Rudyard Kipling

A picture of the author Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling lived an extraordinary life. The English short story writer (particularly beloved for his Just So Stories), novelist and poet was born in Bombay India on December 30, 1895. Though he spent most of his life outside of India, like his parents he thought of himself as "Anglo Indian." He referred to his early days in India as the days of strong light and darkness[1].

Keeping with custom, Rudyard and his younger sister were returned to England to receive an education when Rudyard was five years old. They were boarded with Captain Pryse Agar Halloway and Mrs. Sarah Halloway, who acted as custodians for British Nationals serving in India. While his sister seemed to be a favorite -- she later married the Halloway's son -- Rudyard was treated harshly at the boarding house. He credited the experience in his autobiography for sparking his literary career,

"If you cross-examine a child of seven or eight on his day’s doings (specially when he wants to go to sleep) he will contradict himself very satisfactorily. If each contradiction be set down as a lie and retailed at breakfast, life is not easy. I have known a certain amount of bullying, but this was calculated torture — religious as well as scientific. Yet it made me give attention to the lies I soon found it necessary to tell: and this, I presume, is the foundation of literary effort".
When he was old, and his treatment under the Halloway's was known to his family, his aunt asked why he had not made his suffering known at the time. He recorded: "Children tell little more than animals, for what comes to them they accept as eternally established. Also, badly-treated children have a clear notion of what they are likely to get if they betray the secrets of a prison-house before they are clear of it".

In 1878 Kipling was admitted to United Services College at Westward Ho!, a college that prepared young men for the military. Lacking the financial resources to continue his education it was decided that Rudyard should return to India. He returned in October 1882 and began writing at theCivil and Military Gazette. By all accounts, including his own, writing for the paper was a labor of love and the young Kipling was often covered in ink from his writings. In 1887 he was transferred to England. But it was during his time in India that he began to write in earnest and in 1888 he published six collections of short stories.

In 1889 he left the paper after a dispute, sold the rights to his short story collections, and used the money to travel the world. That trip took him through America and he met Mark Twain before returning to London. He married Carrie Balestier in 1892. They travelled to America and Japan. Then back to America where they settled from 1892 - 1896. The couple enjoyed many happy years and Kipling wrote The Jungle Book, Captain's Courageous and some poetry including Gunga Din.

They returned to England and during the early 1900s the world was treated to a great writer at the peak of career. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907. He continued to write until the 1930s, dying in 1936 from a perforated ulcer at age 70.

Considering that Rudyard left India when he was five years old, I wondered how and why the place had made such a deep impression upon him that it remained the primary part of his identity throughout his whole life. The phrase "strong light and darkness" had hovered in my mind for several weeks when I chanced upon a two page photograph by Jody MacDonald in the August 2012 issue of National Geographic Magazine (the photo is supposedly for sale at, but I cannot find where to purchase it). It lacks power in this small size, but this photograph gives life to his phrase "strong light and darkness."

For me, the "Anglo Indian" answer comes home when I combine that photograph with this excerpt from his autobiography, "In the afternoon heats before we took our sleep, she (the Portuguese ayah, or nanny) or Meeta (the Hindu bearer, or male attendant) would tell us stories and Indian nursery songs all unforgotten, and we were sent into the dining-room after we had been dressed, with the caution 'Speak English now to Papa and Mamma.' So one spoke 'English', haltingly translated out of the vernacular idiom that one thought and dreamed in." A young boy, in a land of "strong light and darkness" with dedicted story-tellers . . . the mystery of his identity and the origins of The Jungle Book seem to become more clear.

