The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame's classic tale of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad abridged in 10 episodes and read by Bernard Cribbins. When the Mole decides he has endured enough spring cleaning to goes to explore the world above ground...

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The Wind in the Willows

Episode summaries

1: The River Bank
Mole leaves his spring cleaning to explore the world above ground. He meets the Water Rat and together they take a leisurely row down the river where Mole has his first momentary meeting with Badger and his first sight of Toad.

2. The open road
Toad introduces Mole and Rat to the pleasures of the open road. The three friends set out in Toad's canary-coloured caravan pulled by a horse...but when they are driven off the road by a speeding motor car Toad has a new craze.

3. The Wild Wood
Mole has been warned by Rat to avoid the Wild Wood, but Mole is anxious to find where Badger lives. He enters the Wood and is quickly overcome by terror. Rat comes to the rescue and they spend the night with Badger.

4. Mr Badger
Mole and Rat spend time with the reclusive Mr Badger. Mole and Badger get on well - they are both underground dwellers - and Badger proudly shows off to Mole the various tunnels and chambers that make up his home.

5. Dolce Domum
Mole and Rat are out for a winter walk when Mole smells something in the air...a reminder of his old home. Rat helps Mole to discover the entrance to Mole End and that evening a group of fieldmice come carol-singing.

6. Mr Toad
Rat, Badger and Mole decide to take Toad in hand and make him a prinsoner in his own home. Toad escapes and goes on the run, but his first act is to steal a motor car for which he is sent to prison. 

7. Toad's adventures
The gaoler's daughter takes pity on Toad and arranges for him to escape prison dressed as a washer-woman. At the train station Toad must persuade the engine-driver to allow 'her' to ride in the cab without a ticket.

8. The further adventures of Toad
Toad hitches a ride on a passing barge but is forced to attempt some laundry. He is thrown overboard and shortly after finds himself behind the wheel of the very same car he has previously stolen...with dire consequences!

9. Like summer tempests came his tears
Toad is rescued from the river by Ratty and learns that the Wild Wooders have taken Toad Hall. Badger reveals the existence of a secret passage under Toad Hall while Mole spreads rumours among the Wild Wooders.

10. The return of Toad
The four friends set out along the secret passage to liberate Toad Hall. The battle is swift and decisive, following which Toad arranges a celebratory banquet of his own. The friends live 'in great joy and contentment'.

Programme notes

Teacher's Notes

A guide to each episode with literacy activities (1.1 MB pdf)