Good versus evil, coming of age, courage and loyalty are some themes in Rudyard Kipling's short story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi." Some commentators have suggested that the story explores the themes of adoption and abandonment. One Kipling Society scholar suggests that "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" illustrates the Biblical story of the expulsion from Eden.
Kipling depicts Rikki as an orphaned young mongoose who uses courage and skill to defeat the evil cobras in the garden to protect his human family. Rikki demonstrates loyalty when the reader sees him getting angry at the cobras' plot to kill the human family, whom he has come to regard as his. Later we see him conspiring with the tailor birds to plan how to complete the eradication of cobras in the garden.