THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail 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."
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 buns.
Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail who were good little bunnies went down the lane together
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
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.
Who flew to him in great excitement and implored him to exert himself.
He rushed into the tool-shed and—
Jumped into a can.
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.
He found a door in a wall; but it was locked and there was no room for a fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath.
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 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 gold-fish; 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.
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 wheel-barrow 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.
Peter never stopped running or looked behind him
Till he got home to the big fir-tree.
Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.
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