Mowgli the man-cub slept peacefully. He was high up in the branches of a large tree. He was sitting cross legged on a branch, with the soft, warm, scaly coils of a snake wrapped tightly around him. They covered him up completely, leaving only his head to rest on them. Mowgli felt no fear from being wrapped up. It felt like a beautiful, safe bed that he could rest in. Not too long ago Mowgli had been wandering lost and alone when he'd encountered his old enemy Kaa the snake. Mowgli was wary of Kaa, having once before been tricked by the crafty snake into staring into his colorful eyes. But after a short talk, Mowgli saw that he was wrong about the snake. Kaa wanted to help him. Wanted to protect him. Wanted to help him stay in the jungle. Something about Kaa had made Mowgli feel so relaxed and peaceful that before he knew it he was being cradled like a baby by Kaa before finally falling into a deep sleep and then wrapped up in Kaa's warm coils.
Mowgli had no idea, but at the same time he slept Kaa was being roughly interrogated by the tiger Shere Kahn as to the man-cub's whereabouts. Kaa had already been humiliated by the man-cub once and had to work very hard to get Mowgli into a position where he could be hypnotized to sleep. Kaa had even gone so far as to sing the boy to sleep. He was determined to settle down with the cub for a delicious and well earned meal. However that foolish song had alerted the tiger Shere Kahn's suspicions so Kaa had been forced to use every deceptive trick in the book to get rid of him. Finally the tiger seemed to be satisfied that Kaa didn't have him.
"Well, if you do just happen to see the man-cub..." the tiger purred before leaning close with one sharp claw "You will inform me first...understand?"
Kaa drew back in fear Shere Kahn would hurt him just to keep up his reputation "I get the point" he croaked. "Cross my heart, hope to die" Kaa made a big show of twisting his coils so that it looked like he was literally crossing his heart. Kaa also liked to keep up a reputation. Only Kaa liked to use his reputation so that his prey would never know what happened when they succumbed to his swirling eyes.
"Good show" Shere Kahn murmured in disgust before stalking away. "And now I must continue my search for the...helpless little lad"
Kaa watched the tiger stalk away into the bushes. Once he was certain that no one was left in ear shot, Kaa's rage over the tiger bubbled to the surface out of control. "Oh...who does he think he's fooling? 'The helpless little lad'" Kaa scrunched up his body in revulsion. "Ooooohhhhh he gives me the sssshhhiiiivvvvveeeeerrrrrsssss" Kaa let out a long series of shudders that caused his whole body to vibrate with the terror he hadn't dared to let the tiger see.
High up in the tree, Mowgli felt his deep sleep start to break. The first thing he felt were the coils tightly around his body. He slowly opened his eyes a tiny crack and was hit by the bright sunlight coming through the thick leaves of the tree. Mowgli tried to lift his hand to block the light but found that it was pinned to his side. His whole body started to tremble and vibrate. Mowgli soon realized that he had been wrapped up by what he recognized as Kaa's body. But now the coils were loosening and shaking until they were falling limply away from his body.
After a few moments the shaking stopped and Mowgli found himself sitting cross legged on the branch with every thing above his waist completely exposed. Mowgli held himself straight and blinked a few times. He'd been so deeply asleep that it was hard to focus on what was what. Kaa had spoken to him, that much he remembered. He'd felt so calm and then...Mowgli quickly shook his head a few times and felt the fog start to clear from his head. With a start he remembered Kaa's power of hypnosis. He remembered that all Kaa had had to do to brave Bagheera was stare at his eyes and the panther was rendered a helpless statue with a huge smile and colorful eyes. Mowgli pictured himself being rendered completely helpless like that. Being unable to move or talk or even think. Being only able to smile helplessly and obey Kaa.
A strike of terror went through Mowgli. KAA! He thought to himself. Mowgli looked around wildly for the snake. He remembered that Kaa often hid in the branches and popped out to throw him off guard. Maybe if he'd turn around he'd find himself staring in to Kaa's eyes and falling back under the spell. Suddenly Mowgli heard Kaa's voice murmur down below the branch. Mowgli couldn't hear what he was saying but he knew without a doubt it was Kaa's voice. Mowgli looked at Kaa's coils sitting limply around him and he realized what he had to do.
Down below Kaa was oblivious to anything happening above him. He was off in his own head, busy talking to himself. "Picking on that...poor little helpless...boy" Kaa sadly thought about Shere Kahn stalking through the jungle on the trail of a defenseless, almost naked man-cub. He pictured Mowgli's frightened look of terror as the tiger lunged on him. Suddenly there was a flash and the man-cub pictured in his head was staring lost and wide eyed into Kaa's eyes. His pupils shrunk into tiny pinpricks and then exploded into waves of color. The corners of his mouth twisted into a huge satisfied smile before his eyelids gently closed. Kaa realized that he had already captured the man-cub himself and in his anger at Shere Kahn he'd forgotten all about his slumbering dinner. Kaa suddenly felt giddy with joy as he imagined how happy the sleeping boy would be to greet him. "Oh yes...poor...little helpless...boy"
Back in the tree, Mowgli wasted no time carefully climbing out of Kaa's coils. He rested his back on the limb of the tree and held on tight. Mowgli knew how heavy Kaa was from last time so he used the soles of his bare feet to push all his weight against Kaa's pile of coils and send them falling off the branch.
