The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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He slept till a late hour next morning, and by the time he got down he found that the other animals had finished their breakfast some time before. The Mole had slipped off somewhere by himself, without telling any one where he was going to. The Badger sat in the arm-chair, reading the paper, and not concerning himself in the slightest about what was going to happen that very evening. The Rat, on the other hand, was running round the room busily, with his arms full of weapons of every kind, distributing them in four little heaps on the floor, and saying excitedly under his breath, as he ran, `Here's-a-sword-for-the-Rat, here's-a-sword- for-the Mole, here's-a-sword-for-the-Toad, here's-a-sword- for-the-Badger! Here's-a-pistol-for-the-Rat, here's-a-pistol- for-the-Mole, here's-a-pistol-for-the-Toad, here's-a-pistol-for- the-Badger!' And so on, in a regular, rhythmical way, while the four little heaps gradually grew and grew.
`That's all very well, Rat,' said the Badger presently, looking at the busy little animal over the edge of his newspaper; `I'm not blaming you. But just let us once get past the stoats, with those detestable guns of theirs, and I assure you we shan't want any swords or pistols. We four, with our sticks, once we're inside the dining-hall, why, we shall clear the floor of all the lot of them in five minutes. I'd have done the whole thing by myself, only I didn't want to deprive you fellows of the fun!'
`It's as well to be on the safe side,' said the Rat reflectively, polishing a pistol-barrel on his sleeve and looking along it.
The Toad, having finished his breakfast, picked up a stout stick and swung it vigorously, belabouring imaginary animals. `I'll learn 'em to steal my house!' he cried. `I'll learn 'em, I'll learn 'em!'
`Don't say "learn 'em," Toad,' said the Rat, greatly shocked. `It's not good English.'
`What are you always nagging at Toad for?' inquired the Badger, rather peevishly. `What's the matter with his English? It's the same what I use myself, and if it's good enough for me, it ought to be good enough for you!'
`I'm very sorry,' said the Rat humbly. `Only I THINK it ought to be "teach 'em," not "learn 'em."'