The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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`That? O, that's just the Wild Wood,' said the Rat shortly. `We don't go there very much, we river-bankers.'
`Aren't they--aren't they very NICE people in there?' said the Mole, a trifle nervously.
`W-e-ll,' replied the Rat, `let me see. The squirrels are all right. AND the rabbits--some of 'em, but rabbits are a mixed lot. And then there's Badger, of course. He lives right in the heart of it; wouldn't live anywhere else, either, if you paid him to do it. Dear old Badger! Nobody interferes with HIM. They'd better not,' he added significantly.
`Why, who SHOULD interfere with him?' asked the Mole.
`Well, of course--there--are others,' explained the Rat in a hesitating sort of way.
`Weasels--and stoats--and foxes--and so on. They're all right in a way--I'm very good friends with them--pass the time of day when we meet, and all that--but they break out sometimes, there's no denying it, and then--well, you can't really trust them, and that's the fact.'
The Mole knew well that it is quite against animal-etiquette to dwell on possible trouble ahead, or even to allude to it; so he dropped the subject.
`And beyond the Wild Wood again?' he asked: `Where it's all blue and dim, and one sees what may be hills or perhaps they mayn't, and something like the smoke of towns, or is it only cloud-drift?'
`Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World,' said the Rat. `And that's something that doesn't matter, either to you or me. I've never been there, and I'm never going, nor you either, if you've got any sense at all. Don't ever refer to it again, please. Now then! Here's our backwater at last, where we're going to lunch.'
Leaving the main stream, they now passed into what seemed at first sight like a little land-locked lake. Green turf sloped down to either edge, brown snaky tree-roots gleamed below the