"The Wind in the Willows" is a novel for children by Kenneth Grahame. It was published in 1908.
The setting of the story is on the banks of the Thames. It chronicles the adventures of three bachelor animals living the easy lives of Edwardian landed gentry. The friendly but timid Mole moves in with his new acquaintance the Water Rat, a rather forceful character who continuously worry about Toad, the owner of the local green house, Toad Hall.
One day, by sheer sudden enthusiasm, Toad fancies and takes up motoring to such dangerous effect that he is finally sent to prison, at which point Toad Hall is invaded by the distinctly proletarian stoats and weasels, who, normally live in the Wild wood yonder. Toad escapes prison by dressing up as a washerwoman. He recaptures his ancestral home with his two friends and the elusive and curmudgeonly Mr. Badger. The book ends with Toad back in residence and promising to change. Only time will tell.
The animal characterizations is superb, especially the enjoyable and charming descriptions of the surrounding countryside during their adventures. Grahame's use of the season interspersed with every mood, makes reading the chapters more fascinating. There is also a significant meeting with the god Pan, depicted as a friend to all animals, including the dumb ones. The popularity of "The Wind in the Willows" has been helped by the illustrations of E.H. Shepard and then Arthur Rackham. It's wonderful, fascinating book that even adults will enjoy.