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Third Series

 

 

  

  1. Paperchase

  2. Mercury of the Motorbicycle

  3. Mr. Toad's Telephone

  4. Toad, Astronomer

  5. Caught in a Maze

  6. School Days

  7. Badger's Remedy

  8. Masterchef

  9. Fire at Toad Hall

  10. Unlikely Allies

  11. A Producer's Lot

  12. Champion of the Green Baize

  13. "Winter Haunts"

1. Paperchase

The field mice are bored and end up accidentally breaking Toad's stain glassed window. The field mice have nothing else to do so Rat suggests that they hold a paperchase. Toad is also excited by the idea and enters. The Chief Weasel also enters his 'son' Aloysius. Soon after the race begins Toad hops in his Rolls and drives to the first check marshal. The weasels take turns at running legs of the race and 'Aloysius' eventually wins. Badger exposes the weasels and Toad as cheats, and proclaims the real winner to be Billy Rabbit. 

 

2. Mercury of the Motorbicycle

Toad has a particularly bad motoring accident so he gives up driving. Instead he orders a motorbicycle with side car. The bicycle knocks Billy Rabbit into the river and the people in the village are kept awake at all hours. Toad begs his friends for help with the police, but they ignore him because they think he is being reckless. However, it is not Toad who has been riding around - the weasels stole his motorbicycle before he even got a chance to ride it! Toad attempts to get the bike back himself and clear his name.

 

3. Mr Toad's Telephone

Toad has yet another craze - the electric telephone. With the help of Mole he haphazardly installs one in Toad Hall, but, so that he has someone to call, he also orders telephones for his friends. His suppliers, the weasels, also sell him telephone cable, which Toad gets Rat and Mole to install across the River Bank. Mole waits patiently for Toad to make his first telephone call from Toad Hall to Mole End. Toad rings and rings, but Mole only hears little 'tings' so he rings back, electrocuting Toad.

 

4. Toad, Astronomer

Toad unveils his new telescope and announces that Halley's comet is returning. He gets Rat and Mole to hoist the telescope onto the roof and then Toad climbs up as well on a very long ladder. He thinks he can see the canals on Mars, but they turn out to just be the mortar between the bricks. Much later that night he thinks he spots the comet, bobbing up and down behind some trees. It is in fact the weasels, who steal Toad's ladder and leave him stranded on the roof. When his friends rescue him, Badger tells Toad what the comet really was and that Halley's comet is not due to return for another two years.

 

5. Caught in a Maze

Toad returns from a trip to London. When he announces that he wants to build a maze like the one at Hampton Court, Badger tells him that there is already a maze in the grounds of Toad Hall. Toad's gardeners fix it up and clear out all the junk. Toad officially opens the maze and offers a bottle of champagne to the first person to find their way through it. Rat uses his sense of navigation, Mole closes his eyes and pretends he is underground, and Badger simply looks over the top of the hedges. Toad leaves a trail of string, but Mole finds the string and takes it home. As it grows dark, Toad is still trapped in the maze and panicking. Luckily his friends come searching and he is rescued before the gardener's ghost gets him.

 

6. School Days

Badger learns that the school teacher, Mrs Gribble, is away visiting her sick mother and therefore the school is closed. Badger suggests that he, Mole and Rat take the children for classes until she comes back. Toad also wants to teach, and opens his Academy For The Children Of Gentlepersons. Mole teaches his students about tunneling in warfare, Badger teaches a spot of Latin and Roman history, and Rat uses his boat to explain Newton' laws of physics. Meanwhile, Toad's lessons of made-up history result in most of his class dropping out and moving to Mole's or Rat's. With just one student left, Toad pulls out his old chemistry set and demonstrates what happens when you mix white powder with incompetence.

