The Jungle Book (2016 fan-version)

Chapter 15

As the flames raged on, the animals sat resting from their injuries. Baloo looked at Bagheera saying “do you think the kid’s gonna be alright?”

“I only hope. What’s that?” Bagheera said as he saw a shadow in the smoke. Raksha squinted, before smiling as she and Grey ran to embrace Mowgli. Mowgli hugged his brother and mother tightly, before turning to Baloo and Bagheera and hugging them as well. Bagheera said “you did it, mancub. You saved us all.”

“No, I couldn’t have done it without any of you guys.” Mowgli said as he held them all close, Baloo laughing as he said “yeah, probably not.”

Suddenly, a loud trumpet sound was heard. The trees fell down as the herd of elephants marched in. The lead elephant said “flower brigade, lads! To the river! Hup, two, three, four!”

The elephants walked to the river, where they used their trunks to slurp up the water, before walking to the trees and grass and spraying it on them. As the flames were extinguished, the sun began to rise from behind the trees.

“Right face! Forward, march!” the lead elephant said as he lead his herd back into the jungle, as his mate said “Hathi dear, may we take a rest soon. My feet are killing me.”

“Silence in the ranks, Winifred.” Hathi answered as the herd disappeared into the jungle.

Mowgli and the other’s smiled as the light of the sun overcame the smoke of the defeated Red Flower, before a voice then said “mancub.” as Shere Khan walked towards them. Raksha growled as she stepped forward, before Mowgli said “no. I’ll handle this.” as he faced the tiger.

Mowgli said “I understand that I have disobeyed the agreement. I will face the consequences.”

Shere Khan nodded, before saying “there will be no consequences, for it seems that you have proven me wrong, mancub.”

“I have?”

“Yes, you have. I know who you are now, but you are no man. You are Mowgli, the son of Raksha of the pack of Akela. A creature of the jungle. May you always be welcomed here.” Shere Khan said as he bowed towards Mowgli, prompting the other animals to do the same.

Mowgli bowed in return as the tiger walked off into the jungle. The wolves surrounded Mowgli, praising and welcoming him back, as Akela said “well done mancub. Rama would be so proud of you.”

“Thank you, Akela.” Mowgli nodded as the animals celebrated.

Later that day, Baloo and Bagheera walked through the jungle, Mowgli sitting on Baloo’s back as the bear said “too bad you missed some of the action, Mowgli. I had old King Louie falling heads over heels, ha ha! Isn’t that right, Baggy?”

“Yes, I suppose it must be.” Bagheera answered. Mowgli said “well, I’m so glad it’s all over now.”

“Yes siree, little britches.” Baloo laughed. “Nothing and nobody’s gonna come between you and this jungle again.”

Suddenly, they heard the distinct sound of a horn being blown. Baloo said “what was that?” as Bagheera answered “come. It’s best we leave.”

Mowgli stepped off of Baloo’s back as the horn became louder. Baloo said “Mowgli, don’t go that way.”

“But that sound.” Mowgli said. “I’ve heard it before.”

Mowgli followed the sound to the bushes, when suddenly, a creature stepped out. It was a man, the same man Mowgli had seen the other day. He looked at Mowgli silently as Bagheera and Baloo watched them both.

Baloo growled as he began to walk towards them, before Bagheera held him back. Raksha then leaped through the bushes, standing shocked as she saw Mowgli and the man.

The man smiled at Mowgli, as Mowgli thought of where he had seen the man before. Not in the river, but he remembered him, from Kaa’s vision. The man with the torch who attacked the mysterious shadow. Impossible he thought. This can’t be him.

“Nathoo.” the man said as he kneeled at Mowgli’s level. Embracing the boy, he whispered “oh Nathoo, my son. It has been so long.”

Bagheera and Baloo looked at each other and Raksha, who then watched as the man called into the forest “Messua! Shanti! I have found him.”

Within an instant, two females stepped out of the bushes. One was a grown woman, dressed in blue and white robes, while the other was a young girl, a little older than Mowgli’s age.

“Little brother.” the girl said. “We’ve found you, after all this time.”

“My son.” the mother said as she embraced Mowgli. Raksha watched closely, tears in her eyes as the man said “come my son. We’re taking you home.”

“Mowgli, don’t...” Baloo said. Mowgli turned as he was being taken away, before running back to embrace all three of them. Raksha whispered “please, Mowgli. Do not go.”

“Don’t worry.” he said. “No matter where I go, or what they call me there, you will always be my family.”

As Mowgli went back to the humans, Baloo tried his hardest to smile as he said “so long, little britches.”

“So long... papa bear.” Mowgli said, smiling as he turned to Bagheera and nodded, as the panther said “goodbye, mancub. Good luck.”

The animals stood silently, watching as Mowgli took his parents’ hands and was taken back into the jungle to the man-village.

“Well... he’s hooked.” Baloo said miserably. Raksha smiled and said “as long as he’s safe, that’s fine with me.”

“I suppose it was inevitable.” Bagheera said. “Besides, the boy is where he belongs, now.”

“Yeah.” Baloo nodded sadly. “I guess you’re right. But you know, ha ha, I still think he’d have made one swell bear.”

As they walked back into the jungle, Baloo walked slowly and silently, facing the ground. Raksha said “cheer up Baloo. Mowgli wouldn’t have wanted to see you like it.”

“I know. But I’m really gonna miss that kid.”

“We all will.” Bagheera said, before smiling and saying “but when you find out you can live without him yet go along still thinking about him, then he’ll always be with us.”

Saddened by seeing the bear so miserable, Bagheera said “come, old friend. This isn’t your ways. You said so yourself. You just need to... look for the... bare necessities. The simple bare necessities."

Raksha smiled and pushed against Baloo playfully, saying “forget about... forget about...”

When Baloo didn’t answer, Raksha and Bagheera looked at each other silently, before lowering their heads and walking onwards. Suddenly, a voice said “forget about your worries and your strife!”

Mowgli heard the singing from the trees behind him, smiling as he was led to his new home, while Baloo, Bagheera and Raksha walked off into the sunset, singing “I mean the... bare necessities, old mother nature’s recipes, that bring the bare necessities of life!"

The End

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