Kenneth Grahame

The Wind in the Willows

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The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - is a children's novel by the British novelist Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. It details the story of Mole, Ratty, and Badger as they try to help Mr. Toad, after he becomes obsessed with motorcars and gets into trouble. It also details short stories about them that are disconnected from the main narrative. The novel was based on bedtime stories Grahame told his son Alastair. It has been adapted numerous times for both stage and screen. Plot summary With the arrival of spring and fine weather outside, the good-natured Mole loses patience with spring cleaning. He has fled his underground home and ends up at the river, which he has never seen before. Here he meets Rat, a water vole, who takes Mole for a ride in his rowing boat. They get along well and spend many more days boating, with "Ratty" teaching Mole the ways of the river, with the two friends living together in Ratty's riverside home. One summer day, Rat and Mole disembark near the grand Toad Hall and pay a visit to Toad. Toad is rich, jovial, friendly and kindhearted, but sometimes arrogant and rash; he regularly becomes obsessed with current fads, only to abandon them abruptly. His current craze is his horse-drawn caravan. When a passing car scares his horse and causes the caravan to overturn into a ditch, Toad's craze for caravan travel is immediately replaced by an obsession with motorcars. On a snowy winter's day, Mole goes to the Wild Wood, hoping to meet the elusive but virtuous and wise Badger. He gets lost in the woods, succumbs to fright, and hides among the sheltering roots of a tree. Rat finds him as snow begins to fall in earnest. Attempting to find their way home, Mole barks his shin on the boot scraper on Badger's doorstep. Badger welcomes Rat and Mole to his large and cozy underground home, providing them with hot food, dry clothes, and reassuring conversation. Badger learns from his visitors that Toad has crashed seven cars, has been in the hospital three times, and has spent a fortune on fines. With the arrival of spring, the three of them put Toad under house arrest with themselves as the guards, but Toad pretends to be sick and tricks Ratty to leave so he can escape. Badger and Mole continue to live in Toad Hall in the hope that Toad may return. Toad orders lunch at The Red Lion Inn and then sees a motorcar pull into the courtyard. Taking the car, he drives it recklessly, is caught by the police, and is sent to prison for 20 years.
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6 hours 26 minutes
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