Science: Look Out for Rikki

Kipling's Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a gallant little mongoose, loved everything but snakes. His great enemies were the cobra family. Rikki was contemptuously friendly with Chuchundra, a muskrat, and on fair terms with Chua, a regular rat. But except in Kipling's enchanted garden, rats are the mongoose's standard prey, and are responsible for most of its progress around the world.

U.S. port officials were on the alert last week against a possible mongoose invasion. The furry, weasel-like creatures are treasured pets of many U.S. soldiers stationed in Hawaii, where the commonest mammals are mongooses. Many a G.I. will probably try to smuggle his mongoose back...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!