The Jungle Book Questions and Answers
by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What did Mowgli do when he was learning the Laws of the Jungle?

Expert Answers info

ellyanne024 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write4 answers

starTop subjects are History and Literature

I believe you're asking about what is involved in Mowgli's education in the jungle. Baloo the Bear, or "Teacher of the Law," requires Mowgli to learn all of the Laws of the Jungle. Mowgli, being a "man-cub," is taught all of the "Laws of the Jungle" because they all apply to him. Baloo teaches Mowgli the "Wood and Water Laws," most of which involve basic manners for all species in the jungle and how to ensure his presence in the jungle is not disruptive or a nuisance. Mowgli learns how to ask before splashing through a water snake's puddle, how to speak to bees when he accidentally comes across a hive, and how to pardon himself when he wakens a sleeping bat.

Mowgli learns the "Strangers' Hunting Call," needed every time any species in the jungle was going to hunt outside its territory. The Strangers' Hunting Call essentially includes repetition of a call asking for permission to eat until answered. The answer has the restriction of hunting for only food, never pleasure. Since Mowgli has to learn all the Laws of the Jungle, he learns this call in all languages by repeating the phrase over and over.

When Bagheera the Black Panther mentions Mowgli's bruising from Baloo's spankings, Baloo tells him that it is better for Mowgli to be hit softly by someone that loves him rather than someone with intentions to hurt him.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial