The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
It’s spring. Mole is very busy•. He is cleaning• his house. Mole’s house is underground•. It is very dark•.
Suddenly Mole throws his cleaning things on the floor.
‘What am I doing?’ he says. ‘Spring is here! I can go outside!’
Mole runs out of the house and starts to dig•.
‘Up! Up!’ he says. He digs and digs. He digs up, up, up through the earth. Suddenly, pop! His little nose comes out into the sun. He is in a big field•. The grass is warm. The sun is warm. Mole rolls• in the grass. His fur• is warm now, too.
‘This is great!’ he says. ‘I love spring!’
Mole walks through the fields. He sees flowers and new green leaves on the trees.
He sees lots of animals, too. Birds are making nests. Rabbits are cleaning. They are all busy because it is spring.
Mole walks and walks. He is happy to be outside, and he walks far away from his home. He comes to a river. He stops and looks. Rivers are a new thing for Mole. He looks again at the water. Suddenly he sees a small face on the opposite side of the water. The face has whiskers• and small ears and a nose. It’s a water rat. His name is Rat.
The two animals look at each other. This is their first meeting.
‘Hello, Mole!’ says Rat.
‘Hello, Rat!’ says Mole.
Rat says, ‘Do you want to come in my boat?’
‘Er… I don’t know,’ says Mole.
Rat has a little boat. It’s green and white. He gets into the boat and rows• over to Mole.
‘Get in!’ Rat says. Mole is not sure. This is his first time in a boat. But he is brave• and he steps• inside.
Then Mole smiles. ‘I like it!’ he says, as the boat moves.
‘Boats are fantastic!’ says Rat. ‘Do you want to have a picnic with me?’
Mole is happy. ‘Yes, please. Let’s go!’ he says.
‘What’s in your picnic basket•?’ asks Mole.
‘There’s chicken, ham, beef, lemonade, salad, sandwiches…’
‘What a wonderful day!’ cries Mole.
Mole and Rat travel along the river.
Mole asks Rat, ‘Do you like living by the river?’
‘Oh yes!’ replies Rat. ‘I love it! Lots of other animals and birds live here, too, like otters• and ducks. We all have lots of fun.’