How does Darzee's wife influence the plot of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"?

Quick answer:

Darzee's wife is a tailorbird and the wife of Darzee, a mynah bird. She helps Rikki in his battle with Nag by acting as a decoy and warning him of Nagaina's plan to kill Teddy.

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Darzee's wife, a tailorbird, is integral to the plot of "Rikki-Tikki Tavi." Her actions are important in the inciting incidentrising action, and climax. First, the conflict of the story starts when Rikki wanders into the garden and hears Darzee and his wife crying about the baby bird they lost to Nag. Their sad state is Rikki's first introduction to Nag. As Rikki is talking to them to find out why they are crying, the antagonist, Nag, appears for the first time.

During the rising action portion of the plot, Darzee's wife steps in to help Rikki when Darzee is too bird-brained to do so. Darzee's wife acts as a decoy to lure Nagaina away from the melon-bed where the young cobras are about to hatch so that Rikki can destroy most of the eggs. She volunteers to help, even though doing so puts her own life at risk. She also warns Rikki that Nagaina has gone to the veranda with the intent of killing the boy, Teddy. 

Finally, during the climactic battle between Rikki and Nagaina, Darzee's wife intervenes again, fluttering in front of the fleeing Nagaina just enough to slow her down. This allows Rikki to catch up to the snake and grab onto her tail with his teeth just as the cobra "plunged into the rat hole."

Thus, Darzee's wife plays an important role in three parts of the plot: the inciting incident, the rising action, and the climax.

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