Everyone knows that The Wind In The Willows is one of the most beautiful children’s books ever written. Also, in the 1980’s Cosgrove Hall made a stop motion TV series of it, which I loved throughout my childhood.
However, I made a discovery recently, which had put me off it for a very long time.
I was being a real dork and typing up random stuff on the internet, when I came across a video on YouTube which said “Wind In The Willows: The Weasels’ Last Stand” I had never heard of that episode before, so I clicked on the link, but for some reason, my computer shut down.
I couldn’t restart it until the next day, but when I could, I sent an email to the Cosgrove Hall company, asking them about the lost episode.
No less than 2 hours later, I got a reply, but what it said was very odd. It read: Here’s the lost episode. Please, don’t do this again. It’s bad for us, all of us. Please, don’t do it. Underneath this strange text was a download link. I clicked it, and a file was downloaded. As soon as I knew the download was complete, I clicked the video file and opened it.
I opened my worst nightmare. I’m the kinda girl who always roots for the bad guys, so I was hoping to see the weasels doing something cute. I waited. There was no intro, or narration. It just skipped straight to the main episode.
The ep started out in the Wild Wood, the camera zooming in on the weasels’ hideout. They were acting a bit out of character, I thought. They weren’t quarreling, the henchman was acting dumber, and the Chief seemed angrier. It was like he had genuine hate for his fellow weasels. He stood up, and said “Right. I’m goin’ out. If I ain’t comin’ back, blame it on no one but me.” With that, he left.
I was a little uneasy. The Chief weasel walked slowly through the Wild Wood, staring at the ground, his hands behind his back. He looked horribly sad and depressed. There was some audio, but not the usual music I heard on the show. It was a faint gasping noise, like some animal was struggling to breathe. This noise got louder and more disturbing as the episode progressed.
The Chief weasel made his way out of the wood and onto a road. He stood there, staring directly at the camera. “I’m done.” he said, sadly. “I ain’t fit to live no more. That’s that, I suppose.” With that, he lay down in the road, curled up into a fetus position. A tear ran down his plasticine cheek.
Suddenly, Toad came driving along in his motorcar and hit the Chief weasel. As soon as I saw that, I vomited on the carpet. Toad got out of his car, and the camera zoomed in on the crushed corpse of the weasel. It was properly realistic, and it might have been me, but I thought I saw real blood on the road.
The scene cut to black, and a white noise could be heard. Then, it stopped, and there was silence for a few seconds. When the picture came back, the weasels could be seen, kneeling around a coffin, crying hysterically. The coffin looked like the one from Snow White; it was made of glass, and I could see the dead, white face of the Chief weasel.
By now, I was crying just like the weasels. The henchman weasel, who I’d always had a soft spot for, looked at the camera and said “‘E’s dead. An’ who'd’ ya think I blame fer this? You! If you ‘hadn't seen us like we was before, Chief wouldn't have done it!” His voice rose in pitch until it became nightmarish. “I ‘ATE YA! I ‘ATE Y’ALL! I ‘OPE YA PLEASED WITH YERSELVES!” and with that, his crying became so unbearable that I had to lower my volume.
The episode ended with the weasels looking down at their Chief’s grave, but oddly, the gravestone didn’t have the Chief weasel’s name on it. Instead, it had the actor's name but he's still alive (Sir David Jason is his name and I'm sure everyone knows him from Only Fools and Horse, Open All Hours, Danger Mouse and other projects he was involved in).
As soon as the episode was over, I picked up the computer and punched the screen. I was feeling furious and physically sick, and instantly deleted the file. I then emailed the Cosgrove Hall company, asking them what made them make an episode of an innocent kids’ show so graphic and disturbing.
For about two weeks, there was no reply. Then, I got a voice mail. It wasn’t what I’d expected. I couldn’t tell if it was a male or female voice, but it sounded on the verge of tears. It said: “We didn’t do it. The Chief weasel did.”
Cosgrove Hall closed down in 2009, Cosgrove is now Executive Producer at Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick Entertainment, as was Hall until his untimely death on 18th November 2011. The video was taken down permenatley and Sir David Jason celebrated his 75th birthday on 2nd February 2015 (making him born on 2nd February 1940).
Edited by Takenluckname2001)