The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Mole had been working hard all morning cleaning his home. It was Spring now. He suddenly left the house in frustration. He digged his way until he was above ground and saw sunlight. Later, he started rolling in the grass in a meadow. He was delighted as he ran to the hedge. An elderly rabbit collected tool for the private road. He was the only idle dog among the busy animals. Later, he reached the edge of a fully fed river. The Mole hadn’t seen a river before and was fascinated by the life in the river. Something caught his eye at the opposite bank. However, that glowing object vanished after a while. It was a brown little face with whiskers. It was the Water Rat. The rat offered him a ride on his blue boat. It was a wonderful day. It was the Mole’s first time in a boat. Later, the boat hit the bank accidentally. The Water Rat wanted to go on a tour. There were plenty of food in their basket they were carrying. The river was brother and sister to the Rat. It was his World. There was a wild woods nearby, which the water rat hadn’t explored. There were animals like squirrels, rabbits, Badger. Nobody bothered the badger. There were also weasels, stoats and foxes, which the rat couldn’t trust. Beyond the wild wood was the wide world, whom none of them have explored. Later, they came upon a mill house. They rested on the grass and started eating. Later, the Otter came out and wanted to share the food with us too. Later, the Badger appeared as well but disappeared soon after. The Toad was out as well. The Toad liked to build new things and wasn’t easily satisfied. The Otter was nowhere to be seen now. The Mole packed the packet. Now, the mole wanted to row as well. The rat didn’t allow him to. Later, the mole seized the sculls from him. The boat capsized and both of them struggled. Later, the rat saved him and hauled him to the bank. The Rat recovered the basket and the boat. The Mole apologized for his actions. The Rat forgave him and offered to teach him how to row and swim. In the night, the rat recounted stories about the river. The Mole managed to pick up some skills which the rat taught him.

After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working. – Kenneth Grahame

Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not. – The Water Rat

What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing. – The Water Rat

Why can’t fellows be allowed to do what they like WHEN they like and AS they like, instead of other fellows sitting on banks and watching them all the time and making remarks and poetry and things about them? – The Water Rat

Glorious, stirring sight! The poetry of motion! The REAL way to travel! The ONLY way to travel! – The Toad

The mole wanted a favour from Ratty. Now, the rat started singing a song he composed called ‘Ducks Ditty’. The mole wanted to make friends with Mr Toad. The toad was a good natured animal. He was also very simple and good-natured. Toad was very rich and he had a Hall. The toad liked to try new stuff in life. He was looking at the map when the rat and the mole found him. He visited the both into his house. The toad had given up on boating long ago. He wanted to channel his time to something more important. He brought them to the stable yard. There, they saw a gipsy caravan. He wanted change, travel and excitement. The Rat was not pleased as he wanted to boat. The interior was lovely indeed. There was everything inside, and it contained much more than the basket in the boat. The Toad wanted to introduce Rat to the world. The rat flatly rejected him and didn’t want to go. Mole also wanted to stick with rat. However, the travelling did seem tempting. The toad wanted them over for lunch. His motto in life was to live for others. After understanding Mole’s character, the Toad played on that. The Toad eventually managed to convince them to join him. Toad was excited about the trip and kept talking about it. After Toad asked, the rat was not willing to talk about the river as he didn’t want to. The Mole was very sticky and constantly obeyed the rat. Toad also had to do his share of the work. Eventually, they encountered disaster on the trip. They heard a droning sound. It approached them at high speed. It was an animal that made a ‘poop-poop’ sound. It was a bee. The horse panicked and their cart ended up in the ditch. The whole cart was in a wreck now. A motor-car also caused them to have the accident. Rat was angry and wanted to sue the river. The Toad wore a placid satisfied expression. The Toad was in a trance and kept murmuring ‘Poop-poop’. He wanted a motorcar and thought of the wonders it could achieve. The toad was like that, always obsessed over the new craze in town. The rat was pissed at Toad’s behavior as he just sat there and smiled to himself. Now, rat wanted the Toad to go to the nearest police station and report the incident while Rat and Mole wanted to rest. Toad was quite useless and didn’t want to help. Later, they deposited Toad in a waiting room. Later that evening, Toad took a train to town and ordered a large and expensive motor car.

