Who Shall Wear The Crown?

Toad has spotted Badger in the river. Toad, Weasel, Hare and Hedgehog dive in and find him caught in reeds. They work hard to free him and manage to pull him to the bank, where he lies motionless. Mole is inconsolable. Don’t give up on me now, Badger, he wails. Weasel knows what to do. She leaps on Badgers stomach, causing him to cough up all the water he swallowed. Mole is delighted his friend is going to be OK. Badger asks about Fox. Owl says that Kestrel is flying downriver to look for him, but not to hold out too much hope. While Badger rests, Toad takes Mole for a swim. Mole has a narrow escape when he is chased by a pike.

Downstream, Kestrel spots Fox floating on a log. He floats under a bridge, but when the log comes out the other side, Fox is no longer on it. Kestrel brings the news back to her devestated friends. Badger decides that there is no point in hanging around and the party moves on. Owl seems a little put out that Badger is taking on the role of leader. Adder senses this and teases her about it.

The journey continues away from the river bank and the Hares enjoy the run across the grass. The Rabbits however are unhappilly aware that they are blamed for Fox’s accident. Suddenly Toad seems to lose his way. He does not know where to go next. He feels sure they should go straight ahead but something keeps pulling him to the left. They continue on their way, but soon Owl informs them that they are heading back towards the river, they are going round in a circle! The party stops again while they try to work out what has gone wrong. Owl realises that Toad’s homing instinct is starting to pull him back to Farthing Wood. Toad will have to learn to go by his memory, while Owl and Kestrel will fly ahead and help. Kestrel has spotted scrubland the other way, which Toad remembers. Once again the animals set off. Then Hare and Hedgehog bring the news that there has been a ‘happy event’, the Mice have had babies! Badger decides it is time to stop for the night.

The Mice seem to want to stay where they are and find a home. Owl says she will advise Badger to leave them behind. Badger does not know what to do, but he does not want to leave the Mice behind. Mole wonders if they will ever see Fox again.

Meanwhile, Fox wakes up aboard a boat. As the boat enters a lock and the water rises, a human spots him.

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