Kaa was still fantasizing about his dinner when suddenly he felt his whole body being yanked backwards with tremendous force. He could barely let out a yelp as his whole body was dragged across the branches before he was dumped on the ground in a twisted heap. Kaa tried to think fast. The man-cub woke up! He cursed silently at his own stupidity. He'd had the boy once before a few nights ago and had similarly ruined things. Kaa knew that if he didn't think fast the boy would go running off into the jungle and he'd be the prey of that stupid tiger. As much as he wanted to snarl and lunge at the boy when he saw him, Kaa knew that he had to control his temper and lure the boy back into his doom.
Mowgli looked down at his handiwork and was satisfied to see the snake far below him all twisted up. The last time that had happen he'd felt a joy he tried to share with his panther protector. But this time there was no one there. Baloo had betrayed him. Everyone had turned their backs on him. Mowgli had thought that Kaa of all people could be trusted. That he could actually help him. He felt a little bit sad that wasn't the case. Mowgli felt an angry sense of betrayal build up as he grabbed a nearby vine and swung down to the foot of the tree.
Mowgli knew he should run away. That he shouldn't dare talk to the tricky snake, but Mowgli wanted Kaa to know how angry he was. He stormed over to the pile of coils and angrily yelled at them "You told me a lie Kaa!" The coils began to shift and suddenly Kaa's head began to slither out and up so that he could face Mowgli eye to eye. "You said that I could trust you!"
Mowgli was taken aback. He was so angry at Kaa and he'd expected Kaa to likewise be angry at him. But Kaa was instead smiling sadly at him. His eyes had a hurt and broken look in them that weakened Mowgli's resolve.
"But you CAN trust me man-cub" Kaa said softly. "But it seems you're the one that can't be trusted". Mowgli was taken aback by that comment. He tried to speak but Kaa soon drowned him out. "All I wanted to do was take care of you and protect you and you repay me by pushing me out of my own tree" Kaa started to unravel himself and stretch while groaning and sobbing slightly. While Mowgli was overwhelmed with sympathy, Kaa used the opportunity to discreetly slither his tail up into the branch and regain a hold over the tree.
"Kaa I-" Mowgli began "Oooooohhhhhhh my sssssiiiiiinnnnuuuuussssssssss" Kaa groaned in response."Do you know what I was trying to do before man-cub?"
"You were..." Mowgli felt foolish saying the words now he'd seen Kaa like this "You were going to eat me"
"Eat you!" Kaa cried out hurt "Did your so-called friends tell you about the tiger Shere Kahn man-cub?"
Mowgli remembered Bagherra gravely telling him about the tiger would be merciless in his desire to kill him. How no one would be able to stop him, how the only thing to be done was to run and hide in the strange and scary man village forever. "Y-yes, I know him"
Kaa slithered up close to Mowgli and rested his head on the man-cub's shoulders. Kaa's sad yellow eyes gazed up into Mowgli's own. "He was here man-cub. Just before he was here. Look for yourself since you don't trust poor old Kaa".
Mowgli looked down at his dirty bare feet and saw a track of huge tiger paw prints pressed into the dirt. They led away from the tree and looked very fresh. "He was here just before little man-cub" Kaa hissed into Mowgli's ear as a sudden cold rush spread over his thin body. "How did your friends respond to shere kahn hmm? They abandoned you. They deceived you. They got rid of you. And how did I respond man-cub?"
Kaa lifted his body off Mowgli's shoulder and twisted himself around so that he was looking directly into Mowgli's frightened looking eyes. "I tricked him man-cub. I made sure that he wouldn't disturb your ssslumber" Kaa began to gently sway from side to side. Mowgli found his own head sway ever so slightly in response. "I helped you to sssssleeeeeeppppp little man-cub. And I kept you ssssaaaaaffffeeee. Why don't you trust me?"
"You-" Mowgli found it hard to keep his thoughts focused when Kaa stared at him and swayed. He half wanted him to keep still but the other half found it strangely soothing. "You-you-hypnotized me....Kaa" Mowgli found it difficult to keep focused when Kaa was swaying. It was much easier to just be silent and relax.
