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Once upon a time, O my Best Beloved . . . So begins this classic collection of gloriously fanciful tales of how things in the world came to be as they are. This collection includes the story of how the lazy camel found himself with a hump and how the insatiable curiosity of the elephant earned him his long trunk. It reveals how the whale was given a throat, and why every rhinoceros has great folds in his skin and a very bad temper. We also find out about the cunning cat that walked by itself, and how clever little Taffy and her Daddy Tegumai made the first alphabet. Rudyard Kipling first entertained his own children with these delightful, warm, and humorous stories, which he later wrote down for publication in 1902. Conjuring up distant lands and exotic jungles, they are bewitching for both children and adults. This sumptuous volume offers the complete and unabridged text, including the often-missing 13th story, "The Tabu Tal," which Kipling added for the American edition in 1903.
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How did the camel get his hump? Why won't cats do as they are told? Who invented reading and writing? How did an inquisitive little elephant change the lives of elephants everywhere? Kipling's imagined answers to such questions draw on the beast fables he heard as a child in India, as well as on folk games with language, exploring the relationships between thought, speech, and the written word. He also celebrates his own joy in fatherhood. The tales were told to his own and his friends' children over many years before he wrote them down, adding poems and his own illustrations. They invite older and younger readers to share a magical experience, each contributing to the other's pleasure, but each can also enjoy them alone, as more jokes, subtexts, and exotic references emerge with every reading. This fully illustrated edition includes two extra stories and Kipling's own explanation of the title.From the Inside Flap:
Kipling's own drawings, with their long, funny captions, illustrate his hilarious explanations of How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Armadillo Happened, and other animal How's. He began inventing these stories in his American wife's hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont, to amuse his eldest daughter--and they have served ever since as a source of laughter for children everywhere.
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