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Title: The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter

Author: Beatrix Potter

Release date: June 1, 1996 [eBook #572]
Most recently updated: February 9, 2024

Language: English

Credits: Charles Keller for Tina using OmniPage Professional OCR software donated by Caere Corporation



By Beatrix Potter






















               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.


               "I'll be at charges for a looking-glass;
               And entertain a score or two of tailors."
               [Richard III]

               My Dear Freda:

               Because you are fond of fairytales, and have been ill, I
               have made you a story all for yourself—a new one that
               nobody has read before.

               And the queerest thing about it is—that I heard it in
               Gloucestershire, and that it is true—at least about the
               tailor, the waistcoat, and the
                              "No more twist!"
               In the time of swords and peri wigs
               and full-skirted coats with flowered
               lappets—when gentlemen wore
               ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of
               paduasoy and taffeta—there lived a
               tailor in Gloucester.

               He sat in the window of a little
               shop in Westgate Street, cross-legged
               on a table from morning till dark.

               All day long while the light lasted
               he sewed and snippetted, piecing out
               his satin, and pompadour, and
               lutestring; stuffs had strange names,
               and were very expensive in the days of
               the Tailor of Gloucester.

               But although he sewed fine silk for
               his neighbours, he himself was very,
               very poor. He cut his coats without
               waste; according to his embroidered
               cloth, they were very small ends and
               snippets that lay about upon the
               table—"Too narrow breadths for
               nought—except waistcoats for mice,"
               said the tailor.

               One bitter cold day near
               Christmastime the tailor began to
               make a coat (a coat of cherry-
               coloured corded silk embroidered
               with pansies and roses) and a cream-
               coloured satin waistcoat for the
               Mayor of Gloucester.
               The tailor worked and worked, and
               he talked to himself: "No breadth at
               all, and cut on the cross; it is no
               breadth at all; tippets for mice and
               ribbons for mobs! for mice!" said the
               Tailor of Gloucester.

               When the snow-flakes came down
               against the small leaded window-
               panes and shut out the light, the tailor
               had done his day's work; all the silk
               and satin lay cut out upon the table.

               There were twelve pieces for the
               coat and four pieces for the waistcoat;
               and there were pocket-flaps and cuffs
               and buttons, all in order. For the
               lining of the coat there was fine
               yellow taffeta, and for the button-
               holes of the waistcoat there was
               cherry-coloured twist. And everything
               was ready to sew together in the
               morning, all measured and
               sufficient—except that there was
               wanting just one single skein of
               cherry-coloured twisted silk.

               The tailor came out of his shop at
               dark. No one lived there at nights but
               little brown mice, and THEY ran in and
               out without any keys!
               For behind the wooden wainscots
               of all the old houses in Gloucester,
               there are little mouse staircases and
               secret trap-doors; and the mice run
               from house to house through those
               long, narrow passages.

               But the tailor came out of his shop
               and shuffled home through the snow.
               And although it was not a big house,
               the tailor was so poor he only rented
               the kitchen.

               He lived alone with his cat; it was
               called Simpkin.

               "Miaw?" said the cat when the
               tailor opened the door, "miaw?"

               The tailor replied: "Simpkin, we
               shall make our fortune, but I am
               worn to a ravelling. Take this groat
               (which is our last fourpence), and,
               Simpkin, take a china pipkin, but a
               penn'orth of bread, a penn'orth of
               milk, and a penn'orth of sausages.
               And oh, Simpkin, with the last penny
               of our fourpence but me one
               penn'orth of cherry-coloured silk. But
               do not lose the last penny of the
               fourpence, Simpkin, or I am undone
               and worn to a thread-paper, for I
               have NO MORE TWIST."
               Then Simpkin again said "Miaw!"
               and took the groat and the pipkin,
               and went out into the dark.

               The tailor was very tired and
               beginning to be ill. He sat down by the
               hearth and talked to himself about
               that wonderful coat.

               "I shall make my fortune—to be
               cut bias—the Mayor of Gloucester is
               to be married on Christmas Day in the
               morning, and he hath ordered a coat
               and an embroidered waistcoat—"

               Then the tailor started; for
               suddenly, interrupting him, from the
               dresser at the other side of the kitchen
               came a number of little noises—

               Tip tap, tip tap, tip tap tip!

               "Now what can that be?" said the
               Tailor of Gloucester, jumping up from
               his chair. The tailor crossed the
               kitchen, and stood quite still beside
               the dresser, listening, and peering
               through his spectacles.

               "This is very peculiar," said the
               Tailor of Gloucester, and he lifted up
               the tea-cup which was upside down.
               Out stepped a little live lady mouse,
               and made a courtesy to the tailor!
               Then she hopped away down off the
               dresser, and under the wainscot.

               The tailor sat down again by the
               fire, warming his poor cold hands.
               But all at once, from the dresser, there
               came other little noises—

               Tip tap, tip tap, tip tap tip!

               "This is passing extraordinary!"
               said the Tailor of Gloucester, and
               turned over another tea-cup, which
               was upside down.

               Out stepped a little gentleman
               mouse, and made a bow to the tailor!

               And out from under tea-cups and
               from under bowls and basins, stepped
               other and more little mice, who
               hopped away down off the dresser
               and under the wainscot.
               The tailor sat down, close over the
               fire, lamenting: "One-and-twenty
               buttonholes of cherry-coloured silk!
               To be finished by noon of Saturday:
               and this is Tuesday evening. Was it
               right to let loose those mice,
               undoubtedly the property of Simpkin?
               Alack, I am undone, for I have no
               more twist!"

               The little mice came out again and
               listened to the tailor; they took notice
               of the pattern of that wonderful coat.
               They whispered to one another about
               the taffeta lining and about little
               mouse tippets.

               And then suddenly they all ran
               away together down the passage
               behind the wainscot, squeaking and
               calling to one another as they ran
               from house to house.

               Not one mouse was left in the
               tailor's kitchen when Simpkin came
               back. He set down the pipkin of milk
               upon the dresser, and looked
               suspiciously at the tea-cups. He
               wanted his supper of little fat mouse!

               "Simpkin," said the tailor, "where is
               my TWIST?"
               But Simpkin hid a little parcel
               privately in the tea-pot, and spit and
               growled at the tailor; and if Simpkin
               had been able to talk, he would have
               asked: "Where is my MOUSE?"

               "Alack, I am undone!" said the
               Tailor of Gloucester, and went sadly
               to bed.

               All that night long Simpkin hunted
               and searched through the kitchen,
               peeping into cupboards and under the
               wainscot, and into the tea-pot where
               he had hidden that twist; but still he
               found never a mouse!

               The poor old tailor was very ill with
               a fever, tossing and turning in his
               four-post bed; and still in his dreams
               he mumbled: "No more twist! no
               more twist!"

               What should become of the cherry-
               coloured coat? Who should come to
               sew it, when the window was barred,
               and the door was fast locked?
               Out-of-doors the market folks went
               trudging through the snow to buy
               their geese and turkeys, and to bake
               their Christmas pies; but there would
               be no dinner for Simpkin and the poor
               old tailor of Gloucester.

               The tailor lay ill for three days and
               nights; and then it was Christmas Eve,
               and very late at night. And still
               Simpkin wanted his mice, and mewed
               as he stood beside the four-post bed.

               But it is in the old story that all the
               beasts can talk in the night between
               Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in
               the morning (though there are very
               few folk that can hear them, or know
               what it is that they say).

               When the Cathedral clock struck
               twelve there was an answer—like an
               echo of the chimes—and Simpkin
               heard it, and came out of the tailor's
               door, and wandered about in the
               From all the roofs and gables and
               old wooden houses in Gloucester
               came a thousand merry voices singing
               the old Christmas rhymes—all the old
               songs that ever I heard of, and some
               that I don't know, like Whittington's

               Under the wooden eaves the
               starlings and sparrows sang of
               Christmas pies; the jackdaws woke up
               in the Cathedral tower; and although
               it was the middle of the night the
               throstles and robins sang; and air was
               quite full of little twittering tunes.

               But it was all rather provoking to
               poor hungry Simpkin.

               From the tailor's ship in Westgate
               came a glow of light; and when
               Simpkin crept up to peep in at the
               window it was full of candles. There
               was a snippeting of scissors, and
               snappeting of thread; and little mouse
               voices sang loudly and gaily:

                         "Four-and-twenty tailors
                         Went to catch a snail,
                         The best man amongst them
                         Durst not touch her tail;
                         She put out her horns
                         Like a little kyloe cow.
                         Run, tailors, run!
                         Or she'll have you all e'en now!"
               Then without a pause the little
               mouse voices went on again:

                         "Sieve my lady's oatmeal,
                         Grind my lady's flour,
                         Put it in a chestnut,
                         Let it stand an hour—"
               "Mew! Mew!" interrupted Simpkin,
               and he scratched at the door. But the
               key was under the tailor's pillow; he
               could not get in.

               The little mice only laughed, and
               tried another tune—

                         "Three little mice sat down to spin,
                         Pussy passed by and she peeped in.
                         What are you at, my fine little men?
                         Making coats for gentlemen.
                         Shall I come in and cut off yours threads?
                         Oh, no, Miss Pussy,
                         You'd bite off our heads!"
               "Mew! scratch! scratch!" scuffled
               Simpkin on the window-sill; while the
               little mice inside sprang to their feet,
               and all began to shout all at once in
               little twittering voices: "No more
               twist! No more twist!" And they
               barred up the window-shutters and
               shut out Simpkin.

               Simpkin came away from the shop
               and went home considering in his
               mind. He found the poor old tailor
               without fever, sleeping peacefully.

               Then Simpkin went on tip-toe and
               took a little parcel of silk out of the
               tea-pot; and looked at it in the
               moonlight; and he felt quite ashamed
               of his badness compared with those
               good little mice!

               When the tailor awoke in the
               morning, the first thing which he saw,
               upon the patchwork quilt, was a skein
               of cherry-coloured twisted silk, and
               beside his bed stood the repentant
               The sun was shining on the snow
               when the tailor got up and dressed,
               and came out into the street with
               Simpkin running before him.

               "Alack," said the tailor, "I have my
               twist; but no more strength—nor
               time—than will serve to make me one
               single buttonhole; for this is
               Christmas Day in the Morning! The
               Mayor of Gloucester shall be married
               by noon—and where is his cherry-
               coloured coat?"

               He unlocked the door of the little
               shop in Westgate Street, and Simpkin
               ran in, like a cat that expects

               But there was no one there! Not
               even one little brown mouse!

               But upon the table—oh joy! the
               tailor gave a shout—there, where he
               had left plain cuttings of silk—there
               lay the most beautiful coat and
               embroidered satin waistcoat that ever
               were worn by a Mayor of Gloucester!
               Everything was finished except just
               one single cherry-coloured buttonhole,
               and where that buttonhole was
               wanting there was pinned a scrap of
               paper with these words—in little
               teeny weeny writing—

                         NO MORE TWIST.
               And from then began the luck of
               the Tailor of Gloucester; he grew quite
               stout, and he grew quite rich.

               He made the most wonderful
               waistcoats for all the rich merchants
               of Gloucester, and for all the fine
               gentlemen of the country round.

               Never were seen such ruffles, or
               such embroidered cuffs and lappets!
               But his buttonholes were the greatest
               triumph of it all.

               The stitches of those buttonholes
               were so neat—SO neat—I wonder
               how they could be stitched by an old
               man in spectacles, with crooked old
               fingers, and a tailor's thimble.

               The stitches of those buttonholes
               were so small—SO small—they looked
               as if they had been made by little


               [A Story for Norah]
               This is a Tale about a tail—a tail
               that belonged to a little red squirrel,
               and his name was Nutkin.

               He had a brother called
               Twinkleberry, and a great many
               cousins: they lived in a wood at the
               edge of a lake.

               In the middle of the lake there is an
               island covered with trees and nut
               bushes; and amongst those trees
               stands a hollow oak-tree, which is the
               house of an owl who is called Old

               One autumn when the nuts were
               ripe, and the leaves on the hazel
               bushes were golden and green—
               Nutkin and Twinkleberry and all the
               other little squirrels came out of the
               wood, and down to the edge of the

               They made little rafts out of twigs,
               and they paddled away over the
               water to Owl Island to gather nuts.
               Each squirrel had a little sack and a
               large oar, and spread out his tail for a

               They also took with them an
               offering of three fat mice as a present
               for Old Brown, and put them down
               upon his door-step.

               Then Twinkleberry and the other
               little squirrels each made a low bow,
               and said politely—

               "Old Mr. Brown, will you
               favour us with permission to
               gather nuts upon your island?"

               But Nutkin was excessively
               impertinent in his manners. He
               bobbed up and down like a little
               red CHERRY, singing—

                    "Riddle me, riddle me, rot-tot-tote!
                    A little wee man, in a red red coat!
                    A staff in his hand, and a stone in his throat;
                    If you'll tell me this riddle, I'll give you a groat."
               Now this riddle is as old as the hills;
               Mr. Brown paid no attention whatever
               to Nutkin.

               He shut his eyes obstinately and
               went to sleep.
               The squirrels filled their little sacks
               with nuts, and sailed away home in
               the evening.

               But next morning they all came
               back again to Owl Island; and
               Twinkleberry and the others brought
               a fine fat mole, and laid it on the
               stone in front of Old Brown's
               doorway, and said—

               "Mr. Brown, will you favour us with
               your gracious permission to gather
               some more nuts?"

               But Nutkin, who had no respect,
               began to dance up and down, tickling
               old Mr. Brown with a NETTLE and

                         "Old Mr. B! Riddle-me-ree!
                         Hitty Pitty within the wall,
                         Hitty Pitty without the wall;
                         If you touch Hitty Pitty,
                         Hitty Pitty will bite you!"
               Mr. Brown woke up suddenly and
               carried the mole into his house.
               He shut the door in Nutkin's face.
               Presently a little thread of blue SMOKE
               from a wood fire came up from the
               top of the tree, and Nutkin peeped
               through the key-hole and sang—

                         "A house full, a hole full!
                         And you cannot gather a bowl-full!"
               The squirrels searched for nuts all
               over the island and filled their little

               But Nutkin gathered oak-apples—
               yellow and scarlet—and sat upon a
               beech-stump playing marbles, and
               watching the door of old Mr. Brown.

               On the third day the squirrels got
               up very early and went fishing; they
               caught seven fat minnows as a
               present for Old Brown.

               They paddled over the lake and
               landed under a crooked chestnut tree
               on Owl Island.
               Twinkleberry and six other little
               squirrels each carried a fat minnow;
               but Nutkin, who had no nice
               manners, brought no present at all.
               He ran in front, singing—

                    "The man in the wilderness said to me,
                    `How may strawberries grow in the sea?'
                    I answered him as I thought good—
                    `As many red herrings as grow in the wood."'
               But old Mr. Brown took no interest
               in riddles—not even when the answer
               was provided for him.

               On the fourth day the squirrels
               brought a present of six fat beetles,
               which were as good as plums in
               PLUM-PUDDING for Old Brown. Each
               beetle was wrapped up carefully in a
               dockleaf, fastened with a pine-needle-

               But Nutkin sang as rudely as ever—

                    "Old Mr. B! riddle-me-ree!
                    Flour of England, fruit of Spain,
                    Met together in a shower of rain;
                    Put in a bag tied round with a string,
                    If you'll tell me this riddle,
                    I'll give you a ring!"
               Which was ridiculous of Nutkin,
               because he had not got any ring to
               give to Old Brown.

