All three of these characters are determined to protect their territory and the ones they love.
Although they are enemies, Nag, Nagaina, and Rikki do have a lot in common. They are all persistent, deadly, and courageous. Each of them is fighting for something so important that he or she is willing to die for it.
Rikki is the mongoose who washes up in the bungalow’s garden. He has been taught by his mother that being a house mongoose is what all mongooses aspire to. Rikki also knows that hunting snakes is part of a mongoose’s job. The mongoose eats the snakes, but this also protects the people from the snakes that may target them. Rikki is not afraid to do his job.
Nag and Nagaina know mongooses well. They are wary of Rikki because they are sure that he will prove a threat to them sooner or later. They try to strike first, to scare him off. This doesn’t work well because it’s impossible to frighten a mongoose.
Nag was thinking to himself, and watching the least little movement in the grass behind Rikki-tikki. He knew that mongooses in the garden meant death sooner or later for him and his family, but he wanted to get Rikki-tikki off his guard.
Nag’s trick to try to distract Rikki so Nagaina can get him doesn’t work. Rikki is quick too. Nag and Nagaina have each other, and they can work together. Rikki is able to work with others too. He uses Darzee and even Chuchundra to accomplish his ends.
Nag and Nagaina have a set of baby cobras. After Nag is killed by Rikki, Nagaina’s goal is to protect them. She is brave, even though she is grieving. She knows that Rikki is dangerous and she has no help, but she goes after him anyway. She tries to get Rikki to let her go.
Nagaina saw that she had lost her chance of killing Teddy, and the egg lay between Rikki-tikki's paws. "Give me the egg, Rikki-tikki. Give me the last of my eggs, and I will go away and never come back,'' she said, lowering her hood.
Nagaina may be a little afraid, but she is mostly thinking of her baby. She tries to appeal to Rikki’s sense of decency and get him to let her keep it, but when he doesn’t she fights him.
All three of these animals are engaging in a fight to the death over territory. They all feel that they have a right to the garden. Rikki is protecting the people, and Nag and Nagaina are protecting their family. In the end, they all fight well, but Rikki wins.