Just recently I’ve rediscovered my love of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I was around 8 when I discovered it the first time round. The brilliant illustrations of Arthur Rackham were the first thing that attracted me to the book. A talking Badger, Mole, Rat and Toad – totally appealed to my childhood fantasies! My favourite character was Badger, he always seemed so wise and all knowing. Not at all like Toad who always seemed to be totally scatter brained and a bit of a cross cross-dresser (remember the washerwoman episode?)
I’ve done a bit of searching around regarding the illustrations for the book. There have been over 50 different illustrators down the years. These are my favourites –

Rackham-047

Arthur Rackham

Shepard-085

Ernest Shepard

Aitchison-047

Martin Aitchison

Tudor-045

Tasha Tudor

Hague-201

Michael Hague

A big regret a couple of weeks ago was finding a vintage copy of the book in London and not buying it! What was I thinking! Still I’m sure I’ll find another copy somewhere and it’ll be the only thing I’ll happily break my New Year Resolutions for. Did you know there’s currently a  First Edition on sale at Abe Books for £12,500!!

Over the years I’ve managed to take a few photographs of these cute protagonists and these are two of my favourites. This is Ratty who in real life is a Water Vole. In the second pic if you look carefully you’ll see a small droplet of water on the end of Ratty’s nose!

Watervole

I wonder how these dear little animals have fared during the recent flooding of so many riverbanks here in the UK.

So this is an animal themed post once again. I’m sure I must be the long lost love child of Sir David Attenborough or at least distantly related to Chris Packham. I actually met Chris Packham once when he judged my photo of a Blue duck the winner in a WWT photo comp. Not only did I like him because he picked my photo he was genuinely funny and had some great tales to tell about the naughty nature of the Blue duck. Apparently one in a territorial fit of rage grabbed his trouser leg and wouldn’t let go. I’m sure there are a few women also eager to grab his trouser leg!

Me Chris Packham=small

Blue Duck winner
Maybe I should add ‘Meet Sir David Attenborough’ to my list of goals for 2014.  I’d probably let myself down if I met him and mumble or dribble or giggle uncontrollably or curtsey. If anyone reading this could get me into his holy presence I would be very grateful and I promise I would take Social Skills lessons prior to the meet! I wonder if he’d like one of my animal tea cosies????

Slainte

Linda xxx

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