Study Guide

The Jungle Book Chapter 12

By Rudyard Kipling

Chapter 12

Shiv and the Grasshopper

  • This is a song Little Toomai's Mother (Medium Toomai?) sang to him when he was a baby.
  • It's about Shiv (or "Shiva the Preserver" (12.5)) who feeds everyone and everything: "Wheat he gave to the rich folk, millet to the poor / broken scraps for the holy men that beg from door to door" (12.9-12.10).
  • Also, "tall are the camels, heavy are the kine" (12.19).
  • For some reason, Parbati, Shiv's wife, wants to trick him, so she hides a grasshopper in her cleavage.
  • After Shiv feeds everyone, she's like, ha-ha—you forgot this grasshopper. And she pulls it from between her breasts.
  • It's gnawing on a leaf. Why was there a leaf in there?
  • So this proves that Shiv "made all" (12.30) and no one or no thing went hungry.