He persuades the reluctant Rat and willing Mole to join him on a trip. Toad soon tires of the realities of camp life, and sleeps in the following day to avoid chores. Later that day, a passing motorcar scares the horse, causing the caravan to overturn into a ditch. Rat threatens to have the law on the car driver, while Mole calms the horse, but Toad's craze for caravan travel is immediately replaced by an obsession with motorcars.
The result of this obsession is that every time he sees a motorcar he immediately wants to ride in it, despite his friends' numerous efforts to stop him. Nevertheless, on a snowy winter's day, while the seasonally somnolent Rat dozes, Mole impulsively goes to the Wild Wood to explore, hoping to meet Badger. He gets lost in the woods, sees many "evil faces" among the wood's less-welcoming denizens, succumbs to fright and panic and hides, trying to stay warm, among the sheltering roots of a tree.
Rat wakes to find Mole gone. Guessing his mission from the direction of Mole's tracks and equipping himself with two pistols and a stout cudgel, Rat goes in search, finding him as snow begins to fall in earnest. Badger learns from his visitors that Toad has crashed seven cars, has been in hospital three times, and has spent a fortune on fines. Though nothing can be done at the moment it being winter , they resolve that when the time is right they will make a plan to protect Toad from himself; they are, after all, his friends, and are worried about his well being.
With the arrival of spring, Badger visits Mole and Rat to take action over Toad's self-destructive obsession. The three of them go to Toad Hall, and Badger tries talking Toad out of his behavior, to no avail. They then put Toad under house arrest , threatening to keep him there until he changes his mind, with themselves as the guards.
Feigning illness, Toad bamboozles Rat who is on guard duty at the time and escapes. Badger and Mole are cross with Rat for his gullibility, but draw comfort from this, because they need no longer waste their summer guarding Toad. Taking the car, he drives it recklessly and is caught by the police. In prison, Toad begins to have an epiphany about his careless ways, feeling guilty for not listening to his friends before.
He later gains the sympathy of the gaoler's daughter, who helps him to escape disguised as a washerwoman. Though free again, Toad is without money or possessions other than the clothes upon his back.
He manages to board a railway engine manned by a sympathetic driver, which is then pursued by a special train loaded with policemen, detectives and prison warders. Toad jumps from the train and, still disguised as a washerwoman, comes across a horse-drawn barge. The barge's female owner offers him a lift in exchange for Toad's services as a washerwoman. After he botches the wash, Toad gets into a fight with the barge woman, who tosses him into the canal.
In revenge, Toad makes off with the barge horse, which he then sells to a gypsy. Toad subsequently flags down a passing car, which happens to be the very one he stole earlier.
The car's owners, not recognising Toad in his disguise, permit him to drive their car. Once behind the wheel, he is repossessed by his former exuberance and drives furiously, declaring his true identity to the passengers, who then try to seize him.
This leads to the car losing control and crashing into a bush, then flying through the air, landing in a horse pond , after which Toad flees once more. Spotting police gaining on him, he flees away and falls into the river, which carries him by sheer chance to the hole of the Water Rat.
After being hauled inside by the Rat, Toad is told that Toad Hall has been taken over by weasels and stoats from the Wild Wood, who have driven out Mole and Badger. Although upset at the loss of his house, Toad realizes what good friends he has and how badly he has behaved.
Badger then arrives and announces that he knows of a secret tunnel into Toad Hall through which the enemies may be attacked. Please continue to post the ones that seem obvious. That's very clever, your observation that they almost become invisible from popularity. My mother was an English teacher and yet I never encountered WIW until I became a parent — I knew of it, of course, but had never read it.
I have it on my Kindle and have been wondering which hard copy to look for, so you are so helpful as always. Oh, you must, must, must get a copy of the Robert Ingpen illustrated Wind in the Willows- it is truly amazing!
We read The Wind in the Willows this Spring and fell completely, utterly in love with. Quite simple, the best children's book I've ever read- I consider it a great tragedy that I missed out on it for 38 years! Oh, we just started watching the TV episodes of this story. But the videos are sometimes too loud adventures of the Toad for a 3 year old. Waiting for the time when I can start reading the book to her. I will need to look it up!
I just stumbled onto an old book called Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield. Really good read and very thought provoking, even though it's a childrens' book. It was published in I think, but the sections describing her school experience are very applicable for today's children!
My children absolutely love the Cosgrove Hall production from using sort of animated puppets here for instance: It's not a cartoon and it's not loud at all — it's really a wonderful show I myself enjoy a lot. The kids are in love with crazy Toad, and have acted his adventures so many times, and even worked hard to build his cars with cardboard.
I was not sure it was a good idea to introduce them to a video before reading the book, but when we did it I considered them too young to really follow the book — though it's entirely possible I'm underestimating them… Now I know they'll always have those images in mind when reading the book, but it doesn't bother me, because that movie is really very good when I read it as a girl I actually had no clear idea of what a mole was, what a badger was, and the black and white Shepherd drawings weren't enough to fill my imagination gaps.
I actually have been reading it aloud as the first RA of our school year. We love it. I have the annotated version and others but the annotated has really interesting bits of info. I so agree about all of your thoughts on books in general and The Wind in the Willows, specifically. Dolce Domum is one of my very favorite chapters of all books I've ever read. I re-read that chapter regularly.
It speaks so strongly of home and friendship and I am reminded each time of the importance of listening to my loved ones and making quick amends when I have been too self-absorbed and ignored their needs.
Thanks for reminding us of the beauty of this book. I'll introduce one caveat into the discussion: I love this book read silently, or read aloud to older children — but the complex sentence structure renders it nearly impossible to read to younger children.
I gave this to my oldest two for Christmas, not having read it for years. I guess I have to give this one another try, because if I have been judged, then I have been found wanting. We trudged along, dutifully, for a couple of chapters, but then we gave up. No one was enjoying it.
My oldest was 8 at the time. It was just so very wordy and I like wordy; wordy can be quite good; but not this wordy. The whole thing seemed a bit tedious. It made you remember what great company he had been, always so encouraging. It is 51 years since Python first went out and it paved the way for my generation of comedy writers and performers. Terry was the reason the Python series were able to be shown again: had he not taken the tapes from the BBC, they would have been wiped.
At the time, BBC executives saw comedy as ephemeral, disposable entertainment. We now know how culturally important it all was. Before video existed, I used to record episodes of Ripping Yarns with a microphone and a cassette recorder in my living room.
It was so escapist, silly and odd. In only half an hour, they took you to another world. Once I had recorded a show, it was all about trying to emulate it. Kenneth Grahame Adapter ,. Laura Driscoll ,. Ann Iosa Illustrator. Dina Gregory Goodreads Author ,. Rosabella Gregory Contributor. Related News. Or maybe your introduction to her was through one Read more Quotes by Kenneth Grahame. What do you want to read in April ?
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
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