( lines, graciously borrowed from "The Wind and the Willows")
As Mole gazed, something bright and small seemed to twinkle down in the heart of the hole,
vanished, then twinkled once more like a tiny star.
But it could hardly be a star in such an unlikely situation; and it was too glittering and small for a glow-worm.
Then as he looked, it winked at him, and so declared itself to be an eye;
and a small face began gradually to grow up around it, like a frame round a picture.
A brown little face, with whiskers.
A grave round face, with the same twinkle in its eye that had first attracted his notice.
Small neat ears and thick silky hair.
It was the Water Rat!
Then the two animals stood and regarded each other cautiously.
"Hullo, Mole!" said the Water Rat.
"Hullo, Rat!" said the Mole.
....."I beg your pardon," said the Mole, pulling himself together with an effort.
"You must think me very rude; but all this is so new to me.
"The River," corrected the Rat.
"And you really live by the river? What a jolly life!"
....."What lies over there?" asked the Mole, waving a paw towards a background of woodland that darkly framed the water-meadows on one side of the river.
"That? O, that's just the Wild Wood," said the Rat shortly.
"We don't go there very much, we river-bankers."
"And beyond the Wild Wood again?" Mole asked;
"Where it's all blue and dim, and one sees what may be hills or perhaps they mayn't, and something like the smoke of towns, or is it only cloud drift?"
"Beyond the Wild Wood come the Wide World," said the Rat.
"And that's something that doesn't matter, either to you or me.
I've never been there, and I'm never going, nor you either, if you've got any sense at all.
Don't ever refer to it again, please."