Page 27

The Jungle book

Mowgli uses fire

Mowgli stood up. He was holding the fire pot in his hands. He stretched his arms, and yawned at the Council. But he was feeling very angry, and very sad. This was the first time that the wolves had told him how much they hated him. "Listen!" he shouted. "I don't need this stupid talk from you dogs. You say that I am a man. If you did not say that I was a man, I would have been a wolf until I died. But now I know you are right. So you are not my brothers any more. I will call you dogs, because that is what a man should call you. You are not the ones who decide what will happen now. I will do that. So we can see this more easily, I, who am a man, have got the Red Flower here with me. It frightens you, because you are dogs."

Mowgli threw the fire pot on the ground. Some of the grass there quickly caught fire. All the wolves in the Council jumped back in from the flames, because they were scared of them.

Mowgli pushed his dry branch into the fire until it started to burn. Then he shook the branch at the frightened wolves.

"You have won," said Bagheera quietly. "Now save Akela from death. He was always your friend."

Akela, the hard old wolf had never in his life asked anybody to help him. Now he gave one look, asking for help from Mowgli . Mowgli stood, wearing nothing except his long black hair on his shoulders while the light of the fire made the shadows jump and shiver.

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