The Wind in the Willows was written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908. It started out as a collection of letters that he was writing to his son, Alastair, while he was away at boarding school, and blossomed into a story that has gone on to inspire and delight children of all ages for over a hundred years, and it expanded its reach even further when Disney created a short animated film based on the novel, which they packaged together with a tale of Ichabod Crane. The Wind in the Willows follows the adventures of a young mole who makes friends with several of the animals that live down by the riverbanks, including a poetic but practical mouse, a badger that hates society, and a toad with an irrepressible desire for the newest thing.
The Wind in the Willows Dog Names in Pop Culture
In the book, Ratty, a water rat that lives on the banks of the river, is a bit of a creature of habit. He prefers to spend his time in a boat on the river in the warmer weather or in his cozy home, sleeping and writing poetry during the cold winter months. Ratty the Jack Russell lived in Dunnington during the early 2000s. Dunnington is a six hour drive from the town of Lerryn, Cornwall, the town that is said to have been the inspiration for the town that was described in The Wind in the Willows. Like the water rat in the book, Ratty the dog was also a creature of habit. He was a rat-catching terrier that lived on a farm with Gary Kay, his human companion, and twice a week, on his own, he would hop on the number ten bus to go visit his favorite pub in the town three miles away. He found himself welcome at the Black Bull, where he had his own water dish and was given plenty of sausages, and the staff, who recognized the dog as Gary’s, would call to have him picked up at the end of the day, except on the days that one of the barmaids who lived nearby the farm in Dunnington, but worked at the Black Bull, would give him a lift home. In fact, it turned out that the number ten was not the only bus the terrier would hitch a ride with, and Gary had regular reports that his dog was even riding on the local school bus on a regular basis.
Ratty's adventures caught the fancy of the public and he was featured in newspapers, in magazines, and even on Japanese television. Eventually, the Black Bull changed hands. The new owner didn’t allow dogs in the bar, and Ratty’s water bowl and sausages disappeared, but instead of being discouraged, Ratty simply changed bars, and began taking his business, such as it was, to the nearby Rose and Crown, where landlord Paul Clary was delighted to see the little pooch, and welcomed him into the establishment. Ratty kept up with his wandering ways for several years, but in 2010 a motorcar hit him as he was crossing the road near the pub. According to witnesses, the driver of the automobile was, like Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows, driving far too fast, reaching speeds of around seventy miles an hour in an area where the limit is closer to thirty miles per hour. Ratty was laid to rest in a small family ceremony at the farm.