The Jungle Baby
THE JUNGLE BABY
E.M. & M.F. TAYLOR
Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd.
London . Paris . Berlin . New York .
There was once a little white baby boy called Bab ba, he had bright blue eyes and golden curls, and he had a black Ayah for his nurse. She had been with Bab ba ever since he was quite a tiny baby in long robes, and she was very fond of him. Her name was Jeejee walla, but they just called her Ayah.
Bab ba's Father was an English Officer in India, and they lived in a beautiful white house on the Simla Hills, with a big verandah running all around it. Round about the verandah was a garden, and outside the garden the jungle stretched for miles and miles, and in the jungle were all sorts of beasts and birds.
Little Bab ba used to play on the verandah with his pets, Mioux Mioux, the cat, and Wooff Wooff, the dog, and they both loved him very dearly. Mioux Mioux never scratched him when he accidentally pulled her tail, although she felt very much like doing so; and Wooff Wooff used to stand on his hind legs and perform all sorts of funny tricks to make Bab ba laugh.
Every morning after breakfast Bab ba threw bread crumbs out to the little birds on the lawn, and they used to sit in the trees and watch for him, and sing about him till he came out of the house. "Good little Bab ba, who gives us our food," one would sing; and "We all love little Bab ba," several of the others would reply from another part of the garden.
Mioux Mioux used to watch them out of the corner of her eyes, but she never attempted to catch them because she knew that Bab ba loved them; and Wooff Wooff used to sit with his head on one side and wonder however they managed with only two legs and not four like his.
But one day when Bab ba was feeding the birdies, the big snake Hoodo, who lived in the garden, came creeping under the verandah and tried to catch some of the birds while they were eating, but Bab ba saw him and called out!
"Go away, bad Hoodo, go away!"
and his Ayah heard him and came running out to see what was the matter.
When she saw Hoodo, the big snake, she caught Bab ba up in her arms and ran with him into the house, and two of the men servants came out with big sticks and beat Hoodo over the head and body till he could hardly crawl away again into his hole under a big tree in the garden.
Now Hoodo was a very wicked snake, and was very angry about all this, and he thought and thought about it, and wondered how he could be revenged on little Bab ba, for he put all that had occurred down to him, and so one day, after he had got better he went out into the jungle to see an old friend of his, Tig, the Tiger, and talk the matter over with him.
Hoodo thought that Tig the Tiger was as greedy and cruel as he was himself, and so he asked him how he would like a little white fat baby boy for his dinner, and Tig licked his lips and said, "H'M! we shall see."
Then Hoodo went further into the jungle and met Prowl, the Wolf.
"How would you like a little fat white baby to eat?" asked Hoodo; and Prowl, the Wolf, licked his lips and said, "Ha!" and nothing else.
A little further on Hoodo met Bluf, the big brown Bear, and he asked him what he would do if he met a little fat white baby in the jungle.
And Bluf stood up on his hind legs, hugged himself and said, "Ough! Very nice, very nice indeed!"
And then Poon dah, the big wild Elephant, came crushing through the jungle, and Hoodo had to scurry out of his way, so that he didn't get trampled upon...