Early in the morning Rikki-tikki came to early breakfast in the veranda riding on Teddy's shoulder, and they gave him banana and some boiled egg.
It gave him confidence in himself, and when Teddy came running down the path, Rikki-tikki was ready to be petted.
But just as Teddy was stooping, something wriggled a little in the dust, and a tiny voice said: "Be careful.
He went away for a dust bath under the castor-oil bushes, while Teddy's father beat the dead Karait.
But he remembered Nag and Nagaina, and though it was very pleasant to be patted and petted by Teddy's mother, and to sit on Teddy's shoulder, his eyes would get red from time to time, and he would go off into his long war cry of "Rikk-tikk-tikki-tikki-tchk!"
Teddy carried him off to bed, and insisted on Rikki-tikki sleeping under his chin.
They used to be full of people, Teddy, and then came a time when they was full of corpses, when you couldn't go a mile that way before the stink of 'em drove you back.
I went into one--me and old Higgins las' year--and there was a room with books, Teddy--you know what I mean by books, Teddy?"
"Well, books all round, Teddy, 'undreds of books, beyond-rhyme or reason, as the saying goes, green-mouldy and dry.
"I looked, and there, Teddy, was a cullud picture, oh, so lovely!
'im, went by like fogs and vapours, Teddy. And sometimes they was cheerful and sometimes they was 'orrible, 'orrible beyond words.
I sold 'em, Teddy! me what goes about now with you, dressed up in old sacks and looking for lost 'ens.