               The other squirrels hunted up and
               down the nut bushes; but Nutkin
               gathered robin's pin-cushions off a
               briar bush, and stuck them full of
               On the fifth day the squirrels
               brought a present of wild honey; it
               was so sweet and sticky that they
               licked their fingers as they put it down
               upon the stone. They had stolen it out
               of a bumble BEES' nest on the tippity
               top of the hill.

               But Nutkin skipped up and down,

                    "Hum-a-bum! buzz! buzz! Hum-a-bum buzz!
                         As I went over Tipple-tine
                         I met a flock of bonny swine;
                    Some yellow-nacked, some yellow backed!
                         They were the very bonniest swine
                         That e'er went over the Tipple-tine."
               Old Mr. Brown turned up his eyes
               in disgust at the impertinence of

               But he ate up the honey!

               The squirrels filled their little sacks
               with nuts.

               But Nutkin sat upon a big flat rock,
               and played ninepins with a crab apple
               and green fir-cones.
               On the sixth day, which was
               Saturday, the squirrels came again for
               the last time; they brought a new-laid
               EGG in a little rush basket as a last
               parting present for Old Brown.

               But Nutkin ran in front laughing,
               and shouting—

                    "Humpty Dumpty lies in the beck,
                    With a white counterpane round his neck,
                    Forty doctors and forty wrights,
                    Cannot put Humpty Dumpty to rights!"
               Now old Mr. Brown took an interest
               in eggs; he opened one eye and shut it
               again. But still he did not speak.

               Nutkin became more and more

                    "Old Mr. B! Old Mr. B!
                    Hickamore, Hackamore, on the King's
                         kitchen door;
                    All the King's horses, and all the King's men,
                    Couldn't drive Hickamore, Hackamore,
                    Off the King's kitchen door!"
               Nutkin danced up and down like a
               SUNBEAM; but still Old Brown said
               nothing at all.

               Nutkin began again—

                    "Authur O'Bower has broken his band,
                    He comes roaring up the land!
                    The King of Scots with all his power,
                    Cannot turn Arthur of the Bower!"
               Nutkin made a whirring noise to
               sound like the WIND, and he took a
               running jump right onto the head of
               Old Brown! . . .

               Then all at once there was a
               flutterment and a scufflement and a
               loud "Squeak!"

               The other squirrels scuttered away
               into the bushes.

               When they came back very
               cautiously, peeping round the tree—
               there was Old Brown sitting on his
               door-step, quite still, with his eyes
               closed, as if nothing had happened.

                * * * * * * * *


               This looks like the end of the story;
               but it isn't.
               Old Brown carried Nutkin into his
               house, and held him up by the tail,
               intending to skin him; but Nutkin
               pulled so very hard that his tail broke
               in two, and he dashed up the
               staircase, and escaped out of the attic

               And to this day, if you meet Nutkin
               up a tree and ask him a riddle, he will
               throw sticks at you, and stamp his
               feet and scold, and shout—



               [For the Children of Sawrey
               from Old Mr. Bunny]
               One morning a little rabbit sat on a

               He pricked his ears and listened to
               the trit-trot, trit-trot of a pony.

               A gig was coming along the road; it
               was driven by Mr. McGregor, and
               beside him sat Mrs. McGregor in her
               best bonnet.

               As soon as they had passed, little
               Benjamin Bunny slid down into the
               road, and set off—with a hop, skip,
               and a jump—to call upon his
               relations, who lived in the wood at the
               back of Mr. McGregor's garden.

               That wood was full of rabbit holes;
               and in the neatest, sandiest hole of all
               lived Benjamin's aunt and his
               cousins—Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail,
               and Peter.

               Old Mrs. Rabbit was a widow; she
               earned her living by knitting
               rabbit-wool mittens and muffatees (I
               once bought a pair at a bazaar). She
               also sold herbs, and rosemary tea,
               and rabbit-tobacco (which is what
               we call lavender).
               Little Benjamin did not very much
               want to see his Aunt.

               He came round the back of the fir-
               tree, and nearly tumbled upon the top
               of his Cousin Peter.

               Peter was sitting by himself. He
               looked poorly, and was dressed in a
               red cotton pocket-handkerchief.

               "Peter," said little Benjamin, in a
               whisper, "who has got your clothes?"

               Peter replied, "The scarecrow in Mr.
               McGregor's garden," and described
               how he had been chased about the
               garden, and had dropped his shoes
               and coat.

               Little Benjamin sat down beside his
               cousin and assured him that Mr.
               McGregor had gone out in a gig, and
               Mrs. McGregor also; and certainly for
               the day, because she was wearing her
               best bonnet.
               Peter said he hoped that it would

               At this point old Mrs. Rabbit's voice
               was heard inside the rabbit hole,
               calling: "Cotton-tail! Cotton-tail! fetch
               some more camomile!"

               Peter said he thought he might feel
               better if he went for a walk.

               They went away hand in hand, and
               got upon the flat top of the wall at the
               bottom of the wood. From here they
               looked down into Mr. McGregor's
               garden. Peter's coat and shoes were
               plainly to be seen upon the scarecrow,
               topped with an old tam-o'-shanter of
               Mr. McGregor's.

               Little Benjamin said: "It spoils
               people's clothes to squeeze under a
               gate; the proper way to get in is to
               climb down a pear-tree."

               Peter fell down head first; but it
               was of no consequence, as the bed
               below was newly raked and quite

               It had been sown with lettuces.

               They left a great many odd little
               footmarks all over the bed, especially
               little Benjamin, who was wearing

               Little Benjamin said that the first
               thing to be done was to get back
               Peter's clothes, in order that they
               might be able to use the pocket-

               They took them off the scarecrow.
               There had been rain during the night;
               there was water in the shoes, and the
               coat was somewhat shrunk.

               Benjamin tried on the tam-o'-
               shanter, but it was too big for him.

               Then he suggested that they should
               fill the pocket-handkerchief with
               onions, as a little present for his Aunt.

               Peter did not seem to be enjoying
               himself; he kept hearing noises.
               Benjamin, on the contrary, was
               perfectly at home, and ate a lettuce
               leaf. He said that he was in the habit
               of coming to the garden with his
               father to get lettuces for their Sunday

               (The name of little Benjamin's papa
               was old Mr. Benjamin Bunny.)

               The lettuces certainly were very

               Peter did not eat anything; he said
               he should like to go home. Presently
               he dropped half the onions.

               Little Benjamin said that it was not
               possible to get back up the pear-tree
               with a load of vegetables. He led the
               way boldly towards the other end of
               the garden. They went along a little
               walk on planks, under a sunny, red
               brick wall.
               The mice sat on their doorsteps
               cracking cherry-stones; they winked
               at Peter Rabbit and little Benjamin

               Presently Peter let the pocket-
               handkerchief go again.

               They got amongst flower-pots, and
               frames, and tubs. Peter heard noises
               worse than ever; his eyes were as big
               as lolly-pops!

               He was a step or two in front of his
               cousin when he suddenly stopped.

               This is what those little rabbits saw
               round that corner!

               Little Benjamin took one look, and
               then, in half a minute less than no
               time, he hid himself and Peter and the
               onions underneath a large basket. . . .
               The cat got up and stretched
               herself, and came and sniffed at the

               Perhaps she liked the smell of onions!

               Anyway, she sat down upon the top
               of the basket.

               She sat there for FIVE HOURS.

               I cannot draw you a picture of
               Peter and Benjamin underneath the
               basket, because it was quite dark, and
               because the smell of onions was
               fearful; it made Peter Rabbit and little
               Benjamin cry.

               The sun got round behind the
               wood, and it was quite late in the
               afternoon; but still the cat sat upon
               the basket.

               At length there was a pitter-patter,
               pitter-patter, and some bits of mortar
               fell from the wall above.

               The cat looked up and saw old Mr.
               Benjamin Bunny prancing along the
               top of the wall of the upper terrace.

               He was smoking a pipe of rabbit-
               tobacco, and had a little switch in his

               He was looking for his son.
               Old Mr. Bunny had no opinion
               whatever of cats. He took a
               tremendous jump off the top of the
               wall on to the top of the cat, and
               cuffed it off the basket, and kicked it
               into the greenhouse, scratching off a
               handful of fur.

               The cat was too much surprised to
               scratch back.

               When old Mr. Bunny had driven the
               cat into the greenhouse, he locked the

               Then he came back to the basket
               and took out his son Benjamin by the
               ears, and whipped him with the little

               Then he took out his nephew Peter.

               Then he took out the handkerchief
               of onions, and marched out of the
               When Mr. McGregor returned
               about half an hour later he observed
               several things which perplexed him.

               It looked as though some person
               had been walking all over the garden
               in a pair of clogs—only the footmarks
               were too ridiculously little!

               Also he could not understand how
               the cat could have managed to shut
               herself up INSIDE the greenhouse,
               locking the door upon the OUTSIDE.

               When Peter got home his mother
               forgave him, because she was so glad
               to see that he had found his shoes and
               coat. Cotton-tail and Peter folded up
               the pocket-handkerchief, and old Mrs.
               Rabbit strung up the onions and hung
               them from the kitchen ceiling, with
               the bunches of herbs and the rabbit-


               [For W.M.L.W., the Little Girl
               Who Had the Doll's House]
               Once upon a time there was a very
               beautiful doll's-house; it was red
               brick with white windows, and it had
               real muslin curtains and a front door
               and a chimney.

               It belonged to two Dolls called
               Lucinda and Jane; at least it belonged
               to Lucinda, but she never ordered

               Jane was the Cook; but she never
               did any cooking, because the dinner
               had been bought ready-made, in a
               box full of shavings.

               There were two red lobsters and a
               ham, a fish, a pudding, and some
               pears and oranges.

               They would not come off the plates,
               but they were extremely beautiful.
               One morning Lucinda and Jane had
               gone out for a drive in the doll's
               perambulator. There was no one in
               the nursery, and it was very quiet.
               Presently there was a little scuffling,
               scratching noise in a corner near the
               fireplace, where there was a hole
               under the skirting-board.

               Tom Thumb put out his head for a
               moment, and then popped it in again.
               Tom Thumb was a mouse.

               A minute afterwards, Hunca
               Munca, his wife, put her head out,
               too; and when she saw that there was
               no one in the nursery, she ventured
               out on the oilcloth under the coal-box.

               The doll's-house stood at the other
               side of the fire-place. Tom Thumb
               and Hunca Munca went cautiously
               across the hearthrug. They pushed
               the front door—it was not fast.
               Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca
               went upstairs and peeped into the
               dining-room. Then they squeaked
               with joy!

               Such a lovely dinner was laid out
               upon the table! There were tin
               spoons, and lead knives and forks,
               and two dolly-chairs—all SO

               Tom Thumb set to work at once to
               carve the ham. It was a beautiful
               shiny yellow, streaked with red.

               The knife crumpled up and hurt
               him; he put his finger in his mouth.

               "It is not boiled enough; it is hard.
               You have a try, Hunca Munca."

               Hunca Munca stood up in her
               chair, and chopped at the ham with
               another lead knife.

               "It's as hard as the hams at the
               cheesemonger's," said Hunca Munca.

               The ham broke off the plate with a
               jerk, and rolled under the table.
               "Let it alone," said Tom Thumb;
               "give me some fish, Hunca Munca!"

               Hunca Munca tried every tin spoon
               in turn; the fish was glued to the dish.

               Then Tom Thumb lost his temper.
               He put the ham in the middle of the
               floor, and hit it with the tongs and
               with the shovel—bang, bang, smash,

               The ham flew all into pieces, for
               underneath the shiny paint it was
               made of nothing but plaster!

               Then there was no end to the rage
               and disappointment of Tom Thumb
               and Hunca Munca. They broke up the
               pudding, the lobsters, the pears and
               the oranges.

               As the fish would not come off the
               plate, they put it into the red-hot
               crinkly paper fire in the kitchen; but it
               would not burn either.
               Tom Thumb went up the kitchen
               chimney and looked out at the top—
               there was no soot.

               While Tom Thumb was up the
               chimney, Hunca Munca had another
               disappointment. She found some tiny
               canisters upon the dresser, labelled—
               Rice—Coffee—Sago—but when she
               turned them upside down, there was
               nothing inside except red and blue

               Then those mice set to work to do
               all the mischief they could—especially
               Tom Thumb! He took Jane's clothes
               out of the chest of drawers in her
               bedroom, and he threw them out of
               the top floor window.

               But Hunca Munca had a frugal
               mind. After pulling half the feathers
               out of Lucinda's bolster, she
               remembered that she herself was in
               want of a feather bed.
               With Tom Thumbs's assistance she
               carried the bolster downstairs, and
               across the hearth-rug. It was difficult
               to squeeze the bolster into the mouse-
               hole; but they managed it somehow.

               Then Hunca Munca went back and
               fetched a chair, a book-case, a bird-
               cage, and several small odds and
               ends. The book-case and the bird-
               cage refused to go into the mousehole.

               Hunca Munca left them behind the
               coal-box, and went to fetch a cradle.
               Hunca Munca was just returning
               with another chair, when suddenly
               there was a noise of talking outside
               upon the landing. The mice rushed
               back to their hole, and the dolls came
               into the nursery.

               What a sight met the eyes of Jane
               and Lucinda! Lucinda sat upon the
               upset kitchen stove and stared; and
               Jane leant against the kitchen dresser
               and smiled—but neither of them
               made any remark.

               The book-case and the bird-cage
               were rescued from under the coal-
               box—but Hunca Munca has got the
               cradle, and some of Lucinda's
               She also has some useful pots and
               pans, and several other things.

               The little girl that the doll's-house
               belonged to, said,—"I will get a doll
               dressed like a policeman!"

               But the nurse said,—"I will set a

               So that is the story of the two Bad
               Mice,—but they were not so very very
               naughty after all, because Tom
               Thumb paid for everything he broke.
               He found a crooked sixpence under
               the hearth-rug; and upon Christmas
               Eve, he and Hunca Munca stuffed it
               into one of the stockings of Lucinda
               and Jane.

               And very early every morning—
               before anybody is awake—Hunca
               Munca comes with her dust-pan and
               her broom to sweep the Dollies' house!


               [For the Real
               Little Lucie of Newlands]
               Once upon a time there was a little
               girl called Lucie, who lived at a farm
               called Little-town. She was a good
               little girl—only she was always losing
               her pocket-handkerchiefs!

               One day little Lucie came into the
               farm-yard crying—oh, she did cry so!
               "I've lost my pocket-handkin! Three
               handkins and a pinny! Have YOU seen
               them, Tabby Kitten?"

               The Kitten went on washing her white paws;
               so Lucie asked a speckled hen—

               "Sally Henny-penny, have YOU
               found three pocket-handkins?"

               But the speckled hen ran into a
               barn, clucking—

               "I go barefoot, barefoot, barefoot!"

               And then Lucie asked Cock Robin
               sitting on a twig. Cock Robin looked
               sideways at Lucie with his bright
               black eye, and he flew over a stile and

               Lucie climbed upon the stile and
               looked up at the hill behind Little-
               town—a hill that goes up—up—into
               the clouds as though it had no top!

