Mowgli had had enough of the village life. He almost literally threw down his things and stormed off, leaving the astonished faces of friends and family behind. As he walked towards the village gate, he began tearing off his clothes, first his flowing shirt, then his trousers, he was left in nothing but a thick diaper-like loincloth. He marched threw the arch of trees that led into the jungle, not looking back at the village. The hustle and bustle, all the stupid people and their stupid rules and regulations, just the whole village way of life was enough to drive anyone up the wall. The idea of money alone was baffling enough to Mowgli, who just couldn't see the point of it, saying how people should make or find their own things, and trade actual goods rather then tatty old metal coins.
'Nope', he thought as he trudged along, pushing low hanging branches out of his face as he went. 'I'll much prefer my chances out in the real world, and if the worse should happen? Pah! Life's life.'
Mowgli enjoyed the jungle, he always had. He'd often sneak out while his mother wasn't looking just to experience the atmosphere the jungle offered. He'd never go far, just far enough to savour the sweet smell of moist, leaves and the bark of the trees. Now though, as he passed a flowing waterfall, he knew he was ready for the real way of living, not being tied down by the 'civilized' life, unable to do what he wanted when he wanted. Now he could get to grips with real 'living'.
On his long trek through the closing tress and foliage, Mowgli picked occasional fruits that he recognized and munched on them as he went on. 'The taste of natural fruit, nothing like it,' he thought to himself.
As he wiped his meal's juices from his mouth and chin, Mowgli began looking for a place to stay the night. He looked over at the late afternoon sun, almost gone over the tree tops. A warm evening ahead.
He searched for a suitable tree, one that he could sleep in, while both comfortable and stable enough to stop him falling out. He soon found a very large tree, thick with leaves and offering many enormous branches and deep forks to sleep without fear of falling. Mowgli gripped the side, struggling to climb the incredibly wide trunk. He stuggled so much, he didn't notice a small but helpful nudge on his loinclothed bottom that pushed him ever so slightly so he could climb to the nearest branch. He settled himself in a deep fork where the branch met the trunk, he felt his heavy eyes droop as the sun finally disappeared behind the trees, surrounding him in a comfortable darkness. He slowly drifted off, the sound of the jungle's many inhabitants lulling him to sleep. As his eyes closed, he didn't see a large head drop down from the leaves above, which watched him with mingled curiosity and intrigue.
A large, muscular mass shifted about in the tree above, releasing a dexterous tail, that gently caressed the sleeping boy's hair. The tail ever so gently turned Mowgli's head so that the creature's own eyes could see the face of the sleeping boy. He saw Mowgli's eyelids flicker slightly, followed by a slight sleepy purr. The creature released the child's head, and Mowgli shifted in his sleep, into a more comfortable position. The tail of the creature vanished into the leaves of the tree, and after a last look at the boy, the head raised into the tree, vanishing into inky blackness...
The morning sun rose steadily over the jungle roof, sending it's early blanket of warmth over the many treetops. A tiny speckle of light moved across Mowgli's still sleeping head, moving over his shoulder, across his face and over his closed eyes. The teasing of the sun's rays finally woke Mowgli, he slowly raised his eyelids to the odd assortment of light shining through the gaps of the trees. Mowgli rose, his body aching from his change of sleeping grounds, from a soft bed to a hard branch isn't as easy as it sounds. Mowgli made another one of his purrs, followed by an enormous yawn. He shook the remaining sleepy feeling from his head and looked around. The glistening of dew shone around him, reflecting little pin pricks of light. The jungle always looked great in the morning, Mowgli thought, nothing like it. His thoughts were distracted by a sound from above him, somewhere in the tree. Looking up, Mowgli saw the snout of something alive, breathing deeply. He scrambled up, and leaned over to see what it was. What he saw was the head of a huge snake, it was resting on a couple of it's coils like a pillow, it's nostrils flaring with each breath. Mowgli wasn't frightened, on the contrary, he admired snakes very much, seeing them as a misunderstood animal.
