This is as close as I will come to living in Toad Hall. There is a toad living in our garage – and I believe he’s the spirit of Kenneth Grahame’s famous character, Mr. Toad, from The Wind in the Willows. At first I thought he was a bit of a nuisance. Now I look for him whenever I walk into the garage. Most of the time, he’s sitting right on the threshold trying to decide if he wants to be inside or outside. At first, I was concerned that when the garage door is closed, he can’t move freely. But my husband showed me all kinds of small openings that provide easy passage for our guest.
I think Mr. Toad is getting used to us. He doesn’t hop away when we’re around. Maybe he’s waiting for his friends Rat and Mole.
Watching Mr. Toad is the calmest part of my day. I’m back at school this week and the days are a blur. After eight hours spent in constant motion, I’m happy to be reminded about life on the banks of the river – where Rat and Mole are enjoying a picnic, Badger is reading a good book, and Mr. Toad is enjoying the life of a country gentleman.
At school, the classroom are almost ready for the students. The teachers are dusting and organizing and unpacking boxes. Today, after I collected all of the picture books about the first day of school, I sat for a moment. The sun was streaming through the window and it was silent. For just a moment I tried to be as still as Mr. Toad.