Toad is not looking forward to Christmas one bit. Every year the dreaded Mrs Ffleshe comes to stay, and every year she sets out to protect Toad from overindulgence. This time, however, Ratty, Mole and Badger intend to rescue their friend from unwanted guardian.
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: Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger return once more in a special Christmas tale from the bestselling author of The Willows in Winter, Toad Triumphant and The Willows and Beyond. The Tales of the Willows sequence -- in which William Horwood returned to the idyllic setting of The Wind in the Willows and brought back Kenneth Grahame's much-loved characters, began in 1993, with the The Willows in Winter, which immediately caught the imagination of the public. The series continued with Toad Triumphant and was brought to a conclusion with The Willows and Beyond. Now, in The Willows at Christmas, William Horwood has created a spellbinding new tale especially for Christmas which takes place after the events in The Wind in the Willows but before The Willows in Winter. As the story opens, the normally bumptious Toad is not looking forward to Christmas one bit. Every year the dreaded Mrs Ffleshe comes to stay at Toad Hall. And every year she does all she can to protect Toad from the dangers of over-indulgence, despite his protestations. The daughter of the nanny who made Toad Senior's life a misery years before, Mrs Ffleshe feels it is her duty to take the errant younger Toad under her wing to save him from himself. This year, however, his loyal friends Mole, Ratty, Badger and Otter plan to rescue Toad from his unwanted guardian. Yet their efforts serve only to goad him into his most mischievous behaviour, and it seems as if Mole and Toad will be spending their Christmas together -- in the Village gaol.