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The Further Adventures of Toad

  1. FURTHER EDUCATION
  2. OTI reserves the right to make any changes without further notice to any products herein.
  3. THE USA - creation and further development.

Toad was getting nearer and nearer to home, and still had on his washerwomen's disguise. (By now it was looking the worse for wear.) Presently he came to a tow-path, running alongside a canal. An old horse was plodding along it, pulling a gaily painted barge. A big stout woman sat in it, her brawny arm along the tiller.

Toad saw the chance of a lift, so he told his tale of losing a purse and having to get back to the children. "I'll give you a lift as far as Toad Hall," the barge-woman bargained, "if you'll do my dirty washing for me." Toad had been boasting what a good washerwoman he was!

The barge-woman gave him a great pile of washing, some soap and clean water in a big tub. Toad had no idea how to set about it. Soon he was puffing and blowing and rubbing and dubbing, but the clothes were no cleaner.

The barge-woman took a closer look at him.

"You're no washerwoman!" she shrieked. "You're a dirty ugly toad - get off my nice clean barge!"

Toad was so annoyed he jumped off the barge, undid the tow-rope, and rode off on the horse, leaving the barge-woman shaking her fist at him.

He galloped along, thinking how clever he was. By now he was feeling hungry, and as he passed a hedge, the most delicious smell came floating over it. A gipsy was cooking a stew of rabbit, pheasant and onions, in an iron pot on a fire. Quickly Toad struck a bargain. He sold the horse, in exchange for a few pence and a plate of stew.

He was feeling his old self again and began to make up a boastful song about his adventures. White he was singing,

#"The world has held great heroes,

As history books have showed,

But never a name to go down to fame

Compared to Mr Toad - "#

a familiar noise was heard.

Along the highway came a motor-car, and it was the very one Toad had stolen!

Toad pretended to faint and the car stopped. The passengers took him to be a poor washerwoman and put him in the font seat, where the fresh air would revive him. It was not long before Toad perked up enough to ask a favour.

"I've always wanted to see if I could drive a motor-car," he said longingly. "Please let me try!"

The passengers were very amused to think of a humble washerwoman wanting to drive. "Let her have a go!" they said to the chauffeur.

Toad drove off, slowly at first, then faster and faster!

"Be careful, washerwoman!" they cried.

"I'm not a washerwoman!" said he. "I'm the great, the famous Toad!" and he drove faster than ever, terrifying the passengers, until he took a corner too fast and drove straight into a pond.

He jumped out and hopped off across the fields, singing another verse of his boastful song, leaving the passengers standing up to their waists in muddy water.

#"The clever men at Oxford

Know all that is to be knowed

But none of them knows half as much

As intelligent Mr Toad!"#

But when he looked back he saw the chauffeur and two policemen running after him.

Poor Toad puffed along. He was a very fat animal and they were gaining on him. What a fool he had been, showing of like that! Suddenly he tripped up. He had come to the River Bank, and - splash! - he fell into the water.

He swam along, gasping, till he came to a hole in the bank. He clutched the edge and looked in.

A small, bright thing shone and moved towards him. A face grew up around it.

Brown and small, with whiskers.

Grave and round, with neat ears.

It was the Water Rat!

 



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