The Charlie Bravo Story

The Jungle Book

Dad here; yesterday I was talking to one of my oldest and wisest friends… I don’t mean old, as in “ready for the home and having a problem with incontinence” old, although after some of the barbs she threw my way, I shouldn’t feel the the responsibility to clear that up. I should let you go on thinking that she is doddering around in a housedress clutching her walker with the tennis balls on the feet because the DMV took her license, leaking a trail of urine to mark her progress around the house, but although I love to talk smack, I have to be honest.

She has a quad cane, not a walker.

She is an incredibly intelligent and well-read person, and it surprised me that she didn’t know the origin of the phrase I use all the time, “we be of one blood, ye and I”. It is the key phrase in Rudyard Kipling’s novel, “The Jungle Book”, one of my absolute favorites.

In the book, any animal in distress, no matter carnivore or herbivore, could call out this phrase known as “the word”, and the other animals would come to their aid. Even Kaa, the massive snake, and Bagheera, the panther, lived by The Word.

The only animals who didn’t abide by the the word were the Bandar-log, the monkey folk; they had no respect for themselves, so how could they be expected to have respect for others?

I would love to tell you how it plays out, but you’ll have to read it for yourself. Whatever you do, don’t count on Hollywood to tell you the story; those blithering idiots made the book into a blockbuster movie and never once referred to the most important point that Kipling was attempting to convey: that underneath our different hides, were are all connected.

Leaving that key point out of the movie was like leaving the mask off of Zorro, or omitting Tarzan’s loincloth; I kept waiting and waiting, even for a mention of The Word as the credits rolled, but nothing, which to he honest, is what I should have expected. Expecting Disney to provide anything of real substance is like expecting 7-11 to provide a nutritious meal, and then blaming them when I overheat my iced honey bun in their crusty microwave and burn the roof of my mouth.

Or so I hear…

Regardless, I was so bummed I almost demanded my money back, but that would have been admitting that I was there in the first place, so I packed up my dismay and stalked out of the theater in a cloud of righteous indignation worthy of the codgiest of old codgers.

So when I use The Word at the end of a post, it’s simply to confer that, although our skins colors, nationalities, opinions, religions, etc, may differ, we are all as one; brought together by the unlikely story of a charking dog and crappy crate.

And to my friend? It warms the cockles of my heart to hear of you overcoming your recent adversity, but more importantly, hearing of your happiness. And I’m not even sure what “cockles” are, but they are warm nonetheless.

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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