Kaa was not a poison snake – in fact he rather despised the poison snakes as cowards – but his strength lay in his hug, and when he had once lapped his huge coils round anybody there was no more to be said. «Good hunting!» cried Baloo, sitting up on his haunches. Like all snakes of his breed Kaa was rather deaf, and did not hear the call at first. Then he curled up ready for any accident, his head lowered.
«Good hunting for us all», he answered. «Oho, Baloo, what dost thou do here? Good hunting, Bagheera. One of us at least needs food. Is there any news of game afoot? A doe now, or even a young buck? I am as empty as a dried well».
«We are hunting», said Baloo carelessly. He knew that you must not hurry Kaa. He is too big.
«Give me permission to come with you», said Kaa. «A blow more or less is nothing to thee, Bagheera or Baloo, but I–I have to wait and wait for days in a wood-path and climb half a night on the mere chance of a young ape. Psshaw! The branches are not what they were when I was young. Rotten twigs and dry boughs are they all».
«Maybe thy great weight has something to do with the matter», said Baloo.
«I am a fair length – a fair length», said Kaa with a little pride. «But for all that, it is the fault of this new-grown timber. I came very near to falling on my last hunt – very near indeed – and the noise of my slipping, for my tail was not tight wrapped around the tree, waked the Bandar-log, and they called me most evil names».
«Footless, yellow earth-worm», said Bagheera under his whiskers, as though he were trying to remember something.
«Ss! Have they ever called me that?» said Kaa.
(The Jungle Book)