The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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surface of the quiet water, while ahead of them the silvery shoulder and foamy tumble of a weir, arm-in-arm with a restless dripping mill-wheel, that held up in its turn a grey-gabled mill-house, filled the air with a soothing murmur of sound, dull and smothery, yet with little clear voices speaking up cheerfully out of it at intervals. It was so very beautiful that the Mole could only hold up both forepaws and gasp, `O my! O my! O my!'
The Rat brought the boat alongside the bank, made her fast, helped the still awkward Mole safely ashore, and swung out the luncheon-basket. The Mole begged as a favour to be allowed to unpack it all by himself; and the Rat was very pleased to indulge him, and to sprawl at full length on the grass and rest, while his excited friend shook out the table-cloth and spread it, took out all the mysterious packets one by one and arranged their contents in due order, still gasping, `O my! O my!' at each fresh revelation. When all was ready, the Rat said, `Now, pitch in, old fellow!' and the Mole was indeed very glad to obey, for he had started his spring-cleaning at a very early hour that morning, as people WILL do, and had not paused for bite or sup; and he had been through a very great deal since that distant time which now seemed so many days ago.
`What are you looking at?' said the Rat presently, when the edge of their hunger was somewhat dulled, and the Mole's eyes were able to wander off the table-cloth a little.
`I am looking,' said the Mole, `at a streak of bubbles that I see travelling along the surface of the water. That is a thing that strikes me as funny.'
`Bubbles? Oho!' said the Rat, and chirruped cheerily in an inviting sort of way.
A broad glistening muzzle showed itself above the edge of the bank, and the Otter hauled himself out and shook the water from his coat.
`Greedy beggars!' he observed, making for the provender. `Why didn't you invite me, Ratty?'
`This was an impromptu affair,' explained the Rat. `By the way-- my friend Mr. Mole.'
`Proud, I'm sure,' said the Otter, and the two animals were friends forthwith.