Get Clucky!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Messing about in boats

The rat sculled smartly across and made fast. Then he held up his fore-paw as the Mole stepped gingerly down and, to his surprise, found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat.

“This has been a wonderful day!” said he, as the Rat shoved off and took the sculls again. “Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in all my life.”

“What?” cried the Rat, open-mouthed. “Never been in a – you never—well, I—what have you been doing, then?”

“Is it so nice as all that?” asked the Mole shyly.

“Nice? It’s the only thing,” said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. “Believe me, my friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,” he went on dreamily: “messing—about—in—boats; messing—“

“Look ahead, Rat!” cried Mole suddenly.

It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The Rat lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.
“—about in boats,” he went on, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. “Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on this morning, supposing we drop down the river together and have a long day of it?”

The mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions. “What a day I’m having!” He said. “Let us start at once!”


--this passage from _The Wind in the Willows_ brought to you by the onset of spring.

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