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The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter

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Once upon a time there were

four little Rabbits, and their names





and Peter.

They lived with their Mother in a

sand-bank, underneath the root of a

very big fir-tree.

"Now, my dears," said old Mrs.

Rabbit one morning, "you may go into

the fields or down the lane, but don't

go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your

Father had an accident there; he was

put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor."

"Now run along, and don't get into

mischief. I am going out."

Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket

and her umbrella, and went through

the wood to the baker's. She bought a

loaf of brown bread and five currant


Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who

were good little bunnies, went down

the lane to gather blackberries;

But Peter, who was very naughty,

ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's

garden, and squeezed under the gate!

First he ate some lettuces and some

French beans; and then he ate some


And then, feeling rather sick, he

went to look for some parsley.

But round the end of a cucumber

frame, whom should he meet but Mr.


Mr. McGregor was on his hands

and knees planting out young

cabbages, but he jumped up and ran

after Peter, waving a rake and calling

out, "Stop thief."

Peter was most dreadfully

frightened; he rushed all over the

garden, for he had forgotten the way

back to the gate.

He lost one of his shoes among the

cabbages, and the other shoe

amongst the potatoes.

After losing them, he ran on four

legs and went faster, so that I think he

might have got away altogether if he

had not unfortunately run into a

gooseberry net, and got caught by the

large buttons on his jacket. It was a

blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new.

Peter gave himself up for lost, and

shed big tears; but his sobs were

overheard by some friendly sparrows,

who flew to him in great excitement,

and implored him to exert himself.

Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve,

which he intended to pop upon the

top of Peter; but Peter wriggled out

just in time, leaving his jacket behind him.

And rushed into the toolshed, and

jumped into a can. It would have been

a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had

not had so much water in it.

Mr. McGregor was quite sure that

Peter was somewhere in the toolshed,

perhaps hidden underneath a flower-

pot. He began to turn them over

carefully, looking under each.

Presently Peter sneezed--

"Kertyschoo!" Mr. McGregor was after

him in no time,

And tried to put his foot upon

Peter, who jumped out of a window,

upsetting three plants. The window

was too small for Mr. McGregor, and

he was tired of running after Peter. He

went back to his work.

Peter sat down to rest; he was out

of breath and trembling with fright,

and he had not the least idea which

way to go. Also he was very damp

with sitting in that can.

After a time he began to wander

about, going lippity--lippity--not

very fast, and looking all around.

He found a door in a wall; but it

was locked, and there was no room

for a fat little rabbit to squeeze


An old mouse was running in and

out over the stone doorstep, carrying

peas and beans to her family in the

wood. Peter asked her the way to the

gate, but she had such a large pea in

her mouth that she could not answer.

She only shook her head at him. Peter

began to cry.

Then he tried to find his way

straight across the garden, but he

became more and more puzzled.

Presently, he came to a pond where

Mr. McGregor filled his water-cans. A

white cat was staring at some

goldfish; she sat very, very still, but

now and then the tip of her tail

twitched as if it were alive. Peter

thought it best to go away without

speaking to her; he has heard about

cats from his cousin, little Benjamin Bunny.

He went back towards the

toolshed, but suddenly, quite close to

him, he heard the noise of a hoe--scr-

r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter

scuttered underneath the bushes. But

presently, as nothing happened, he

came out, and climbed upon a

wheelbarrow, and peeped over. The

first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor

hoeing onions. His back was turned

towards Peter, and beyond him was

the gate!

Peter got down very quietly off the

wheelbarrow, and started running as

fast as he could go, along a straight

walk behind some black-currant bushes.

Mr. McGregor caught sight of him

at the corner, but Peter did not care.

He slipped underneath the gate, and

was safe at last in the wood outside

the garden.

Mr. McGregor hung up the little

jacket and the shoes for a scare-crow

to frighten the blackbirds.

Peter never stopped running or

looked behind him till he got home to

the big fir-tree.

He was so tired that he flopped

down upon the nice soft sand on the

floor of the rabbit-hole, and shut his

eyes. His mother was busy cooking;

she wondered what he had done with

his clothes. It was the second little

jacket and pair of shoes that Peter

had lost in a fortnight!

I am sorry to say that Peter was not

very well during the evening.

His mother put him to bed, and

made some camomile tea; and she

gave a dose of it to Peter!

"One table-spoonful to be taken at


But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail

had bread and milk and blackberries

for supper.



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