               And a great way up the hillside she
               thought she saw some white things
               spread upon the grass.
               Lucie scrambled up the hill as fast
               as her short legs would carry her; she
               ran along a steep path-way—up and
               up—until Little-town was right away
               down below—she could have
               dropped a pebble down the chimney!

               Presently she came to a spring,
               bubbling out from the hillside.

               Some one had stood a tin can upon
               a stone to catch the water—but the
               water was already running over, for
               the can was no bigger than an egg-
               cup! And where the sand upon the
               path was wet—there were footmarks
               of a VERY small person.

               Lucie ran on, and on.

               The path ended under a big rock.
               The grass was short and green, and
               there were clothes-props cut from
               bracken stems, with lines of plaited
               rushes, and a heap of tiny clothes
               pins—but no pocket-handkerchiefs!

               But there was something else—a
               door! straight into the hill; and inside
               it some one was singing—

                    "Lily-white and clean, oh!
                    With little frills between, oh!
                    Smooth and hot-red rusty spot
                    Never here be seen, oh!"
               Lucie knocked-once-twice, and
               interrupted the song. A little
               frightened voice called out "Who's

               Lucie opened the door: and what
               do you think there was inside the
               hill?—a nice clean kitchen with a
               flagged floor and wooden beams—
               just like any other farm kitchen. Only
               the ceiling was so low that Lucie's
               head nearly touched it; and the pots
               and pans were small, and so was
               everything there.

               There was a nice hot singey smell;
               and at the table, with an iron in her
               hand, stood a very stout short person
               staring anxiously at Lucie.

               Her print gown was tucked up, and
               she was wearing a large apron over
               her striped petticoat. Her little black
               nose went sniffle, sniffle, snuffle, and
               her eyes went twinkle, twinkle; and
               underneath her cap-where Lucie
               had yellow curls-that little person
               had PRICKLES!

               "Who are you?" said Lucie. "Have
               you seen my pocket-handkins?"
               The little person made a bob-
               curtsey—"Oh yes, if you please'm; my
               name is Mrs. Tiggy-winkle; oh yes if
               you please'm, I'm an excellent clear-
               starcher!" And she took something
               out of the clothesbasket, and spread it
               on the ironing-blanket.

               "What's that thing?" said Lucie-
               "that's not my pocket-handkin?"

               "Oh no, if you please'm; that's a
               little scarlet waist-coat belonging to
               Cock Robin!"

               And she ironed it and folded it, and
               put it on one side.

               Then she took something else off a
               clothes-horse—"That isn't my pinny?"
               said Lucie.

               "Oh no, if you please'm; that's a
               damask table-cloth belonging to
               Jenny Wren; look how it's stained with
               currant wine! It's very bad to wash!"
               said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.

               Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's nose went
               sniffle sniffle snuffle, and her eyes
               went twinkle twinkle; and she fetched
               another hot iron from the fire.
               "There's one of my pocket-
               handkins!" cried Lucie—"and there's
               my pinny!"

               Mrs. Tiggy-winkle ironed it, and
               goffered it, and shook out the frills.

               "Oh that IS lovely!" said Lucie.

               "And what are those long yellow
               things with fingers like gloves?"

               "Oh that's a pair of stockings
               belonging to Sally Henny-penny—look
               how she's worn the heels out with
               scratching in the yard! She'll very soon
               go barefoot!" said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.

               "Why, there's another hankersniff—
               but it isn't mine; it's red?"

               "Oh no, if you please'm; that one
               belongs to old Mrs. Rabbit; and it DID
               so smell of onions! I've had to wash it
               separately, I can't get out that smell."

               "There's another one of mine," said Lucie.
               "What are those funny little white things?"

               "That's a pair of mittens belonging
               to Tabby Kitten; I only have to iron
               them; she washes them herself."

               "There's my last pocket-handkin!"
               said Lucie.

               "And what are you dipping into the
               basin of starch?"

               "They're little dicky shirt-fronts
               belonging to Tom Titmouse—most
               terrible particular!" said Mrs. Tiggy-
               winkle. "Now I've finished my ironing;
               I'm going to air some clothes."

               "What are these dear soft fluffy
               things?" said Lucie.

               "Oh those are woolly coats
               belonging to the little lambs at

               "Will their jackets take off?" asked

               "Oh yes, if you please'm; look at the
               sheep-mark on the shoulder. And
               here's one marked for Gatesgarth,
               and three that come from Little-town.
               They're ALWAYS marked at washing!"
               said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.
               And she hung up all sorts and sizes
               of clothes—small brown coats of
               mice; and one velvety black moleskin
               waist-coat; and a red tail-coat with
               no tail belonging to Squirrel Nutkin;
               and a very much shrunk blue jacket
               belonging to Peter Rabbit; and a
               petticoat, not marked, that had gone
               lost in the washing—and at last the
               basket was empty!

               Then Mrs. Tiggy-winkle made
               tea—a cup for herself and a cup for
               Lucie. They sat before the fire on a
               bench and looked sideways at one
               another. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's hand,
               holding the tea-cup, was very very
               brown, and very very wrinkly with the
               soap-suds; and all through her gown
               and her cap, there were HAIRPINS
               sticking wrong end out; so that Lucie
               didn't like to sit too near her.

               When they had finished tea, they
               tied up the clothes in bundles; and
               Lucie's pocket-handkerchiefs were
               folded up inside her clean pinny, and
               fastened with a silver safety-pin.
               And then they made up the fire
               with turf, and came out and locked
               the door, and hid the key under the

               Then away down the hill trotted
               Lucie and Mrs. Tiggy-winkle with the
               bundles of clothes!

               All the way down the path little
               animals came out of the fern to meet
               them; the very first that they met
               were Peter Rabbit and Benjamin

               And she gave them their nice clean
               clothes; and all the little animals and
               birds were so very much obliged to
               dear Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.

               So that at the bottom of the hill
               when they came to the stile, there was
               nothing left to carry except Lucie's
               one little bundle.
               Lucie scrambled up the stile with
               the bundle in her hand; and then she
               turned to say "Good-night," and to
               thank the washer-woman.—But what
               a VERY odd thing! Mrs. Tiggy-winkle
               had not waited either for thanks or
               for the washing bill!

               She was running running running
               up the hill—and where was her white
               frilled cap? and her shawl? and her
               gown-and her petticoat?

               And HOW small she had grown—
               and HOW brown—and covered with

               Why! Mrs. Tiggy-winkle was
               nothing but a HEDGEHOG!
                * * * * * *

               (Now some people say that little Lucie
               had been asleep upon the stile—but then
               how could she have found three clean
               pocket-handkins and a pinny, pinned with a
               silver safety-pin?

               And besides—I have seen that door into
               the back of the hill called Cat Bells—and
               besides I am very well acquainted with dear
               Mrs. Tiggy-winkle!)


                    Pussy-cat sits by the fire—how should she be fair?
                    In walks the little dog—says "Pussy are you there?
                    How do you do Mistress Pussy? Mistress Pussy, how
                         do you do?"
                    "I thank you kindly, little dog, I fare as well as you!"
                                                       [Old Rhyme]
               Once upon a time there was a
               Pussy-cat called Ribby, who invited a
               little dog called Duchess to tea.

               "Come in good time, my dear
               Duchess," said Ribby's letter, "and we
               will have something so very nice. I am
               baking it in a pie-dish—a pie-dish
               with a pink rim. You never tasted
               anything so good! And YOU shall eat it
               all! I will eat muffins, my dear
               Duchess!" wrote Ribby.

               "I will come very punctually, my
               dear Ribby," wrote Duchess; and then
               at the end she added—"I hope it isn't

               And then she thought that did not
               look quite polite; so she scratched out
               "isn't mouse" and changed it to "I
               hope it will be fine," and she gave her
               letter to the postman.

               But she thought a great deal about
               Ribby's pie, and she read Ribby's letter
               over and over again.
               "I am dreadfully afraid it WILL be
               mouse!" said Duchess to herself—"I
               really couldn't, COULDN'T eat mouse
               pie. And I shall have to eat it, because
               it is a party. And MY pie was going to
               be veal and ham. A pink and white
               pie-dish! and so is mine; just like
               Ribby's dishes; they were both bought
               at Tabitha Twitchit's."

               Duchess went into her larder and took
               the pie off a shelf and looked at it.

               "Oh what a good idea! Why
               shouldn't I rush along and put my pie
               into Ribby's oven when Ribby isn't

               Ribby in the meantime had received
               Duchess's answer, and as soon as she
               was sure that the little dog would
               come—she popped HER pie into the
               oven. There were two ovens, one
               above the other; some other knobs
               and handles were only ornamental
               and not intended to open. Ribby put
               the pie into the lower oven; the door
               was very stiff.

               "The top oven bakes too quickly,"
               said Ribby to herself.
               Ribby put on some coal and swept
               up the hearth. Then she went out
               with a can to the well, for water to fill
               up the kettle.

               Then she began to set the room in
               order, for it was the sitting-room as
               well as the kitchen.

               When Ribby had laid the table she
               went out down the field to the farm,
               to fetch milk and butter.

               When she came back, she peeped
               into the bottom oven; the pie looked
               very comfortable.

               Ribby put on her shawl and bonnet
               and went out again with a basket, to
               the village shop to buy a packet of tea,
               a pound of lump sugar, and a pot of

               And just at the same time, Duchess
               came out of HER house, at the other
               end of the village.

               Ribby met Duchess half-way down
               the street, also carrying a basket,
               covered with a cloth. They only
               bowed to one another; they did not
               speak, because they were going to
               have a party.
               As soon as Duchess had got round
               the corner out of sight—she simply
               ran! Straight away to Ribby's house!

               Ribby went into the shop and
               bought what she required, and came
               out, after a pleasant gossip with
               Cousin Tabitha Twitchit.

               Ribby went on to Timothy Baker's
               and bought the muffins. Then she
               went home.

               There seemed to be a sort of
               scuffling noise in the back passage, as
               she was coming in at the front door.
               But there was nobody there.

               Duchess in the meantime, had
               slipped out at the back door.

               "It is a very odd thing that Ribby's
               pie was NOT in the oven when I put
               mine in! And I can't find it anywhere;
               I have looked all over the house. I put
               MY pie into a nice hot oven at the top.
               I could not turn any of the other
               handles; I think that they are all
               shams," said Duchess, "but I wish I
               could have removed the pie made of
               mouse! I cannot think what she has
               done with it? I heard Ribby coming
               and I had to run out by the back
               Duchess went home and brushed
               her beautiful black coat; and then she
               picked a bunch of flowers in her
               garden as a present for Ribby; and
               passed the time until the clock struck four.

               Ribby—having assured herself by
               careful search that there was really no
               one hiding in the cupboard or in the
               larder—went upstairs to change her dress.

               She came downstairs again, and
               made the tea, and put the teapot on
               the hob. She peeped again into the
               BOTTOM oven, the pie had become a
               lovely brown, and it was steaming hot.

               She sat down before the fire to wait
               for the little dog. "I am glad I used the
               BOTTOM oven," said Ribby, "the top
               one would certainly have been very
               much too hot."

               Very punctually at four o'clock,
               Duchess started to go to the party.

               At a quarter past four to the minute,
               there came a most genteel little tap-tappity.
               "Is Mrs. Ribston at home?" inquired Duchess
               in the porch.
               "Come in! and how do you do, my
               dear Duchess?" cried Ribby. "I hope I
               see you well?"

               "Quite well, I thank you, and how
               do YOU do, my dear Ribby?" said
               Duchess. "I've brought you some
               flowers; what a delicious smell of pie!"

               "Oh, what lovely flowers! Yes, it is
               mouse and bacon!"

               "I think it wants another five minutes,"
               said Ribby. "Just a shade longer; I will
               pour out the tea, while we wait.
               Do you take sugar, my dear Duchess?"

               "Oh yes, please! my dear Ribby; and
               may I have a lump upon my nose?"

               "With pleasure, my dear Duchess."

               Duchess sat up with the sugar on
               her nose and sniffed—

               "How good that pie smells! I do
               love veal and ham—I mean to say
               mouse and bacon—"

               She dropped the sugar in confusion,
               and had to go hunting under the tea-
               table, so did not see which oven Ribby
               opened in order to get out the pie.
               Ribby set the pie upon the table;
               there was a very savoury smell.

               Duchess came out from under the
               table-cloth munching sugar, and sat
               up on a chair.

               "I will first cut the pie for you; I am
               going to have muffin and
               marmalade," said Ribby.

               "I think"—(thought Duchess to
               herself)—"I THINK it would be wiser if
               I helped myself to pie; though Ribby
               did not seem to notice anything when
               she was cutting it. What very small
               fine pieces it has cooked into! I did not
               remember that I had minced it up so
               fine; I suppose this is a quicker oven
               than my own."

               The pie-dish was emptying rapidly!
               Duchess had had four helps already,
               and was fumbling with the spoon.

               "A little more bacon, my dear
               Duchess?" said Ribby.

               "Thank you, my dear Ribby; I was
               only feeling for the patty-pan."

               "The patty-pan? my dear Duchess?"

               "The patty pan that held up the
               pie-crust," said Duchess, blushing
               under her black coat.
               "Oh, I didn't put one in, my dear
               Duchess," said Ribby; "I don't think
               that it is necessary in pies made of

               Duchess fumbled with the spoon—
               "I can't find it!" she said anxiously.

               "There isn't a patty-pan," said
               Ribby, looking perplexed.

               "Yes, indeed, my dear Ribby; where
               can it have gone to?" said Duchess.

               Duchess looked very much
               alarmed, and continued to scoop the
               inside of the pie-dish.

               "I have only four patty-pans, and
               they are all in the cupboard."

               Duchess set up a howl.

               "I shall die! I shall die! I have
               swallowed a patty-pan! Oh, my dear
               Ribby, I do feel so ill!"

               "It is impossible, my dear Duchess;
               there was not a patty-pan."

               "Yes there WAS, my dear Ribby, I am
               sure I have swallowed it!"

               "Let me prop you up with a pillow,
               my dear Duchess; where do you think
               you feel it?"

               "Oh I do feel so ill ALL OVER me, my
               dear Ribby."

               "Shall I run for the doctor?"
               "Oh yes, yes! fetch Dr. Maggotty,
               my dear Ribby: he is a Pie himself, he
               will certainly understand."

               Ribby settled Duchess in an
               armchair before the fire, and went
               out and hurried to the village to look
               for the doctor.

               She found him at the smithy.

               Ribby explained that her guest had
               swallowed a patty-pan.

               Dr. Maggotty hopped so fast that
               Ribby had to run. It was most
               conspicuous. All the village could see
               that Ribby was fetching the doctor.

               But while Ribby had been hunting
               for the doctor—a curious thing had
               happened to Duchess, who had been
               left by herself, sitting before the fire,
               sighing and groaning and feeling very

               "How COULD I have swallowed it!
               such a large thing as a patty-pan!"

               She sat down again, and stared
               mournfully at the grate. The fire
               crackled and danced, and something

               Duchess started! She opened the
               door of the TOP oven;—out came a
               rich steamy flavour of veal and ham,
               and there stood a fine brown pie,—
               and through a hole in the top of the
               pie-crust there was a glimpse of a
               little tin patty-pan!

