In "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," in what way had Nag harmed Darzee, the tailor bird?

In "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling, Nag eats one of Darzee's offspring when the little bird falls from the nest.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Rudyard Kipling's short story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi ," the title character is a young mongoose who lives with a human family and conquers the great cobra Nag. As Rikki-tikki is adjusting to his new home, he meets Darzee, the tailor-bird, who, with his wife, has a nice, big, beautiful...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In Rudyard Kipling's short story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," the title character is a young mongoose who lives with a human family and conquers the great cobra Nag. As Rikki-tikki is adjusting to his new home, he meets Darzee, the tailor-bird, who, with his wife, has a nice, big, beautiful nest. Darzee and his wife are sitting at the edge of their nest crying pitifully, and the mongoose asks them what is wrong. "We are very miserable," the bird replies. "One of our babies fell out of the nest yesterday, and Nag ate him."

Nag himself appears at that point. He is a huge, wicked, black cobra who wants Rikki-tikki (and everyone else) to be afraid of him. Instead, Rikki-tikki challenges the snake, and Darzee warns the mongoose just in time as Nagaina, Nag's wife, sneaks up behind him. Here begins an intense rivalry between Rikki-tikki and the snakes.

Rikki-tikki bravely defends his human family, and he eventually kills both Nag and Nagaina and eliminates their young. Darzee is so thrilled that he sings Rikki-tikki's praises vigorously after the mongoose kills Nag, but Rikki-tikki knows he has yet another job to do, and he asks the bird where to find Nagaina. The bird finally tells him, and Darzee's wife distracts Nagaina so Rikki can destroy the snake's eggs. He then follows Nagaina right into her hole and kills her. Darzee redoubles his musical efforts at this point, and the news spreads quickly. Rikki-tikki has made the garden safe.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on