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Encyclopedia > Just so story

See also Just-so story for anthropological sense A just-so story is a term used in academic anthropology, biological sciences, and social sciences for a narrative explanation for a cultural practice or a biological trait or behavior of humans or animals which is unverifiable and unfalsifiable. ...

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Just So Stories

The Just So Stories for Little Children were written by British author Rudyard Kipling. They are highly fantasised origin stories and are among his best known, and arguably best, works. Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... This article is about the British author. ...

Contents

Description

The stories, first published in 1902, are fantastic accounts of how various natural phenomena came about. A forerunner of these stories is "How Fear Came" in The Second Jungle Book (1895), in which Mowgli hears the story of how the tiger got his stripes. 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Embossed cover from the original MacMillan edition of The Second Jungle Book, 1895, based on art by John Lockwood Kipling (Rudyards father) The Second Jungle Book is a sequel to The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. ... 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Mowgli by John Lockwood Kipling (father of Rudyard Kipling). ... Binomial name Panthera tigris (Linnaeus, 1758) Distribution of tigers in 1900 (red) and 1990 (green) Synonyms Felis tigris Linnaeus, 1758 Tigris striatus Severtzov, 1858 Tigris regalis pink, 1867 Tigers (Panthera tigris) are mammals of the Felidae family and one of four big cats in the Panthera genus. ...


The original editions of Just So Stories were illustrated with woodcuts by Kipling himself, though later editions have included illustrations by other artists. Four horsemen of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer Ukiyo-e woodcut, Ishiyama Moon by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1889) Woodcut is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface...


Each story is accompanied by a poem, in a somewhat ballad style. The poem after "The Elephant's Child" is particularly widely quoted; it opens: Illustration by Arthur Rackham of the ballad The Twa Corbies A ballad is a story, usually a narrative or poem, in a song. ...

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Many of the stories are addressed to "Best Beloved" (they were first written for Kipling's eldest daughter, Josephine, who had died during an outbreak of influenza in 1899), and throughout they use a comically elevated style inspired by the formal speech of India, full of long and improbable-sounding words, some of them made up. As a result, it is a delight to read them aloud, and easy to memorise passages from them. They were a highly popular item on the BBC's radio programme Children's Hour in the 1950s. Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by an RNA virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses). ... Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion... See also The Childrens Hour Childrens Hour—at first: The Childrens Hour, from a verse by Longfellow (1)—was the name of the BBCs principal recreational service for children (as distinct from Broadcasts to Schools) during the period when radio dominated broadcasting. ... // Recovering from World War I and its aftermath, the economic miracle emerged in West Germany and Italy. ...


The Elephant's Child

Some sense of the style of the stories may be gathered from the following extract:

One of Kipling's original illustrations for The Elephant's Child.

In the High and Far-Off Times the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, as big as a boot, that he could wriggle about from side to side; but he couldn't pick up things with it. But there was one Elephant—a new Elephant—an Elephant's Child—who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions… Image File history File links Justso_elephantchild. ... Image File history File links Justso_elephantchild. ...


One fine morning in the middle of the Precession of the Equinoxes this 'satiable Elephant's Child asked a new fine question that he had never asked before. He asked, "What does the crocodile have for dinner?" Then everybody said, "Hush!" in a loud and dretful tone, and they spanked him immediately and directly, without stopping, for a long time.


By and by, when that was finished, he came upon Kolokolo Bird sitting in the middle of a wait-a-bit thornbush, and he said, "My father has spanked me, and my mother has spanked me; all my aunts and uncles have spanked me for my 'satiable curtiosity; and still I want to know what the Crocodile has for dinner!"


The Kolokolo Bird said, with a mournful cry, "Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out."


That very next morning, when there was nothing left of the Equinoxes, because the Precession had preceded according to precedent, this 'satiable Elephant's Child took a hundred pounds of bananas (the little short red kind), and a hundred pounds of sugar-cane (the long purple kind), and seventeen melons (the greeny-crackly kind), and said to all his dear families, "Good-bye. I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner." And they all spanked him once more for luck, though he asked them most politely to stop.

The full list of Just-So Stories

How the Rhino got his Skin, woodcut by Kipling
  • How the Whale got his Throat
  • How the Camel got his Hump
  • How the Rhinoceros got his Skin
  • How the Leopard got his Spots
  • The Elephant's Child
  • The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo
  • The Beginning of the Armadilloes
  • How the First Letter was Written
  • How the Alphabet was Made
  • The Crab that Played with the Sea
  • The Cat that Walked by Himself
  • The Butterfly that Stamped

As well as appearing in a collection, the individual stories have also been published separately, often in large-format illustrated editions for younger children. A video edition has also been released; on VHS tapes it required three tapes with four episodes on each. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (640x626, 76 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Just So Stories ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (640x626, 76 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Just So Stories ... Four horsemen of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer Ukiyo-e woodcut, Ishiyama Moon by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1889) Woodcut is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface... By Rudyard Kipling Long ago when elephants child had no trunk, a young elephant who was full of satiable curiosity asked the crocodile what he had for dinner. ... Video (Latin for I see, first person singular present, indicative of videre, to see) is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion. ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Vertical Helical Scan, better known by its abbreviation VHS (and often confused to be Video Home System) is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by...


Trivia

The "magic mark" inscribed on the stone under the man's foot in Kipling's original illustration for "The Crab That Played With the Sea" is actually an inverted swastika (originally a sign of peace); Kipling used the inverted swastika as an emblem on his books, for its oriental connections (this was before it was adopted by the Nazis). A right-facing Swastika in a decorative Hindu form The swastika (from Sanskrit ) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either left-facing () or right-facing () forms. ... National Socialism redirects here. ...


The Just So Stories have recently been adapted into Just So (musical).


See also

A just-so story is a term used in academic anthropology, biological sciences, and social sciences for a narrative explanation for a cultural practice or a biological trait or behavior of humans or animals which is unverifiable and unfalsifiable. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Just So Songs is a collection of twelve poems from Rudyard Kiplings Just So Stories set to music by Sir Edward German in 1903. ...

Notes and references

    External links

    • http://www.boop.org/jan/justso/ Full text of the stories, including Kipling's illustrations
    • Just So Stories, available at Project Gutenberg.
    • Free audiobook download of Just So Stories FreeClassicAudioBooks.com
    • Audio files of The Just So Stories - read by an actual person StationCrafts.net
    • The Elephant's Child Free Audio Story by Storynory
    • The Just So Stories read by Tim Bulkeley

     
     

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