Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1975) Movie Script

( music playing )
( thunder crashes )
( squawks )
( chittering )
( thunder crashes )
This is the story of the great war
that Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
fought single-handed
through the bathrooms
of the big bungalow
in Segowlee cantonment
in India.
Darzee the tailorbird
helped him.
And Chuchundra
the muskrat,
who never comes out
in the middle of the floor
but always creeps
around by the wall,
gave him advice.
But Rikki
did the real fighting.
Here's a dead mongoose. Let's have a funeral.
No, no, let's take him in and dry him.
Perhaps he really
isn't dead.
I think--
I think he's breathing.
- Do you suppose he--
- I don't believe he's dead.
He's just half-choked
with water.
There, that should
warm him up.
Poor little chap.
( sneezes )
Now, don't frighten him
and we'll see
what he'll do.
( chittering )
( laughs )
( chittering )
Don't be frightened, Teddy.
That's just his way
of making friends.
Ouch. He's tickling
under my chin.
( laughs )
- What's he doing?
- ( parents laugh )
I suppose he's so tame
because we've been
kind to him.
And this is a wild thing.
All mongooses are like that.
If Teddy doesn't
pick him up by the tail
or try to put him
in a cage,
he'll run in and out
of the house all day.
Let's give him
something to eat so he'll stay.
Rikki certainly seems
to agree with you.
That's what we'll name him.
It was a temptation to eat the whole banana,
but Rikki remembered what
his mother had taught him.
A full meal makes
a slow mongoose.
And if he wanted all his
strength and quickness ready,
he must keep himself thin.
Is he going to run away?
No, no, no. He's just exploring
and getting acquainted.
It is the hardest thing in the world
to frighten or surprise
a mongoose
because he is eaten up
from nose to tail with curiosity.
The motto of
the mongoose family is
"run and find out,"
and Rikki
was a true mongoose.
There are more things to find out
about this house
and yard...
He said to himself.
...than all my family could find out
in all their lives.
( chittering )
When I was a lad, I served a term
As office boy
to an attorney's firm
I cleaned the windows
and I swept the floor
And I polished up the handle
of the big front door.
Why, Rikki, do you
need a bath, too?
Watch out or you'll
get one whether you need it or not.
Watch your step, Rikki.
Rikki, it's very slippery.
Oh, Rikki,
won't you ever learn?
Oh, Rikki.
You look like goose down,
not a mongoose.
( door opens )
Oh, I don't like that.
He may bite the child.
He'll do no such thing.
Teddy's safer with
that little beast
than if he had a bloodhound
to watch him.
If a snake came into
the nursery now--
Oh, please, don't.
I don't want to think
of anything so awful.
( door closes )
Early next morning,
Rikki-Tikki came
to early breakfast
riding on
Teddy's shoulder.
And they gave him
a little more banana and some boiled egg.
And Rikki sat on
all their shoulders one after the other
because every
well-brought-up mongoose
hopes to be
a house mongoose someday.
( laughs )
Rikki went out into the garden
to see what was
to be seen.
It was a large garden
only half cultivated,
with bushes as big
as summerhouses
of Marshal Neil roses,
lime and orange trees,
clumps of bamboo,
and thickets of high grass.
This is splendid hunting ground.
Rikki said to himself,
and his tail
grew bottle-brushy at the thought of it.
( bird chirping )
It was Darzee the tailorbird
and his wife on a beautiful
nest they had made
by stitching two big leaves
together with fibers
and filling the hollow with
cotton and downy fluff.
What's the matter?
We are very miserable.
One of our babies fell out
of the nest yesterday
and Nag ate him.
That is very sad.
But I'm a stranger here.
Who's Nag?
Who is Nag?
I am Nag.
( chirping )
It was a horrid, cold sound.
Then inch by inch
out of the grass
rose the head
and spread hood
of Nag the big
black cobra.
I am Nag.
The great god Brahm
put his mark
upon all our people
when the first cobra
spread his hood
to keep
the sun off Brahm.
