False Dawn by Rudyard Kipling

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How the leopard got his spots
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), Kim (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King"; and his poems, including Mandalay, Gunga Din, The White Man's Burden and If. He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works are said to exhibit "a versatile and luminous narrative gift". The story begins in the “’sclusively bare, hit, shiny High Veldt, where there was sand and sandy-coloured rock and ‘sclusively tufts of sandy-yellowish grass.” The story takes place “in the days when everybody started fair” meaning in the first days after the formation of the earth and all life had begun. It is pretty hot and sandy in the region of “High Veldt”, it is sunny. The other animals (Giraffe, Zebra, Eland, Koodoo and the Hartebeest) always got “surprised” or frightened by the Leopard and the Ethiopian and they did not like this. The first stance brings a smile to the reader’s lips because of the way Rudyard Kipling has described the animals and the natural environment; but also irritates the reader because of the same reason. The beginning is pretty cheerful and bright.

In Africa, there is a place named “High Veldt” where the story begins. The animals such as Giraffe, Zebra, Eland, Koodoo and the Hartebeest live there but are often taken by surprise by the Leopard who was “‘sclusivest sandiest-yellowish-brownest of them all” and would camouflage with the surroundings and take an advantage of it by hiding and scaring them along with his friend, the Ethiopian. Getting tired of the Leopard and the Ethiopian’s behavior, the animals decide to leave the High Veldt and scuttle off to a green forest “’sclusively full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-blatchy shadows and there they hid”. They now get rid off the Leopard and the Ethiopian and live a beautiful time in the “’sclusively, speckly-spickly shadows of the forest.” Meanwhile the Leopard and the Ethiopian are in search for their “friends” for some game because they were very hungry. The Leopard and the Ethiopian then seek for Baviaan, the wisest monkey’s help for they were very hungry for meals as well as for some games. He tells them that they must “go into other spots” because their “game has gone into other spots”. The Leopard and the Ethiopian were confused with this but left for their “games”. After many days they reach the green forest in which the other animals were hiding. They could feel the other animals’ presence but could not see them also because they were out of the sunshine. The whole day they kept hunting for the other animals but no luck, they could not find them. They then wait for the night to approach because “daylight is a perfect scandal”. In the dark, the Leopard and the Ethiopian get hold of the animals and wait for the morning to see if their victims were what they had thought them to be to their surprise, they found their victims to be their old buddies, the animals themselves but they looked peculiar. They try to learn the trick of camouflaging to the stripy” and “blotchy” surroundings. The Ethiopian takes Baviaan’s advice and changes his skin color because that was all he had which he could change. The Leopard is told by the Ethiopian that he could have “spots” as told by Baviaan “the game had gone into other spots; and my advice to you, Leopard is to go into...
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