               Duchess drew a long breath—
               "Then I must have been eating
               MOUSE! . . . No wonder I feel ill. . . .
               But perhaps I should feel worse if I
               had really swallowed a patty-pan!"
               Duchess reflected—"What a very
               awkward thing to have to explain to
               Ribby! I think I will put MY pie in the
               back-yard and say nothing about it.
               When I go home, I will run round and
               take it away." She put it outside the
               back-door, and sat down again by
               the fire, and shut her eyes; when
               Ribby arrived with the doctor, she
               seemed fast asleep.

               "I am feeling very much better,"
               said Duchess, waking up with a jump.

               "I am truly glad to hear it! He has
               brought you a pill, my dear Duchess!"

               "I think I should feel QUITE well if he
               only felt my pulse," said Duchess,
               backing away from the magpie, who
               sidled up with something in his beak.

               "It is only a bread pill, you had
               much better take it; drink a little milk,
               my dear Duchess!"

               "I am feeling very much better, my
               dear Ribby," said Duchess. "Do you
               not think that I had better go home
               before it gets dark?"
               "Perhaps it might be wise, my dear

               Ribby and Duchess said good-bye
               affectionately, and Duchess started
               home. Half-way up the lane she
               stopped and looked back; Ribby had
               gone in and shut her door. Duchess
               slipped through the fence, and ran
               round to the back of Ribby's house,
               and peeped into the yard.

               Upon the roof of the pig-stye sat Dr.
               Maggotty and three jackdaws. The
               jackdaws were eating piecrust, and
               the magpie was drinking gravy out of
               a patty-pan.

               Duchess ran home feeling
               uncommonly silly!

               When Ribby came out for a pailful
               of water to wash up the tea-things,
               she found a pink and white pie-dish
               lying smashed in the middle of the

               Ribby stared with amazement—
               "Did you ever see the like! so there
               really WAS a patty-pan? . . . But MY
               patty-pans are all in the kitchen
               cupboard. Well I never did! . . . Next
               time I want to give a party—I will
               invite Cousin Tabitha Twitchit!"


               [For Stephanie
               from Cousin B.]
               Once upon a time there was a frog
               called Mr. Jeremy Fisher; he lived in a
               little damp house amongst the
               buttercups at the edge of a pond.

               The water was all slippy-sloppy in
               the larder and in the back passage.

               But Mr. Jeremy liked getting his feet
               wet; nobody ever scolded him, and he
               never caught a cold!

               He was quite pleased when he
               looked out and saw large drops of
               rain, splashing in the pond—
               "I will get some worms and go
               fishing and catch a dish of minnows
               for my dinner," said Mr. Jeremy
               Fisher. "If I catch more than five fish, I
               will invite my friends Mr. Alderman
               Ptolemy Tortoise and Sir Isaac
               Newton. The Alderman, however,
               eats salad."

               Mr. Jeremy put on a mackintosh,
               and a pair of shiny galoshes; he took
               his rod and basket, and set off with
               enormous hops to the place where he
               kept his boat.

               The boat was round and green, and
               very like the other lily-leaves. It was
               tied to a water-plant in the middle of
               the pond.
               Mr. Jeremy took a reed pole, and
               pushed the boat out into open water.
               "I know a good place for minnows,"
               said Mr. Jeremy Fisher.

               Mr. Jeremy stuck his pole into the
               mud and fastened the boat to it.

               Then he settled himself cross-
               legged and arranged his fishing
               tackle. He had the dearest little red
               float. His rod was a tough stalk of
               grass, his line was a fine long white
               horse-hair, and he tied a little
               wriggling worm at the end.

               The rain trickled down his back,
               and for nearly an hour he stared at
               the float.

               "This is getting tiresome, I think I
               should like some lunch," said Mr.
               Jeremy Fisher.
               He punted back again amongst the
               water-plants, and took some lunch
               out of his basket.

               "I will eat a butterfly sandwich,
               and wait till the shower is over," said
               Mr. Jeremy Fisher.

               A great big water-beetle came up
               underneath the lily leaf and tweaked
               the toe of one of his galoshes.

               Mr. Jeremy crossed his legs up
               shorter, out of reach, and went on
               eating his sandwich.

               Once or twice something moved
               about with a rustle and a splash
               amongst the rushes at the side of the

               "I trust that is not a rat," said Mr.
               Jeremy Fisher; "I think I had better get
               away from here."
               Mr. Jeremy shoved the boat out
               again a little way, and dropped in the
               bait. There was a bite almost directly;
               the float gave a tremendous bobbit!

               "A minnow! a minnow! I have him
               by the nose!" cried Mr. Jeremy Fisher,
               jerking up his rod.

               But what a horrible surprise!
               Instead of a smooth fat minnow, Mr.
               Jeremy landed little Jack Sharp, the
               stickleback, covered with spines!

               The stickleback floundered about
               the boat, pricking and snapping until
               he was quite out of breath. Then he
               jumped back into the water.
               And a shoal of other little fishes put
               their heads out, and laughed at Mr.
               Jeremy Fisher.

               And while Mr. Jeremy sat
               disconsolately on the edge of his
               boat—sucking his sore fingers and
               peering down into the water—a MUCH
               worse thing happened; a really
               FRIGHTFUL thing it would have been, if
               Mr. Jeremy had not been wearing a

               A great big enormous trout came
               up—ker-pflop-p-p-p! with a splash—
               and it seized Mr. Jeremy with a snap,
               "Ow! Ow! Ow!"—and then it turned
               and dived down to the bottom of the
               But the trout was so displeased
               with the taste of the mackintosh, that
               in less than half a minute it spat him
               out again; and the only thing it
               swallowed was Mr. Jeremy's galoshes.

               Mr. Jeremy bounced up to the
               surface of the water, like a cork and
               the bubbles out of a soda water
               bottle; and he swam with all his
               might to the edge of the pond.

               He scrambled out on the first bank
               he came to, and he hopped home
               across the meadow with his
               mackintosh all in tatters.
               "What a mercy that was not a
               pike!" said Mr. Jeremy Fisher. "I have
               lost my rod and basket; but it does
               not much matter, for I am sure I
               should never have dared to go fishing

               He put some sticking plaster on his
               fingers, and his friends both came to
               dinner. He could not offer them fish,
               but he had something else in his

               Sir Isaac Newton wore his black
               and gold waistcoat.
               And Mr. Alderman Ptolemy
               Tortoise brought a salad with him in a
               string bag.

               And instead of a nice dish of
               minnows, they had a roasted
               grasshopper with lady-bird sauce,
               which frogs consider a beautiful treat;
               but I think it must have been nasty!


               This is a fierce bad Rabbit; look at
               his savage whiskers and his claws and
               his turned-up tail.

               This is a nice gentle Rabbit. His
               mother has given him a carrot.

               The bad Rabbit would like some
               He doesn't say "Please." He takes it!

               And he scratches the good Rabbit
               very badly.

               The good Rabbit creeps away and
               hides in a hole. It feels sad.
               This is a man with a gun.

               He sees something sitting on a
               bench. He thinks it is a very funny

               He comes creeping up behind the
               And then he shoots—BANG!

               This is what happens—

               But this is all he finds on the bench
               when he rushes up with his gun.
               The good Rabbit peeps out of its
               hole . . .

               . . . and it sees the bad Rabbit
               tearing past—without any tail or


               This is a Pussy called Miss Moppet;
               she thinks she has heard a mouse!

               This is the Mouse peeping out
               behind the cupboard and making
               fun of Miss Moppet. He is not afraid
               of a kitten.

               This is Miss Moppet jumping just
               too late; she misses the Mouse and
               hits her own head.
               She thinks it is a very hard

               The Mouse watches Miss Moppet
               from the top of the cupboard.

               Miss Moppet ties up her head in a
               duster and sits before the fire.
               The Mouse thinks she is looking
               very ill. He comes sliding down the

               Miss Moppet looks worse and
               worse. The Mouse comes a little

               Miss Moppet holds her poor head in
               her paws and looks at him through a
               hole in the duster. The Mouse comes
               VERY close.
               And then all of a sudden—Miss
               Moppet jumps upon the Mouse!

               And because the Mouse has teased
               Miss Moppet—Miss Moppet thinks she
               will tease the Mouse, which is not at
               all nice of Miss Moppet.

               She ties him up in the duster and
               tosses it about like a ball.
               But she forgot about that hole in
               the duster; and when she untied it—
               there was no Mouse!

               He has wriggled out and run away;
               and he is dancing a jig on top of the


               [Dedicated to All Pickles,
               —Especially to Those That Get upon My Garden Wall]
               Once upon a time there were three
               little kittens, and their names were
               Mittens, Tom Kitten, and Moppet.

               They had dear little fur coats of
               their own; and they tumbled about
               the doorstep and played in the dust.

               But one day their mother—Mrs.
               Tabitha Twitchit—expected friends to
               tea; so she fetched the kittens indoors,
               to wash and dress them, before the
               fine company arrived.

               First she scrubbed their faces (this
               one is Moppet).
               Then she brushed their fur (this
               one is Mittens).

               Then she combed their tails and
               whiskers (this is Tom Kitten).

               Tom was very naughty, and he

               Mrs. Tabitha dressed Moppet and
               Mittens in clean pinafores and
               tuckers; and then she took all sorts of
               elegant uncomfortable clothes out of
               a chest of drawers, in order to dress
               up her son Thomas.
               Tom Kitten was very fat, and he
               had grown; several buttons burst off.
               His mother sewed them on again.

               When the three kittens were ready,
               Mrs. Tabitha unwisely turned them
               out into the garden, to be out of the
               way while she made hot buttered

               "Now keep your frocks clean,
               children! You must walk on your hind
               legs. Keep away from the dirty ash-
               pit, and from Sally Henny Penny, and
               from the pigsty and the Puddle-

               Moppet and Mittens walked down
               the garden path unsteadily. Presently
               they trod upon their pinafores and fell
               on their noses.

               When they stood up there were
               several green smears!
               "Let us climb up the rockery and sit
               on the garden wall," said Moppet.

               They turned their pinafores back to
               front and went up with a skip and a
               jump; Moppet's white tucker fell
               down into the road.

               Tom Kitten was quite unable to
               jump when walking upon his hind
               legs in trousers. He came up the
               rockery by degrees, breaking the ferns
               and shedding buttons right and left.

               He was all in pieces when he
               reached the top of the wall.

               Moppet and Mittens tried to pull
               him together; his hat fell off, and the
               rest of his buttons burst.
               While they were in difficulties, there
               was a pit pat, paddle pat! and the
               three Puddle-ducks came along the
               hard high road, marching one behind
               the other and doing the goose step—
               pit pat, paddle pat! pit pat, waddle

               They stopped and stood in a row
               and stared up at the kittens. They had
               very small eyes and looked surprised.
               Then the two duck-birds, Rebeccah
               and Jemima Puddle-duck, picked up
               the hat and tucker and put them on.
               Mittens laughed so that she fell off
               the wall. Moppet and Tom descended
               after her; the pinafores and all the
               rest of Tom's clothes came off on the
               way down.

               "Come! Mr. Drake Puddle-duck,"
               said Moppet. "Come and help us to
               dress him! Come and button up

               Mr. Drake Puddle-duck advanced
               in a slow sideways manner and
               picked up the various articles.

               But he put them on HIMSELF! They
               fitted him even worse than Tom Kitten.

               "It's a very fine morning!" said Mr.
               Drake Puddle-duck.
               And he and Jemima and Rebeccah
               Puddle-duck set off up the road,
               keeping step—pit pat, paddle pat! pit
               pat, waddle pat!

               Then Tabitha Twitchit came down
               the garden and found her kittens on
               the wall with no clothes on.

               She pulled them off the wall,
               smacked them, and took them back
               to the house.

               "My friends will arrive in a minute,
               and you are not fit to be seen; I am
               affronted," said Mrs. Tabitha
               She sent them upstairs; and I am
               sorry to say she told her friends that
               they were in bed with the measles—
               which was not true.

               Quite the contrary; they were not in bed:
               NOT in the least.

               Somehow there were very extra—
               ordinary noises overhead, which
               disturbed the dignity and repose of
               the tea party.

               And I think that some day I shall
               have to make another, larger book, to
               tell you more about Tom Kitten!
               As for the Puddle-ducks—they
               went into a pond.

               The clothes all came off directly,
               because there were no buttons.

               And Mr. Drake Puddle-duck, and
               Jemima and Rebeccah, have been
               looking for them ever since.


               [A Farmyard Tale for
               Ralph and Betsy]
               What a funny sight it is to see a
               brood of ducklings with a hen!

               Listen to the story of Jemima
               Puddle-duck, who was annoyed
               because the farmer's wife would not
               let her hatch her own eggs.

               Her sister-in-law, Mrs. Rebeccah
               Puddle-duck, was perfectly willing to
               leave the hatching to someone else—
               "I have not the patience to sit on a
               nest for twenty-eight days; and no
               more have you, Jemima. You would
               let them go cold; you know you

               "I wish to hatch my own eggs; I will
               hatch them all by myself," quacked
               Jemima Puddle-duck.

               She tried to hide her eggs; but they
               were always found and carried off.

               Jemima Puddle-duck became quite
               desperate. She determined to make a
               nest right away from the farm.
               She set off on a fine spring
               afternoon along the cart road that
               leads over the hill.

               She was wearing a shawl and a
               poke bonnet.

               When she reached the top of the
               hill, she saw a wood in the distance.

               She thought that it looked a safe
               quiet spot.

               Jemima Puddle-duck was not much
               in the habit of flying. She ran downhill
               a few yards flapping her shawl, and
               then she jumped off into the air.
               She flew beautifully when she had
               got a good start.

               She skimmed along over the
               treetops until she saw an open place
               in the middle of the wood, where the
               trees and brushwood had been

               Jemima alighted rather heavily and
               began to waddle about in search of a
               convenient dry nesting place. She
               rather fancied a tree stump amongst
               some tall foxgloves.

               But—seated upon the stump, she
               was startled to find an elegantly
               dressed gentleman reading a
               newspaper. He had black prick ears
               and sandy colored whiskers.

               "Quack?" said Jemima Puddle-
               duck, with her head and her bonnet
               on the one side—"Quack?"

               The gentleman raised his eyes
               above his newspaper and looked
               curiously at Jemima—

               "Madam, have you lost your way?"
               said he. He had a long bushy tail
               which he was sitting upon, as the
               stump was somewhat damp.

               Jemima thought him mighty civil
               and handsome. She explained that she
               had not lost her way, but that she was
               trying to find a convenient dry nesting
               "Ah! is that so? Indeed!" said the
               gentleman with sandy whiskers,
               looking curiously at Jemima. He
               folded up the newspaper and put it in
               his coattail pocket.

               Jemima complained of the
               superfluous hen.

               "Indeed! How interesting! I wish I
               could meet with that fowl. I would
               teach it to mind its own business!

               "But as to a nest—there is no
               difficulty: I have a sackful of feathers
               in my woodshed. No, my dear
               madam, you will be in nobody's way.
               You may sit there as long as you like,"
               said the bushy long-tailed gentleman.

               He led the way to a very retired,
               dismal-looking house amongst the

               It was built of faggots and turf, and
               there were two broken pails, one on
               top of another, by way of a chimney.

               "This is my summer residence; you
               would not find my earth—my winter
               house—so convenient," said the
               hospitable gentleman.

               There was a tumbledown shed at
               the back of the house, made of old
               soap boxes. The gentleman opened
               the door and showed Jemima in.
               The shed was almost quite full of
               feathers—it was almost suffocating;
               but it was comfortable and very soft.

