Oh, fat, brown, root-digging fool that I am," said Baloo, uncoiling himself with a jerk, "it is true what Hathi the Wild Elephant says: `To each his own fear'; and they, the Bandar-log, fear Kaa the Rock Snake.
He may be asleep now, and even were he awake what if he would rather kill his own goats?" Bagheera, who did not know much about Kaa, was naturally suspicious.
"Then in that case, thou and I together, old hunter, might make him see reason." Here Baloo rubbed his faded brown shoulder against the Panther, and they went off to look for Kaa the Rock Python.
Kaa was not a poison snake--in fact he rather despised the poison snakes as cowards--but his strength lay in his hug, and when he had once lapped his huge coils round anybody there was no more to be said.
He knew that you must not hurry Kaa. He is too big.
"Give me permission to come with you," said Kaa. "A blow more or less is nothing to thee, Bagheera or Baloo, but I--I have to wait and wait for days in a wood-path and climb half a night on the mere chance of a young ape.
"I am a fair length--a fair length," said Kaa with a little pride.
Now a snake, especially a wary old python like Kaa, very seldom shows that he is angry, but Baloo and Bagheera could see the big swallowing muscles on either side of Kaa's throat ripple and bulge.
"Beyond doubt then it is no small thing that takes two such hunters--leaders in their own jungle I am certain--on the trail of the Bandar-log," Kaa replied courteously, as he swelled with curiosity.
"The trouble is this, Kaa. Those nut-stealers and pickers of palm leaves have stolen away our man-cub of whom thou hast perhaps heard."
"The best and wisest and boldest of man-cubs--my own pupil, who shall make the name of Baloo famous through all the jungles; and besides, I--we--love him, Kaa."
"Our man-cub is in the hands of the Bandar-log now, and we know that of all the Jungle-People they fear Kaa alone."