A Willows Christmas

‘God bless us, everyone’, said Tiny Tim

‘Quite so’, agreed Badger

‘Seasonal greetings’, added Ratty

‘Happy Christmas’, cried Mole

‘Toot, toot’, shouted Toad. ‘By the way’, he added, ‘who was that small chap?’


Success at The Willows

‘What are we doing up here Ratty?’ asked Mole

‘Celebrating her victory over the council after a six week campaign to get the bottle box emptied’, explained the Rat

‘People Power’, exclaimed Badger

‘Six weeks!’ shouted Toad. ‘That box must’ve been pretty full. What did she do with all the leftover bottles?’

‘Chucked them in the neighbours’ gardens don’t you know, answered Ratty


Disaster at the Willows

‘Who are they’, asked Mole?

‘Reservoir Dogs, Upton Chapter’, explained Ratty. ‘They’re all called Mr Green and they’re looking for the small bloke’.

‘Isn’t that him behind them’, enquired Mole?

‘Master of disguise’, said Ratty. ‘Plus they’ve all overdosed on Prosecco’.



‘What are you doing behind there, asked Mole? ‘She’s been looking for you all morning’

‘Hiding’, said Ratty. ‘Has he gone yet?’

‘Yes’, said Mole. ‘Haven’t you noticed how quiet it is?’

‘Where’s Toad’, asked Ratty?

‘Hospital’, reported Mole sadly. ‘Her father’s operating’.





‘Make him put me down’, screamed Ratty.





,Careful’, warned Mole. ‘He’s already killed Toad’.



‘He’s looking very pleased with himself’, observed Ratty.

‘Regrettable incident last time’, said Toad. ‘Still, he’s redeemed himself don’t you know’.

‘Are we all allowed on this grass at the same time’, asked Mole?


The Willows in summer

‘Who’s that taking photos’, asked Mole?

‘It’s her father’, said Ratty. ‘He’s got his own blog’.

Are we going viral’, enquired Mole?

‘You can go where you like’, said Toad. ‘There’s a lot of wine flowing in this garden and I’m staying put’.

‘What’s going on’, asked Mole?

‘Her parents are coming to lunch. She’s scrubbing the deck’.

‘Is she scared of them’, said Mole?

‘Have you met her father’, asked Toad?


‘What’s an understatement’, asked Mole?

‘For example’, said Ratty, ‘when you said things weren’t going too well, that was an understatement.’

‘Does he know he’s cut two identical pieces’, chortled Toad?

‘He will do when he tries to put the other one up’, replied Ratty.


‘Present for you old boy, said Toad.

‘Thank-you very much’, said Mole who was quite overcome. ‘It’s lovely. What is it?’

‘Magazine rack’, explained Toad. ‘For your periodicals: Country Life, Horse and Hounds, Racing Post, The Spectator, don’t you know’.

‘Radio Times’, asked Mole timidly?

‘Pfff’, said Toad.


‘What’s that’, asked Mole?

‘It’s an old tool trug’, explained Ratty.

‘Trug’, repeated Mole. ‘That’s a funny word’.

‘Truck’, asked Toad? ‘Toot, toot’.

New arrivals in the Willows

‘What’s that’, asked Mole?

‘It’s an old tool trug’, said Ratty.

‘Trug’, repeated Mole. ‘That’s a funny word’.

‘Truck’, asked Toad? ‘Toot, toot’.


‘Why is it called a hide’, asked Mole?

‘Because we’re hiding’, answered Ratty.

‘Who from’, continued Mole?

‘Brian Blackbird’, replied Ratty. ‘He’s feeding his new son’.

‘What’s he called’, enquired Mole?

‘Louis’, said Toad. ‘Don’t you read the papers?’

Yet more from the willows

‘I see Alice has moved house’, reported Ratty.

‘And stolen an egg’, replied Mole despondently.



‘Lovely to see the hyacinths back’, noted Ratty appreciatively.

Toad was confused: ‘very pretty old boy, but where are the wheels? Toot, toot’.


‘What’s all the commotion’, asked Mole?

‘It’s a crow chasing a buzzard away’, relied Ratty who had climbed to the highest point in the garden.

‘Crikey’, said Mole, ‘all life passes here’.

‘Speaking of which’, said Ratty, ‘has anyone seen Alice?’

‘Gone shopping’, said Toad enigmatically. ‘Toot, toot’.

‘Hello boys’, said Alice who had just returned from her shopping trip.

‘New dress’, asked Mole?

‘New hair’, asked Ratty?

‘Port and lemon’, asked Toad?




The story so far

At the beginning of March, when the weather was such that I was forced to pass too much time indoors, I posted a little conversation on Facebook undertaken by some characters who live on my decking. It proved rather popular, as have the subsequent posts. Some folk think there should be a new blog devoted just to these ‘stories’. While I ponder that, I’ve decided to record them here for those weasel followers not on FB. Here they are, starting logically with the first:

‘Not looking good’, said Ratty.

‘No’, replied Mole. ‘I suppose that’s another day of eggs on toast’.



‘Is it Christmas?’ asked Mole.

‘No’, replied Ratty. ‘Why?’

‘Well’, said Mole sadly, ‘there were so many people in Tesco, I was nearly trampled on’.

‘That’s what happens when folk are sick of eggs’, Ratty explained.

‘Toot, toot, there wasn’t even any petrol’, shouted Toad angrily.

‘Good job we’ve got a boat then’, said the rat.

‘Do you think the daffodils will be alright after the snow?’ asked Mole.

‘Can’t be any worse than my hair’, responded Alice, who was certainly looking unkempt.

‘Never mind’, said Toad. ‘Have a drink with me’.

‘No thanks’, said Alice. ‘I know what happens when I start drinking. I used to be five feet tall’.

‘What’s happening Ratty? asked Mole. ‘I’m scared’.

‘Don’t worry’, Ratty replied calmly. ‘We’re having a brand new lawn’.

‘Will it be nicer than the old one?’

‘The old one was like Alice’s dress’, said Ratty. ‘Needed throwing away’.

‘Is that a real lawn?’ asked the mole cautiously.

‘It’s as real as we are’, replied Ratty.

‘What do you mean?’

‘Good grief!’ exclaimed Toad. ‘Do you mean you haven’t told him yet?’

‘Told me what? And why has Ratty fainted?’ asked Mole.

‘Ratty, there’s something on my nose’, said Mole sadly.

‘That’s nothing’, replied the rat. ‘Have you seen the state of Alice’s hair this morning?’

‘**** off’, said Alice.


‘Don’t say a word’, whispered the rat.

‘But who is it?’

‘Friend of Toad I imagine’, answered Ratty.

‘Will it be here long?’ asked Mole.

‘I certainly hope not’, replied the rat looking the other way.


The rat increasingly felt that he’d been mistaken for the Oracle of Delphi. ‘Ask Toad’, he said a tiny bit grumpily.

‘Easter charabanc party old boy’, explained Toad. ‘Toot , toot’.

More to follow, as and when, if you like it.