               Jemima Puddle-duck was rather
               surprised to find such a vast quantity
               of feathers. But it was very
               comfortable; and she made a nest
               without any trouble at all.

               When she came out, the sandy-
               whiskered gentleman was sitting on a
               log reading the newspaper—at least
               he had it spread out, but he was
               looking over the top of it.

               He was so polite that he seemed
               almost sorry to let Jemima go home
               for the night. He promised to take
               great care of her nest until she came
               back again the next day.

               He said he loved eggs and
               ducklings; he should be proud to see a
               fine nestful in his woodshed.

               Jemima Puddle-duck came every
               afternoon; she laid nine eggs in the
               nest. They were greeny white and very
               large. The foxy gentleman admired
               them immensely. He used to turn
               them over and count them when
               Jemima was not there.

               At last Jemima told him that she
               intended to begin to sit next day—"and
               I will bring a bag of corn with me, so
               that I need never leave my nest until
               the eggs are hatched. They might catch
               cold," said the conscientious Jemima.
               "Madam, I beg you not to trouble
               yourself with a bag; I will provide
               oats. But before you commence your
               tedious sitting, I intend to give you a
               treat. Let us have a dinner party all to

               "May I ask you to bring up some
               herbs from the farm garden to make
               a savory omelet? Sage and thyme, and
               mint and two onions, and some
               parsley. I will provide lard for the
               stuff—lard for the omelet," said the
               hospitable gentleman with sandy

               Jemima Puddle-duck was a
               simpleton: not even the mention of
               sage and onions made her suspicious.

               She went round the farm garden,
               nibbling off snippets of all the
               different sorts of herbs that are used
               for stuffing roast duck.

               And she waddled into the kitchen
               and got two onions out of a basket.

               The collie dog Kep met her coming
               out, "What are you doing with those
               onions? Where do you go every
               afternoon by yourself, Jemima

               Jemima was rather in awe of the
               collie; she told him the whole story.

               The collie listened, with his wise
               head on one side; he grinned when
               she described the polite gentleman
               with sandy whiskers.
               He asked several questions about
               the wood and about the exact position
               of the house and shed.

               Then he went out, and trotted
               down the village. He went to look for
               two foxhound puppies who were out
               at walk with the butcher.

               Jemima Puddle-duck went up the
               cart road for the last time, on a sunny
               afternoon. She was rather burdened
               with bunches of herbs and two onions
               in a bag.

               She flew over the wood, and
               alighted opposite the house of the
               bushy long-tailed gentleman.

               He was sitting on a log; he sniffed
               the air and kept glancing uneasily
               round the wood. When Jemima
               alighted he quite jumped.

               "Come into the house as soon as
               you have looked at your eggs. Give me
               the herbs for the omelet. Be sharp!"

               He was rather abrupt. Jemima
               Puddle-duck had never heard him
               speak like that.

               She felt surprised and uncomfortable.

               While she was inside she heard
               pattering feet round the back of the
               shed. Someone with a black nose
               sniffed at the bottom of the door, and
               them locked it.

               Jemima became much alarmed.

               A moment afterward there were
               most awful noises—barking, baying,
               growls and howls, squealing and

               And nothing more was ever seen of
               that foxy-whiskered gentleman.

               Presently Kep opened the door of
               the shed and let out Jemima Puddle-

               Unfortunately the puppies rushed
               in and gobbled up all the eggs before
               he could stop them.

               He had a bite on his ear, and both
               the puppies were limping.
               Jemima Puddle-duck was escorted
               home in tears on account of those

               She laid some more in June, and she
               was permitted to keep them herself:
               but only four of them hatched.

               Jemima Puddle-duck said that it
               was because of her nerves; but she
               had always been a bad sitter.


               [In Remembrance of "Sammy,"
               the Intelligent Pink-Eyed Representative of
               a Persecuted (But Irrepressible) Race.
               An Affectionate Little Friend,
               and Most Accomplished Thief!]
               Once upon a time there was an old
               cat, called Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit, who
               was an anxious parent. She used to
               lose her kittens continually, and
               whenever they were lost they were
               always in mischief!

               On baking day she determined to
               shut them up in a cupboard.

               She caught Moppet and Mittens,
               but she could not find Tom.

               Mrs. Tabitha went up and down all
               over the house, mewing for Tom
               Kitten. She looked in the pantry under
               the staircase, and she searched the
               best spare bedroom that was all
               covered up with dust sheets. She went
               right upstairs and looked into the
               attics, but she could not find him

               It was an old, old house, full of
               cupboards and passages. Some of the
               walls were four feet thick, and there
               used to be queer noises inside them,
               as if there might be a little secret
               staircase. Certainly there were odd
               little jagged doorways in the wainscot,
               and things disappeared at night—
               especially cheese and bacon.

               Mrs. Tabitha became more and
               more distracted and mewed

               While their mother was searching
               the house, Moppet and Mittens had
               got into mischief.
               The cupboard door was not locked,
               so they pushed it open and came out.

               They went straight to the dough
               which was set to rise in a pan before
               the fire.

               They patted it with their little soft
               paws—"Shall we make dear little
               muffins?" said Mittens to Moppet.

               But just at that moment somebody
               knocked at the front door, and
               Moppet jumped into the flour barrel
               in a fright.

               Mittens ran away to the dairy and
               hid in an empty jar on the stone shelf
               where the milk pans stand.
               The visitor was a neighbor, Mrs.
               Ribby; she had called to borrow some

               Mr. Tabitha came downstairs
               mewing dreadfully—"Come in,
               Cousin Ribby, come in, and sit ye
               down! I'm in sad trouble, Cousin
               Ribby," said Tabitha, shedding tears.
               "I've lost my dear son Thomas; I'm
               afraid the rats have got him." She
               wiped her eyes with her apron.

               "He's a bad kitten, Cousin Tabitha;
               he made a cat's cradle of my best
               bonnet last time I came to tea. Where
               have you looked for him?"

               "All over the house! The rats are too
               many for me. What a thing it is to
               have an unruly family!" said Mrs.
               Tabitha Twitchit.

               "I'm not afraid of rats; I will help
               you to find him; and whip him, too!
               What is all that soot in the fender?"

               "The chimney wants sweeping—
               Oh, dear me, Cousin Ribby—now
               Moppet and Mittens are gone!

               "They have both got out of the
               Ribby and Tabitha set to work to
               search the house thoroughly again.
               They poked under the beds with
               Ribby's umbrella and they rummaged
               in cupboards. They even fetched a
               candle and looked inside a clothes
               chest in one of the attics. They could
               not find anything, but once they
               heard a door bang and somebody
               scuttered downstairs.

               "Yes, it is infested with rats," said
               Tabitha tearfully. "I caught seven
               young ones out of one hole in the back
               kitchen, and we had them for dinner
               last Saturday. And once I saw the old
               father rat—an enormous old rat—
               Cousin Ribby. I was just going to jump
               upon him, when he showed his yellow
               teeth at me and whisked down the

               "The rats get upon my nerves,
               Cousin Ribby," said Tabitha.

               Ribby and Tabitha searched and
               searched. They both heard a curious
               roly-poly noise under the attic floor.
               But there was nothing to be seen.

               They returned to the kitchen.
               "Here's one of your kittens at least,"
               said Ribby, dragging Moppet out of
               the flour barrel.
               They shook the flour off her and set
               her down on the kitchen floor. She
               seemed to be in a terrible fright.

               "Oh! Mother, Mother," said
               Moppet, "there's been an old woman
               rat in the kitchen, and she's stolen
               some of the dough!"

               The two cats ran to look at the
               dough pan. Sure enough there were
               marks of little scratching fingers, and
               a lump of dough was gone!

               "Which way did she go, Moppet?"

               But Moppet had been too much
               frightened to peep out of the barrel

               Ribby and Tabitha took her with
               them to keep her safely in sight, while
               they went on with their search.

               They went into the dairy.

               The first thing they found was
               Mittens, hiding in an empty jar.

               They tipped over the jar, and she
               scrambled out.

               "Oh, Mother, Mother!" said
               "Oh! Mother, Mother, there has
               been an old man rat in the dairy—a
               dreadful 'normous big rat, Mother;
               and he's stolen a pat of butter and the
               rolling pin."

               Ribby and Tabitha looked at one

               "A rolling pin and butter! Oh, my
               poor son Thomas!" exclaimed
               Tabitha, wringing her paws.

               "A rolling pin?" said Ribby. "Did we
               not hear a roly-poly noise in the attic
               when we were looking into that

               Ribby and Tabitha rushed upstairs
               again. Sure enough the roly-poly noise
               was still going on quite distinctly
               under the attic floor.

               "This is serious, Cousin Tabitha,"
               said Ribby. "We must send for John
               Joiner at once, with a saw."

               Now, this is what had been
               happening to Tom Kitten, and it
               shows how very unwise it is to go up a
               chimney in a very old house, where a
               person does not know his way, and
               where there are enormous rats.
               Tom Kitten did not want to be shut
               up in a cupboard. When he saw that
               his mother was going to bake, he
               determined to hide.

               He looked about for a nice
               convenient place, and he fixed upon
               the chimney.

               The fire had only just been lighted,
               and it was not hot; but there was a
               white choky smoke from the green
               sticks. Tom Kitten got upon the fender
               and looked up. It was a big old-
               fashioned fireplace.

               The chimney itself was wide
               enough inside for a man to stand up
               and walk about. So there was plenty
               of room for a little Tom Cat.

               He jumped right up into the
               fireplace, balancing himself upon the
               iron bar where the kettle hangs.

               Tom Kitten took another big jump
               off the bar and landed on a ledge high
               up inside the chimney, knocking down
               some soot into the fender.
               Tom Kitten coughed and choked
               with the smoke; he could hear the
               sticks beginning to crackle and burn
               in the fireplace down below. He made
               up his mind to climb right to the top,
               and get out on the slates, and try to
               catch sparrows.

               "I cannot go back. If I slipped I
               might fall in the fire and singe my
               beautiful tail and my little blue

               The chimney was a very big old-
               fashioned one. It was built in the days
               when people burnt logs of wood upon
               the hearth.

               The chimney stack stood up above
               the roof like a little stone tower, and
               the daylight shone down from the top,
               under the slanting slates that kept out
               the rain.

               Tom Kitten was getting very
               frightened! He climbed up, and up,
               and up.

               Then he waded sideways through
               inches of soot. He was like a little
               sweep himself.
               It was most confusing in the dark.
               One flue seemed to lead into another.

               There was less smoke, but Tom
               Kitten felt quite lost.

               He scrambled up and up; but
               before he reached the chimney top he
               came to a place where somebody had
               loosened a stone in the wall. There
               were some mutton bones lying about.

               "This seems funny," said Tom
               Kitten. "Who has been gnawing bones
               up here in the chimney? I wish I had
               never come! And what a funny smell?
               It is something like mouse, only
               dreadfully strong. It makes me
               sneeze," said Tom Kitten.

               He squeezed through the hole in
               the wall and dragged himself along a
               most uncomfortably tight passage
               where there was scarcely any light.

               He groped his way carefully for
               several yards; he was at the back of
               the skirting board in the attic, where
               there is a little mark * in the picture.
               All at once he fell head over heels in
               the dark, down a hole, and landed on
               a heap of very dirty rags.

               When Tom Kitten picked himself up
               and looked about him, he found
               himself in a place that he had never
               seen before, although he had lived all
               his life in the house. It was a very
               small stuffy fusty room, with boards,
               and rafters, and cobwebs, and lath
               and plaster.

               Opposite to him—as far away as he
               could sit—was an enormous rat.

               "What do you mean by tumbling
               into my bed all covered with smuts?"
               said the rat, chattering his teeth.

               "Please, sir, the chimney wants
               sweeping," said poor Tom Kitten.

               "Anna Maria! Anna Maria!"
               squeaked the rat. There was a
               pattering noise and an old woman rat
               poked her head round a rafter.
               All in a minute she rushed upon
               Tom Kitten, and before he knew what
               was happening. . .

               . . . his coat was pulled off, and he
               was rolled up in a bundle, and tied
               with string in very hard knots.

               Anna Maria did the tying. The old
               rat watched her and took snuff. When
               she had finished, they both sat staring
               at him with their mouths open.

               "Anna Maria," said the old man rat
               (whose name was Samuel Whiskers),
               "Anna Maria, make me a kitten
               dumpling roly-poly pudding for my

               "It requires dough and a pat of
               butter and a rolling pin," said Anna
               Maria, considering Tom Kitten with
               her head on one side.

               "No," said Samuel Whiskers, "make
               it properly, Anna Maria, with

               "Nonsense! Butter and dough,"
               replied Anna Maria.
               The two rats consulted together for
               a few minutes and then went away.

               Samuel Whiskers got through a
               hole in the wainscot and went boldly
               down the front staircase to the dairy
               to get the butter. He did not meet

               He made a second journey for the
               rolling pin. He pushed it in front of
               him with his paws, like a brewer's
               man trundling a barrel.

               He could hear Ribby and Tabitha
               talking, but they were too busy
               lighting the candle to look into the

               They did not see him.

               Anna Maria went down by way of
               skirting board and a window shutter
               to the kitchen to steal the dough.

               She borrowed a small saucer and
               scooped up the dough with her paws.

               She did not observe Moppet.
               While Tom Kitten was left alone
               under the floor of the attic, he
               wriggled about and tried to mew for

               But his mouth was full of soot and
               cobwebs, and he was tied up in such
               very tight knots, he could not make
               anybody hear him.

               Except a spider who came out of a
               crack in the ceiling and examined the
               knots critically, from a safe distance.

               It was a judge of knots because it
               had a habit of tying up unfortunate
               bluebottles. It did not offer to assist

               Tom Kitten wriggled and squirmed
               until he was quite exhausted.

               Presently the rats came back and
               set to work to make him into a
               dumpling. First they smeared him
               with butter, and then they rolled him
               in the dough.

               "Will not the string be very
               indigestible, Anna Maria?" inquired
               Samuel Whiskers.

               Anna Maria said she thought that it
               was of no consequence; but she
               wished that Tom Kitten would hold
               his head still, as it disarranged the
               pastry. She laid hold of his ears.
               Tom Kitten bit and spit, and
               mewed and wriggled; and the rolling
               pin went roly-poly, roly; roly-poly,
               roly. The rats each held an end.

               "His tail is sticking out! You did not
               fetch enough dough, Anna Maria."

               "I fetched as much as I could
               carry," replied Anna Maria.

               "I do not think"—said Samuel
               Whiskers, pausing to take a look at
               Tom Kitten—"I do NOT think it will be
               a good pudding. It smells sooty."

               Anna Maria was about to argue the
               point when all at once there began to
               be other sounds up above—the
               rasping noise of a saw, and the noise
               of a little dog, scratching and yelping!

               The rats dropped the rolling pin
               and listened attentively.

               "We are discovered and interrupted,
               Anna Maria; let us collect our
               property—and other people's—and
               depart at once.

               "I fear that we shall be obliged to
               leave this pudding.

               "But I am persuaded that the knots
               would have proved indigestible,
               whatever you may urge to the

               "Come away at once and help me
               to tie up some mutton bones in a
               counterpane," said Anna Maria. "I
               have got half a smoked ham hidden in
               the chimney."
               So it happened that by the time
               John Joiner had got the plank up—
               there was nobody here under the floor
               except the rolling pin and Tom Kitten
               in a very dirty dumpling!

