In The King’s Ankus (1895), Rudyard Kipling describes a wrestling bout
They would rock to and fro, head to head, each waiting for his chance, till the beautiful, statue-like group melted in a whirl of black-and-yellow coils and struggling legs and arms, to rise up again and again. “Now! now! now!” said Kaa, making feints with his head that even Mowgli’s quick hand could not turn aside. “Look! I touch thee here, Little Brother! Here, and here! Are thy hands numb? Here again!”
Could Kipling’s 1895 description of Mowgli and Kaa as a “beautiful, statue-like group” have been inspired by Lord Leighton’s 1884 statue of a nude athlete wrestling with a python? Judge for yourself....