It’s time for another installment of “An Interview With…!” These posts are excerpts from interviews with famous Victorians conducted by Heather and Katherine’s great-great-grandmothers – prestigious women in Victorian society. The first transcriptions we shared were interviews they had with Jules Verne and Nikola Tesla. Today, our great-great-grandmothers meet Rudyard Kipling.
Katherine’s Great-Great-Grandmother: Mr. Kipling, so very good of you to join us for tea today.
Heather’s Great-Great-Grandmother: Oh yes, we are truly honored to speak with you.
Rudyard Kipling: Well, I am happy to meet you both. The pleasure is mine, I am sure. Do you mind if I smoke?
K’s GGG: That’s perfectly alright with me. I’ll have one, too.
H’s GGG: I will abstain, if you don’t mind. I recently quit.
K’s GGG: You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
Rudyard Kipling: Ah, excellent reference – very clever.
K’s GGG: What reference?
H’s GGG: Let’s get to our questions. First, I’d like to talk about your rather fascinating childhood, Mr. Kipling. What was it like being raised in the wilds of India by wolves?
Rudyard Kipling: <chuckles> Oh yes, very funny. Well, of course that didn’t happen to me. That happens to a character in one of my stories.
K’s GGG: Can you explain to us exactly why the monkey king jazz singer wanted to “Be Like You-oo-oo?”
Rudyard Kipling: I’m not entirely sure I know what you are talking about. I don’t think anything like that happened in The Jungle Book.
H’s GGG: Look Mr. Kipling, don’t toy with us. We all saw the movie. The monkey wanted to walk like you, talk like you, too. Did you teach him?
Rudyard Kipling: …What?
K’s GGG: Is it weird that I was attracted to Bagheera in that movie?
H’s GGG: And how come you cast the same bear in both The Jungle Book and your other famous movie, Robin Hood?
K’s GGG: Actually, I was attracted to the fox in Robin Hood, too…
Rudyard Kipling: This is becoming rather frustrating.
K’s GGG: Ok, let’s move on. I’ve always been curious about your “Just So Stories.” Why did you never finish the title?
Rudyard Kipling: I’m sorry, what…exactly do you mean?
H’s GGG: Just So…what? Just so…I can pull in another paycheck Stories?
K’s GGG: Just So…I can get another free trip to India out of my publisher Stories?
Rudyard Kipling: How about Just So…I can be stuck in interviews with idiots Stories?
H’s GGG: No, that one doesn’t really make sense.
Rudyard Kipling: Jules told me not to come. I should have listened to him…
<end of manuscript>