Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday extracts. Kenneth Grahame's idea of a picnic...

I think there isn't anyone in the (English speaking) world who has not heard of The Wind in the Willows. It's been a favourite of mine since I was about seven or eight. Right from the start the language and the story are delightful, and Grahame's rebellious use of words is magical. Here's an extract from Chapter One. Mole has just met the Rat and has been invited to go 'messing about in boats' but, before they set off, the Rat insists on fetching a hamper for their lunch.

`What's inside it?' asked the Mole, wriggling with curiosity.
`There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; `coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrollscresssan dwichespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater----'
`O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: `This is too much!'
`Do you really think so?' enquired the Rat seriously. `It's only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I'm a mean beast and cut it VERY fine!'


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi AJ .. I love this part of the story .. so true, and so evocative of messing about on the river .. and that picnic description .. just a word of deliciousness!

I used the Vole's popping out of the river bank as my V in the A - Z .. as Ratty is a water rat (vole) .. lovely seeing your extract here ..

Grahame certainly does have magic in his words ..

Have a lovely weekend - perhaps a picnic or a 'messing about in a boat'? Happy times - Hilary

snafu said...

Like water rat I was brought up messing around in boats, we had three boats at one time and I learned to row almost before I could walk and of course Wind in the Willows was required reading, along with Swallows and Amazons.