The mole wanted to know the badger as well. Badger hates society in general and wouldn’t go for events. He was very shy. He lives in the Wild Wood. Badger never came and he lived alone in the Wild Wood. The rat started writing poetry as well. It was a pretty day. In the winter, the rat slept a great deal. It was finally June. The Mole wanted to explore the Wild Wood alone. While in the woods, the Mole saw strange faces and imagined things. There were many holes and the faces were intermittent. Deeper in the forest, he heard whistling. Later, the rain started falling. A rabbit ran past him and hid in a friendly burrow. In panic, the mole ran and hit into different objects. Finally he hid under the old beech tree. The rat was at home and dozed by his fireside. He realized that the mole was not there. Now, the rat knew from the tracks that the Mole entered the Wild Wood and he took a pistol and followed in the same direction. The Rat shouted, hoping the Mole could hear him. Finally he managed to find the Mole. The rat explained that it was safe entering the forest if you didn’t know the secret codes. Now, the mole rested before they would go home. Finally, the rat admitted that it was snowing. A fine powder filled the air. They held on to each other. Both of them were heavily fatigued. The snow was getting deeper now. There didn’t seem to be a way out at the moment. Suddenly, the mole tripped and fell. He hurt his leg. The rat offered to help him with his wound. It was a clean cut. The rat found something and yelled Hooray. It was a door scraper. The rat started to scrape the ground. It revealed a door mat. The mole didn’t understand and didn’t see what the big deal was. The rat encouraged the mole to dig as it could be a place where they could find shelter for the night. Later, after scraping, they saw the sign ‘Mr Badger’. The mole now respected the rat’s intelligence. They ran the bell of the house now.

Finally there were footsteps approaching the door. It was Badger. He invited Mole and Rat inside. They found themselves in a kitchen. It was a spotless place. The Badger brought them dressing gowns and slippers. He liked to see ‘I told you so’ or ‘Just what I always said’ in his conversations. Toad was getting from bad to worse. Toad didn’t like to be taught. He was hospitalized after encountering a few accidents but still didn’t learn. Badger said he couldn’t help as it was winter. The rat didn’t want to help him. The rat found the Badger’s house to be oppressive. The next morning, two hedgehogs joined them for breakfast. They were also lost in the snow. One of them was Billy. Badger was in his study that morning. The Otter appeared now. Most animals went to Badger when they were in trouble. The snow had wrecked some havoc back in town. The rabbits were not very helpful animals. Mole was generally very good natured. The hedgehogs were famished. It was good to be underground as no one would disturb you. Weather wouldn’t affect you if you were underground too. Rat had to content with varying weather conditions. Now, Badger showed the Mole around his home. The architecture was amazing, to say the least. The Wild Wood used to be a city filled with humans. Animals soon occupied the abandoned city. The Wild Wood soon became very populated. The rat wanted to leave but the Badger persuaded him to stay. Later, they explored the surroundings.

People come – they stay for a while, they flourish, they build – and they go. It is their way. But we remain. We Badgers are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come. And so it will ever be. – Badger

The rat, mole and otter were in good spirits now. They found the way that led home. They observed houses and the animal life. Later, they observed a bird in a bird cage. The Rat was leading the way. Mole was caught by an electric wire and got shocked by the experience. It was home, finally. The rat went on ahead but Mole sensed his old home was nearby and wanted to visit it. The rat wanted mole to press on as the snow was getting heavier. Mole was upset but continued and did not think of abandoning Rat. Rat didn’t sense his displeasure and later they rested. Now, the mole started crying and Rat didn’t know how to respond. He related his sorrows about not being able to visit his old home. The rat acknowledged that it was his fault and wanted to go back. However, it was dark and the snow was falling. Despite this, they headed back . The mole started digging and they found a door labelled ‘Mole End’. The sentimental objects were all still intact. The rat started exploring his home and wanted to spend the night here. They started a fire to keep themselves warm. Now, they started foraging for food. Many of the items were purchased using an inheritance from Mole’s aunt. The field-mice were caroling and Mole wanted to feed them. There were 8 of them in a semicircle and they started to sing. It was certainly a joyful occasion. Rat invited the mice into the house as well. They prepared ale and everyone drank and made merry. The field-mice knew how to act in plays as well. Everyone talked about old times. The Mole started reflecting and knew that it was good to return to an old place even thought he would be exploring the world.

Independence is all very well, but we animals never allow our friends to make fools of themselves beyond a certain limit; and that limit you’ve reached. Now, you’re a good fellow in many respects, and I don’t want to be too hard on you. – Badger

