When I was growing up, every year my dad would allow a very nice older gentleman to come during pheasant hunting season. He would bring his own camp trailer and stay for a couple of weeks.
He never failed to bring some exciting gift when he came in trade for rights to hunt on our farm. One year it was a shotgun. Another year he brought my dad a registered hunting dog named Crockett. The year that meant the most to me was when he brought me an armful of books.
Not just any books, but classics.
My favorite story from all those he brought was one by Rudyard Kipling… Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.
I loved the story of the mongoose that went to great lengths to protect his family.
Originally published in January 1894 as part of Kipling’s The Jungle Book, the story can be a little frightening for very young children as Rikki fights with the snakes determined to kill his human family.
For older children, though, this is a wonderful story that should be read, enjoyed and cherished.
I’m grateful to that hunter for introducing me to Kipling’s exciting tales, especially this well-loved story.