Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Summer Read Along: The Wind in the Willows
- Chapters 9 & 10


I apologize again this week for being late with our Summer Read Along post. Our garden has kept me extra busy the past few weeks, and in addition to that, this week I've added my autumn cleaning to the agenda. I'm different in that I'm more inspired to deep clean and get my house ready for the change of seasons and the upcoming holidays towards the end of August than I am in the spring, when most people do their annual deep clean.  I do it then, too, but not as thoroughly as in autumn.  So with that, let's jump right in to my favorite quotes and passages from chapters 9 & 10.


"To all appearances the summer's pomp was still at fullest height, and although the tilled acres green had given way to gold, though rowan's were reddening, and the woods were dashed here and there with a tawny fierceness, yet light and warmth and colour were still present in undiminshed measure, clean of any chilly premonitions of the passing year. But the constant chorus of the orchards and hedges had shrunk to a casual evensong from a few yet unwearied performers; the robin was beginning to assert himself once more; and there was a feeling in the air of change and departure. The cuckoo, of course, had long been silent; but many another feathered friend, for months a part of the familiar landscape and its small society, was missing too, and it seemed that the ranks thinned steadily day by day."

Such a beautiful scene is painted in this passage, a familiar one. Just in the past weeks I could feel it, as the earliest trees have already begun to dim. As the passage says, there is still much warmth and colour and not a hint of winter, but you can feel it just on the horizon on a cool August morning which have been plentiful in our area this summer, autumn is near!

"There he got out the luncheon basket and packed a simple meal, in which, remembering the stranger's origin and preferences, he took care to include a yard of long french bread, a sausage of which the garlic sang, some cheese which lay down and cried, and a long-necked, straw-covered flask containing bottled sunshine shed and garnered on far southern slopes. Thus laden, he returned with all speed, and blushed for pleasure at the old seaman's commendations of his tastes and judgement, as together they unpacked the basket and laid out the contents on the grass by the roadside."

I have always loved a good picnic, and this one sounds perfectly charming! I think I could easily re-create this simple menu and love every bite of it! It sounds delicious, doesn't it? I especially love the description of "liquid sunshine". Just this week I made lemonade from scratch for the first time in my life, and it did indeed taste just like "liquid sunshine". 


I hate to sound like a broken record, but with only two chapters now left, I am losing hope that Toad will reform. For as much as I have loved this book in some ways the chapters that focus on Toad feel like they belong in another story. So sadly, I don't have a favorite passage from this chapter.  Here's hoping that by the end I'll feel differently.

Leave your thoughts and favorite quotes and passages in the comments. I'll meet you there!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chapter 9~I noted the same lovely description of Rat's packing up of the picnic, and how he carefully chose things that would be appealing to his guest. How considerate Rat is, and food always tastes best outside, doesn't it? I also thought about the Wayfarer and the tales of all he'd seen and done, and how that made Rat feel~ seconding guessing all his homey pleasures when considering this more exciting and more adventurous life. Thank goodness Mole knew his friend well, and steered him away from his thoughts by recounting the pleasures of the seasons and the joys of a snug home life. Sometimes I'll hear of friends who have gone on grand adventures and think of how exciting world travel would be when we are empty nesters one day (being well into empty nester age, but the "baby" is just starting her 8th grade year) but I know me, and I'm happiest at home. Just this summer Bill and our 16 year old daughter, Kate, spent a couple weeks touring in Italy. Someone asked if I was "jealous" that I wasn't the one the trip, and I could honestly answer that I wasn't a bit. I was actually happier being the one at home holding down the fort, relishing the "snug home life."

Chapter 10~. Well, here we go again with Toad. "As he tramped along gaily, he thought of his adventures and escapes and how when things seemed at their worst he had always managed to find a way out; and his pride and conceit began to swell with in hime. 'Ho, ho!' he said to himself as he marched along with his chin in the air, 'what a clever Toad I am!....' and on and on and on he goes. He is SO bad. All that changes after he FOOLISHLY (maybe he needs a good dose of Proverbs, which has quite a lot to say about fools) lets the owners of the red car know who he is, and then his boastful song about himself changes to "Oh my!" and "What and ass I am! What a conceited and heedless ass!" Has he FINALLY learned his lesson? Hmmm.....