Mowgli held onto the buffalo’s horns as the herd stampeded past a fast-flowing river. When they reached a tight turn, Mowgli was thrown off of the buffalo and landed hard in the river. He struggled for air as the waves carried him far off, fighting the powerful current as he reached the surface. A small wooden raft was also carried by the river, as Mowgli gripped it and climbed on top of it. Mowgli breathed heavily as he rested on the raft.
What seemed like hours passed, when Mowgli felt something blunt hit his head, waking him up on the raft. He saw that he was on land, though he couldn’t recognize where he was. The place he was in was foggy, and dark. He walked into a large, vine-covered tree, eventually finding himself in the center of it. He shouted “hello? Is anyone there?”
When no one answered, Mowgli repeated himself. “HELLO!”
Still without an answer, Mowgli sat on the tree silently. He thought about his home, his pack, his mother, and Bagheera. He longed to be home, in the jungle. He was about to leave, when suddenly... “Hello.”
Mowgli stopped, listening to the silence. He said “hello.” as the voice answered “are you alone out here?”
“Yes. But I won’t be long. I’m lost. I want to go home.”
“Yeah. Yeah, we all belong in our homesssssss. But the home you want isss not where you belong, issss it?” the honey-sweet voice said. “What are you doing sssso deep in the jungle anyway?”
“I’m going to the man-village.” Mowgli answered, before the voice said “oh yes. Now I remember. You’re the mancub.”
“Who are you?” Mowlgi asked, turning around to face the large eyes of a python. The python slithered her tongue and said “I am Kaa. The ssssecret of the tree. The living vine. Don’t you know what you are?”
“I am Mowgli. The son of Raksha and Rama.” Mowgli answered, before Kaa slithered forward, her eyes becoming multicolored. Mowgli suddenly became dizzy and fell back, before Kaa caught him in her coils.
“Hm-hm. Well, I know what you really are. And I know where you came from. Would you like to sssee?”
“Yes.” Mowgli said, influenced by the hypnotic gaze of Kaa’s eyes. Unbeknownst to either of them, someone was watching them from behind the tree. As Mowgli was caught in his trance, he saw a bright red light. Holding the red light was a creature like him, wearing strange clothes. Kaa said “mossst men like to ssstay in their village. But sssometimesss, they travel.”
Mowgli saw the man holding a small bundle, which he lay in a basket. The red light was visible through all the trees, drawing the attention of a four-legged creature. Kaa continued “and when they travel... their cavesss breathe in the dark...”
The red light burst into flames which licked up and down violently. Kaa said “they call it the Red Flower...”
Mowgli then saw animals running for cover as the Red Flower spread, burning trees and reducing all around it to dust. “It bringsss warmth... and light... and dessssstruction to all that it touchessss.”
The man held the Red Flower in his hands as he looked at the bundle, which looked like a small mancub wrapped in red blankets. Mowgli said “who is that?”
“The traveler protecting hisss cub.” Kaa hissed, as Mowgli saw two glowing eyes behind the man. A flash of black and red appeared, and the man fell. Kaa said “the man vanisssshed from the jungle that night, but the currentssss of fate and water carried the cub away.”
Mowgli saw the boat on which the basket lay, floating down the river and crashing against a rock. The mancub inside it began screaming as the sun rose. “What happened to him?” Mowgli asked, Kaa answering “the cub wasss found by a panther. And raissssed by a caring family of wolvesss. And that cub... wasss you.”
The imagery of the cub being found by a panther disappeared, as Mowgli was still in a deep trance. “And now, you are being told to leave.” Kaa said. “Yes... I am.” Mowgli answered slowly.
“But you don’t have to go. I can keep you sssafe. You can ssstay right here.”
“Okay...” Mowgli said as he slowly lost consciousness. “Good...” Kaa said as she wrapped her coils around Mowgli like a hostage. “I’ll keep you clossse. Let go of your fear now...”
As she opened her mouth and licked her lips, she brought Mowgli closer, before saying “And trussssssst... in me...”
Kaa opened her jaw, ready to swallow Mowgli whole, when suddenly...
CRASH! the tree collapsed as a large roaring shadow grabbed Kaa and pulled, releasing the unconscious Mowgli from her coils. Kaa hissed at the large figure, which swung down it’s mighty paw to slap Kaa to the ground. The shadow picked up Mowgli and carried him away.