From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Later edition cover of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling

"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" is a short story in the 1894 anthology The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling about the adventures of a valiant young Indian mongoose.[1] It has often been anthologised, and has been published several times as a short book.


Rikki-Tikki-Tavi in Chuck Jones' animated film

The story follows the experiences of a mongoose named Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (after his chattering vocalizations) after he becomes the pet of a British family residing in India as protection against cobras. He becomes friendly with some of the other creatures inhabiting the garden, and is warned of the cobras Nag and Nagaina, who are angered by the family's presence on their territory.

Accordingly, Nag enters the house's bathroom before dawn to kill the humans and make Rikki leave so that their babies will grow in a safe place. Rikki attacks Nag from behind; the ensuing struggle awakens the family, and the father kills Nag with a shotgun.[2]

The grieving Nagaina attempts revenge against the humans, cornering them as they have breakfast on an outdoor veranda. She is distracted by a female tailor bird while Rikki destroys the cobra's unhatched brood of eggs, except for one. He carries it to where Nagaina is threatening to bite little Teddy while his parents watch helplessly.

Nagaina recovers her egg, but is pursued by Rikki away from the house to the cobra's underground nest where an unseen final battle takes place. Rikki emerges triumphant from the hole declaring Nagaina dead. His subsequent role is to protect the family by keeping the garden free from any future intrusion of snakes.


Director Alexandra Snezhko-Blotskaya shot an animated short film of the story entitled Рикки-Тикки-Тави (Rikki-Tikki-Tavi) in 1965 in the Soviet Union at the film studio Soyuzmultfilm. Ten years later, Chuck Jones adapted it for a half hour television special in the United States, and Aleksandr Zguridi and Nana Kldiashvili directed a live action feature film entitled Rikki-Tikki-Tavi four years later.[3]


  1. ^ Kipling, Rudyard. "Rikki-tikki-tavi." haley Huang. 16 January 2014.
  2. ^ Kipling, Rudyard. Rudyard Kipling. p. 94. ISBN 1-85052-202-2.
  3. ^ "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 5 December 2014.

External links[edit]