If More Kiddie Authors Had Written Books For Adults
The original 1908 version, the one about a Mole and a Water Rat and their friends, including a boisterous, lawbreaking Toad, naturally had to leave out a few details, owing to the certain laws in effect in Britain at the time, most notably those prohibiting sodomy.
But now those have been repealed, so there's nothing to be afraid of! This is The Wind in the Willows with its freak flag flying, the way it was meant to be told! It's still set in the early 1900s, but Mole doesn't really live in a Mole Hole. He's been living a stifling, solitary existence in the closet. One day something in him snaps, and he runs off to the River Bank where, in short order, he cruises and sleeps with the dapper Water Rat. What first appeared to be blind lust rapidly reveals itself as true love, and Mole and Rat become devoted partners and the center of a circle of friends that include the Badger, who retreated from society at the time of the passage of the Sodomy Laws, and Toad, whose flamboyant lifestyle eventually lands him in jail, much like Oscar Wilde.
There are many other adventures, most notably a late-night drug trip (really, what else could the Piper at the Gates of Dawn chapter possibly be about?), but this should have been the pioneering novel about gay life: about love across species and how friends become family and (more misogynistically) how men can build an idyllic community completely without women.