Saturday, 25 June 2011

Mr Toad's Wedding

In 2008 the Kenneth Grahame Society organised a competition to write a short story based on Wind in the Willows. Writers from around the world entered the competition. I was one of them.

I was over the moon when I saw that my book had been long-listed for a prize. I began to fantasise. Would I make it into the short-list for possible inclusion in an anthology? Would I be one of the top three prize-winners?

Imagine my surprise when, after watching Barack Obama become President of the USA, very, very early in the morning I turned on my computer and saw an email from the organisers.

'Mr Toad's Wedding' had won first prize.

The jubilation in my house woke up the street.

I am delighted to offer Mr Toad's Wedding for a premium price of less than a cup of tea or coffee. Ratty would have been pleased, Mr Toad, insulted.

What would happen to the tranquil life of the river bank if it's most famous bachelor was to marry?

This story tells the story of how Mr Toad lost his heart to Natalia Natterjack and almost lost his friends into the bargain.

It shows how Toad's infatuation leads to disbelief and dismay in most of his friends, although not all. We meet his beloved Natalia and the redoubtable Mother-in-Law Natterjack.

With the arrival of the animal he most admires, his cousin Talleyrand, Mr Toad's joy knows no bounds.

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