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Short Stories

A Bank Fraud
A Conference Of The Powers
A Deal in Cotton
A Germ Destroyer
A Matter of Fact
An Error In The Fourth Dimension
An Habitation Enforced
An Unqualified Pilot
A Sahibs' War
As Easy As A.B.C.
A Second-Rate Woman
At Howli Thana
A Trip Across A Continent
At the Pit's Mouth
At Twenty-two
A Walking Delegate
A Wayside Comedy
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Below The Mill Dam
Bertran And Bimi
Beyond The Pale
Bitters Neat
Black Jack
"Bread Upon The Waters"
Bubbling Well Road
By Word Of Mouth
Cupid's Arrows
Dray Wara Yow Dee
False Dawn
Friendly Brook
Garm - A Hostage
Georgie Porgie
His Chance In Life
His Majesty The King
His Wedded Wife
How the Alphabet Was Made
How the Camel Got His Hump
How the First Letter Was Written
How the Leopard Got His Spots
How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin
How the Whale Got His Throat
In Error
In Flood Time
In the House of Suddhoo
In The Matter Of A Private
In The Presence
In The Pride Of His Youth
In The Same Boat
Judson And The Empire
Little Foxes
Little Tobrah
Mary Postgate
Miss Youghal's Sais
Moti Guj--Mutineer
Mrs. Bathurst
My Own True Ghost Story
"My Son's Wife"
My Sunday At Home
Namgay Doola
Of Those Called
On Greenhow Hill
Only A Subaltern
On The City Wall
On The Strength Of A Likeness
Poor Dear Mamma
Private Learoyd's Story
Reingelder And The German Flag
Steam Tactics
"Swept And Garnished"
The Amir's Homily
The Army Of A Dream
The Arrest Of Lieutenant Golightly
The Beginning of the Armadillos
The Big Drunk Draf'
The Bisara Of Pooree
The Bold 'Prentice
The Bonds Of Discipline
The Bridge-Builders
The Broken Link Handicapped
The Bronckhorst Divorce-Case
The Brushwood Boy
The Burning of the Sarah Sands
The Butterfly that Stamped
The Captive
The Cat that Walked by Himself
The Children Of The Zodiac
"The City Of Dreadful Night"
The Comprehension Of Private Copper
The Conversion Of Aurelian McGoggin
The Courting Of Dinah Shadd
The Crab that Played with the Sea
The Daughter Of The Regiment
The Devil And The Deep Sea
The Dog Hervey
The Dream Of Duncan Parrenness
The Drums Of The Fore And Aft
The Edge Of The Evening
The Education of Otis Yeere
The Elephant's Child
The Enlightenments of Pagett, M.P.
The Finances Of The Gods
"The Finest Story in The World"
The Garden of Eden
The Gate Of A Hundred Sorrows
The God From The Machine
The Head Of The District
The Hill of Illusion
The Honours Of War
The Horse Marines
The House Surgeon
The Incarnation Of Krishna Mulvaney
"Their Lawful Occasions"
The Judgement of Dungara
The Lang men O' Larut
The Limitations Of Pambe Serang
The Lost Legion
The Madness Of Private Ortheris
The Man Who Was
The Man Who Would be King
The Mark Of The Beast
The Mother Hive
The Mutiny Of The Mavericks
The Other Man
The Phantom Rickshaw
The Pit That They Digged
The Rescue Of Pluffles
The Return Of Imray
The Rout Of The White Hussars
The Sending of Dana Da
The Ship That Found Herself
The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo
The Solid Muldoon
The Story Of Muhammad Din
The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes
The Swelling of Jordan
The Taking Of Lungtungpen
The Tents Of Kedar
The Three Musketeers
The Tomb Of His Ancestors
The Track of a Lie
The Valley of the Shadow
The Village That Voted The Earth Was Flat
The Vortex
The Wandering Jew
The Way That He Took
The World Without
The Wreck Of The Visigoth
Thou Art the Man
Three And An Extra
Through The Fire
Thrown Away
To Be Filed For Reference
To Be Held For Reference
Tod's Amendment
Venus Annodomini
Von Kempelen and his Discovery
Watches Of The Night
Wee Willie Winkie
William The Conqueror
With any Amazement
Without Benefit Of Clergy
With The Main Guard
With The Night Mail: A Story Of 2000 A.D.
Wressley Of The Foreign Office
Yoked With An Unbeliever


