Painted Jaguar is Astonished

From The Beginning of the Armadillos

By Rudyard Kipling

Painted Jaguar is astonished

This is a picture of the whole story of the Jaguar and the Hedgehog and the Tortoise and the Armadillo all in a heap. It looks rather the same any way you turn it. The Tortoise is in the middle, learning how to bend, and that is why the shelly plates on his back are so spread apart. He is standing on the Hedgehog, who is waiting to learn how to swim. The Hedgehog is a Japanesy Hedgehog, because I couldn’t find our own Hedgehogs in the garden when I wanted to draw them. (It was daytime, and they had gone to bed under the dahlias.) Speckly Jaguar is looking over the edge, with his paddy-paw carefully tied up by his mother, because he pricked himself scooping the Hedgehog. He is much surprised to see what the Tortoise is doing, and his paw is hurting him. The snouty thing with the little eye that Speckly Jaguar is trying to climb over is the Armadillo that the Tortoise and the Hedgehog are going to turn into when they have finished bending and swimming. It is all a magic picture, and that is one of the reasons why I haven’t drawn the Jaguar’s whiskers. The other reason was that he was so young that his whiskers had not grown. The Jaguar’s pet name with his Mummy was Doffles.


Illustrations by Rudyard Kipling. Grateful acknowledgment to Russell Tayler, Newcastle, Australia for providing the artwork and accompanying text.

Public domain text courtesy of Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg license and trademark information.

Page copyright © 2007 by Daniel M. Short

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