Shere Khan is all long teeth, and long memory.

Baloo the Bear: I have it! What we need is the Red Flower!

Bagheera the Panter: The Red Flower!

Mowgli: The Red Flower! We will go to the lairs where men live, and pick the Red Flower! Come Bagheera. Keep watch Baloo!

Baloo the Bear: Yes Mowgli. With the Red Flower you will have even a stronger friend than I or Bagheera.

Narrator: By Red Flower, Baloo meant fire. But no creature in the jungle will call fire by its proper name - every beast lives in deadly fear of it.

Mowgli: Free People! Does Shere Kahn lead the pack? Are we all jackals to fawn on this cattle butcher?

Tabaqui the Jackal: Silence, you Man's Cub!

Akela: Let the Man's Cub speak. He has kept our law.

Shere Khan: Silence!

Tabaqui the Jackal: He is Shere Khan's meat! Give him to Shere Khan!

Akela: He is our brother in all but blood, and you would kill him. Indeed, I have lived too long.

Mowgli: Akela goes free to live as he pleases, and you will not kill him! For that is not my will! You have told me so often tonight that I am a man, and indeed I would have been a wolf with you to my life's end, but I feel your words are true! So, I do not call you my brothers anymore, but dogs! As a man should!

Mowgli: [to Shere Khan] Up, mangy cat! Up, when a man speaks! The cattle butcher said he would kill me as a man, because he had not killed me as a cub! Stir a whisker, and I ram the Red Flower down your throat!

Mowgli: [crying] What is it? What is wrong with my eyes? Am I dying, Bagheera?

Bagheera the Panther: No, Little Brother. It is only tears, such as men use. Now I see that you are a man, and the Jungle is shut indeed to you forever. Let them fall, Mowgli. They are only tears.

[last lines]

Narrator: The dawn was beginning to break when Mowgli went down the hillside alone, to meet those mysterious things called men.