The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. An Excerpt:
"And turn all the people of the villages against us?" clamored Shere
Khan. "No, give him to me. He is a man, and none of us can look him
between the eyes."
Akela lifted his head again and said, "He has eaten our food. He has
slept with us. He has driven game for us. He has broken no word of the
Law of the Jungle."
"Also, I paid for him with a bull when he was accepted. The worth of a
bull is little, but Bagheera's honor is something that he will perhaps
fight for," said Bagheera in his gentlest voice.
"A bull paid ten years ago!" the Pack snarled. "What do we care for
bones ten years old?"
"Or for a pledge?" said Bagheera, his white teeth bared under his lip.
"Well are ye called the Free People!"
"No man's cub can run with the people of the jungle," howled Shere Khan.
"Give him to me!"
"He is our brother in all but blood," Akela went on, "and ye would kill
him here! In truth, I have lived too long. Some of ye are eaters of
cattle, and of others I have heard that, under Shere Khan's teaching,
ye go by dark night and snatch children from the villager's doorstep.
Therefore I know ye to be cowards, and it is to cowards I speak. It is
certain that I must die, and my life is of no worth, or I would offer
that in the man-cub's place. But for the sake of the Honor of
the Pack,--a little matter that by being without a leader ye have
forgotten,--I promise that if ye let the man-cub go to his own place, I
will not, when my time comes to die, bare one tooth against ye..."