Above all, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is curious and energetic, as most mongooses are. He spends much of his time hunting snakes--another trait of most mongooses--but he also enjoys a nap at times. Inexperienced at the beginning of the Kipling short story, Rikki--whose name comes from the sound he makes--survives several battle with snakes and becomes wise to their ways. Because he was saved by the human family, he has no fear of them, and he gains their love and respect after saving their lives more than once. He is a heroic character, saving the humans, battling the cobras, and ridding the area of his deadly enemies.