The Mole and the water rat were concerned with the boat activities. It was Badger at the door. It was Toad’s hour and they all vowed to teach him to be a sensible toad. The plan was to head to Toad Hall and then rescue him from there. There was a shiny red motor-car parked in front of his house. They took him into the house just as Toad wanted to drive off. Toad refused to remove his racing gear. Mole and Rat used force to remove his racing gear. Toad was notorious and was causing harm on the road. Badger was now lecturing him. The toad cried after the lecture. He was limp and dejected now. Eventually, he vowed to give up on the motor-cars. In the room, Toad vowed to change his ways. But that he was outside, he was a changed animal again. Rat wasn’t surprised by his behavior. The three animals vowed to stay with Toad now and take care of him. They each had a roster where they would watch on him to make sure he had no mischief. The rat would spend time with Toad this morning. Toad admitted that he didn’t want to bother the other animals and that he was nuisance. Toad wanted a doctor now. He also wanted a lawyer now. The rat, thinking that these two figures might help Toad, went to look for them. The toad took this chance to leave his hall. Toad wondered around to the high road and basked in Nature’s glory. He thought that rat had good qualities but wasn’t very intelligent. Toad was a conceited animal. One day, he heard the poop-poop sound of a vehicle and went outside to examine it. The car was unattended and he thought about driving it. The passion seized him, body and soul. He started driving and felt that everyone ought to give way to him. The Bench of Magistrates wanted to charge him and put Toad behind bars for 20 years. He was caught. Toad was placed in a dungeon that lay in the innermost keep. Sadly, he was prisoner in the most remote dungeon in England.

Mole waited for his friend to return. Rat was not around at his home. Little Portly was missing again. He was missing for a few days now and no one knew where he was. It was Otter’s son and Otter was nervous. Otter was also looking for Little Portly. Rat and Mole wanted to paddle up stream and wanted to search. While searching, they hear a clear articulate voice. Rat and Mole were in the boat at the moment. The noise disappeared again. It was beautiful and it was the call of distant piping. Later, they reached a point where the river divided. Later, he saw tears on the comrade’s cheeks. The music was heavenly. The two animals passed the tumultuous waters. Mole felt at peace now. They spotted an object with curved horns. They found the baby otter. Portly squeaked in delight when he saw Rat and Mole. Portly searched around for his parents but couldn’t find them. The animals tied him securely to the boat and rescued him. The quest ended happily and Otter and his son were reunited. Rat and Mole were tired. While appreciating the music, they soon fell asleep.

Toad lamented that this was the end and that his life was no longer the same now. He lamented at his poor behavior in the past. One day, the gaoler’s daughter knocked on Toad’s cell. She brought Toad food from the oven. Most of the time, Toad wailed in his cell and kicked with his legs. Now, Toad thought of new and inspiring thoughts after smelling hot cabbage. He was recovering fast. The good food improved his mood and Toad started talking about himself more. Toad related about the Toad Hall and his experiences previously to the girl. She, later, started to pity Toad for he was locked up for a trivial offence. She suggested a plan for him to escape, which was to dress up as the official washerwoman. The girl wanted to introduce her aunt, a washerwoman to Toad. Now, toad looked just like her aunt. Finally, toad was a free man. He came upon a railway station. There was a train that was bound for Toad Hall. To his horror, Toad realized that he forgot to take his belongings with him. The ticket agent didn’t want to sell him the ticket as Toad didn’t have money with him. Now, he tried to beg the engine-driver. Toad would have to wash a few of his shirts in exchange for a free ride. Toad knew he could pay to get his clothes washed once he returned home. There was another train that was pursuing them and gaining on them. On that train, there were men like policemen. Now, he revealed his identity to the engine-driver and begged for forgiveness. The driver agreed to help him. The plan was for Toad to jump off the train and hide in the woods before the train entered the tunnel. Toad followed the plan and managed to get away undetected. However, he was thrown in the wild wood now. Finally, Toad found a resting spot under a hollow tree, where he would spend his night.

The rat was restless. Some of the animals experienced migratory patterns and this was observed by the rat. Later, rat wandered country-wards. Now, he started wandering in the forest. The mice were playing a game. There would be horrid machines in the areas soon and the mice wanted to move their good stuff away. The rat returned to his river now. The birds were also feeling restless now. Rat didn’t understand why the birds were planning to leave and thought it would be sad to leave a place you knew. The birds explained why they were leaving. Rat realized that the outside world might be better, where fortunes and adventures await him. There was a dusty rat which appeared now. He was a wayfarer. The wayfarer knew that the Rat’s life was the best after he compared it to his other experiences. The wayfarer was originally from Constantinople and was a foreigner. The Water rat wanted to learn from the wayfarer. Family troubles caused the wayfarer to explore, before he entered up in Venice. It was certainly a beautiful city. He liked the art of travelling and exploring. To the rat, the wayfarer’s life seemed hard. The two rats started to have a picnic by the roadside. The Water Rat listened to the Sea Rat’s travels. The Sea Cat encouraged him to be adventurous too. Just as he was leaving, Mole caught sight of the Water Rat. However, the rat experienced a seizure now and appeared troubled. When he was better, the Rat tried his best to explain why happened during the day.

