The Parsee Waits for the Rhinoceros

From How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

By Rudyard Kipling

The Parsee Waits for the Rhinoceros

This is the Parsee Pestonjee Bomonjee sitting in his palm-tree and watching the Rhinoceros Strorks bathing near the beach of the Altogether Uninhabited Island after Strorks had taken off his skin. The Parsee has put the cake-crumbs into the skin, and he is smiling to think how they will tickle Strorks when Strorks puts it on again. The skin is just under the rocks below the palm-tree in a cool place; that is why you can’t see it. The Parsee is wearing a new more-than-oriental-splendour hat of the sort that Parsees wear; and he has a knife in his hand to cut his name on palm-trees. The black things on the islands out at sea are bits of ships that got wrecked going down the Red Sea; but all the passengers were saved and went home.

The black thing in the water close to the shore is not a wreck at all. It is Strorks the Rhinoceros bathing without his skin. He was just as black underneath his skin as he was outside. I wouldn’t ask anything about the cooking-stove if I were you.

 

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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