Recently my sister sent me a collection of stories she wrote when she was about ten years old, and it got me thinking about some of the gems from my collection. I was avidly writing stories as soon as I could read (and telling them even before that), and I had an extensive vocabulary, although rather an odd sense of when to use my big grown-up words.
One of my very favorite things I ever wrote was this, which was the beginning of a novel version of the animated Jungle Book movie. I'm not sure I was aware at this point that the movie itself was based on a novel or whether I thought that I could do better or just thought it would be a fun thing to write, but I definitely expanded on some characters and added some personalities...
So, without further ado, here is 7-year-old me telling you the story of, like, the first 3 minutes of The Jungle Book. (It initially had no paragraph breaks - I have added some in for readability.)
* * *
Once there was a golden, green, beautiful jungle. On calm days, it was a day for the wild beasts. If it was a stormy day, they looked forward to after the storm.
One day, a panther climbed back and forth between the lovely limbs. His black coat was as shiny as a new black shoe. His name was Bugeera, and he was responsible for a great many things. It was this day a new responsibility was found. He was leaping from tree to tree, not paying attention at first to the sound from the grassy bottom of the jungle. He was on a hunt for deer meat, a kind many of his kind loved.
He was returning with a fat deer, when he heard it. It was a soft sound, but- Bugeera could'nt describe it. He found out later the sound, a baby's crying and giggling. Bugeera climbed to a limb, lower than he usually would dare, and saw the child. It was a boy, or in the jungle, a man cub. He was the smallest thing, maybe abandoned by his mother, maybe fallen from a tree, maybe captured and dropped by a cruel man, but nevertheless, he was there.
Bugeera paid no attention at first, but then he looked again. His pity was appearing, and he thought, "I can not take care of this child! My wife and my two cubs are depending on me to take care of them! But- I know! Mrs. Wolf!" and he picked up the child, leaving the meat, and started in the dir- ection of the wolf pack.
The pack was, as usual, active and not at times. Meaty, Hunter and Gray Baby, the three boys, were learning how to hunt by there father, Rama. Carol, the daughter, and Dinny, the nurse, were cooking a stew for the meat.
Mrs. Wolf was the first to notice Bugeera. She smiled. "Rama, there is a visitor," she said, nodding in Bugeera's direction.
Rama looked, then ran to greet him. "My old chap, I have'nt seen you for months! What have you brought." He looked at the grass bundle Bugeera was carrying(he had wrapped the man cub up in leaves, so he should not freeze).
Bugeera said, "The lady is to decide," and wandered to Mrs. Wolf.
She said, "What, Bugeera?"
Bugeera slowly placed the bundle in front of her, and said, low, "A man cub. Yes, a man cub."
The pack stared at Bugeera like he was from Mars. Carol almost fell into the stew pot. Meaty, Hunter and Gray Baby started to spring on their father, forcing him half into the cave.
Mrs. Wolf said, "A man cub. That is a man cub? Why doesn't it have claws? Where is it's warm fur? I think that I shall throw this- " she got no further.
Rama roared, "Oh, honey! Why not examine him, and per- haps keep- him." he whispered.
* * *
And that's as far as I ever got.