Real Name


First Appearance

Tiger! Tiger! (1893)

Created by

Rudyard Kipling


Messua was the wife of the richest man in an Indian village. When Mowgli left the jungle and arrived at their village, they believed him to be their son, Nathoo, who was lost in the jungle some years before. The village priest, seeing the potential advantage in keeping the village's richest man happy, agreed to their adopting the strange boy. Unfortunately for the couple, Mowgli's ignorance of village laws and customs resulted in some embarrassing incidents which caused Messua's husband to lose his affection for the boy. Things came to a head when Mowgli killed the tiger, Shere Khan, and called his wolf friend, Akela, to prevent the village's chief hunter, Buldeo, from taking the tiger's skin. Believing Mowgli to be an evil sorcerer, the villagers drove him away and sentenced Messua and her husband to death. With the aid of his animal friends, Mowgli rescued them and set them on the road to another village, although only Messua showed her gratitude. Her husband was resentful at being forced to leave with only a small amount of money.

When he was approximately seventeen years old, Mowgli stumbled across Messua by accident, now widowed and living with her infant son in a distant village. Astonished that the boy she once knew was now a tall and beautiful young man, she half-believed him to be a jungle god and begged him to stay with her and help raise his new brother. Mowgli was torn between staying and returning to the jungle, but eventually decided to stay.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Tiger! Tiger!
  • Letting in the Jungle
  • The Spring Running

See Also

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