Recently, while away from home, I ran out of books to read. Scanning the shelves to see what was available to me at that location, I picked up a copy of The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling.
I began to read and I couldn’t put the book down. I was particularly taken with the elegant turn of phrase which Kipling employs. The stories brought back fond memories of my grade 4 teacher, Mrs Crow, who read these stories to us. What a world she opened up for me. These were probably the first stories I ever heard about India and life there. The animals and the people; it was all new and wonderful to me.
Having read the Jungle book, I moved on to the Just So Stories. Mrs. Crow also read these stories to us. I remembered that I really took to heart the story of the Black cat who walked on his wild wild own. This became a formative moment of my childhood, I think, as I determined to be like the black cat, and make my own way. I shake my head now, but it has made me think about how such a small trigger as one short story read to me when I was nine years old could have had such a profound effect on my life. This is true of all children I suspect. A rich variety of stories gives them a grounding in what life is like and what sort of life will be a fit for them.
In researching Rudyard Kipling further, I learned that he was the first English speaking author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. This happened in 1907 and he was only 42 at the time. Very young for a writer to be given such a prestigious prize. In reading a quick biography of the man I was astonished at how many novels, short stories and poetry he published in his long career. I now have a determination to delve more deeply into his writings. Maybe Kim – or Gunga Din.
Images courtesy:Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org
Current Book Giveaway finishes 31st March..Enter chance to win! https://crystaljournals.com/giveaways/3-book-series-giveaway/
(G.Rosemary Ludlow 27 March 2018)