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How did the camel get his hump? Why won't cats do as they are told"? Who invented reading and writing? How did an inquisitive little elephant change the lives of elephants everywhere. Kipling's imagined answers to such questions draw on the beast fables he heard as a child in India, as well as on folk traditions he later collected all over the world. He plays games with language, exploring the relationships between thought, speech, and written word. He also celebrates his own joy in fatherhood. The tales were told to his own and his friends' children over many years before he wrote them down, adding poems and his own illustrations. They invite older and younger readers to share a magical experience, each contributing to the other's pleasure but each can also enjoy them alone, as more jokes, subtexts, and exotic references emerge with every reading. This fully illustrated edition icludes two extra stories and Kipling's own explanation of the title. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.