Aaahhh, sorry for the long wait, guys! This will be the last chapter.
Bagheera ran across two tree branches before stopping. "That was very clever of you, man cub."
Mowgli smiled and chuckled. "Thanks. I learned from the best."
Bagheera smiled back and sighed. "Mowgli, the villagers are looking all over for you. They're really worried."
This revelation took Mowgli slightly by surprise. "The whole village? Is looking for me? I thought they were mad..."
"Apparently not, since they're all looking for you." Bagheera stated. "Come on. I'll take you back to them."
Shanti was getting tired. She and Ranjan have been searching all night for Mowgli, but still no sign of him. She hoped he hasn't been eaten.
"I'm sure we'll find Mowgli soon..." Shanti reassured both herself and Ranjan.
After leaving Baloo for dead, Shere Khan continued looking for Mowgli. His ears perked up, and he spotted two man cubs talking about Mowgli. Shere Khan grinned as he came up with another idea. He just has to attract their attention.
Shere Khan snapped a twig to get Shanti's and Ranjan's attention. Shanti gasped in horror and fear as she saw Shere Khan growling quietly. Shanti stood very still. Shivers ran up and down her spine, and she couldn't find her voice to scream. She felt Ranjan pull her wrist.
"Shanti...let's go. Run!" Ranjan said frantically. "Come on!"
Shanti felt her legs move. She picked up Ranjan and ran as fast as she could. Ranjan still stared in horror at Shere Khan chasing them.
Mowgli was having a heck of a time on Bagheera's back. They sped along tree branches, and Mowgli kept bumping up and down on the panther's back.
"HELP!" They heard someone scream. "MOWGLI!"
Bagheera stopped and Mowgli turned his head towards the sound. "Shanti?" He called out.
"Who's Shanti?" Asked Bagheera.
"My best friend from the village." Mowgli explained. They heard Shere Khan roar, and Shanti scream. Mowgli's eyes widened in horror. "Come on! We have to go after them!"
Bagheera raised an astonished eyebrow. "We just got away from Shere Khan. Now you want to go back?"
"My friends are in trouble! They must've followed me out here. It's all my fault! We have to go after them." Mowgli said frantically. "If something happens to them, I'd never forgive myself."
Bagheera heaved a sigh. "All right. Hold on."
Shanti was getting tired. She ran around frantically, looking for a place to hide. She spotted a banyan tree and hid inside with Ranjan. Shere Khan approached it and started clawing at them. Shanti panted in fear. Sweat was pouring down her face. She held Ranjan tightly.
"Shnati!" Shanti looked up to see Mowgli on a high tree branch looking down at her.
"Mowgli!" Shanti exclaimed, slightly relieved. "Mowgli, help!"
"I will. Hold on!" Mowgli looked around and spotted a vine hanging above him. He yanked it down and tied it around the tree branch.
"He's gonna ram us!" Shanti shrieked. Shere Khan was crouched a few feet from the tree. He lunged and slammed into it, causing the branches to shake. Shanti continued screaming. Bagheera helped Mowgli tie the vine tight around the branch. Bagheera put a paw on the vine so it wouldn't loosen or break.
"Shanti! Hold onto this, and we'll pull you up!" Mowgli called down.
Shanti snapped out of her trance and held Ranjan up so he could reach the vine. "Ok, Mowgli, now!"
Mowgli pulled Ranjan up onto the branch. "Mowgli!" Ranjan exclaimed. They hugged.
Mowgli gestured to Bagheera. "Ranjan, this is Bagheera. Bagheera, Ranjan."
"MOWGLI!" Shanti screamed. Shere Khan tore a huge hole in the branches, wide enough for him to get through.
Mowgli gasped in horror. Without thinking, he jumped down in front of Shanti. He picked her up and hugged her.
"Shanti took a few short gasps. "Oh, Mowlgi!"
"I thought I'd never see you again." Mowgli pulled away. "What are you doing here?""
"We went looking for you after that wild bear carried you off!" Shanti exclaimed.
Mowgli was confused. Then he realized she was talking about Baloo. "That was Baloo. My best friend out here. Remember how I told you I made friends with a bear and that he rescued me after the monkeys grabbed me?"
Shanti's eyes widened, then she sighed and put her face in her hands. "Oh...sorry."
"Well, isn't this sweet." Shere Khan chuckled evilly. Mowgli protected Shanti from Shere Khan. The tiger continued. "I'm sure you know why I'm here. You see, you humiliated me, man cub. I wasn't going to let you get away with what you did to me."
Mowgli swallowed. "So what now?"
"You know very well what now." Shere Khan bore his teeth and crouched low.
Bagheera swallowed, frowned in determination, and jumped down in front of Mowgli, pushing his tail against the man cub, protecting him.
"Bagheera! What are you doing?" Mowgli asked, surprised. He then grew worried. "You just got away from him, now you wanna go back?"
"Well, this is an interesting turn of events." Shere Khan chuckled. "I assume this goes into the 'fighting when absolutely necessary' category?"
Bagheera bore his own teeth and unsheathed his claws. "I did warn you: if you so much as touch Mowgli, you'll regret the day you were born!"
