The Willows by Algernon Blackwood. The Willows is a novella by English author Algernon Blackwood, originally published as part of his 1907 collection The Listener and Other Stories. Two friends are taking a break from a canoe-trip down the snaking, sinuous Danube River when they discover the corpse of a peasant in the woods. When they return to their canoe the oars are missing. As night sets in, a general creeping sense of unease permeates the wild and rural setting.