Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a short story in The Jungle Book (1894) by Rudyard Kipling about the adventures of a valiant young mongoose.
The story is a favourite of Kipling fans and is notable for its frightening and serious tone. Some epic features (heightened prosaic style, songs to the hero) add to the standard typology of hero defeating villain. It has often been anthologised and has also been published more than once as a short book in its own right. The story was also adapted into an animated TV special by American animator Chuck Jones in 1975. That same year the story was adapted as a Russia animated short film.
An English family who have moved to a bungalow in the jungles of India-Sugauli (former British sp. Segowlee) cantonment in Bihar State, India-discover a young mongoose half drowned from a storm. They revive it and decide to keep it as a pet. The young mongoose, named Rikki-Tikki by its new owner, soon finds himself confronted by two dangerous, murderous cobra, Nag (the word is Hindi for "cobra") and his even more dangerous mate Nagaina, who had the run of the garden while the house was unoccupied. After that first encounter with the cobras, Rikki's first true battle is with Karait, a dust brown snakeling who threatens the young boy Teddy. Although the snake, because of its deadly venom and small size, is an even more dangerous foe than a cobra, the mongoose kills him. The grateful family pet and praise "our mongoose".
At Nagaina's urging, Nag plans to kill the human family to empty the house so the cobras can again rule the garden. She also reminds him that their eggs, laid and hidden in the garden, would hatch soon (as they might the next day) and that their children will need room and quiet. Nag goes to the bathroom to wait and kill the "big man", but Rikki follows Nag and bites the cobra by the head above the hood. Nag thrashes about furiously, and the noise wakes the man, who fires both barrels of a shotgun into Nag, blowing him in two pieces and almost hitting Rikki. Nag is then thrown on the rubbish heap, where Nagaina mourns for him and vows vengeance.
Read more about Rikki-Tikki-Tavi at Wikipedia
Official Site: Public Domain
Researched by: Grover Junior