Look and be afraid.
Rikki was afraid for a minute.
But then he remembered
that all a mongoose's business in life
was to fight
and kill snakes.
Nag knew that, too.
At the bottom
of his cold heart,
he was afraid.
( chittering )
Behind you!
Nag's wife!
Look behind you!
Wicked, wicked bird.
Hisses Nagaina,
for she knew that a live
mongoose in the garden
meant death sooner or later
for her family.
Rikki chattered with rage,
but Nag and Nagaina
had disappeared
and he realized
that he could not handle two snakes at once,
in the tall grass.
Rikki took
a stroll to think.
It was a serious
matter to him
because there is no herb
that a mongoose can eat
that will protect him
from a cobra's bite.
Victory over the cobra
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
more wonderful
than any magic herb.
Rikki had managed to escape
a blow from behind
and it gave him
Rikki, where have you been?
I'll bet
you've been playing.
Be careful.
I am death.
It was Karait, the dust-brown snakeling
whose bite is as dangerous
as a cobra's.
( chittering ) - ( hisses )
If Rikki-Tikki had only known,
he was doing a much more
dangerous thing
than fighting Nag.
For Karait is so small
and can turn so quickly,
that unless Rikki
bit him close to the head,
he would get the return
stroke in his eye or his lip.
Father, look here!
Our mongoose
is killing a snake.
- ( chittering )
- ( hissing )
He saved your life, Teddy.
Teddy's mother said he was a providence.
Oh, Rikki.
You're so handsome.
And so brave.
Rikki was rather amused at all the fuss.
Teddy's mother might just
as well have petted Rikki
for playing in the dust.
Rikki was thoroughly
enjoying himself.
As soon as Teddy
was asleep,
Rikki went off
for his nightly walk around the house.
In the dark
he discovered Chuchundra the muskrat
creeping around
by the wall.
( chomps )
( crying )
Don't kill me, great mongoose.
Don't kill me.
Do you think a snake killer
kills muskrats?
Those who kill snakes
get killed by snakes.
How am I to be sure
that Nag won't mistake me for you some dark night?
There's not
the least danger.
Nag is out in the garden
and I know you
don't go there.
( whimpers )
Yes, but my cousin
Chua the rat
told me--
Told you what,
( whimpering )
Nag is everywhere.
Oh, dear.
Oh, dear.
You should have
talked to Chua.
I didn't.
So you must tell me quick.
Quick, Chuchundra,
or I shall bite you.
- ( chomps )
- ( whimpers )
I'm a very poor
and humble man.
I never have spirit
enough to run out in the middle of a room.
I mustn't tell you
Can't you hear,
The house was still as still,
but he thought he could
just catch
the faintest scratch-scratch
in the world--
a noise as faint
as that of a wasp
walking on a windowpane.
That's Nag or Nagaina.
Rikki said to himself.
He's crawling into the bathroom sluice.
You're right, Chuchundra.
I should have
talked to Chua.
I will go
and I will kill
the big man and his wife
and the child if I can.
Then the bungalow
will be empty
and Rikki-Tikki
will go.
When the house is emptied of people,
the mongoose
will go away.
So there is everything to be gained
by killing the people.
When the bungalow
is empty,
we again will be king
and queen of the garden.
As soon as our eggs
in the melon bed hatch,
our children
will need room.
This is good.
Nag said to himself.
The big man has a fire stick.
But when he comes in
to bathe in the morning,
he will not have
that stick.
I shall wait here
until he comes.
( clock chiming )
If I don't break his back at the first jump...
Thought Rikki.
...he can still fight.
And if he fights...
oh, Rikki.
It must be the head.
The head above the hood.
And once I'm there,
I must never let go.
( chittering )
( thudding )
( Rikki chittering )
( gunshot )
( sneezes )
It's the mongoose
again, Alice.
The little chap has
saved our lives now.
What was all that noise
about downstairs?
Never mind.
I'll tell you in the morning, dear.
Oh, Rikki.
You are brave
and beautiful.
