I’m sorry, Mole old chap, but it just won’t do you know’.
The Mole lifted his gaze from the golden coals of the fire. ‘What won’t do Ratty?’
‘There’s something going on in the Wild Wood. We haven’t seen Badger for months. I am starting to worry about him’.
The Mole looked round at the honest face of his friend, brow furrowed and whiskers twitching. Outside the light was already going from the sky, and the windows rattled in the wind. It was a day for firesides, and crumpets. With great fortitude he stood up. ‘Well’, he said bravely, ‘why don’t we go and try to find him?
‘Would you?’ said Ratty, ‘it’s no kind of a day for a walk’.
‘Of course it is’, said the Mole, moving now with bustling decision, ‘now where did I put my stick?’
Some time later, the Mole and the Rat drew close to the edge of the Wild Wood. It was not a place either of them liked very much: dark and forbidding, especially on a cold blustery November afternoon.