The Wind In The Willows - online version

Complete text of the classic childrens book By KENNETH GRAHAME

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`But we don't WANT to teach 'em,' replied the Badger. `We want to LEARN 'em--learn 'em, learn 'em! And what's more, we're going to DO it, too!'
`Oh, very well, have it your own way,' said the Rat. He was getting rather muddled about it himself, and presently he retired into a corner, where he could be heard muttering, `Learn 'em, teach 'em, teach 'em, learn 'em!' till the Badger told him rather sharply to leave off.
Presently the Mole came tumbling into the room, evidently very pleased with himself. `I've been having such fun!' he began at once; `I've been getting a rise out of the stoats!'
`I hope you've been very careful, Mole?' said the Rat anxiously.
`I should hope so, too,' said the Mole confidently. `I got the idea when I went into the kitchen, to see about Toad's breakfast being kept hot for him. I found that old washerwoman- dress that he came home in yesterday, hanging on a towel-horse before the fire. So I put it on, and the bonnet as well, and the shawl, and off I went to Toad Hall, as bold as you please. The sentries were on the look-out, of course, with their guns and their "Who comes there?" and all the rest of their nonsense. "Good morning, gentlemen!" says I, very respectful. "Want any washing done to-day?"
`They looked at me very proud and stiff and haughty, and said, "Go away, washerwoman! We don't do any washing on duty." "Or any other time?" says I. Ho, ho, ho! Wasn't I FUNNY, Toad?'
`Poor, frivolous animal!' said Toad, very loftily. The fact is, he felt exceedingly jealous of Mole for what he had just done. It was exactly what he would have liked to have done himself, if only he had thought of it first, and hadn't gone and overslept himself.
`Some of the stoats turned quite pink,' continued the Mole, `and the Sergeant in charge, he said to me, very short, he said, "Now run away, my good woman, run away! Don't keep my men idling and talking on their posts." "Run away?" says I; "it won't be me that'll be running away, in a very short time from now!"'
`O MOLY, how could you?' said the Rat, dismayed.