“Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” Story Summary
Setting: India, around 1900.
In this famous story, a little mongoose has been washed out of his burrow (a hole the mongoose family lives in). He is found and taken into their house by a British family.1
The name of the mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, comes from the sound he makes, which the author, Rudyard Kipling, calls his “war-cry.”
When the mongoose learns from other animals that two cobras, Nag and his wife, Nagaina, live in the family garden, he knows he must kill them.
That is the beginning of the conflict.
Rikki hears the cobras taking about the cobra’s plan to kill the family. He ambushes and kills Nag in the bungalow (house) bathroom.
To prevent a new generation of cobras from taking over the garden, Rikki destroys all but one of the cobra eggs. He uses the last egg to lure (lead) Nagaina away from Teddy, the family’s little son.
Nagaina grabs the egg and disappears into a hole in the ground. Rikki bravely follows. The climax of the story is when . . . .
1. The country of Great Britain ruled India from 1858 to 1947. Many British military officers and civil servants came with their families to live in India.