The snake above him grunted quietly in it's sleep, it's head turned a bit, so it was more on one side. As Mowgli watched, the snake's eyes slowly opened, the sun's rays working it's magic on his slumbers too. The light reflected off the reptile's yellow eyes, causing Mowgli to look away. As he rubbed the remanding sleep and sun light from his own eyes, Mowgli heard a voice.
"Guhhhh...Good morning." Mowgli looked back at the snake, who's eyes were fixed on Mowgli.
"And to you too," Mowgli said. The snake appeared to stretch, and then lowered it's head down so it was level with Mowgli's gaze. After none of them said anything for a while Mowgli decided to break the silence. "Can I ask your name, sir?" The corners of the reptile's mouth twitched, as thought it tried to smile.
"Well, many call me Kaa," it said. "And can I ask your's too?"
"My name is Mowgli," Mowgli answered.
"It's nice to meet you," said Kaa, lowering the end of it's tail, like someone would if they wanted to shake hands. Not wanting to appear rude, Mowgli took the tail and shook.
"Likewise," said Mowgli.
"I actually saw you last night," Kaa said. "As you climbed up for the night. No offence, but I thought you were struggling the climb, so I may have given you a little push, I tried not to be too much bother."
"Oh..." said Mowgli, not knowing how to answer, but settling for a "Thanks." "Do you live here?" Mowgli asked.
"This and other large trees, I'm quite heavy you see, and I only feel secure in the strongest of them."
"Are you a big snake?" Mowgli asked. The snake gave another of it's small smiles.
"Would you like to see?" Kaa asked. Not wanting to possibly offend Kaa, Mowgli nodded, followed by a "Yes, if it's ok with you."
"No trouble at all," Kaa said. "If I may?" Kaa slipped the end of his tail around Mowgli's waist and then coiled under his legs, which left Mowgli in a surprisingly comfortable sitting position. He raised Mowgli up into the depths of the great tree, Kaa's head keeping level with Mowgli's own.
As they passed through a layer of leaves, they were now in a sort of hollow or cave, the walls made up of leafed branches, making a large and cosy shell around a network of branches and trunks in the middle. Sprawling across nearly all of these branches was the body of the serpent. Kaa was...huge. His shiny brown body wrapped around countless branches, or coiled into little heaps here and there, other lengths dangling down beneath the floor of foliage.
"You're...magnificent..." Mowgli said in wonder, slowly turning his head to see as much of the body as he could. Mowgli looked back at Kaa's head, he saw Kaa's eyes shine slightly brighter then before.
"You're too kind, man-cub," he said.
For the rest of the day, the man-cub and the snake talked. They shared they're experiences, past adventures, and after they're talk they went searching for food together. Kaa letting Mowgli ride on his humped back as he slithered through the jungle paths. Kaa helped Mowgli forage for hard to reach fruit and vegetables, whilst Kaa often dived his head into the undergrowth, bringing back dead rodents and other small animals. They carried they're load back to the great tree, Kaa slithered up almost immediately, before Mowgli even realized he couldn't climb due to the pile of fruit and veg in his arms, Kaa's tail dropped down and coiled itself around Mowgli's middle, and lifted him up into the tree after him...
That afternoon, Mowgli lay in the dense pile of coils, telling Kaa what goes on beyond the village gate. Kaa seemed very intrigued by Mowgli's stories as Mowgli was to Kaa's. As the evening came, and with it an unusual chill, Kaa wrapped up Mowgli's lower half to keep him warm. Mowgli didn't seem to mind Kaa's body now, he seemed a bit nervous each time the tail would brush his skin, but after today, he didn't mind what the snake did, as he trusted him. As night came, and with it the buzz of insects, frogs, owls and other such things, both Kaa and Mowgli knew it was time for sleep. Mowgli made himself comfortable in the pile of coils, whilst Kaa dropped his head down to see if they were safe from intruders in the night.
