The Jungle Book | Study Guide

Rudyard Kipling

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The Jungle Book | Chapter 8 : Lukannon | Summary



As the introduction to this song says, "It is a sort of very sad seal National Anthem." The song relates the terrible fate so many seals face when they return to the beaches of Lukannon. The sealers round them up and club them or shoot them, and yet the seals keep returning to the same beaches.


This song seems to reflect the inability of the seals to understand why they need to find a safe place, but there really is no safe place for them until Kotick finds the elusive beach beyond the Sea Cow tunnel. The tunnel, a symbol of freedom through persistence, is not easy to reach, but the seals have to know it exists first. This song shows the impossible situation they face, not having a choice in this dangerous interaction with human beings. No matter where they go, the hunters will find them.

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