Nathoo

Nathoo

Nathoo is a fictional character referred to, but "perhaps" never seen, in "The Jungle Book" and "The Second Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling.

He is the long-lost son of Messua and her husband, who has been snatched by a tiger (arguably, Shere Khan); when Mowgli leaves the jungle and arrives in their village, they assume that he is Nathoo returned to them, although Kipling never makes clear whether he is or not.

Kipling's stage adaptation, "The Jungle Play" (written 1899 but unpublished until 2000), states explicitly that Mowgli is "not" Nathoo. In this version of the story Messua has only recently lost her son and is under the delusion that Mowgli's changed appearance and behaviour are the result of amnesia from having lived wild in the jungle. Mowgli has seen the real Nathoo's body in the jungle, but spares Messua the truth.


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