When it comes to technology and change: Are you Toad, Mole, or Rat?

When a new technology comes along and knocks you off the old one – in this case a motor car and a canary-colored horse-drawn cart – are you more of a Toad, Mole or Rat?

‘Glorious, stirring sight!’ murmured Toad, never offering to move. ‘The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here to-day–in next week to-morrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped–always somebody else’s horizon! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!’

‘O stop being an ass, Toad!’ cried the Mole despairingly.

‘And to think I never knew!’ went on the Toad in a dreamy monotone. ‘All those wasted years that lie behind me, I never knew, never even dreamt! But now–but now that I know, now that I fully realise! O what a flowery track lies spread before me, henceforth! What dust-clouds shall spring up behind me as I speed on my reckless way! What carts I shall fling carelessly into the ditch in the wake of my magnificent onset! Horrid little carts–common carts–canary-coloured carts!’

‘What are we to do with him?’ asked the Mole of the Water Rat.

‘Nothing at all,’ replied the Rat firmly. ‘Because there is really nothing to be done. You see, I know him from of old. He is now possessed. He has got a new craze, and it always takes him that way, in its first stage. He’ll continue like that for days now, like an animal walking in a happy dream, quite useless for all practical purposes. Never mind him. Let’s go and see what there is to be done about the cart.’

Of course – Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows has other options. Badger or Wild Wooder for example.

Illustrations by E.H. Shepard.

1 Comment

  1. R.T. Scott:

    Well the Wild Wooders would be the Luddites and Badger would stick to his Swan fountain pen with the fine point nib and black ink.

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