               But there was a strong smell of
               rats; and John Joiner spent the rest of
               the morning sniffing and whining,
               and wagging his tail, and going round
               and round with his head in the hole
               like a gimlet.

               Then he nailed the plank down
               again and put his tools in his bag, and
               came downstairs.

               The cat family had quite recovered.
               They invited him to stay to dinner.

               The dumpling had been peeled off
               Tom Kitten and made separately into
               a bag pudding, with currants in it to
               hide the smuts.

               They had been obliged to put Tom
               Kitten into a hot bath to get the butter

               John Joiner smelt the pudding; but
               he regretted that he had not time to
               stay to dinner, because he had just
               finished making a wheelbarrow for
               Miss Potter, and she had ordered two
               hen coops.
               And when I was going to the post
               late in the afternoon—I looked up the
               land from the corner, and I saw Mr.
               Samuel Whiskers and his wife on the
               run, with big bundles on a little
               wheelbarrow, which looked very
               much like mine.

               They were just turning in at the
               gate to the barn of Farmer Potatoes.

               Samuel Whiskers was puffing and
               out of breath. Anna Maria was still
               arguing in shrill tones.

               She seemed to know her way, and
               she seemed to have a quantity of

               I am sure I never gave her leave to
               borrow my wheelbarrow!

               They went into the barn and
               hauled their parcels with a bit of
               string to the top of the haymow.

               After that, there were no more rats
               for a long time at Tabitha Twitchit's.
               As for Farmer Potatoes, he has been
               driven nearly distracted. There are
               rats, and rats, and rats in his barn!
               They eat up the chicken food, and
               steal the oats and bran, and make
               holes in the meal bags.

               And they are all descended from
               Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Whiskers—
               children and grandchildren and

               There is no end to them!

               Moppet and Mittens have grown up
               into very good rat-catchers.

               They go out rat-catching in the
               village, and they find plenty of
               employment. They charge so much a
               dozen and earn their living very

               They hang up the rats' tails in a
               row on the barn door, to show how
               many they have caught—dozens and
               dozens of them.
               But Tom Kitten has always been
               afraid of a rat; he never durst face
               anything that is bigger than—

               A Mouse.


               [For All Little Friends of
               Mr. McGregor and Peter and Benjamin]
               It is said that the effect of eating
               too much lettuce is "soporific."

               I have never felt sleepy after eating
               lettuces; but then I am not a

               They certainly had a very soporific
               effect upon the Flopsy Bunnies!

               When Benjamin Bunny grew up,
               he married his Cousin Flopsy.
               They had a large family, and they
               were very improvident and cheerful.

               I do not remember the separate
               names of their children; they were
               generally called the "Flopsy Bunnies."

               As there was not always quite
               enough to eat,—Benjamin used to
               borrow cabbages from Flopsy's
               brother, Peter Rabbit, who kept a
               nursery garden.
               Sometimes Peter Rabbit had no
               cabbages to spare.

               When this happened, the Flopsy
               Bunnies went across the field to a
               rubbish heap, in the ditch outside
               Mr. McGregor's garden.

               Mr. McGregor's rubbish heap
               was a mixture. There were jam
               pots and paper bags, and mountains
               of chopped grass from the
               mowing machine (which always
               tasted oily), and some rotten
               vegetable marrows and an old boot
               or two. One day—oh joy!—there
               were a quantity of overgrown
               lettuces, which had "shot" into
               The Flopsy Bunnies simply stuffed
               themselves with lettuces. By degrees,
               one after another, they were overcome
               with slumber, and lay down in the
               mown grass.

               Benjamin was not so much
               overcome as his children. Before
               going to sleep he was sufficiently
               wide awake to put a paper bag
               over his head to keep off the flies.

               The little Flopsy Bunnies slept
               delightfully in the warm sun.
               From the lawn beyond the garden
               came the distant clacketty sound
               of the mowing machine. The blue-
               bottles buzzed about the wall,
               and a little old mouse picked over
               the rubbish among the jam pots.

               (I can tell you her name, she
               was called Thomasina Tittle-
               mouse, a woodmouse with a long
               She rustled across the paper
               bag, and awakened Benjamin

               The mouse apologized profusely,
               and said that she knew
               Peter Rabbit.

               While she and Benjamin were
               talking, close under the wall, they
               heard a heavy tread above their
               heads; and suddenly Mr. McGregor
               emptied out a sackful of
               lawn mowings right upon the top
               of the sleeping Flopsy Bunnies!
               Benjamin shrank down under his
               paper bag. The mouse hid in a
               jam pot.
               The little rabbits smiled sweetly
               in their sleep under the shower of
               grass; they did not awake because
               the lettuces had been so soporific.

               They dreamt that their mother
               Flopsy was tucking them up in a
               hay bed.

               Mr. McGregor looked down
               after emptying his sack. He saw
               some funny little brown tips of
               ears sticking up through the lawn
               mowings. He stared at them for
               some time.

               Presently a fly settled on one of
               them and it moved.

               Mr. McGregor climbed down on
               to the rubbish heap—

               "One, two, three, four! five! six
               leetle rabbits!" said he as he
               dropped them into his sack. The
               Flopsy Bunnies dreamt that their
               mother was turning them over in
               bed. They stirred a little in their
               sleep, but still they did not wake
               Mr. McGregor tied up the sack
               and left it on the wall.

               He went to put away the mowing

               While he was gone, Mrs. Flopsy
               Bunny (who had remained at
               home) came across the field.

               She looked suspiciously at the
               sack and wondered where everybody

               Then the mouse came out of her
               jam pot, and Benjamin took the
               paper bag off his head, and they
               told the doleful tale.

               Benjamin and Flopsy were in
               despair, they could not undo the

               But Mrs. Tittlemouse was a
               resourceful person. She nibbled a
               hole in the bottom corner of the
               The little rabbits were pulled
               out and pinched to wake them.

               Their parents stuffed the empty
               sack with three rotten vegetable
               marrows, an old blackingbrush
               and two decayed turnips.

               Then they all hid under a bush
               and watched for Mr. McGregor.

               Mr. McGregor came back and
               picked up the sack, and carried it

               He carried it hanging down, as
               if it were rather heavy.

               The Flopsy Bunnies followed at
               a safe distance.
               They watched him go into
               his house.

               And then they crept up to
               the window to listen.

               Mr. McGregor threw down the
               sack on the stone floor in a way
               that would have been extremely
               painful to the Flopsy Bunnies, if
               they had happened to have been
               inside it.

               They could hear him drag his
               chair on the flags, and chuckle—

               "One, two, three, four, five, six
               leetle rabbits!" said Mr. McGregor.
               "Eh? What's that? What have
               they been spoiling now?" enquired
               Mrs. McGregor.

               "One, two, three, four, five, six
               leetle fat rabbits!" repeated Mr.
               McGregor, counting on his fingers
               —"one, two, three—"

               "Don't you be silly: what do you
               mean, you silly old man?"

               "In the sack! one, two, three,
               four, five, six!" replied Mr. McGregor.

               (The youngest Flopsy Bunny got
               upon the windowsill.)

               Mrs. McGregor took hold of the
               sack and felt it. She said she could
               feel six, but they must be OLD rabbits,
               because they were so hard
               and all different shapes.

               "Not fit to eat; but the skins will
               do fine to line my old cloak."

               "Line your old cloak?" shouted
               Mr. McGregor—"I shall sell them
               and buy myself baccy!"

               "Rabbit tobacco! I shall skin
               them and cut off their heads."
               Mrs. McGregor untied the
               sack and put her hand inside.

               When she felt the vegetables
               she became very very angry.
               She said that Mr. McGregor
               had "done it a purpose."

               And Mr. McGregor was very
               angry too. One of the rotten
               marrows came flying through
               the kitchen window, and hit
               the youngest Flopsy Bunny.

               It was rather hurt.
               Then Benjamin and Flopsy
               thought that it was time to go

               So Mr. McGregor did not get his
               tobacco, and Mrs. McGregor did
               not get her rabbit skins.

               But next Christmas Thomasina
               Tittlemouse got a present of
               enough rabbit wool to make herself
               a cloak and a hood, and a
               handsome muff and a pair of
               warm mittens.


               Little Book]

               Once upon a time there was
               a woodmouse, and her name
               was Mrs. Tittlemouse.

               She lived in a bank under a hedge.

               Such a funny house! There
               were yards and yards of sandy
               passages, leading to store-
               rooms and nut cellars and
               seed cellars, all amongst the
               roots of the hedge.
               There was a kitchen, a parlor,
               a pantry, and a larder.

               Also, there was Mrs. Tittle-
               mouse's bedroom, where she
               slept in a little box bed!

               Mrs. Tittlemouse was a most
               terribly tidy particular little
               mouse, always sweeping and
               dusting the soft sandy floors.

               Sometimes a beetle lost its way
               in the passages.

               "Shuh! shuh! little dirty feet!"
               said Mrs. Tittlemouse, clattering
               her dustpan.
               And one day a little old woman
               ran up and down in a red spotty

               "Your house is on fire, Mother
               Ladybird! Fly away home to your

               Another day, a big fat spider
               came in to shelter from the rain.

               "Beg pardon, is this not Miss

               "Go away, you bold bad spider!
               Leaving ends of cobweb all over
               my nice clean house!"

               She bundled the spider out at a

               He let himself down the hedge
               with a long thin bit of string.
               Mrs. Tittlemouse went on her
               way to a distant storeroom, to
               fetch cherrystones and thistle-
               down seed for dinner.

               All along the passage she
               sniffed, and looked at the floor.

               "I smell a smell of honey; is it
               the cowslips outside, in the hedge?
               I am sure I can see the marks of
               little dirty feet."

               Suddenly round a corner, she
               met Babbitty Bumble—"Zizz,
               Bizz, Bizzz!" said the bumble bee.

               Mrs. Tittlemouse looked at her
               severely. She wished that she had
               a broom.

               "Good-day, Babbitty Bumble; I
               should be glad to buy some bees-
               wax. But what are you doing
               down here? Why do you always
               come in at a window, and say,
               Zizz, Bizz, Bizzz?" Mrs. Tittle-
               mouse began to get cross.
               "Zizz, Wizz, Wizzz!" replied
               Babbitty Bumble in a peevish
               squeak. She sidled down a passage,
               and disappeared into a
               storeroom which had been used
               for acorns.

               Mrs. Tittlemouse had eaten the
               acorns before Christmas; the
               storeroom ought to have been

               But it was full of untidy dry

               Mrs. Tittlemouse began to pull out the
               moss. Three or four other bees put
               their heads out, and buzzed fiercely.

               "I am not in the habit of letting
               lodgings; this is an intrusion!"
               said Mrs. Tittlemouse.
               "I will have them turned out
               —" "Buzz! Buzz! Buzzz!"—"I
               wonder who would help me?"
               "Bizz, Wizz, Wizzz!"

               —"I will not have Mr. Jackson;
               he never wipes his feet."
               Mrs. Tittlemouse decided to
               leave the bees till after dinner.

               When she got back to the parlor,
               she heard some one coughing
               in a fat voice; and there sat Mr.
               Jackson himself.

               He was sitting all over a
               small rocking chair, twiddling his
               thumbs and smiling, with his feet
               on the fender.

               He lived in a drain below the
               hedge, in a very dirty wet ditch.

               "How do you do, Mr. Jackson?
               Deary me, you have got
               very wet!"

               "Thank you, thank you,
               thank you, Mrs. Tittlemouse!
               I'll sit awhile and dry myself,"
               said Mr. Jackson.

               He sat and smiled, and the
               water dripped off his coat
               tails. Mrs. Tittlemouse went
               round with a mop.
               He sat such a while that he had
               to be asked if he would take some

               First she offered him cherry-
               stones. "Thank you, thank you,
               Mrs. Tittlemouse! No teeth, no
               teeth, no teeth!" said Mr. Jackson.

               He opened his mouth most
               unnecessarily wide; he certainly had
               not a tooth in his head.

               Then she offered him thistle-
               down seed—"Tiddly, widdly,
               widdly! Pouff, pouff, puff." said
               Mr. Jackson. He blew the thistle-
               down all over the room.

               "Thank you, thank you, thank
               you, Mrs. Tittlemouse! Now what
               I really—REALLY should like—
               would be a little dish of honey!"
               "I am afraid I have not got
               any, Mr. Jackson!" said Mrs.

               "Tiddly, widdly, widdly,
               Mrs. Tittlemouse!" said the
               smiling Mr. Jackson, "I can SMELL it;
               that is why I came to call."

               Mr. Jackson rose ponderously
               from the table, and began
               to look into the cupboards.

               Mrs. Tittlemouse followed him with
               a dishcloth, to wipe his large
               wet footmarks off the parlor floor.

               When he had convinced himself
               that there was no honey in the
               cupboards, he began to walk
               down the passage.

               "Indeed, indeed, you will stick
               fast, Mr. Jackson!"

               "Tiddly, widdly, widdly, Mrs.
               First he squeezed into the pantry.

               "Tiddly, widdly, widdly? No
               honey? No honey, Mrs. Tittlemouse?"

               There were three creepy-crawly
               people hiding in the plate rack.
               Two of them got away; but the
               littlest one he caught.

               Then he squeezed into the larder.
               Miss Butterfly was tasting the
               sugar; but she flew away out of
               the window.

               "Tiddly, widdly, widdly, Mrs.
               Tittlemouse; you seem to have
               plenty of visitors!"

               "And without any invitation!"
               said Mrs. Thomasina Tittlemouse.
               They went along the sandy
               passage—"Tiddly, widdly—" "Buzz!
               Wizz! Wizz!"

               He met Babbitty round a corner,
               and snapped her up, and put
               her down again.

               "I do not like bumble bees. They
               are all over bristles," said Mr.
               Jackson, wiping his mouth with
               his coat sleeve.

               "Get out, you nasty old toad!" shrieked Babbitty Bumble.

               "I shall go distracted!" scolded Mrs. Tittlemouse.

               She shut herself up in the nut
               cellar while Mr. Jackson pulled out
               the bees-nest. He seemed to have
               no objection to stings.

               When Mrs. Tittlemouse ventured
               to come out—everybody
               had gone away.

               But the untidiness was something
               dreadful—"Never did I see
               such a mess—smears of honey;
               and moss, and thistledown—and
               marks of big and little dirty feet—
               all over my nice clean house!"
               She gathered up the moss
               and the remains of the bees-

               Then she went out and
               fetched some twigs, to partly
               close up the front door.

               "I will make it too small for
               Mr. Jackson!"

               She fetched soft soap, and
               flannel, and a new scrubbing
               brush from the storeroom.
               But she was too tired to do any
               more. First she fell asleep in
               her chair, and then she went
               to bed.

               "Will it ever be tidy again?"
               said poor Mrs. Tittlemouse.
               Next morning she got up
               very early and began a spring
               cleaning which lasted a fort-

               She swept, and scrubbed,
               and dusted; and she rubbed
               up the furniture with bees-
               wax, and polished her little tin

               When it was all beautifully
               neat and clean, she gave a
               party to five other little mice,
               without Mr. Jackson.

               He smelt the party and
               came up the bank, but he
               could not squeeze in at the
               So they handed him out acorn cupfuls of
               honeydew through the window,
               and he was not at all offended.

               He sat outside in the sun, and said—
               "Tiddly, widdly, widdly! Your very
               good health, Mrs. Tittlemouse!"


