Jungle Book Wiki


Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a short story in The Jungle Book (1894) by Rudyard Kipling about the adventures of a valiant young mongoose.

The story is a favorite of Kipling fans and is notable for its frightening and serious tone. Some epic features (heightened prosaic style, songs to the hero) add to the standard typology of hero defeating villain. It has often been anthologised and has also been published more than once as a short book in its own right.


A 21-minute Soviet animated adaptation was released in 1966. It was directed by Alexandra Snezhko-Blotskaya at Soyuzmultfilm studio. It has been released on a number of DVDs in Russia.

A 25 minute animated version which first aired on CBS on January 9, 1975 was directed by Chuck Jones and narrated by Orson Welles. Family Home Entertainment has released this version of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi on both VHS and DVD formats. The DVD is paired with another of Jones' cartoons, Yankee Doodle Cricket.

In the anime adaptation of The Jungle Book, Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli, Rikki is a supporting character who defends his Indian family.

Recently, an adaptation called "The Jungle Book: Rikki Tikki Tavi to the Rescue" was released to DVD. This version portrays Rikki as a blue-furred, vaguely weasel-like creature who hangs out with Mowgli and his friends.

In 1977, the Children's Film Society of India commissioned or co-produced a live action version.

References in culture[]

  • The popular Mongoose and Snake Drag Racing rivalry, made famous by Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen and Don "The Snake" Prudhomme was derived from the story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. This also helped open the door for major corporate backing for the duo by Mattel Hot Wheels, one of the first non-automotive sponsorships in early professional Drag Racing.
  • Donovan wrote a song titled "Riki Tiki Tavi" on his album Open Road
  • WikkiTikkiTavi is an open source wiki engine.
  • Paul Vaderlind, Richard Guy, and Loren Larson wrote a math book titled Inquisitive Problem Solver that references Rikki Tikki Tavi.
  • Popular webcomic Sluggy Freelance's character, "Kiki" the ferret, takes the pseudonym "Riki Kiki Taco" when she has delusions of being a heroine.
  • In an episode of British sitcom Peep Show, the last question on a quiz machine is '"What animal was Rikki-Tikki Tavi?"'
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's novel The Door Into Summer the main character sometimes refers to his niece Frederica (Ricky) as Rikki-tikki-tavi.
  • The third track on the Poison the Well album Versions is entitled Nagaina, in reference to the snake in the story.
  • In the martial arts parody film Kung Pow, Master Tang refers to Ling's father as Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.
  • The name of the "Rikti" Villain faction in the MMORPG video games City of Heroes and City of Villains was inspired by Rikki-Till-Tavi.
  • The phrase "Most Rikki-Tik" means "quickly" or "immediately"
  • In the comedy series yall refers to himself as Rikki Tikki Tavi when talking to his aunt
  • In George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman, the character Octavius is given the pet-name Ricki-Ticki-Tavy by Ann Whitefield.