Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Oh, look what you've done...'ve made a fool of everyone." Look What You've Done, by Jet. 

  "The hour has come!" said the Badger at last with great solemnity.
"What hour?" asked the Rat uneasily, glancing at the clock on the mantlepiece.
"Whose hour, you should rather say," replied the Badger. "Why, Toad's hour! The our of Toad! I said I would take him in hand as soon as the winter was well over, and I'm going to take him in hand to-day!"
"Toad's hour, of course!" cried the Mole delightedly. "Hooray! I remember now! We'll teach him to be a sensible Toad!"
"This very morning," continued the Badger, taking an arm-chair," as I learnt last night from a trustworthy source, another new and exceptionally powerful motor-car will arrive at Toad Hall on approval or return. At this very moment, perhaps, Toad is busily arraying himself in those singularly hideous habiliments so dear to him, which transform him from a (comparatively) good-looking Toad into an Object which throws any decent-minded animal that comes across it into a violent fit. We must be up and doing, ere it is too late. You two animals will accompany me instantly to Toad Hall, and the work of rescue shall be accomplished."
"Right you are!" cried Rat, starting up. "We'll rescue the poor unhappy animal! We'll convert him! He'll be the most converted Toad that ever was before we've done with him!"
They set off up the road on their mission of mercy, Badger leading the way. Animals when in company walk in a proper and sensible manner, in single file, instead of sprawling all across the road and being of no use or support to each other in case of sudden trouble or danger. 
They reached the carriage-drive of Toad Hall to find, as the Badger had anticipated, a shiny new motor-car, of great size, painted bright red (Toad's favourite color), standing in front of the house. As they neared the door it was flung open and Mr Toad, arrayed in goggles, cap, gaiters, and enormous overcoat, came swaggering down the steps, drawing on his gauntleted gloves. 
"Hullo! Come on, you fellows!" he cried cheerfully on catching sight of them. "You're just in time to come with me for a jolly--for a--er--jolly--
His hearty accents faltered and fell away as he noticed the stern unbending look on the countenances of his silent friends, and his invitation remained unfinished. 
The Badger strode up the steps. "Take him inside," he said sternly to his companions. Then, as Toad was hustled through the door, struggling and protesting, he turned to the chauffeur in charge of the new motor-car. 
"I'm afraid you won't be wanted to-day," he said. "Mr Toad has changed his mind. He will not require the car. Please understand that this is final. You needn't wait." Then he followed the others inside and shut the door. 
"Now, then!" he said to the Toad, when the four of them stood together in the hall, "first of all, take those ridiculous things off!" 
"Shan't!" replied Toad, with great spirit. "What is the meaning of this gross outrage? I demand an instant explanation." 
"Take them off him, then, you two," ordered the Badger briefly.
They had to lay Toad out on the floor, kicking and calling all sorts of names, before they could get to work properly. Then the Rat sat on him, and the Mole got his motor-clothes off him bit by bit, and they stood him up on his legs again. A good deal of his blustering spirt seemed to have evaporated with the removal of his fine panoply. Now that he was merely Toad, and no longer the Terror of the Highway, he giggled feebly and looked from one to the other appealingly, seeming quite to understand the situation. 
"You knew it must come to this, sooner or later, Toad," the Badger explained severely. "You've disregarded all the warnings we've given you, you've gone on squandering the money your father left you, and you're getting us animals a bad name in the district by your furious driving and your smashes and your rows with the police. Independence is all very well, but we animals never allow our friends to make fools of themselves beyond a certain limit; and that limit you've reached. Now you're a good fellow in many respects, and I don't want to be too hard on you. I'll make one more effort to bring you to reason. You will come with me into the smoking-room, and there you will hear some facts about yourself; and we'll see whether you come out of that room the same Toad that you went in." 
Excerpt from Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows
Isn't it ironic?

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