In all the expressions of appreciation that Mr. Kipling's Jungle Books still arouse, I wonder if any one has yet pointed out the change these works have quietly wrought in our attitude toward the rest of the animal world? Before these books, and since Darwin, we have believed, or have known vaguely that we ought to believe, that our "in'ards," both of body and of brain, are very much the same kind of "in'ards" as those of a cat or a monkey; and we have perhaps prided ourselves on our openness of mind in being ready to accept such lowly relatives without repugnance. What Mr. Kipling has done for us is to make us really know and feel that the larger part of our mental composition is of the same substance as that of our cousins the animals, with a certain superstructure of reasoning faculty which has enabled us to become their masters. Mr. Kipling, indeed, has expounded relationships in the psychology of the animal world as far-reaching as those which Darwin discovered in its morphology.
Mr. Kipling's animals, in the first place, are real; not men in the skins of animals, hunting a moral or a fancy. No matter how much the Bandar-log in the Cold Lairs may remind us of the chronic turmoils of Paris, we never think of Mr. Kipling as a satirist: the monkeys are like the Frenchmen because so much of what we call human nature was, as a matter of fact, brought to its full growth before the fortunate variation which split off the branch of the monkeys who were to be monkeys no more. Or again, if on some warm, sweet afternoon in May, recalling the inimitable diagnosis of spring fever in the Spring Running, we are tempted to let work slide, with the comfortable confession that after all, since we are animals, it is vain to think that long days of furnace and roll-top desk can or ought to smother out the animal spirit in us, there will come to mind that other scene of the great black panther going wild with the smells of the night, until Mowgli's single human word brought him to a full stop and held him quivering while the human eye stared him into subjection. Indeed, Mowgli is always thrusting in his difference, and showing his unaffected consciousness that he is master of the jungle, just because the animals are animals and he is man.