In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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I <3 Chuck Jones

Ever get a flash of something from your childhood but it's all fragmented? I've had something pop into my head a few times over the past week and I kept making mental notes to try to google our the source. It basically consisted of a name, Rikki Tikki Tembo No-sa Rembo and a story about a streaky mongoose killing snakes. I had vague still images in my mind of an animated version of the later with assorted weird sound effects. I finally got around to searching and found that I had conflated two different childhood memories.

It turns out that Rikki Tikki Tembo is an old piece of Chinese folklore that must've been read to me at some point during elementary school. I know it must've been read to me because I have such a clear impression of hearing the name being rattled off, as if it were being chanted. That aside, I tend to not have verbal representations of names when I read books. It's funny really, but I almost never think about how a character's name actually sounds. Instead, the word of their name will pop into my head instead.

The mongoose story on the otherhand is Rikki Tikki Tavi, a story out of the Jungle Book. There was an animated adaptation of it that was produced by Chuck Jones the year before I was born and I must've seen it at some point. It certainly drilled an impression into my head since I still remember bits and pieces and I know that my family never owned a copy or anything.

I searched on You Tube and was amazed to find that they had the entire thing on there in three parts. I watched it again and it's freaking fantastic. I felt such a surge of happy nostalgia as bits and pieces of the video echoed off spotty pieces of memory.

It's just wonderful all around. I absolutely love Chuck Jones from Tom and Jerry to this absolute gem. Every kid of a certain age should be shown it and pikachu can go f-himself. I ended up singing the songs in the video to myself, which sort of explains that previous voicepost.

In case anyone is curious, here were the lyrics:

Who has delivered us, who?
Tell me his nest and his name.
Rikki, the valiant, the true.
Tikki, with eyeballs of flame.

Rikk-tikki-tikki, the ivory-fanged,
The hunter with eyeballs of flame!

Sing to your fledglings again,
Mother, oh lift up your head!
Evil that plagued us is slain,
Death in the garden lies dead.

Terror that hid in the roses is gone.
He lies on the rubbish heap, dead!

Give him the thanks of the birds,
Bowing with tail feathers spread!
Praise him with nightingale words.
Nay, I will praise him instead.

Hear! I will sing you the praise of the bottle-tailed Rikki, with eyeballs of red!

Sing him the the sad song of birds,
Bowing with tail feathers spread.
Sing to your fledglings again,
Mother, oh, bow down your head.

Nagaina will hunt in the garden once more,
For Rikki, the valiant, is dead.
Tags: book club: rikki tikki tembo, movie club: rikki tikki tavi, nostalgia, video

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