From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
The narrator jumpstarts things by telling the reader that this story will be about Rikki-tikki-tavi, mongoose extraordinaire.
Said story begins one day during a high summer flood. Rikki-tikki is washed away from his parents and almost drowns.
When he comes to, he's wrapped in a warm cotton blanket and surrounded by his saviors, a British family living in India.
You'd think this would be like alien abduction for any small animal, but Rikki-tikki isn't scared at all. In fact, the narrator informs us that a mongoose's natural curiosity prevents it from being afraid (so there).
Rikki-tikki goes exploring. His shenanigans include climbing all over the British child, Teddy, nearly drowning in the bathtubs, and soaking his nose in writing ink.
That night, Rikki-tikki sleeps with Teddy. Teddy's mother worries about the wild animal sleeping so close to her boy. And, uh, we're kind of with her.
The father says pish-posh to such a worry. (He is British, after all.) After all, if a snake were to come into the room, there would be no better companion than a mongoose. The mother won't think of anything so awful, regardless of how obviously foreshadowing it might be.