In the morning, Rikki was very stiff,
but very well pleased
with himself.
But he didn't wait
for breakfast
because he knew that now
he had Nagaina to settle with.
And she will be worse than five Nags.
Said Rikki to himself.
And there's no knowing
when her eggs will hatch.
Darzee was singing a song of triumph
at the top of his voice.
( vocalizing )
Who has delivered us?
Tell me his nest
and his name
Rikki the valiant,
the true
Tikki with eyeballs
of flame
Oh, you stupid tuft
of feathers.
Is this the time to sing?
Where's Nagaina?
Sing to your
fledglings again
Mother, oh, lift up
your head
Evil that plagued us
is slain
Death in the garden
lies dead
The terror that hid
in the roses is gone
He lies on
the rubbish heap dead...
Stop it, Darzee.
Where's Nagaina?
For the great,
the beautiful Rikki's sake,
I will stop.
What is it, O killer
of the terrible Nag?
Where is Nagaina,
for the third time?
On the rubbish heap
by the stables
mourning for Nag.
Great is Rikki-Tikki
with the white teeth.
Bother my white teeth.
Where does she
keep her eggs?
Give him the thanks
of the birds
Bowing with
tail feathers spread
Praise him with
nightingale words
Nay, I will praise
him instead
Here I will sing you
the praise
Of the bottle-tail
Rikki with eyeballs of red.
Darzee's wife was a sensible bird
and she knew that
cobra eggs in the garden
meant young cobras
later on.
In the melon bed
on the end nearest the wall.
Quickly, fly off and pretend
your wing is broken
and let Nagaina chase you
back here.
I must get
to the melon bed.
( whimpering )
Oh, my wing
is broken.
The boy in the house
threw a stone
and broke it.
You warned Rikki-Tikki
when I would
have killed him.
Indeed and truly,
you've chosen a bad place
to be lame in.
The boy broke it
with a stone.
Oh, dear, oh, dear.
What is the use
of running away?
I am sure to catch you.
Little fool,
look at me.
Darzee's wife knew better than to do that.
For a bird who looks
in a snake's eyes,
they get so frightened
that she cannot move.
( hisses )
Rikki had found
the cobra's nest
and had crushed all but one
of the deadly eggs
Rikki-Tikki, Nagaina has
gone to the house and--
oh, come quickly.
She means killing.
( hissing )
Sit still, Teddy.
You mustn't move, Teddy.
Keep very still.
Son of the man
that killed Nag,
if you move,
I strike.
And if you do not move,
I strike.
Oh, foolish people.
Turn around, Nagaina.
Turn and fight.
All in good time.
I will settle my account
with you presently.
If you come
a step nearer,
I will strike the boy.
What price
for a cobra's egg?
For a young cobra?
( hisses )
Give it to me,
( shatters )
Tricked! Tricked!
( chitters ) Tricked!
Tricked! Tricked!
And Nag was dead
before the big man blew him up.
I killed Nag.
Come and fight
with me, Nagaina.
( hisses )
( chitters )
Very few mongooses,
however old and wise
they may be,
care to follow a cobra
into its hole.
You never know when the hole
might open out
and give the cobra
room to strike.
It's all over
with Rikki-Tikki.
We must sing
his death song.
Sing him a sad song
of birds
Bowing with
tail feathers spread
Sing to your
fledglings again
Mother, oh, bow down
your head
Nagaina will hunt
In the garden once more
For Rikki the valiant
is dead.
( sneezes )
It's all over.
Nagaina will never
come out again.
Who has delivered us?
Tell me his nest
and his name
Rikki the valiant,
the true
Tikki with eyeballs
of flame
The ivory-fanged
The hunter
-With eyeballs...
- ( door opens )
Of flame.
He saved our lives
and Teddy's life.
He saved all our lives.
Rikki had a right to be proud of himself.
But he did not grow
too proud.
And he kept that garden
as a mongoose should keep it,
with tooth and jump
and spring and bite
till never a cobra
dared show its head
inside the walls.
( music playing )