The Red Flower

“Whoa, kid. Watch your language,” Baloo warned Mowgli as he bent down to find a place in a corner of the cave to settle himself down.

“I am not going to sit still, Baloo, even for a minute. Shere Khan better watch out the next time I get a hold of that Red Flower.” Mowgli scowled.

“My boy, I am going to learn you to become a Bear so soon you will never hear that rage in your voice anymore.” Baloo consoled Mowgli in a bid to calm him down as he sat himself down with a thud.

Ever since Mowgli had faced Shere Khan in the forest, he was restless to catch hold of the evil tiger and finish him forever. The power of the Red Flower was menacing yet evasive. The last time when Mowgli faced Shere Khan, the Red Flower almost overtook the whole of the forest. If it were not for Baloo to call Colonel Hathi and the jungle patrol to douse and control it, it would have harmed everyone, including Mowgli.

“You have to be more careful, Mowgli,” Baloo added. “Shere Khan is powerful and an altercation with him is not a child’s play. His claws are sharp and his soul is tainted. He would not be defeated so easily.”

“But you always said that evil must be defeated,” Mowgli reasoned, rather ruefully.

Oh, forget about your worries and your strife…” Baloo begins humming as Mowgli picks up a twig from the ground and walks out of the cave, waving it in the air. Getting a decent conversation with Baloo was getting tougher each day.

Maybe I need more paws and feet to back me.

Maybe I need to call Bagheera back.

Maybe I need to try and lure Kaa to side me against Shere Khan.

Maybe I must call the Seeonee pack to help me get even.

Maybe I must sneak into the man-village and steal the Red Flower.

As all these thoughts kept creeping into his mind, Mowgli’s resolve to get back at Shere Khan grew even stronger. His mind wandered into the alcoves of malicious intentions, just when Baloo intervened.

“I know what you are thinking, kid,” Baloo plonked himself next to Mowgli who was busy scheming his revenge by the stream. “Why do you want to risk going to the man-village?”

“Because that’s where man is! He has the Red Flower that makes him powerful.”

“You say you want to go to the man village. I say you can be a man right here.” Baloo got up to lead Mowgli back to the cave. Mowgli followed.

“Kid, you gotta keep finding your strength and strike when the time is right. The Red Flower resides in your heart, kid. You must learn how to control it so that it does not harm you or anyone else you love.”

“I hear you,” Mowgli said smilingly and hugged his friend. “That's my boy. And you're gonna make one swell bear,” Baloo beamed.