A Ballade Of Burial
A Ballad Of Jakkko Hill
A Bank Fraud (poem)
A Boy Scouts Patrol Song
A British-Roman Song
A Carol
A Charm
A Child's Garden
A Code Of Morals
A Counting-Out Song
A Dead Statesman
A Death-Bed
A Dedication
A Dedication To Soldiers Three
A Departure
A General Summary
Akbar's Bridge
A Legend Of The Foreign Office
A Legend Of Truth
Alnaschar And The Oxen
A Lover's Journey
An American
An Astrologer's Song
A Nativity
Anchor Song
Angutivaun Taina
An Imperial Rescript
An Old Song
A Pageant Of Elizabeth
A Pict Song
A Pilgrim's Way
A Preface
A Recantation
A Rector's Memory
A Ripple Song
Arithmetic On The Frontier
Army Headquarters
A School Song
A Servant When He Reigneth
A Smuggler's Song
A Song At Cock-Crow
A Song In Storm
A Song In The Desert
A Song Of Bananas (Brazilian Verses)
A Song Of French Roads
A Song Of Kabir
A Song Of The English
A Song Of The White Men
A Song Of Travel
A Song To Mithras
As The Bell Clinks
A St. Helena Lullaby
A Tale Of Two Cities
At His Execution
A Three-Part Song
A Translation
A Tree Song
A Truthful Song
Ave Imperatrix!
Azrael's Count
Back To The Army Again
Ballad Of Fisher's Boarding-House
Banquet Night
Barrack-Room Ballads
Beast And Man In India
Before A Midnight Breaks In Storm
Big Steamers
Bill "Awkins"
Birds Of Prey March
Blue Roses
Bridge-Guard In The Karroo
Brookland Road
Brown Bess
Buddha At Kamakura
By The Hoof Of The Wild Goat
By Word Of Mouth (poem)
Cain And Abel
Carmen Circulare
Certain Maxims Of Hafiz
Chapter Headings
Chapter Headings - Just So Stories
Chapter Headings - Kim
Chapter Headings - Life’s Handicap
Chapter Headings - Many Inventions
Chapter Headings - The Light That Failed
Chapter Headings - The Naulahka
Chartres Windows
Chil’s Song
Cholera Camp
Christmas In India
Cities And Thrones And Powers
Cold Iron
Common Form
Cuckoo Song
Cupid's Arrows (poem)
Danny Deever
Darzee's Chaunt
Death Of A Believer
Dedication From “Barrack Room Ballads”
Deep Sea Cables
Dinah In Heaven
Dirge of Dead Sisters
Divided Destinies
Eddis Service
Edgehill Fight
Englands Answer
Epitaphs Of The War
Et Dona Ferentes
Evarra And His Gods
Evil Land
False Dawn (poem)
Farewell And Adieu...
Follow Me "ome"
For All We Have And Are
Ford o Kabul River
For To Admire
Frankies Trade
From Lyden’s ‘Irenius’ - Act III. Sc. II.
From The Masjid-Al-Aqsa Of Sayyid Ahmed (Wahabi)
Gallios Song
General Joubert
Gertrude's Prayer
Giffen's Debt
Gipsy Vans
Gods Of The East
Gow’s Watch : Act II. Scene 2.
Gow’s Watch : Act IV. Scene 4.
Gow’s Watch : Act V. scene 3
Gunga Din
Half-Ballade Of Waterval
Harp Song Of The Dane Women
Have You News Of My Boy Jack?
Helen All Alone
Heriots Ford
His Apologies
His Wedded Wife (poem)
How Fear Came
How It All Began
How the Camel Got His Hump (poem)
How The Leopard Got His Spots (poem)
How The Rhinoceros Got His Skin (poem)
How The Whale Got His Throat (poem)
Hunting-Song Of The Seeonee Pack
Hymn Before Action
Hymn Of Breaking Strain
Hymn Of The Triumphant Airman
Hymn To Physical Pain
I Keep Six Honest..
In Error (poem)
In Springtime
In The House Of Suddhoo (poem)
In The Matter Of One Compass
In the Neolithic Age
James I
Jane's Marriage
Jobson’s Amen
Jubal And Tubal Cain
Just So Stories (poems)
Kaa’s Hunting
Kaspar'’s Song In ‘Varda’
King Henry VII And The Shipwrights
Kitchener's School
Lady Geraldines Hardship
La Nuit Blanche
Late Came The God
LEnvoi to "Lifes Handicap"
Letting In The Jungle
Lispeth (poem)
London Stone
Lord Roberts
Macdonoughs Song
Many Inventions
Mary, Pity Women!
Mary's Son
McAndrew's Hymn
Merrow Down
Mine Sweepers
Morning Song In The Jungle
Mother o Mine
Mowgli's Brothers
Mowgli's Song
Mowgli's Song Against People
Mulholland's Contract
My Boy Jack
My Father's Chair
My Ladys Law
My New-Cut Ashler
My Rival
Naaman'’s Song
