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Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book


by Rudyard Kipling

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book Paragraphs 17-37 Summary

  • 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.

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