Illustration 00003

Brother Willow (left) and Sy Stoneclaw

Gender: Male

Species: Shrew

Place of Origin: Redwall Abbey

Appearance: Very tall, elderly shrew, with long whiskers bristling out every which way from his muzzle. Has blackish-brown fur, grizzling to white, and rather long fingernails. Wears a green, cowled habit belted with a gold cord; golden-brown sandals, and small, round specatacles. Nearly always scowls or sulks, and nearly always has one or more books or scrolls with him.

Personality: Loves Order and control. Cantankerous, Rude, and a know-it-all; has a good heart beneath it all, but sometimes has to overcome his own pride to find it. Is an extremely good scholar.



Brother Willow was born and raised at Redwall Abbey, and took great delight in reading the old records. His passion for learning was exceeded only by his manic desire for a controlled environment; thusly, he created and took on the position of Head Librarian cum Schoolteacher. Knowing he had a good heart deep down, the otherbeasts were not as strict with him as they probably should have been; thusly, he kept the position and ruled his "realm" of books and bookshelves with a fierce paw. Eventually, many creatures feared to enter the Library, and none would dare take anything from it without the express permission of an Abbey Elder.

When the wounded wildcat Sy Stoneclaw staggered into Redwall, most of the creatures immediately recognized her as a goodbeast; Willow, however, vociferously objected to her presence there, as every wildcat he had ever read about was evil. Nothing Sy or any other beast did or said changed his mind; when it became plain Sy was going to stay anyway, Willow made himself purposefully unpleasant to her, becoming more and more enraged as she refused to react in any manner other than cheerful.

When Redwall was threatened by the Ranks of the Shadow and the Krozfoxx, Willow was greatly disturbed; he had not expected his gloom and doom predictions of what would happen to actually come true, not wanting any of his fellow Abbeydwellers to be hurt. During the tense period of waiting, to see what would transpire, an unusually serious Sy cornered Brother Willow. She told him that she had no desire to see anybeast hurt, that she wished she could have been his friend, and that she would voluntarily leave the Abbey if it was really what he wanted. Shaken and unnerved by the confrontation, Willow began to doubt his convictions for the first time.

When the vermin mounted a suprise attack on the Abbey, Willow charged out with the rest of the Abbeydwellers to defend their home; unfortunately, he lost his spectacles in the melee and was rendered practically blind. He managed to blunder his way outside the open Abbey Gates, where he encountered the vixen Zyxxa. She badly wounded him with an arrow; however, before she could fire a kill shot into his head, Sy appeared and rescued the shrew, taking him back to the Abbey. Willow lingered for a few days and then died; his last words were an echo of Sy's wish that they could have been friends, and a plea that his Library would be kept up.

In a touching gesture of compassion, Brother Willow was given a warrior's burial, and a weeping willow tree was planted in his honor over his gravesite. The Redwallers also saw to it that his final wishes were kept, and that his beloved Library endured.

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