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1894, by Rudyard Kipling
"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling is the story of a brave young mongoose who keeps a human family and a number of animal friends safe from the vicious, murderous cobras who slither through the garden.
The main theme and moral of the story is that good prevails over evil by being brave and facing fears. Other themes include coming of age, man and the natural world, importance of family, and colonialism as a benevolent force.
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Nag, Nagaina, Darzee, Darzee's wife, Chuchundra, Karait, Teddy, Teddy's mother, and Teddy's father.
Book 5 of Panchatantra, an ancient Indian collection, includes the mongoose and snake story, an inspiration for the "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" story.
“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.”
“The victory is only a matter of quickness of eye and quickness of foot–snake’s blow against mongoose’s jump–and as no eye can follow the motion of a snake’s head when it strikes, this makes things much more wonderful than any magic herb.”