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Bagheera My Hero

Updated on September 30, 2014
VladimirCat profile image

Vladimir is a former champion ratter (retired). His hobbies are bushwalking, birdwatching and nature studies

Bagheera, my Hero
Bagheera, my Hero

Bagheera the Black Panther

In my youthful days I thrilled to the description of Bagheera.

A black shadow dropped down into the circle. It was Bagheera the black panther, inky black all over, but with the panther markings showing up in certain lights, like the pattern of watered silk

Often I practiced dropping down from a branch or the kitchen table, rippling my fur as I did so in an attempt to create the effects of the watered silk. No one seemed to notice except the woman who has always harboured a strange abhorrence to me being on the table in the first place.

Bagheera still whispers to me

Fond memories of youth

Back in the days of my youth, the woman who feeds me would read aloud to the younger members of her litter and my favourite was Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

The bits about Bagheera were the best.

When I grew up, I said to myself, I too would be as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant.

Those days are now long gone, the world has moved past and I spend my hours in the morning sun contemplating the lost dreams of youth but, inside me, the voice of Bagheera still whispers.

Softly he whispers, as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree.

The Jungle Book (40th Anniversary Platinum Edition)

The Jungle Book is a tale of friendship and adventure.

What a life it is, to live like this in the jungle, with a friend like Bagheera!

Sebastion Cabot is the voice of Bagheera - a voice very much like my own.

Did you have this read to you?

Bagheera's early life was in a cage
Bagheera's early life was in a cage | Source

Why Bagheera is my Hero

Bagheera once wore a collar and chain

You may not realise this, but Bagheera did not always run free in the jungle. He was born in captivity in the menagerie of the Rajah of Oodeypore, and tells Mowgli in confidence ..

In the cage my life began

But Bagheera seized his opportunity when he grew strong enough to break the lock on the cage and, turning his back on the decadent luxury of the Rajah's palace, escaped into the jungle where his natural intelligence, ferocity and innate blackness earned him the respect of all the denizens of the Wild. (Except for one conceited tiger).

Once I lay languishing in a cage at the Veterinary Hospital, and it was the image of Bagheera breaking out to run free that kept my spirits from going under. If Bagheera could do it, I could too

If I didn't have you

Bagheera and Shere Khan

Natural Superiority will triumph

When Bagheera escaped he took up his rightful pace as Numero Uno of the Night.

All the other jungle creatures recognised the natural superiority of Bagheera, with one exception, the arrogant Shere Khan.

But Bagheera triumphed over Shere Khan and brought Mowgli safely to the man-village just as I will eventually triumph over the arrogant Siamese who hurls insults at me from the fence.

More about Panthers

What do black panthers eat?
What do black panthers eat? | Source

Panthers are like myself, on a larger scale

Black panthers are powerful, intelligent, and exotic animals, somewhat like myself but on a larger scale. These cats live mainly in dense rainforest areas where the dark coat gives remarkably good camouflage. I can vouch for the advantages of being black myself, many a time I have remained totally unseen while lurking in the rhododendrons.

Camouflage helps all animals to avoid dangerous enemies (in my case, this means the uncontrollable labrador two doors down) and camouflage is a great asset when stalking prey. You will notice the dearth of Indian Mynas in my territory.


Food for Thought - and for Cats

Of course panthers in the wild rely on very different food than that which I enjoy. They prefer snacks of deer, snakes, monkeys and even a boar if they can snaffle one.

Mind you, I've knocked off a few rodents in my time and recently put paid to a snake which was attempting to slither into the woman's house but, on the whole, my lot is a happier one as I have no worries about my next meal.

Nor do I lose sleep over the imminent extinction of my own species, the Felis catus.

More on Camouflage

Pied Beauty - Spots Dots and Dapple
Who says a cat can't appreciate poetry? Like Gerard Manly Hopkins, I appreciate the speckled, freckled, brindled, stippled, peppered and spotted. Yes, cats appreciate beauty too.

How about you?

What do you think about Bagheera?

See results

I need your help - a vexatious question is interfering with my nap time. Do you think I should start a Bagheera Fan Club?

© 2009 Vladimir

Give Bagheera a friendly pat

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    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 

      3 years ago from California

      When I was just 3 1/2 years old, The Jungle Book came out. It was the first time I went to the movie theatre. It has been one of my favorite movies ever since. If it weren't for Bagheera, Mowgli probably would not have survived.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love Jungle Book and all the animal characters especially Bagheera. Enjoyed

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 

      5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      I love panthers. I missed this story when i was younger, but I'm going to follow up on it. Bagheera sounds like someone that I want to get to know better.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 

      6 years ago

      Great concept for writing this lens. Bagheera has always been a favorite character of mine and I feel he generally gets under rated when it comes to these things.

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 

      7 years ago

      You already have!

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 

      7 years ago

      Bagheera is one of my heroes, too, and I think you should definitely start a fan club for him!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      Bagheera is my hero now too. What a beautiful cat, I love black panthers. I love all cats actually, animals, birds, reptiles, not bugs though...I draw the line there. I recently made a new lens called Eagle Named Freedom, that I'm going to lensroll this to (its in entertainment). This very good and interesting.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I always liked old "Baggy" from The Jungle Book, and this is a great lens, very original and nicely put together. 5*****

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 

      9 years ago

      Vladi, you look much more fierce than Bagheera. I enjoyed your lens!

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image

      ctavias0ffering1 

      9 years ago

      Wonderful lens, Bagheera is just the best, good luck with your quest for Gianthood 5* and a sprinkling of Angel Dust for this excellent work

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      9 years ago from Covington, LA

      Oh Vladi, Star and Blaze were reading over my shoulder and they think that Bagheera is the best, too. They are also using the laptop to look on Orbitz for tickets to Australia.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      9 years ago from Croatia

      So, this cat is going to write about other cats? Great idea, Vladi!

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