Oh yes, we all know The Jungle Book. Ooh ooh ooh - I wanna be like you hoo hoo, etc. Brilliant.
And it is - though not that much to do with Rudyard Kipling's book.
My very favourite part of The Jungle Book is the story of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. (I say this even though I'm very fond of snakes, and a lot of the action takes place in a bungalow.)
from the thick grass at the foot of the bush came a low hiss - a horrid cold sound that made Rikki-Tikki jump back two clear feet. Then inch by inch out of the grass rose up the head and spread hood of Nag, the big black cobra...
Rikki-Tikki is a very young mongoose, only just washed out of his family's burrow by a flood. How can he protect himself and the human family who have adopted him when Nag (who is, by the way, named after a snake god) and his wife are out to kill them all?
Only with great activity, curiosity, and a great deal of bravery.
Word To Use Today: mongoose. This word used to be mungos, and before that it's come to us through all sorts of mysterious languages like Telugu and Konkani and Canarese, in which a mongoose was called was called a mungisi.
The official word for more than one is, sadly, not mongeese but mongooses.