Quite a while passed, Kaa hadn't rose his head up yet, and Mowgli was having little luck falling asleep. Today had been an exciting first full day for life in the jungle, made best by Kaa's friendliness and helpfulness. As he recounted the day's doings, Kaa's head finally appeared before him. Kaa seemed to be about to go to sleep himself, but he looked over at Mowgli, who's eyes were open.
"Something wrong, Mowgli?" Kaa asked.
"Just hard to go to sleep tonight," Mowgli said. "It's been a busy day." The great snake moved his head closer to Mowgli's, giving him and odd look.
"It just so happens that I have just the thing for you," Kaa said. "But I wouldn't dream of doing it without you're permission." Mowgli looked at Kaa, curiously.
"What do I have to do?"
"Nothing, Man-Cub, just sit there and watch..." Kaa moved his head very close to Mowgli's, so almost all Mowgli could see was Kaa's large yellow eyes in the moonlight. As Mowgli watched, Kaa's pupiles seemed to shrink rapidly, while a ring of blue seemed to shimmer down the eyes, and disappear where the pupil should be, this was followed by a ring of green, then yellow, then blue again, and so on. Mowgli watched, mesmerized. He felt a shiver quiver down his spine as he sat, half covered in coils. His mind seemed to go blank, like water flowing off the sands of a beach. Mowgli's eyes mirrored the snakes, turning the same colours, in the same patterns. Mowgli's mouth hung open as Kaa swayed his head back and forth, side to side. Mowgli followed the colours, not wanting to let them leave his sight. A growing feeling started behind his eyes, a heavy warm feeling.
"Pleasssseee....go to sssssleeeeeeeeep, pleasssssssse go to ssssssleeeeeep," Kaa sang as his leaned slightly in, magnifying his powers. Mowgli's eyelids grew heavy, he struggled to keep them up. Kaa continued to sway his head in time with his lullaby, the Man-Cub followed the movement obediently, not missing a single swing. A little far away voice inside Mowgli's head kept saying 'Don't fight...just let go...just give in...' Mowgli's eyes soon closed, his body swaying on the branch. The coils surrounding Mowgli's body wrapped around the half-asleep boy, keeping him warm and safe. The reptilian scales surprisingly smooth and comforting, tickling him with each circling motion. As the last coil gently embraced around Mowgli's neck, the Man-Cub's head gave a small twitch, and then it lolled onto the snake's coiled tail. Kaa watched in anticipation, hoping his powers had indeed worked their magic. Mowgli began breathing slowly and heavily, the occasional purr would leak out, to be followed by a long breath. Kaa smiled, he hadn't lost his old touch. He stroked the sleeping boy's head with the end of his tail, brushing the hair off his face. Mowgli's head moved on the other side as he slipped deeper into unconciousness, safe inside the scaly cocoon of Kaa's tail. As Mowgli slept on, the great snake sank his own head into a pillow of coils, and very soon fell asleep himself...
Mowgli grunted slightly and turned his head, clutching his body with his arms. The morning was beckoning. Mowgli's eyes slowly opened, taking in the early sunlight. As his eyes grew accustom to the light, Mowgli squinted down at the mighty tail coiled about him. It was coiled closely to him, but not tight, Mowgli felt he had freedom to move if he needed. He yawned widely, pulling an arm from the tail and scratching his head. As he glanced around the cave of leaves, he realized Kaa's head was below once more. Most of his body was still in the tree, Mowgli saw it continue from where it coiled around him to it snaking across the many branches. Mowgli rested his head on the topmost coil and sighed. It was blind luck how he stumbled across a friend like Kaa, he didn't want to imagine his first jungle days without him. As he slipped into daydreams, he felt Kaa's body move slightly, hinting his return to the tree top, to another day of, Mowgli hoped, fun and interest...