Jumping off all his four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring without its cleaning, he pursued his way across the meadow till he reached the hedge on the further side.
‘Hold up!’ said an elderly rabbit at the gap. ‘Sixpence for the privilege of passing by the private road!’ He was bowled over in an instant by the impatient and contemptuous Mole, who trotted along the side of the hedge chaffing the other rabbits as they peeped hurriedly from their holes to see what the row was about. ‘Onion-sauce! Onion-sauce!’ he remarked jeeringly, and was gone before they could think of a thoroughly satisfactory reply. Then they all started grumbling at each other. ‘How stupid you are! Why didn’t you tell him—-‘ ‘Well, why didn’t you say—-‘ ‘You might have reminded him—-‘ and so on, in the usual way; but, of course, it was then much too late, as is always the case.
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Editorial: When I first read this passage out loud to my daughter she fell out of the bed in stitches. She asked me to read it again, and again, and again. I lost track at ten readings and she now takes down the book regularly so that we can read together this particular passage (we have it bookmarked of course). To this day I have no idea why she finds it so delightful. She won’t say and I don’t pry. I do however know why I like it– because it makes my daughter delirious with laughter.