1) In Chapter 5, Mole and Rat go by Mole’s house and Mole is reminded, “but it was my own little home--and I was fond of it--and I went away and forgot all about it--and then I smelt it suddenly--on the road, when I called and you wouldn't listen, Rat--and everything came back to me with a rush--and I WANTED it!” – what did you think about Mole’s reaction to his home?
2) Later in the same chapter, there is a very sweet Christmas scene. After field-mice serenade Mole and Rat, they reciprocate by throwing a dinner. What did this say about Christmas traditions of England at the turn of the 20th Century, and what did you think Mole and Rat drew from it?
3) In Chapter 6 despite everyone else’s best efforts, Toad escapes, steals a car, and a Wild Ride ensues. What did you think of this episode, and did it confirm or change your opinion of Toad? Sadly, I STILL don't like Toad. Were I his friends, I am afraid that I would have left Toad to his own destruction, and to spend his money as he wished. It just confirmed to me that he is a, well, for lack of a better description, a manipulative little Toad.
4) In the next chapter Badger’s son goes missing and is found by Mole and Rat with Pan. What did you think of the description of Pan and of their meeting? I loved the fact that there was still, after all these years, something new for Ratty on the river. This was a beautiful chapter, one of my favorites thus far.
5) Chapter 8 finds Toad jailed (or gaoled ) for his crimes. Ulimately he befriends the gaoler’s daughter and escapes. Does this episode teach Toad anything? Do you think this was a reasonable punishment? The punishment was a bit extreme, but I don't think Toad will learn much from it. I think it will temporarily slow him down, the recollection of how miserable and depressed he was when he was locked in a TRUE prison, (as opposed to being guarded by his friends). Eventually, that recollection will fade into a distant, unpleasant memory, and then Toad will get distracted by something else new and shiny, and away he will go. Its his nature. And truthfully? I doubt his friends would want him any other way. In a strange way, its kind of like McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He was trouble from the start, but when the "man" lobotomized him, and cured him, his best friend didn't want him that way, and smothered him. I do hope this book doesn't end with smothered Toad, though...
6) Anything that I’ve missed or anything you’d like to mention? Still can't think of anything. But my brain is tired.