got his Skin"
by Lisa Lewis
| notes on
This uninhabited islandThe story
Is near Cape Gardafui:
But it's hot - too hot - off Suez
For the likes of you and me.
Ever to go in a P. & O.
To call on the Cake Parsee.
Those who wield power and influence are not left to enjoy it within the confines of fantasy as does the King in a fairy tale, but are open, just as in the world we know, to challenges from recalcitrant subjects. The Parsee pits his wits against the brute force of the Rhinoceros [p. 13].
The game [of words] is played in many ways. When Kipling wishes, he can even put the meaningless etcetera to meaningful or at least emotive use – [quoted page 17, lines 14-17]. The hyperbole is promoted in the apparently childish phrase “and things”, which at the same time suggests, albeit mischievously and in neat self-parody, the adult mysteries of the culinary arts. “It was indeed a Superior Comestible (that’s Magic)…” [p. 24].