suspension of disbelief applies here: can you believe a boy being raised by a pack of wolves? best buddies with a black leopard and a bear? able to speak and be spoken to by all animals? I wonder how influenced edgar rice burroughs was, by this book..you remember him: he wrote tarzan of the apes, which was dumbed down, who was dumbed down by, Hollywood. of course that was situationally Africa, and mowgli has his adventures in India. the book is a collection of short stories that cohere quit well. the best here is rikki-tikke-tavi, who is a mongoose. rikki has a to the death fight with a huge cobra. mowgli is not involved in this story. it adds depth to the whole saga. that's the quality of kipling: he brings depth as well as breadth. I have not been able to read KIM, though critics say it is his best, along with a few of the short stories. I recommend reading The Man Who Would Be King, next. The movie, starring Michael Caine, and Sean Connery, is also excellent.