Study Guide

The Coppersmith in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi from The Jungle Book

By Rudyard Kipling

The Coppersmith

This bird plays the role of the "town-crier to every Indian garden" (106). Back in ye olden days, town criers acted as news broadcasters for their community. When the bell struck a given hour, they would literally yell the news to everybody within earshot. (Hey, when you've got single-digit literacy rates, you have to get the word out somehow.) The Coppersmith provides the same function in the story, singing the news that Nag and Nagaina are dead at the fangs of Rikki-tikki.