The motto of the entire mongoose family is "Run and find out." Although Rikki is just a young mongoose, he naturally follows his curiosity and then uses his skill in killing snakes to keep the human family safe. The first way he lives up to his family motto is by exploring the house, a task that he believes would keep his whole family busy all their lives. Second, he explores the garden and meets the residents there. This puts him in the middle of a big conflict with Nag and Nagaina, the two cobras who want to kill the humans. During the night he leaves Teddy's bed and checks out the house again. This time he runs into the muskrat, who is not a threat, but as he is speaking to him, he hears the "faintest scratch-scratch in the world." He realizes it is Nag or Nagaina; he runs and finds out it is Nag. When the cobra has fallen asleep, he attacks it, causing the man to wake up and shoot the cobra with a gun. The final way that his willingness to "run and find out" helps the humans and the garden animals is when he figures out where Nagaina's eggs are. With a hint from Darzee, he explores the melon-patch and, although the eggs are "very cunningly hidden," he finds them and destroys all but one. He uses the one remaining egg to lure Nagaina away from Teddy, at whom she is poised to strike. By following his curiosity and by using his innate snake-fighting skills, Rikki is able to save the humans' lives three times and to rid the garden and home from snakes permanently.