What are three details that help you picture Rikki in "Rikki-tikki-tavi"?  

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Rikki looks like a cat, has a head like a weasel, and has red eyes.

Rikki, the main character, is described physically in the story.  He is a mongoose.  Many readers may not know what a mongoose is, so the author includes details so that we can picture Rikki.

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Rikki looks like a cat, has a head like a weasel, and has red eyes.

Rikki, the main character, is described physically in the story.  He is a mongoose.  Many readers may not know what a mongoose is, so the author includes details so that we can picture Rikki.

He was a mongoose, rather like a little cat in his fur and his tail, but quite like a weasel in his head and his habits. His eyes and the end of his restless nose were pink; … he could fluff up his tail till it looked like a bottle-brush …

From this description, we know Rikki’s size and the way his fur looks.  We even know the color of his nose!  The author also gives us some personality traits with the description, because we know that he is like a weasel not just in his head but also in his behavior.

We are also given a lot of detail about what Rikki looked like when he got wet and washed up in the garden. Rikki was soaking went, but he dried off and recovered. He spent his time wandering around the house, investigating everything.

A mongoose hunts snakes.  The story describes how Rikki is quick and clever when fighting Nag, Nagaina, and Karait.  Although this is not a specific trait, we can tell how Rikki moves and by that we can picture what he looks like.

Rikki-tikki's eyes grew red again, and he danced up to Karait with the peculiar rocking, swaying motion that he had inherited from his family. It looks very funny, but it is so perfectly balanced a gait that you can fly off from it at any angle you please; and in dealing with snakes this is an advantage.

From these details of Rikki’s physical features and his fighting style, we can easily imagine Rikki as if he were right in front of us.  The character traits help us understand why Rikki does what he does, and make the story more interesting.

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