               [For Many Unknown Little Friends,
               Including Monica]
               Once upon a time there was a
               little fat comfortable grey squirrel,
               called Timmy Tiptoes. He had a
               nest thatched with leaves in the
               top of a tall tree; and he had a
               little squirrel wife called Goody.

               Timmy Tiptoes sat out, enjoying
               the breeze; he whisked his tail and
               chuckled—"Little wife Goody, the
               nuts are ripe; we must lay up a
               store for winter and spring."
               Goody Tiptoes was busy pushing
               moss under the thatch—"The nest
               is so snug, we shall be sound
               asleep all winter." "Then we shall
               wake up all the thinner, when
               there is nothing to eat in spring-
               time," replied prudent Timothy.
               When Timmy and Goody
               Tiptoes came to the nut
               thicket, they found other
               squirrels were there already.

               Timmy took off his jacket
               and hung it on a twig; they
               worked away quietly by themselves.

               Every day they made several
               journeys and picked quantities
               of nuts. They carried them
               away in bags, and stored
               them in several hollow
               stumps near the tree where
               they had built their nest.
               When these stumps were full,
               they began to empty the bags into
               a hole high up a tree, that had
               belonged to a woodpecker; the nuts
               rattled down—down—down inside.

               "How shall you ever get them
               out again? It is like a money box!"
               said Goody.

               "I shall be much thinner before
               springtime, my love," said Timmy
               Tiptoes, peeping into the hole.

               They did collect quantities—
               because they did not lose them!
               Squirrels who bury their nuts in
               the ground lose more than half,
               because they cannot remember
               the place.

               The most forgetful squirrel in
               the wood was called Silvertail. He
               began to dig, and he could not
               remember. And then he dug again
               and found some nuts that did not
               belong to him; and there was a
               fight. And other squirrels began to
               dig,—the whole wood was in
               Unfortunately, just at this time
               a flock of little birds flew by, from
               bush to bush, searching for green
               caterpillars and spiders. There
               were several sorts of little birds,
               twittering different songs.

               The first one sang—"Who's bin
               digging-up MY nuts? Who's-been-
               digging-up MY nuts?"

               And another sang—"Little bita
               bread and-NO-cheese! Little bit-a-
               bread an'-NO-cheese!"

               The squirrels followed and listened.
               The first little bird flew into
               the bush where Timmy and Goody
               Tiptoes were quietly tying up their
               bags, and it sang—"Who's-bin
               digging-up MY nuts? Who's been
               digging-up MY-nuts?"

               Timmy Tiptoes went on with
               his work without replying; indeed,
               the little bird did not expect an
               answer. It was only singing its
               natural song, and it meant nothing
               at all.
               But when the other squirrels
               heard that song, they rushed upon
               Timmy Tiptoes and cuffed and
               scratched him, and upset his bag
               of nuts. The innocent little bird
               which had caused all the mischief,
               flew away in a fright!

               Timmy rolled over and over,
               and then turned tail and fled
               towards his nest, followed by
               a crowd of squirrels shouting—
               "Who's-been digging-up MY-nuts?"

               They caught him and dragged
               him up the very same tree, where
               there was the little round hole,
               and they pushed him in. The hole
               was much too small for Timmy
               Tiptoes' figure. They squeezed
               him dreadfully, it was a wonder
               they did not break his ribs. "We
               will leave him here till he confesses,"
               said Silvertail Squirrel and
               he shouted into the hole—"Who's-
               been-digging-up MY-nuts?"
               Timmy Tiptoes made no
               reply; he had tumbled down
               inside the tree, upon half a
               peck of nuts belonging to
               himself. He lay quite stunned and

               Goody Tiptoes picked up the
               nut bags and went home. She
               made a cup of tea for Timmy; but
               he didn't come and didn't come.

               Goody Tiptoes passed a lonely
               and unhappy night. Next morning
               she ventured back to the nut
               bushes to look for him; but the
               other unkind squirrels drove her

               She wandered all over the
               wood, calling—

               "Timmy Tiptoes! Timmy Tip-
               toes! Oh, where is Timmy Tiptoes?"
               In the meantime Timmy Tiptoes
               came to his senses. He found
               himself tucked up in a little moss
               bed, very much in the dark, feeling
               sore; it seemed to be under
               ground. Timmy coughed and
               groaned, because his ribs hurted
               him. There was a chirpy noise,
               and a small striped Chipmunk
               appeared with a night light, and
               hoped he felt better?

               It was most kind to Timmy Tiptoes;
               it lent him its nightcap; and
               the house was full of provisions.

               The Chipmunk explained that it
               had rained nuts through the top of
               the tree—"Besides, I found a few
               buried!" It laughed and chuckled
               when it heard Timmy's story.
               While Timmy was confined to
               bed, it 'ticed him to eat quantities
               —"But how shall I ever get out
               through that hole unless I thin
               myself? My wife will be anxious!"
               "Just another nut—or two nuts;
               let me crack them for you," said
               the Chipmunk. Timmy Tiptoes
               grew fatter and fatter!
               Now Goody Tiptoes had set to
               work again by herself. She did not
               put any more nuts into the woodpecker's
               hole, because she had always
               doubted how they could be
               got out again. She hid them under
               a tree root; they rattled down,
               down, down. Once when Goody
               emptied an extra big bagful, there
               was a decided squeak; and next
               time Goody brought another bagful,
               a little striped Chipmunk
               scrambled out in a hurry.

               "It is getting perfectly full-up
               downstairs; the sitting room is
               full, and they are rolling along the
               passage; and my husband, Chippy
               Hackee, has run away and left me.
               What is the explanation of these
               showers of nuts?"

               "I am sure I beg your pardon; I
               did not know that anybody lived
               here," said Mrs. Goody Tiptoes;
               "but where is Chippy Hackee? My
               husband, Timmy Tiptoes, has run
               away too." "I know where Chippy
               is; a little bird told me," said Mrs.
               Chippy Hackee.
               She led the way to the woodpecker's
               tree, and they listened at
               the hole.

               Down below there was a noise
               of nutcrackers, and a fat squirrel
               voice and a thin squirrel voice
               were singing together—

                    "My little old man and I fell out,
                    How shall we bring this matter about?
                    Bring it about as well as you can,
                    And get you gone, you little old man!"
               "You could squeeze in, through
               that little round hole," said Goody
               Tiptoes. "Yes, I could," said the
               Chipmunk, "but my husband,
               Chippy Hackee, bites!"

               Down below there was a noise
               of cracking nuts and nibbling; and
               then the fat squirrel voice and the
               thin squirrel voice sang—

                    "For the diddlum day
                    Day diddle durn di!
                    Day diddle diddle dum day!"
               Then Goody peeped in at the
               hole, and called down—"Timmy
               Tiptoes! Oh fie, Timmy Tiptoes!"
               And Timmy replied, "Is that you,
               Goody Tiptoes? Why, certainly!"

               He came up and kissed Goody
               through the hole; but he was so fat
               that he could not get out.

               Chippy Hackee was not too fat,
               but he did not want to come; he
               stayed down below and chuckled.

               And so it went on for a fort-
               night; till a big wind blew off
               the top of the tree, and opened
               up the hole and let in the rain.

               Then Timmy Tiptoes came
               out, and went home with an
               But Chippy Hackee continued
               to camp out for another
               week, although it was

               At last a large bear came
               walking through the wood.
               Perhaps he also was looking
               for nuts; he seemed to be
               sniffing around.
               Chippy Hackee went home
               in a hurry!

               And when Chippy Hackee
               got home, he found he had
               caught a cold in his head; and
               he was more uncomfortable
               And now Timmy and
               Goody Tiptoes keep their nut
               store fastened up with a little

               And whenever that little
               bird sees the Chipmunks, he
               up MY-nuts? Who's been dig-
               ging-up MY-nuts?" But nobody
               ever answers!


               [For William Francis of Ulva—Someday!]

               I have made many books about
               well-behaved people. Now, for a
               change, I am going to make a story
               about two disagreeable people,
               called Tommy Brock and Mr. Tod.

               Nobody could call Mr. Tod
               "nice." The rabbits could not bear
               him; they could smell him half a
               mile off. He was of a wandering
               habit and he had foxy whiskers;
               they never knew where he would be

               One day he was living in a stick-
               house in the coppice [grove], causing
               terror to the family of old Mr.
               Benjamin Bouncer. Next day he
               moved into a pollard willow near
               the lake, frightening the wild ducks
               and the water rats.

               In winter and early spring he
               might generally be found in an
               earth amongst the rocks at the top
               of Bull Banks, under Oatmeal Crag.

               He had half a dozen houses, but
               he was seldom at home.

               The houses were not always
               empty when Mr. Tod moved OUT;
               because sometimes Tommy Brock
               moved IN; (without asking leave).

               Tommy Brock was a short bristly
               fat waddling person with a grin; he
               grinned all over his face. He was
               not nice in his habits. He ate wasp
               nests and frogs and worms; and he
               waddled about by moonlight, digging
               things up.

               His clothes were very dirty; and
               as he slept in the daytime, he
               always went to bed in his boots.
               And the bed which he went to bed
               in was generally Mr. Tod's.

               Now Tommy Brock did occasionally
               eat rabbit pie; but it was only
               very little young ones occasionally,
               when other food was really scarce.
               He was friendly with old Mr.
               Bouncer; they agreed in disliking
               the wicked otters and Mr. Tod; they
               often talked over that painful subject.

               Old Mr. Bouncer was stricken in
               years. He sat in the spring sunshine
               outside the burrow, in a muffler;
               smoking a pipe of rabbit tobacco.

               He lived with his son Benjamin
               Bunny and his daughter-in-law
               Flopsy, who had a young family.
               Old Mr. Bouncer was in charge of
               the family that afternoon, because
               Benjamin and Flopsy had gone out.

               The little rabbit babies were just
               old enough to open their blue eyes
               and kick. They lay in a fluffy bed of
               rabbit wool and hay, in a shallow
               burrow, separate from the main
               rabbit hole. To tell the truth—old
               Mr. Bouncer had forgotten them.

               He sat in the sun, and conversed
               cordially with Tommy Brock, who
               was passing through the wood with
               a sack and a little spud which he
               used for digging, and some mole
               traps. He complained bitterly
               about the scarcity of pheasants'
               eggs, and accused Mr. Tod of
               poaching them. And the otters had
               cleared off all the frogs while he
               was asleep in winter—"I have not
               had a good square meal for a fort-
               night, I am living on pig-nuts. I
               shall have to turn vegetarian and
               eat my own tail!" said Tommy

               It was not much of a joke, but it
               tickled old Mr. Bouncer; because
               Tommy Brock was so fat and
               stumpy and grinning.

               So old Mr. Bouncer laughed; and
               pressed Tommy Brock to come inside,
               to taste a slice of seed cake
               and "a glass of my daughter Flopsy's
               cowslip wine." Tommy Brock
               squeezed himself into the rabbit
               hole with alacrity.

               Then old Mr. Bouncer smoked
               another pipe, and gave Tommy
               Brock a cabbage leaf cigar which
               was so very strong that it made
               Tommy Brock grin more than ever;
               and the smoke filled the burrow.
               Old Mr. Bouncer coughed and
               laughed; and Tommy Brock puffed
               and grinned.

               And Mr. Bouncer laughed and
               coughed, and shut his eyes because
               of the cabbage smoke ..........

               When Flopsy and Benjamin came
               back old Mr. Bouncer woke up.
               Tommy Brock and all the young
               rabbit babies had disappeared!

               Mr. Bouncer would not confess
               that he had admitted anybody into
               the rabbit hole. But the smell of
               badger was undeniable; and there
               were round heavy footmarks in the
               sand. He was in disgrace; Flopsy
               wrung her ears, and slapped him.

               Benjamin Bunny set off at once
               after Tommy Brock.

               There was not much difficulty in
               tracking him; he had left his foot-
               mark and gone slowly up the winding
               footpath through the wood. Here he
               had rooted up the moss and wood
               sorrel. There he had dug quite a
               deep hole for dog darnel; and had
               set a mole trap. A little stream
               crossed the way. Benjamin skipped
               lightly over dry-foot; the badger's
               heavy steps showed plainly in the mud.

               The path led to a part of the
               thicket where the trees had been
               cleared; there were leafy oak
               stumps, and a sea of blue hyacinths
               —but the smell that made Benjamin
               stop was NOT the smell of flowers!

               Mr. Tod's stick house was before
               him; and, for once, Mr. Tod was at
               home. There was not only a foxy
               flavor in proof of it—there was
               smoke coming out of the broken
               pail that served as a chimney.

               Benjamin Bunny sat up, staring,
               his whiskers twitched. Inside the
               stick house somebody dropped a
               plate, and said something. Benjamin
               stamped his foot, and bolted.

               He never stopped till he came to
               the other side of the wood. Apparently
               Tommy Brock had turned the
               same way. Upon the top of the wall
               there were again the marks of

               badger; and some ravellings of a
               sack had caught on a briar.

               Benjamin climbed over the wall,
               into a meadow. He found another
               mole trap newly set; he was still
               upon the track of Tommy Brock. It
               was getting late in the afternoon.
               Other rabbits were coming out to
               enjoy the evening air. One of them
               in a blue coat, by himself, was busily
               hunting for dandelions.—
               "Cousin Peter! Peter Rabbit, Peter
               Rabbit!" shouted Benjamin Bunny.

               The blue coated rabbit sat up
               with pricked ears—"Whatever is
               the matter, Cousin Benjamin? Is it
               a cat? or John Stoat Ferret?"

               "No, no, no! He's bagged my
               family—Tommy Brock—in a sack
               —have you seen him?"

               "Tommy Brock? how many,
               Cousin Benjamin?"

               "Seven, Cousin Peter, and all of
               them twins! Did he come this way?
               Please tell me quick!"

               "Yes, yes; not ten minutes since
               ... he said they were CATERPILLARS;
               I did think they were kicking rather
               hard, for caterpillars."

               "Which way? which way has he
               gone, Cousin Peter?"

               "He had a sack with something
               live in it; I watched him set a mole
               trap. Let me use my mind, Cousin
               Benjamin; tell me from the beginning,"
               Benjamin did so.

               "My Uncle Bouncer has displayed
               a lamentable want of discretion for
               his years;" said Peter reflectively,
               "but there are two hopeful
               circumstances. Your family is alive and
               kicking; and Tommy Brock has had
               refreshments. He will probably go
               to sleep, and keep them for breakfast."
               "Which way?" "Cousin Benjamin,
               compose yourself. I know
               very well which way. Because Mr.
               Tod was at home in the stick house
               he has gone to Mr. Tod's other
               house, at the top of Bull Banks. I
               partly know, because he offered to
               leave any message at Sister Cottontail's;
               he said he would be passing."
               (Cottontail had married a black
               rabbit, and gone to live on the hill.)

               Peter hid his dandelions, and
               accompanied the afflicted parent,
               who was all of atwitter. They
               crossed several fields and began to
               climb the hill; the tracks of Tommy
               Brock were plainly to be seen. He
               seemed to have put down the sack
               every dozen yards, to rest.

               "He must be very puffed; we are
               close behind him, by the scent.
               What a nasty person!" said Peter.

