The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, is one of my all time favorite books, as it was for Theodore Roosevelt, a great nature lover, who wrote to Grahame, saying that he had read and reread the book…“and come to accept the characters as old friends”.
Grahame wrote the book after retiring from the Bank of England, when he decided to write down years of bed-time stories he had created for his son. In a BBC survey in 2003, Wind in the Willows still ranked in 16th place as the total overall favorite books in Britain.
Anyone who loves rivers, river bank life, small boats and a daydream, can’t help but treasure the characters of Mole, Rat, Mr. Toad, and Badger.
My favorite part of the story, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, occurs when Mole and Rat, searching for Portly, the lost baby otter, hear the mesmerizing
and joy inducing music of Pan’s piping and, “looked into the eyes of The Friend and Helper…” only to forget again, “As they stared blankly in dumb misery deepening as they slowly realized all they had seen and all they had lost, a capricious little breeze, dancing up from the surface of the water, tossed the aspens, shook the dewy roses and blew lightly and caressingly in their faces; and with its soft touch came instant oblivion.” If you don’t have a copy you can read The Wind in the Willows on the Gutenberg site here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/289/289-h/289-h.htm#link2H_4_0007
Oberon Image Story: Walking quietly as I can, I pass the outcropping of granite and the hedgerow of maple saplings. Cresting the rocky slope, the bleached arms of the fir snag and the top of cattails are my first view of the spring fed pond. Silence is everything now. The dragonflies, iridescent orange and blue, spiral down to the water’s surface and meet with frogs. They have not yet detected the sound or vibration of my steps on the grassy bank. Whir, croak, whir, croak, sharing the same private world.
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