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Art Show: Images of India

Rikki and Nagaina in the Cobra Burrow

by Tracey Allyn Greene

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Art: Rikki and Nagaina in the Cobra Burrow by Artist Tracey Allyn Greene
"Rikki-tikki went down with her, and very few mongooses - however wise and old they may be - care to follow a cobra into its hole. It was dark in the hole, and Rikki-tikki never knew when it might widen and give Nagaina room to turn and strike at him."

Rikki Tikki Tavi, the story by Rudyard Kipling of the brave little Indian mongoose who saves his family and home from a pair of king cobras, was always one of my favorites growing up, and re-reading it for this show it remains as such.

I was always fascinated by Rikki and Nagaina's struggle inside that snake's burrow, from which Rikki was not expected by the others in the garden to survive. I thought it would be an interesting one to portray using the natural curves I found on this river rock. Rikki, mongoose eyes of angry red, holding onto Nagaina's neck for all he is worth and Nagaina's long cobra body twisting round and round. The birds of the garden are singing a death song to Rikki when he emerges, tired and bedraggled, but otherwise unscathed, alone, from the burrow while the ants descend for the remains of the cobra queen.

A departure for me subject matter-wise, but a story dear to my heart, and probably one of the reasons I enjoy having ferrets today!

Detail Images

Detail Image for art Rikki and Nagaina in the Cobra Burrow

Detail Image for art Rikki and Nagaina in the Cobra Burrow

Detail Image for art Rikki and Nagaina in the Cobra Burrow


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