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Second Series

 

 

  

  1. Winter Sports

  2. Toad, Photographer

  3. The Rescue

  4. Bankruptcy

  5. The Storm

  6. Patient: Toad

  7. The Labyrinth

  8. Harvest

  9. Auberon's Return

  10. The Great Golfing Gamble

  11. Gadget Mad

  12. May Day

  13. Fancy Dress

1. Winter Sports

Late one cold night, Toad looks out his bedroom window and discovers that it is snowing! After some skiing practice in Toad Hall he sets off the next morning to find his friends. They are already out, overseeing sledding and snowman competitions for the youngsters. The weasels challenge Toad to a downhill race which, of course, ends disastrously. However, Toad inadvertently gives Lucy a hand at snowman-making...

 

2. Toad, Photographer

There is something missing from Toad Hall - a portrait of Toad! Mole mentions that photography is all the rage, and sure enough Toad is off on a new career. He ends up in the river when trying to take a snap of Ratty; and his flash fills Mole End with smoke. When the night comes to shows his friends slides of the pictures he took, Toad only embarrasses himself further. Badger also managed to take a few photos of his own...

 

3. The Rescue

One winter's afternoon Rat is baking scones when Mole arrives with some bad news - a young shrew named Ernest has gone missing. Rat and Mole set off to look for him, and Toad of the Antarctic tries to lend a hand. They follows Ernest's footprints over the bridge and into the Wild Wood. However, Toad falls behind and stops for a snack, only to have his supplies stolen by a weasel. Ernest's tracks lead to the weasels' den, where Rat and Mole discover that the Chief and his henchman have been entertaining the lost shrew by making handkerchief rabbits and feasting on Toad's supplies.

 

4. Bankruptcy

The weasels try to steal Toad's newspapers from paperboy Billy Rabbit, but discover that Toad only reads financial news. The weasels pose as stockbrokers and talk Toad into buying shares in the Arctic Pineapple Corporation. Toad does not have the money to pay for the shares, so he gives the weasels his valuables. He buys more shares in the Rubber Brick Company, the Trans-Atlantic Tunnel Project and the Perpetual Motion Knitting Machine. Toad's friends warn him, but he gives up his last valuables for stock in Square-Wheeled Bicycles. The weasels then break the news that all the companies have gone bust and that Toad must hand over the deeds to Toad Hall. Badger gives the weasels what-for.

 

5. The Storm

It is the first day of spring, and more importantly, Badger's birthday. As the wind picks up, Mole, Toad and Otter all manage to make it to the party. Rat, who left home late because he had to tie up his boat, comes across Billy Rabbit lost in the Wild Wood. As soon as he sees Billy on his way, a huge branch falls onto Rat and pins him to the ground. Back at Badger's house, Mole does not believe that Ratty decided not to come, so he sets off to find his friend. The Chief Weasel passes by but is little help to Rat, so he and Mole have to wait for the others to come. When finally rescued, Rat recovers in Toad Hall, waited on by Toad.

 

6. Patient: Toad

Toad is suffering from a head cold. He looks at the paintings and busts in his house and discovers that all his ancestors died young. A quick look in his father's library confirms Toad's suspicions - he has several fatal diseases. Mole and Rat look after the bedridden creature until Badger comes for a visit. He checks the books and, stifling a sob, tells Toad that the only treatment is to have the affected parts removed. Toad suddenly feels much better, and only then does Badger tell Toad that he was reading his father's gardening books.

 

7. The Labyrinth

While on his way to visit Badger, Ratty falls down a hole and injures himself. Meanwhile, Toad thinks he is Sherlock Holmes and invites Mole to be his assistant. They go to Badger's house but can't understand what happened to Ratty, so the three of them go out looking in the Wild Wood. Toad falls down the same hole and thinks he is bleeding to death when it is, in fact, Rat's blood. Badger and Mole find a tunnel down to the hole and discover Rat's scarf, which Toad is using as a bandage. They follow the network of ancient badger tunnels and eventually find Rat in a large chamber with a vaulted ceiling. Badger discovers that one tunnel leads straight into his home!

 

8. Harvest

Early one autumn morning the four friends are collecting food for the winter. Toad won't stop eating berries until Badger mentions the poisonous Deadly Nightshade. Convinced he is dying, Toad falls to the ground and says his last words. After Rat reveals that the berries Toad ate were only elderberries, Toad is sent back to his car to get the picnic hamper. Meanwhile, the weasels steal the gathered berries and nuts from the hollow tree and hide them near Toad's car. Toad is accused of moving the harvest and causing a panic, but manages to clear his name.

 

9. Auberon's Return

Auberon pays a surprise visit on his cousin, Mole. Auberon's latest play has flopped and he wants to get away from London and his aunt Alfrida's attempts to cheer him up. Auberon works through the night trying to write new play. However, Rat wants to read his poems to Auberon and Badger reads aloud the work of John Milton, so Mole tries to make them leave Auberon alone. But when Toad comes to visit he gives Auberon a brilliant idea for a play. Much later, when Auberon has left Mole End, Toad reads aloud from the newspaper the rave reviews of Auberon's new smash hit called Oh, Jeremy!

 

10. The Great Golfing Gamble

After giving up croquet, Toad takes up a proper sport - golf. The weasels challenge Toad to a game, the prize being Toad Hall. Because Toad Hall Golf Course only has one hole, the course is to Badger's front door and back, in the least number of strokes. Fortunately, the Chief Weasel is as bad at golf as Toad. But even with the help of his caddy, George, Toad manages to lose his ball and penalty shots lose him the game. That is, until Badger notices that the Chief's ball is monogrammed with a 'T'.

 

11. Gadget Mad

Toad has been acting strangely - and when he finally invites his friends around one evening, they find out why. He has installed electricity in Toad Hall! Of course, none of his new-fangled gadgets work properly. His elevator has a mind of its own, his doorbell won't stop ringing, and his vacuum attacks Mole! When the generator breaks down and stops the madness, Toad Hall in plunged into darkness. Toad walks straight into his empty elevator shaft, giving him a lot of time to learn his lesson while he is bed-ridden.

 

12. May Day

The May Day fair is being held in the grounds of Toad Hall. When Toad can't lift the hammer for the strength test, he gives his turn to Badger, who knocks the bell off. Toad visits the fortune teller, who is in fact a weasel. He is told that he shall become famous, but only if he obeys the wishes of a tall, dark, foreign stranger. Soon after, he meets such a stranger (also a weasel) who asks Toad to give him all his possessions. 

 

13. Fancy Dress

Shortly after Christmas, Toad hosts a fancy dress party promising a 'surprise appearance by the host'. There is no sign of Toad at the party, but the weasels, dressed as burglars, perform 'A Policeman's Lot' for the guests, lead by the Chief dressed as a constable. They are in fact stealing Toad's valuables and pick pocketing the party-goers, then hiding the stash in the very suit of armour Toad is hiding in. When the weasels' plan is revealed, the 'constable' arrests the burglars and tries to take them to the 'police station'.

 


The Kenneth Grahame Society

[This page was reproduced with the kind permission of its original author Nicholas Houghton (Australia)]