Describe incidents that illustrate Rikki-tikki's curiosity from "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi."

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That Rikki sure was a curious little devil in the classic Rudyard Kipling children's tale. Rikki came to the English family's bungalow in India quite by a fateful act of nature.

    One day, a high summer flood washed him out of the burrow where he lived with his father and mother, and carried him, kicking and clucking, down a roadside ditch. He found a little wisp of grass floating there, and clung to it till he lost his senses. When he revived, he was lying in the hot sun on the middle of a garden path, very draggled indeed, and a small boy was saying, "Here's a dead mongoose. Let's have a funeral."
    "No," said his mother, "let's take him in and dry him. Perhaps he isn't really dead."

Rikki quickly proved his value by saving the boy from the deadly Karait, "a dusty, brown snakeling."

As for his curiosity, three examples of Rikki's "being eaten up from nose to tail" with it include

  • Trying to eat the cotton wool before realizing it was inedible.
  • He tested the bath-tubs, where he nearly drowned.
  • "Put his nose into the ink on a writing table" and later burned it when he sniffed too closely on the big man's cigar.
  • He investigated the garden, "and he scuttled up and down... snuffing here and there..."
  • After killing Karait, he celebrated by "walking to and fro among the wine-glasses on the table."
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this story by Rudyard Kipling, the mongoose is found by the family and brought into their house.  The mongoose has been flooded out of its burrow and almost dies.  Teddy's father picks it up and brings it into the house.  He allows Teddy to keep it as a pet.

When he is getting used to being in the house, we see things happen where he shows his curiosity.  The story says that he almost drowns checking out what bath tubs are.  He also put his nose in the inkwell and he burned his nose on the end of the cigar that Teddy's father was smoking.