In the first chapter of Wind in the Willows, Mole abandons his spring cleaning and wanders down to the riverbank. There, through a small hole in the opposite bank he spots,
“A brown little face, with whiskers. A grave round face, with the same twinkle in its eye that had first attracted his notice. Small neat ears and thick silky hair.
It was the Water Rat!”
Ratty invites Mole to stay with him, enjoy life on the river and meet his friends, Badger and Toad.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Something about Ratty reminds me of Cleggie from “Last of the Summer Wine.” He is kind, friendly and well adjusted. He has a strong sense of manners and responsibility, so he wants to make sure everyone around him feels comfortable and included. He becomes Mole’s mentor, showing him how to enjoy exploration and new discoveries. He trusts Badger and does his best to guide Toad towards the straight and narrow, but he is usually unsuccessful!