 

7. Badger's Remedy

Rat is at Badger's house discussing the upcoming Harvest Festival. Mole fails to turn up, so Rat stops at Mole End, finding Mole in bed. He has been feeling quite sick, so Rat stays over to keep an eye on him. Mole's condition worsens during the night so Rat fetches Badger. He discovers that Mole has eaten a poisonous toadstool. Rat rounds up all the help he can, even the weasels, and Badger lists the berries and plants he will need to concoct a remedy. The most important ingredient, however, is a very rare fungi, which no one finds. When Toad returns with a basket full of twigs, leaves and pinecones, Rat is angry at him for not caring about Mole. However, Toad manages to save Mole's life after all...

 

8. Masterchef

After paying an uninvited visit on Auberon in London, Toad comes home with a craze for gourmet cuisine. He invites his friends over for dinner, sending them menus full of mistakes that have Badger crying with laughter. Toad burns the crown of lamb, then gets Mrs Beeton's souffl頲ecipe mixed up with instructions for making mustard plaster. At the dinner party the food is quite inedible and Toad has managed to injure his leg after slipping on a pat of butter. Fortunately, Mole, Rat and Badger have brought their own picnic hamper of food so they do get to eat after all.

 

9. Fire at Toad Hall

While out for a stroll, Mole and Rat notice smoke billowing from Toad Hall. They rush to the scene and single-handedly fight the fire. When it is finally extinguished, Toad turns up in his nightgown after trying to summon the non-existent River Bank Fire Brigade. Badger manages to find out what caused the fire - the camp stove Toad was using while camping indoors. Mole takes pity on Toad and lets him stay at Mole End while Toad hall is repaired, where Toad makes himself very much at home. Toad moves most of his furniture into the cramped burrow, but his attempt to lower the statue of himself through the ceiling ends in disaster. When Toad finally moves back to his own home, Mole manages to get back at him.

 

10. Unlikely Allies

A tall, pale weasel turns up at the weasels' den, and manages to convince the henchman that the Chief should be thrown out. The weasels go on a rampage of haystack fires and force the Chief to leave. Toad's car is hijacked as the strange new weasel watches on. Toad runs to Rat's house, only to find the Chief weasel there. The Chief reveals that the weasels are planning to take over Toad Hall, so he and the River Bankers work together to thwart them as they break into the Hall. Badger confronts the mysterious weasel and sends him on his way and later tells his friends, enigmatically, that the same evil will return, perhaps in a different form, but the same evil always does return.

 

11. A Producer's Lot

Looking through a scrapbook, Mole discovers that Badger's first annual production was The Pirates of Penzance, exactly 25 years ago. Badger is encouraged to hold an anniversary performance. Toad wants Mole's part as the Major-General, but he is stuck being the Sergeant of Police. He learns songs from the wrong Gilbert and Sullivan opera and makes up others. During the performance, Toad reads out a speech dedicated to Badger. At first annoyed with the unprofessional interruption, Badger eventually accepts their admiration.

 

12. Champion of the Green Baize

After being thrown out of a game of Bridge, Toad sees a magazine ad for a proper game - billiards. While trying to show Rat and Mole the intricacies of the game, Toad ends up learning more than he teaches. The weasels challenge Toad to a game of snooker, which Toad knows even less about. After winning Toad's Rolls Royce, the Chief issues an open challenge. Badger accepts and bets his old home, much to his friends' objections. Badger proves to be an expert snooker player and easily wins back Toad's motor car.

 

13. "Winter Haunts"

Toad Hall is snowed in and Toad's friends are forced to stay the night. They discuss stories from the olden days and the time they thought Mole End was haunted. Toad pretends to be tired and goes to bed. In his bedroom, he disguises himself as the ghost of his uncle Hector and stuffs hi bed with pillows so that it looks like he is asleep in it when Rat checks on him. Toad then sneaks downstairs and hides in his cellar, waiting to come out and give his friends a fright. When they go to bed they lock all the doors, including the cellar door. Toad is forced to make his way through his cellar and out into his garden. He knocks on the front door and it is eventually answered by a terrified Mole who runs back into the Hall crying for help. The ghost is subdued when he sees himself in a mirror.

 


The Kenneth Grahame Society

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