Natural Theology
Non Nobis Domine!
Norman And Saxon
Ode - Melbourne Shrine Of Remembrance
Old Fighting-Men
Old Mother Laidinwool
One Viceroy Resigns
Our Fathers Also
Our Fathers Of Old
Our Lady Of The Sackcloth
Our Lady Of The Snows
Outsong In The Jungle
Pagett, M.P.
Pan In Vermont
Parade-Song Of The Camp-Animals
Pharaoh And The Sergeant
Pig (poem)
Pink Dominoes
Poison Of Asps (A Brazilian Snake-Farm) (Brazilian Verses)
Poor Honest Men
Poseidons Low
Prelude To Departmental Ditties And Other Verses
Private Ortheris’s Song
Prophets At Home
Public Waste
Pucks Song
Red Dog
Rhodes Memorial, Table Mountain
Ride To Kandahar
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (poem)
Road-Song Of The Bandar-Log
Romulus and Remus
Route Marchin
Russia To The Pacifists
Samuel Pepys
Seal Lullaby
Sestina Of The Tramp-Royal
Seven Watchmen
Shillin A Day
Shiv And The Grasshopper
Sir Richard's Song
Soldier An Sailor Too
Soldier, Soldier
Song Of Diego Valdez
Song Of Seventy Horses
Song Of The Dynamo (Brazilian Verses)
Song Of The Engines
Song Of The Fifth River
Song Of The Galley-Slaves
Song Of The Men'’s Side
Song Of The Old Guard
Song Of The Red War-Boat
Song Of The Wise Children
Songs Of Seventy Horses
South Africa
Study Of An Elevation, In Indian Ink
Such As In Ships (Brazilian Verses)
Tarrant Moss
That Day
The Absent-Minded Beggar
The Advertisement
The American Rebellion
The Answer
The Anvil
The Appeal
The Ballad Of Ahmed Shah
The Ballad Of Boh Da Thone
The Ballad Of Bolivar
The Ballad Of East And West
The Ballad Of Fisher's Boarding-House
The Ballad Of Jakko Hill
The Ballad Of Minepit Shaw
The Ballad Of The "Bolivar"
The Ballad Of The Cars
The Ballad Of The "Clampherdown"
The Ballad Of The King's Jest
The Ballad Of The Kings Mercy
The Ballad Of The Red Earl
The Bee-Boy's Song
The Bees And The Flies
The Beginner
The Beginning Of The Armadillos (poem)
The Beginnings
The Bell Buoy
The Bells And Queen Victoria
The Benefactors
The Betrothed
The Birthright
The Bonfires
The Bother
The Braggart
The Broken Men
The Bronckhurst Divorce Case (poem)
The Burden
The Burial
The Captive (poem)
The Cat that Walked By Himself (poem)
The Centaurs
The Changelings
The Children
The Children's Song
The Choice (The American Spirit Speaks)
The City Of Brass
The City Of Sleep
The Clerks And The Bells
The Coastwise Lights
The Coiner
The Comforters
The Consolations Of Memory
The Conundrum Of The Workshops
The Covenant
The Crab that Played with the Sea (poem)
The Craftsman
The Cure
The Dawn Wind
The Days Work
The Dead King
The Declaration Of London
The Decline Of The West
The Deep-Sea Cables
The Derelict
The Destroyers
The Disciple
The Dove of Dacca
The Dutch In The Medway
The Dying Chauffeur
The Dykes
The Eathen
The Egg-Shell
The English Flag
The English Way
The Exiles Line
The Expert
The Explanation
The Explorer
The Fabulists
The Fairies Siege
The Fall Of Jock Gillespie
The Feet Of The Young Men
The Female Of The Specie
The Files
The Fires
The First Chantey
The Flight
The Floods
The Flowers
The Four Angels
The Four Points
The French Wars
The Friends
The Galley-Slave
The Gift Of The Sea
The Gipsy Trail
The Glory Of The Garden
The Gods Of The Copybook Headings
The Grave Of The Hundred Head
The Greek National Anthem
The Heritage
The Holy War
The Hour Of The Angel
The Houses
The Hyaenas
The Hymn To Physical Pain
The Idiot Boy
The Instructor
The Inventor
The Irish Guards
The Islanders
The Jacket
The Jester
The Juggler's Song
The Jungle Books (poem)
The Junk And The Dhow
The Justices Tale
The King
The King And The Sea
The Kingdom
The Kings Ankus
The King's Job
The King's Pilgrimage
The King's Task
The Ladies
The Lament Of The Border Cattle Thief
The Land
The Landau
The Last Chantey
The Last Department
The Last Lap