"Bring it." Shere Khan challenged.
The two cats roared and tackled each other. Mowgli gaped, swallowed, and looked up at Ranjan. "Ranjan, you can come down, now."
Ranjan slid down on the rope into Mowgli's arms. He took Shanti's hand and started leading her out of the tree. "Come on. Let's get you back to the village."
They ran out of the banyan tree and into Baloo. "Oof!" Mowgli stumbled backwards. "Baloo! You're okay!"
Shanti gasped in horror and started tugging on Mowgli's hand. Mowgli turned to face Shanti. "Shanti, it's okay. This is Baloo, my best friend. Baloo, this is Shanti."
"Oh...heh..." Shanti swallowed and cleared her throat. "Nice to meet you, Baloo."
"Same here." Baloo glanced over at Shere Khan and Bagheera fighting. "So, what'd I miss?"
"I saved Shanti and our friend Ranjan from Shere Khan, and Bagheera protected me from Shere Khan." Mowgli responded simply. "That's the gist of it. I'm gonna take Shanti and Ranjan back to the village, now."
"But Mowgli, you have to come with us!" Shanti exclaimed.
Mowgli swallowed nervously. He wanted to stay in the jungle with Baloo...but he also wanted to stay with Shanti and Ranjan. What was he going to do?
Baloo saw that his friend was torn between the jungle and the man village He sighed. This was going to be his hardest decision yet...
"Mowgli...take your friends and go back to the man village." Baloo instructed firmly "Baggy and I will handle Shere Khan."
"Mowgli, I promise we'll be fine! Now go." Baloo gave one last pleading look before he ran towards the two fighting cats.
Mowgli sighed and turned to his friends."The village is five miles..." He pointed to the left of him. "you should make it there in about four hours."
"What? What about you?" Shanti asked.
"I have to help my friends." Mowgli said determined. "It's my fault they're in this mess."
"Mowgli..." Shanti sighed. He can be so stubborn sometimes. "No. I'll back you up."
"Shanti, it;'s too dangerous." Mowgli protested.
"I am going to back you up." Shanti repeated with a determined look on her face.
Mowgli sighed in defeat. "Ok, um..." he looked around. "There's a steep hill not far from here. At the bottom, be ready with a long, sharp stick."
"Why a sharp one?" Shanti asked.
"Just do it, please." Mowgli shooed his friends towards the cliff. He picked up a large rock, and threw it at Shere Khan's head just as he was about to bite Bagheera's head off. Shere Khan growled in pain. He glared at Mowgli, who gestured for him to follow. Mowgli zipped through the jungle. He looked back to make sure Shere Khan was following him. He smiled in satisfaction as Shere Khan bounded after him, looking beyond furious.
"YAAAH!" Not watching where he was going, Mowgli lost his footing, and tumbled down the steep hill. He landed on his back, his head spinning. He focused his vision. He looked to his left and saw Shanti kneeling next to him.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah. You got the stick?" He asked.
Mowgli grabbed the stick just as Shere Khan lunged for him. Shanti screamed and Mowgli pointed the stick up, squeezing his eyes shut.
Moegli felt something hot and sticky all over his arms. Shere Khan fell dead on his side. Mowgli was shaking all over. He took a cfew deep breaths and threw up all over Shere Khan's corpse.
"Holy..." The kids looked up to see Baloo and Bagheera standing at the top of the hill.
"Well, at least we won't have to worry about Shere Khan anymore, right Baggy?" Baloo chuckled.
Bagheera glanced at Basloo, perturbed, then hopped down. "Mowgli...he tried to kill you. You did it in self-defense."
Mowgli still started at Shere Khan's corpse, shocked at what he did. "I...I killed someone, Bagheera. I'll live with this for the rest of my life."
"Be that as it may...you made the jungle safe again." Bagheera smiled. "You're a hero."
"I agree." Shanti smiled and walked over to her friend. "You saved us all. You are a hero."
Mowgli smiled at his friends. "Thanks."
They heard voices in the distance. Shanti gasped happily as she recognized the villagers. "There they are!"
"Papa! Whoo-hoo!" Ranjan cheered.
"Come on, Mowgli!" Shanti said excitedly. Then she saw the torn look on his face. "Mowgli...I have to go. The village is where I belong."
Mowgli bowed his head, closed his eyes, and turned away. "I know."
Shanti swallowed sadly, and took Ranjan's hand. "Come on, Ranjan."
"What about Mowgli?" He asked.
"He's not coming with us."
Baloo noticed how sad Mowgli was. He didn't want things to turn out this way. He didn't think it woul;df get this bad. He sighed heavily.
"Mowgli...what are you waiting for?"
Mowgli turned to Baloo, surprised. "What?"
"Friends like those only come around once, maybe twice in a lifetime." Baloo smiled down at him. "Don't let her get away."
Mowgli smiled and hugged Baloo. "I'm gonna miss you, Papa Bear."
"I'll miss you, too." He set Mowgli down and watched him run after his friends. He sighed sadly. Well...at least he's happy...' He thought.
THE END! You know what happens the rest of the film, right? Good! 'Cause I really need to post this up, and my brother needs to use the internet.