Where is the owl mentioned in Wind in the Willows?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Hello! The owl is mentioned in Chapter 8: Toad's Adventures. The owl mentioned is not a major or even minor character in the book. It seems to be an incidental character, a part of the setting in Toad's adventures.

When Toad manages to escape from the prison, he tries to take a train home, but realizes to his horror that he has left 'both coat and waistcoat behind him in his cell, and with them his pocket-book, money, keys, watch, matches, pencil-case...' Still in his washerwoman disguise, he tries to bribe the engine driver to let him board the train. He tells the engine-driver that he is just a poor washer-woman and that he has lost all his money. What's more, he says he has lots of children waiting for him at home. Th engine driver tells Toad that if he would just wash a few shirts for him, and send them along later, he would give Toad a ride home for free. Toad is ecstatic, but his joy soon turns to panic when he learns that there is another train following them, with policemen 'waving truncheons' and plains-clothes detectives 'waving revolvers' in the train.

Toad eventually jumps off the train and runs into the woods. This is when he meets the owl:

An owl, swooping noiselessly towards him, brushed his shoulder with its wing, making him jump with the horrid certainty that it was a hand; then flitted off, moth-like, laughing its low ho! ho! ho; which Toad thought in very poor taste.

This is the only mention of the owl in 'The Wind In The Willows,' although you will find that in some productions of the novel, directors have chosen to add an owl character or two.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the question.

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kkmg5's profile pic

kkmg5 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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The owl is mentioned on page 206 in the Wind in the Willows. The passage states that the toad eventually jumps off the train and runs into the woods. This is where we meet the owl. On page 206 it says, " An owl, swooping noiselessly towards him, brushed his shoulder with its wing, making him jump with the horrid certainty that it was a hand; then flitted off, moth-like, laughing its low ho! ho! ho; which Toad thought in very poor taste." This is where we meet the owl in the Wind in the Willows. 

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