The Last Ode
The Last Of The Light Brigade
The Last Rhyme Of True Thomas
The Last Suttee
The Law of the Jungle
The Legend Of Evil
The Legend Of Mirth
The Legend Of The Foreign Office
The Legends Of Evil
The Lesson
The Light That Failed
The Liner Shes A Lady
The Long Trail
The Looking-Glass (A Country Dance)
The Lost Legion (poem)
The Lovers Litany
The Love Song Of Har Dyal
The Lowestoft Boat
The Man Who Could Write
The Mare's Nest
The Married Man
The "Mary Gloster"
The Masque Of Plenty
The Master-Cook
The Men That Fought At Minden
The Merchantmen
The Miracle Of Purun Bhagat
The Miracles
The Moon Of Other Days
The Moral
The Morning Song Of The Jungle
The Mother-Lodge
The Mother's Son
The Native-Born
The Naulahka
The Necessitarian
The New Knighthood
The North Sea Patrol
The Nurses
The Nursing Sister
The Oldest Song
The Old Issue
The Old Men
The Only Son
The Open Door (Brazilian Verses)
The Other Man (poem)
The Outlaws
The Overland Mail
The Palace
The Parting Of The Columns
The Peace Of Dives
The Penalty
The Pirates In England
The Playmate
The Plea Of The Simla Dancers
The Portent
The Post That Fitted
The Power of the Dog
The Prairie
The Prayer
The Prayer Of Miriam Cohen
The Press
The Pro-Consuls
The Prodigal Son
The Progress Of The Spark
The Puzzler
The Queen Of Fairy Land
The Queen's Men
The Quesion
The Quest
The Rabbi's Song
The Recall
The Reeds Of Runnymede
The Reformers
The Return
The Return Of The Children
The Rhyme Of The Three Captains
The Rhyme Of The Three Sealers
The River's Tale
The Roman Centurions Song
The Rout Of The White Hussars (poem)
The Rowers
The Runes Of Welands Sword
The Runners
The Run Of The Downs
The Rupaiyat Of Omar Kalvin
The Sack Of The Gods
The Sacrifice Of Er-Heb
The Scholars
The Sea And The Hills
The Sea-Wife
The Second Voyage
The Secret Of The Machines
The Sergeant's Weddin
The Servant When He Reigneth
The Service Man
The Settler
The Ship That Found Herself (poem)
The Shut-Eye Sentry
The Sing-Song Of Old Man Kangaroo (poem)
The Song At Cock-Crow
The Song Of Diego Valdez
The Song Of Seven Cities
The Song Of The Banjo
The Song Of The Cities
The Song Of The Dead
The Song Of The Little Hunter
The Song Of The Old Guard
The Song Of The Sons
The Song Of The Women
The Songs Of The Lathes
The Sons of Martha
The Spies March
The Spring Running
The Storm Cone
The Story Of Ung
The Story Of Uriah
The Stranger
The Supplication Of The Black Aberdeen
The Supports - (Song Of The Avaiting Seraphs.)
The Survival
The Thorkilds Song
The Thousandth Man
The Three-Decker
The Threshold
The Totem
The Tour
The Trade
The Truce Of The Bear
The Two Cousins
The Two-Sided Man
The Ubique
The Undertakers Horse
The Vampire
The Verdicts
The Veterans
The Vineyard
The Virginity
The Voortrekker
The Wage-Slaves
The Waster
The Watcher
The Way Through The Woods
The Wet Litany
The White Man's Burden
The White Seal
The Widow At Windsor
The Widower
The Widow's Party
The Winners
The Wishing-Caps
The Young British Soldier
Things and the Man
Thorkild'’s Song
Three Friends
Thrown Away (poem)
Tiger - Tiger!
Tin Fish
To A Lady, Persuading Her To A Car
Tods Amendment (poem)
To James Whitcomb Riley
To Motorists
Toomai Of The Elephants
To T. A.
To The City Of Bombay
To the Companions
To The True Romance
To The Unknown Goddess
To Thomas Atkins
To Wolcott Balestier
Two Kopjes
Two Months
Two Races (Brazilian Verses)
Verses On Games
Very Many People
We And They
What Happened
What The People Said
When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted
When Omer Smote Is Bloomin Lyre
When The Great Ark
When The Journey Was Intended To The City
White Horses
Wilful Missing
With Drake In The Tropics
With Scindia To Delhi
Yet At The Last
You Must nt Swim...

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.