Kaa found himself impressed with the man-cub. As a meal the boy was scrawny and unappealing. More skin and bone than anything. But Kaa had never eaten a man-cub before and Kaa found this particular one to be a fascinating specimen. Though the boy was obviously very young compared to what he would become, Kaa enjoyed matching wits with the boy...and finally overcoming him completely Oh yes, it was a very special kind of satisfaction to see the boy's eyes spin with color. To see the smile plastered on his face. To twist and turn him in his coils with the slightest twitch of his tail and whispered word. The boy liked to imagine himself a strong, defiant bear but in reality he was a simple child. Completely willing to submit himself mentally and physically to one who could seemingly care for him and protect him. That was what he'd done earlier. The boy had angrily pushed Kaa away when his eyes began to get even a hint of color in them. He'd refused to listen to anything the snake could say or do. But Kaa found a chink in the boy's armor by promising to let him stay in the jungle. That had quickly let on that the boy felt a huge void of trustworthy animals that would take care of him. Once Kaa knew what the void was, all he'd had to do was swoop in and fill it. He'd compared himself favorably to those that had betrayed the boy. Kaa didn't know the circumstances of the boy since their last encounter and neither did he care. The mere fact that where previously the boy had had an obliviously difficult relationship with the panther and was now wandering alone and angry was all Kaa needed to know. And once Kaa knew that he could get inside the boy's head so that by the time Kaa's eyes were spinning and he was staring into Mowgli's eyes, the man cub was doing half the work of hypnosis for him. Yes, it was always easier and funner if you could make the prey want to submit to you. If you could turn the tight prison of coils in to a warm and comfortable bed.
"I had to hypnotize you man cub" Kaa whispered softly as Mowgli mouth started to open and his eyes began to glaze over. By this point, Kaa's body was now wrapped around the tree once more. The sooner he got the cub up there the better. Kaa slithered his tail down from the tree and made it slide up the boy's back.
Mowgli twitched at first from the touch of the unseen scaly tail on his back but soon felt it's warm touch relax him further. While he swayed slowly with his eyes fixed on Kaa, the tail began to gently rub his shoulders. "I could see how scared you were. How angry and confused you were. But you were ssssssooooo sssssslllllleeeeeeppppppyyyyyy man-cub"
Mowgli tried desperately to stop himself but soon felt a loud, heavy yawn burst out from his lungs. Mowgli clenched his eyes shut and stretched his arms high above his head in sudden exhaustion. Kaa's tail gently but firmly pressed the boys arms to his side and used more of his coils to slide behind the boy's head to fix him firmly straight ahead so all he would able to do was look at Kaa.
Kaa leaned forward to the boy's face. Mowgli's eyes were gently closed from his yawn. "Open your eyes and look at me when I'm speaking to you please" Kaa whispered with a slight chuckle.
Mowgli scrunched up his eyes and gently lifted his eye lids and saw that Kaa's face was so close that practically all he could see was a bright yellow pool.
"Now then" Kaa chucked slightly "As I was saying, you were so tired that as your trusted friend I helped you to relax." Kaa spun his head round and round and round leaving the boy feeling dizzy and off kilter. "And to help you relax I looked into your tired eyes and helped you to sleep using my hypnosisssssssss"
Kaa stopped spinning and resumed simply staring into Mowgli's eyes. Only this time every couple of seconds a bring burst of color flashed over Kaa's eyes. It was over so fast you wouldn't be able to tell but subconsciously it helped to ease the boy into a hypnotized state without him knowing what was happening. "It felt good staring into my eyes didn't it man-cub?"
Though the boy's head was held still, Kaa could still feel him gently nod in agreement. "Yessss it did." The spinning colors in Kaa's eyes grew faster until his yellow eyes had been replaced by a kaleidoscope of color. Mowgli stared transfixed and without being aware of it let his own eyes start to burst with identical color. "I hypnotized you into a deep and peaceful sleep and then I used my coils to rrrrreeeelllllaaaaxxx you further. That felt nice didn't it?"
A strange but satisfied glazed look cross over Mowgli's eyes. Suddenly he was staring dead ahead without looking at anyone or anything. He was oblivious to everything but Kaa. His eyes rapidly spun with color even Kaa's had returned to normal. The corners of Mowgli's mouth began to twist upwards until a huge smile was plastered on the boy's face. Kaa felt the boy relax and grow heavy.
Keeping his head close to the boy's face, Kaa wrapped his tail around Mowgli's waist and together they gently rose higher and higher into the branches. When they finally stopped Kaa kept the boy held in mid air, his toes stretched and relaxed in the gently air.
"Do you remember my song man cub?" Kaa knew that it this point anything else other that simply swallowing him was pointless, but Kaa was sick of being humiliated by this little cub. Playing with him was half the fun. And now there was no one left to bother him. "Do you remember the lullaby I sung to you to help you sleep?"
While keep the boy suspended, Kaa maneuvered his coils into rings that started to gently curl around the boy's body. "Let me sing it to you again...Trust in me..." The coils began curl around the boy's bare skin "Just in me..." Mowgli eyes were visibly straining to keep open. Kaa knew the boy was exhausted and longed to relax but the power of Kaa's hypnosis kept the boy's eyes firmly open until told otherwise. With that in mind, Kaa leaned forward and gently hissed his favorite line of the song in to Mowgli's ear "Sssssshut your eeeeeeyyyyeeeesssssssss". With the relaxed smile still on his face, Mowgli's eyes gently closed until they seemed to be sealed tightly. Kaa snickered as he imagined those eyelids must weigh a tonne to the poor boy.
"And trust...in me..." Kaa wrapped up the boy tightly in his coils. He leaned closed to survey the boy's sleeping, smiling face. Kaa had come so close to losing he boy yet again but in the end he'd won. No one would stop Kaa now. Thinking once more of Mowgli being a "Poor little helpless boy", Kaa opened his mouth wide and began his long awaited dinner.