They had all been waiting patiently for the opening day to arrive and working away on all the final jobs, but it was Badger who was starting to get anxious about whether the bar would be finished on time, about the lighting creating just the right mood and whether anyone would even turn up. Ever the enthusiast, Toad had been the one who had pushed Badger and the others into the idea of setting up a bar together saying, “Don’t be such a bore, Badger. It’ll be a triumph! That private dining room will be the pièce de résistance in the whole of Edinburgh…perfect for any men-about-town like us, don’t you think, Ratty, my dear man? There’s even a pool table!” Rat, who approached life with a nonchalant attitude and liked to think of himself as being rather cultured, replied,
“Of course it’ll be marvellous, Badger. You need stop worrying; everything has been taken care of. I, for one, can’t wait to see all the people come flowing in when we open and see the awe on their faces once they realise what we’ve created. Toad Hall will seem like a slum in comparison!” Mole looked around with slight apprehension on his face; the thought of lots of people invading the place he’d come to know as his new home was beginning to make him a little uneasy, but with his pal, Rat, by his side, he would be sure to get used to it soon enough, and Badger could be pretty fearsome when he needed, so he reassured himself it would all be fine.
Toad suggested they all have a drink to celebrate the impending opening night, so he leapt up to crack open a bottle and started pouring. “Just a small one for me, thank you, Toad,” Badger said sagely, but Toad ignored him and kept pouring.
After handing round all the drinks, Toad raised his glass and cast a sideways glance to the mural of their old stomping-ground, the riverbank, and proclaimed, “Here’s to new beginnings…to Badger & Co!” to which they all replied in unison,
“To Badger & Co!”