The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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minded. What of it? I swim ashore, I seize her horse, I ride off in triumph, and I sell the horse for a whole pocketful of money and an excellent breakfast! Ho, ho! I am The Toad, the handsome, the popular, the successful Toad!' He got so puffed up with conceit that he made up a song as he walked in praise of himself, and sang it at the top of his voice, though there was no one to hear it but him. It was perhaps the most conceited song that any animal ever composed.
`The world has held great Heroes, As history-books have showed; But never a name to go down to fame Compared with that of Toad!
`The clever men at Oxford Know all that there is to be knowed. But they none of them know one half as much As intelligent Mr. Toad!
`The animals sat in the Ark and cried, Their tears in torrents flowed. Who was it said, "There's land ahead?" Encouraging Mr. Toad!
`The army all saluted As they marched along the road. Was it the King? Or Kitchener? No. It was Mr. Toad.
`The Queen and her Ladies-in-waiting Sat at the window and sewed. She cried, "Look! who's that HANDSOME man?" They answered, "Mr. Toad."'
There was a great deal more of the same sort, but too dreadfully conceited to be written down. These are some of the milder verses.
He sang as he walked, and he walked as he sang, and got more inflated every minute. But his pride was shortly to have a severe fall.
After some miles of country lanes he reached the high road, and as he turned into it and glanced along its white length, he saw approaching him a speck that turned into a dot and then into a blob, and then into something very familiar; and a double note of warning, only too well known, fell on his delighted ear.