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1893. A meeting with Rudyard Kipling and his editor.
Editor: Ah, Mr. Kipling. Good to see you. Please have a seat.
Kipling: Thank you.
Editor: I wanted to talk to you about your submission…this “Jungle Book”
Kipling: Yes, not one of my best.
Editor: Well, it is a rather a short story, isn’t it?
Kipling: Yes, I was a bit bored and distracted.
Editor: I really think you might consider fleshing it out a bit more.
Kipling: Fleshing it out?
Editor: Well, yes. I mean there is a little boy and he wanders away from his village and into the jungle…
Editor: …and he gets eaten by wolves.
Kipling: Well, that’s what would happen. It’s realistic.
Editor: Of course, of course…but what if…go with me here…what if the little tyke was taken in and actually raised by the wolves.
Kipling stares at his grinning editor for a moment.
Kipling: You’re not serious, are you? Who would believe that?
Editor: Think of it as, well a sort of fable.
Kipling: I don’t know.
The editor stands up and walks to the window and looks out.
Editor: And as the toddler grows up a bit he’s befriended by a panther.
Kipling: A panther?
Editor: Yes. A black panther who would look after him and offer him advice.
Kipling: It’s a bit early to be drinking, isn’t it?
Editor: What? No, look I’m serious. And then your young lad, is befriended by a large bear.
Kipling: A bear? A bear would tear him apart.
Editor: Yes, yes…you should call the bear Baloo…and I see a large snake…and a monkeys, a lot of monkeys…and a tiger…a big ferocious tiger…
Kipling quietly rises from his chair and sneaks out of the office while his editor growls and claws wildly at the window.