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The next morning, Rikki-tikki eats breakfast with the British family. He sucks up to / loves on each member in hopes of becoming their "house-mongoose" (17). This way he'll always be able to explore their rooms forever and ever.
Rikki-tikki heads into the garden to—what else?—explore his new hunting ground. Thank goodness he's not a cat or all this curiosity would certainly have negative effects on his living status.
He hears a sad voice and meets Darzee the tailorbird. Darzee is in mourning as one of his baby birds fell from the nest and was eaten by Nag.
Rikki-tikki asks who Nag is, and you know what they say about asking and receiving. A five-foot, black Indian cobra pops out of the grass.
In case it wasn't obvious, Nag informs Rikki-tikki that he is Nag.
Knowing a mongoose means death for him and his family, the cobra tries to trick the creature and engages him in some harmless chit-chat.
Or maybe not so harmless. Darzee warns Rikki-tikki to look out as another cobra lunges from behind. Rikki-tikki dodges the attack.
Rikki-tikki, meet Nag's wife Nagaina.
The cobras slither away, having missed their opportunity for an easy, albeit cheating, win.
Rikki-tikki is pretty ticked off, but he doesn't follow.
Two cobras at once might be more than one wee little critter can handle.
Teddy runs over to pet the mongoose when something moves in the dirt next to the boy.
It's Karait (or krait), another poisonous Indian snake.
The snake and Rikki-tikki have at it. Although the mongoose makes some amateur mistakes, he wins in the end.
The father comes out ready to give the snake a beat-down, but Rikki-tikki is like, "Relax. I've got it."
If the family didn't love that mongoose before, they sure do now.
Rikki-tikki doesn't know what all the fuss is about since he only killed a snake. But he enjoys the attention, so win-win.