A -Angry, Afraid with Jungle Book

“Now, don’t be angry after you’ve been afraid. That’s the worst kind of cowardice.”
― Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

This quote appears in the story ‘Her Majesty’s Servant’ in the famous The Jungle Book (1894) by the English author Rudyard Kipling.

While many are aware of the story of the mancub Mowgli , the book is a master collection of stories with the themes of law and freedom and go beyond entertaining animal tales, and present human archetypes in animal form. Themes include freedom, respect for authority, obedience, and knowing one’s place in society . Her Majesty’s Servants is a tale set as a night conversation in Amir of Afghanistan, the army’s working animals—mule, camel, horse, bullock, elephant—discuss the thoughts that drive their fears and actions in war.

You can find the story here

Now for the quote itself , here are my questions to ponder…

Being afraid, a dread that keeps us locked in or sets out a flurry of disastrous consequences that leave us anxious. Is fear cowardice? What is the difference between being yellow and being brave?

Why does Kipling say being angry, after being afraid is the ‘worst kind of cowardice’?

Well to me, and in Will Smith’s words, ‘Danger is real, Fear is a choice’. When we feel afraid, we chose fear, a fear that cripples us from acting that moment.

The danger we perceive may be real but when we forge ahead inspite of fear , we have freed ourself from the first label of being a coward. However, when we don’t act , sit afraid , a gnawing sense of regret , a frustration at having let our fears of the future overcome us from acting in the present . As this festers , we grow angry at ourselves, at the world , making us hostages of that fear for well beyond the initial moment of choice. Indeed such a choice can be termed ‘ the worst kind of cowardice’

Choose Action to be free thus from being afraid, being angry !

This post is an entry for Letter A of the #AToZChallenge and #BlogchatterA2Z organised by Blogging from A to Z Challenge and Blogchatter. My theme for this year’s (2021) challenge is Introspections with Children’s Book Quotes

#atozchallenge #bookquotes #lifelessons #anger #fear #cowardice #choice #junglebook #kipling


  1. I realise that I never read The Jungle Book, I only know the film. It’s an interesting quote about anger and fear, it takes a while to let it sink in… Thanks, you’ve inspired me, perhaps one day I’ll read the book and discover the deeper layers of the stories.


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