Toad got up and headed to the kitchen. He didn’t know where he was. Finally he remembered that he escaped from prison. He was delighted to be free. He had all the time in the room for himself. Now, all he wanted was for someone to guide him on a path so that he wouldn’t get lost. Later, he marched on the water’s edge. Then he saw a big stout woman along the way. Toad lied about having a married daughter and that he wanted to find her. He wanted to go back to Toad Hall. The woman gave him a lift. He pretended to be a washer-woman. The woman always thought about washing stuff on her husband. She wanted him to help her with some washing. He was resigned to learning how to wash. However, Toad realized that he bad at it. His paws started to get crinkly from the water. The woman commented that he couldn’t wash and Toad got furious. She wanted him off now that she realized he was a toad. Toad entered up in the water. He chased after her barge, wanting revenge. He rode on a horse and commanded it to gallop vigorously. Later, he saw a man on a caravan smoking. Toad wanted food from the pot he was cooking in. The gipsy asked Toad if he wanted to sell his horse. Toad refused to sell and now said that his horse was a prize-winning one. The man offered Toad 5 shillings only for it. Toad gave a counteroffer and wanted breakfast as well. The man kept to his word and cooked Toad a sumptuous breakfast. Later, he left the gipsy with the money. Thankfully, toad was near his home. Now, Toad felt conceited over his achievements. To him, he was the best animal around. He tried to hail a car down but it turned out it was the one he stole from the Hotel and got arrested for it. He knew he might be arrested again. To his surprise, the men in the car saw that he was struggling and wanted to help him as a washerwoman. He couldn’t resist his temptations and now wanted to take the wheel. The gentlemen agreed to let Toad try. Now, he kept going faster and faster. Toad pinned the passenger down and admitted he was Toad. Later, the car entered up in a horse-pond. Toad landed up in the grass now. Now, Toad ran away and started laughing to himself. Just then, there were policemen in the distance who were chasing him. Unknowingly, Toad actually ran in the river. Coincidentally, while resting in the river, he saw water rat.

What a clever Toad I am! There is surely no animal equal to me for cleverness in the whole world! – The Toad

Now, Toady, I don’t want to give you pain, after all you’ve been through already; but, seriously, don’t you see what an awful ass you’ve been making of yourself? – The Water Rat

Be a cripple, if you think it’s exciting; be a bankrupt, for a change, if you’ve set your mind on it; but why choose to be a convict? When are you going to be sensible, and think of your friends, and try and be a credit to them? – The Water Rat

Rat grabbed him to shore and safety. Toad told him how proud he was of all his exploits. Rat wanted him to get dressed and didn’t entertain him. Toad was happy to have lunch. Toad promised to be good. He wanted to lead a respectable life now. Rat informed him that weasels had taken over Toad Hall. The animals in the Wild Wood didn’t defend Toad. The weasels were harmed and occupied the place despite resistance. Mole and Badger were hurt in the fight. Later, the Toad didn’t believe Rat and went to march towards the house. The sentries nearly shot Toad. Later, Toad tried steering a boat but the boat crashed and sank. He lost Rat’s boat and Rat was deeply upset. It turns out that Badger and Mole helped to look after Toad Hall when Toad was in trouble. Later, in came Badger. Mole came in shortly after. Both animals looked haggard and weak. Now, Toad refused to listen to Rat and Mole. It was now Badger’s turn to intervene. Toad cried instantly when lectured by Badger. Badger knew that there was hope of recapturing Toad Hall as he knew there was a secret underground passage that led people right into the middle of it. It was Toad’s dad that created the passage. The animals would execute the plan tomorrow. They each distributed weapons and were ready to go.

Rat dressed everyone up for the expedition. Toad tried to make a fool of himself, angering Badger. The toad was nervous. They were all in the passage now. They pushed through a trap door now. Later, they came upon the chief weasel. The weasels were stunned and they started fleeing. In 5 minutes, they managed to clear the room. They later found some food lying around and started having supper. Most of the weasels rolled into the river. Badger was pleased with Mole’s performance throughout. The remaining weasels were remorseful and listened to Mole now. There would be a banquet to celebrate later that evening. Toad would write the speech for that evening. Rat was firm and didn’t allow Toad to sing. His songs were all conceited ones. Toad was melancholic now after his request was turned down. Later, he locked the door and began to sing. After which, Toad went down to greet the other guests. Toad was a humble man now. Badger was like a fatherly figure to all.

It’s no good, Toady; you know well that your songs are all conceit and boasting and vanity; and your speeches are all self-praise, and-and-well, and gross exaggeration. – Water Rat

Badger was the mastermind; the Mole and the Water Rat bore the brunt of the fighting; I merely served in the ranks and did little or nothing. – Toad

Wind in the Willows

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