               The sunshine was still warm and
               slanting on the hill pastures. Half
               way up, Cottontail was sitting in
               her doorway, with four or five half-
               grown little rabbits playing about
               her; one black and the others

               Cottontail had seen Tommy
               Brock passing in the distance.
               Asked whether her husband was at
               home she replied that Tommy
               Brock had rested twice while she
               watched him.

               He had nodded, and pointed to
               the sack, and seemed doubled up
               with laughing.—"Come away,
               Peter; he will be cooking them;
               come quicker!" said Benjamin

               They climbed up and up;—"He
               was at home; I saw his black ears
               peeping out of the hole." "They live
               too near the rocks to quarrel with
               their neighbors. Come on, Cousin

               When they came near the wood
               at the top of Bull Banks, they went
               cautiously. The trees grew amongst
               heaped up rocks; and there,
               beneath a crag, Mr. Tod had made
               one of his homes. It was at the top
               of a steep bank; the rocks and
               bushes overhung it. The rabbits
               crept up carefully, listening and

               This house was something between
               a cave, a prison, and a tumbledown
               pigsty. There was a strong
               door, which was shut and locked.

               The setting sun made the window
               panes glow like red flame; but
               the kitchen fire was not alight. It
               was neatly laid with dry sticks, as
               the rabbits could see, when they
               peeped through the window.

               Benjamin sighed with relief.

               But there were preparations
               upon the kitchen table which made
               him shudder. There was an immense
               empty pie dish of blue willow
               pattern, and a large carving
               knife and fork, and a chopper.

               At the other end of the table was
               a partly unfolded tablecloth, a
               plate, a tumbler, a knife and fork,
               salt cellar, mustard and a chair—
               in short, preparations for one
               person's supper.

               No person was to be seen, and
               no young rabbits. The kitchen was
               empty and silent; the clock had run
               down. Peter and Benjamin flattened
               their noses against the window,
               and stared into the dusk.

               Then they scrambled round the
               rocks to the other side of the house.
               It was damp and smelly, and over-
               grown with thorns and briars.

               The rabbits shivered in their

               "Oh my poor rabbit babies!
               What a dreadful place; I shall never
               see them again!" sighed Benjamin.

               They crept up to the bedroom
               window. It was closed and bolted
               like the kitchen. But there were
               signs that this window had been
               recently open; the cobwebs were
               disturbed, and there were fresh dirty
               footmarks upon the windowsill.

               The room inside was so dark that
               at first they could make out nothing;
               but they could hear a noise—a
               slow deep regular snoring grunt.
               And as their eyes became accustomed
               to the darkness, they perceived
               that somebody was asleep
               on Mr. Tod's bed, curled up under
               the blanket.—"He has gone to bed
               in his boots," whispered Peter.

               Benjamin, who was all of atwitter,
               pulled Peter off the windowsill.
               Tommy Brock's snores continued,
               grunty and regular from Mr.
               Tod's bed. Nothing could be seen of
               the young family.

               The sun had set; an owl began to
               hoot in the wood. There were many
               unpleasant things lying about that
               had much better have been buried;
               rabbit bones and skulls, and chickens'
               legs and other horrors. It was
               a shocking place, and very dark.

               They went back to the front of
               the house, and tried in every way to
               move the bolt of the kitchen window.
               They tried to push up a rusty
               nail between the window sashes;
               but it was of no use, especially
               without a light.

               They sat side by side outside the
               window, whispering and listening.

               In half an hour the moon rose
               over the wood. It shone full and
               clear and cold, upon the house,
               amongst the rocks, and in at the
               kitchen window. But alas, no little
               rabbit babies were to be seen! The
               moonbeams twinkled on the carving
               knife and the pie dish, and
               made a path of brightness across
               the dirty floor.

               The light showed a little door in
               a wall beside the kitchen fireplace
               —a little iron door belonging to a
               brick oven of that old-fashioned
               sort that used to be heated with
               faggots of wood.

               And presently at the same moment
               Peter and Benjamin noticed
               that whenever they shook the window
               the little door opposite shook
               in answer. The young family were
               alive; shut up in the oven!

               Benjamin was so excited that it
               was a mercy he did not awake
               Tommy Brock, whose snores continued
               solemnly in Mr. Tod's bed.

               But there really was not very
               much comfort in the discovery.
               They could not open the window;
               and although the young family was
               alive the little rabbits were quite
               incapable of letting themselves out;
               they were not old enough to crawl.

               After much whispering, Peter
               and Benjamin decided to dig a tunnel.
               They began to burrow a yard
               or two lower down the bank. They
               hoped that they might be able to
               work between the large stones
               under the house; the kitchen floor
               was so dirty that it was impossible
               to say whether it was made of earth
               or flags.

               They dug and dug for hours.
               They could not tunnel straight on
               account of stones; but by the end of
               the night they were under the
               kitchen floor. Benjamin was on his
               back scratching upwards. Peter's
               claws were worn down; he was
               outside the tunnel, shuffling sand
               away. He called out that it was
               morning—sunrise; and that the
               jays were making a noise down
               below in the woods.

               Benjamin Bunny came out of the
               dark tunnel shaking the sand from
               his ears; he cleaned his face with
               his paws. Every minute the sun
               shone warmer on the top of the
               hill. In the valley there was a sea of
               white mist, with golden tops of
               trees showing through.

               Again from the fields down
               below in the mist there came the
               angry cry of a jay, followed by the
               sharp yelping bark of a fox!

               Then those two rabbits lost their
               heads completely. They did the
               most foolish thing that they could
               have done. They rushed into their
               short new tunnel, and hid themselves
               at the top end of it, under
               Mr. Tod's kitchen floor.

               Mr. Tod was coming up Bull
               Banks, and he was in the very worst
               of tempers. First he had been upset
               by breaking the plate. It was his
               own fault; but it was a china plate,
               the last of the dinner service that
               had belonged to his grandmother,
               old Vixen Tod. Then the midges
               had been very bad. And he had
               failed to catch a hen pheasant on
               her nest; and it had contained only
               five eggs, two of them addled. Mr.
               Tod had had an unsatisfactory

               As usual, when out of humor, he
               determined to move house. First he
               tried the pollard willow, but it was
               damp; and the otters had left a
               dead fish near it. Mr. Tod likes
               nobody's leavings but his own.

               He made his way up the hill; his
               temper was not improved by noticing
               unmistakable marks of badger.
               No one else grubs up the moss so
               wantonly as Tommy Brock.

               Mr. Tod slapped his stick upon
               the earth and fumed; he guessed
               where Tommy Brock had gone to.
               He was further annoyed by the jay
               bird which followed him persistently.
               It flew from tree to tree and
               scolded, warning every rabbit
               within hearing that either a cat or
               a fox was coming up the plantation.
               Once when it flew screaming
               over his head Mr. Tod snapped at
               it, and barked.

               He approached his house very
               carefully, with a large rusty key. He
               sniffed and his whiskers bristled.

               The house was locked up, but Mr.
               Tod had his doubts whether it was
               empty. He turned the rusty key in
               the lock; the rabbits below could
               hear it. Mr. Tod opened the door
               cautiously and went in.

               The sight that met Mr. Tod's eyes
               in Mr. Tod's kitchen made Mr. Tod
               furious. There was Mr. Tod's chair,
               and Mr. Tod's pie dish, and his
               knife and fork and mustard and
               salt cellar, and his tablecloth, that
               he had left folded up in the dresser
               —all set out for supper (or breakfast)
               —without doubt for that
               odious Tommy Brock.

               There was a smell of fresh earth
               and dirty badger, which fortunately
               overpowered all smell of

               But what absorbed Mr. Tod's
               attention was a noise, a deep slow
               regular snoring grunting noise,
               coming from his own bed.

               He peeped through the hinges of
               the half-open bedroom door. Then
               he turned and came out of the
               house in a hurry. His whiskers bristled
               and his coat collar stood on
               end with rage.

               For the next twenty minutes Mr.
               Tod kept creeping cautiously into
               the house, and retreating hurriedly
               out again. By degrees he ventured
               further in—right into the bed-
               room. When he was outside the
               house, he scratched up the earth
               with fury. But when he was inside
               —he did not like the look of
               Tommy Brock's teeth.

               He was lying on his back with his
               mouth open, grinning from ear to
               ear. He snored peacefully and
               regularly; but one eye was not
               perfectly shut.

               Mr. Tod came in and out of the
               bedroom. Twice he brought in his
               walking stick, and once he brought
               in the coal scuttle. But he thought
               better of it, and took them away.

               When he came back after removing
               the coal scuttle, Tommy Brock
               was lying a little more sideways;
               but he seemed even sounder asleep.
               He was an incurably indolent person;
               he was not in the least afraid
               of Mr. Tod; he was simply too lazy
               and comfortable to move.

               Mr. Tod came back yet again
               into the bedroom with a clothes
               line. He stood a minute watching
               Tommy Brock and listening attentively
               to the snores. They were very
               loud indeed, but seemed quite natural.

               Mr. Tod turned his back towards
               the bed, and undid the window. It
               creaked; he turned round with a
               jump. Tommy Brock, who had
               opened one eye—shut it hastily.
               The snores continued.

               Mr. Tod's proceedings were
               peculiar, and rather difficult (because
               the bed was between the window
               and the door of the bedroom). He
               opened the window a little way,
               and pushed out the greater part of
               the clothes line on to the window-
               sill. The rest of the line, with a hook
               at the end, remained in his hand.

               Tommy Brock snored conscientiously.
               Mr. Tod stood and looked
               at him for a minute; then he left
               the room again.

               Tommy Brock opened both eyes,
               and looked at the rope and grinned.
               There was a noise outside the window.
               Tommy Brock shut his eyes in
               a hurry.

               Mr. Tod had gone out at the
               front door, and round to the back
               of the house. On the way, he stumbled
               over the rabbit burrow. If he
               had had any idea who was inside it
               he would have pulled them out

               His foot went through the tunnel
               nearly upon the top of Peter Rabbit
               and Benjamin; but, fortunately, he
               thought that it was some more of
               Tommy Brock's work.

               He took up the coil of line from
               the sill, listened for a moment, and
               then tied the rope to a tree.

               Tommy Brock watched him with
               one eye, through the window. He
               was puzzled.

               Mr. Tod fetched a large heavy
               pailful of water from the spring,
               and staggered with it through the
               kitchen into his bedroom.

               Tommy Brock snored industriously,
               with rather a snort.

               Mr. Tod put down the pail beside
               the bed, took up the end of rope
               with the hook—hesitated, and
               looked at Tommy Brock. The
               snores were almost apoplectic; but
               the grin was not quite so big.

               Mr. Tod gingerly mounted a
               chair by the head of the bedstead.
               His legs were dangerously near to
               Tommy Brock's teeth.

               He reached up and put the end
               of rope, with the hook, over the
               head of the tester bed, where the
               curtains ought to hang.

               (Mr. Tod's curtains were folded
               up, and put away, owing to the
               house being unoccupied. So was
               the counterpane. Tommy Brock
               was covered with a blanket only.)
               Mr. Tod standing on the unsteady
               chair looked down upon him attentively;
               he really was a first prize
               sound sleeper!

               It seemed as though nothing
               would waken him—not even the
               flapping rope across the bed.

               Mr. Tod descended safely from
               the chair, and endeavored to get up
               again with the pail of water. He
               intended to hang it from the hook,
               dangling over the head of Tommy
               Brock, in order to make a sort of
               shower-bath, worked by a string,
               through the window.

               But, naturally, being a thin-
               legged person (though vindictive
               and sandy whiskered)—he was
               quite unable to lift the heavy
               weight to the level of the hook and
               rope. He very nearly overbalanced

               The snores became more and
               more apoplectic. One of Tommy
               Brock's hind legs twitched under
               the blanket, but still he slept on

               Mr. Tod and the pail descended
               from the chair without accident.
               After considerable thought, he
               emptied the water into a wash
               basin and jug. The empty pail was
               not too heavy for him; he slung it
               up wobbling over the head of
               Tommy Brock.

               Surely there never was such a
               sleeper! Mr. Tod got up and down,
               down and up on the chair.

               As he could not lift the whole
               pailful of water at once he fetched
               a milk jug and ladled quarts of
               water into the pail by degrees. The
               pail got fuller and fuller, and
               swung like a pendulum. Occasionally
               a drop splashed over; but still
               Tommy Brock snored regularly and
               never moved,—except in one eye.

               At last Mr. Tod's preparations
               were complete. The pail was full of
               water; the rope was tightly strained
               over the top of the bed, and across
               the windowsill to the tree outside.

               "It will make a great mess in my
               bedroom; but I could never sleep in
               that bed again without a spring
               cleaning of some sort," said Mr.
               Mr. Tod took a last look at the
               badger and softly left the room. He
               went out of the house, shutting the
               front door. The rabbits heard his
               footsteps over the tunnel.

               He ran round behind the house,
               intending to undo the rope in order
               to let fall the pailful of water upon
               Tommy Brock—

               "I will wake him up with an
               unpleasant surprise," said Mr. Tod.

               The moment he had gone,
               Tommy Brock got up in a hurry; he
               rolled Mr. Tod's dressing-gown into
               a bundle, put it into the bed beneath
               the pail of water instead of
               himself, and left the room also—
               grinning immensely.

               He went into the kitchen, lighted
               the fire and boiled the kettle; for
               the moment he did not trouble
               himself to cook the baby rabbits.
               When Mr. Tod got to the tree, he
               found that the weight and strain
               had dragged the knot so tight that
               it was past untying. He was obliged
               to gnaw it with his teeth. He
               chewed and gnawed for more than
               twenty minutes. At last the rope
               gave way with such a sudden jerk
               that it nearly pulled his teeth out,
               and quite knocked him over backwards.

               Inside the house there was a
               great crash and splash, and the
               noise of a pail rolling over and over.

               But no screams. Mr. Tod was
               mystified; he sat quite still, and
               listened attentively. Then he peeped
               in at the window. The water was
               dripping from the bed, the pail had
               rolled into a corner.

               In the middle of the bed, under
               the blanket, was a wet SOMETHING
               —much flattened in the middle,
               where the pail had caught it (as it
               were across the tummy). Its head
               was covered by the wet blanket,
               and it was NOT SNORING ANY LONGER.

               There was nothing stirring, and
               no sound except the drip, drop,
               drop, drip, of water trickling from
               the mattress.
               Mr. Tod watched it for half an
               hour; his eyes glistened.

               Then he cut a caper, and became
               so bold that he even tapped at the
               window; but the bundle never

               Yes—there was no doubt about
               it—it had turned out even better
               than he had planned; the pail had
               hit poor old Tommy Brock, and
               killed him dead!

               "I will bury that nasty person in
               the hole which he has dug. I will
               bring my bedding out, and dry it in
               the sun," said Mr. Tod.

               "I will wash the tablecloth and
               spread it on the grass in the sun to
               bleach. And the blanket must be
               hung up in the wind; and the bed
               must be thoroughly disinfected,
               and aired with a warming-pan;
               and warmed with a hot water bottle."

               "I will get soft soap, and monkey
               soap, and all sorts of soap; and
               soda and scrubbing brushes; and
               persian powder; and carbolic to
               remove the smell. I must have a
               disinfecting. Perhaps I may have to
               burn sulphur."

               He hurried round the house to
               get a shovel from the kitchen—
               "First I will arrange the hole—then
               I will drag out that person in the
               blanket. . . ."

               He opened the door. . . .

               Tommy Brock was sitting at Mr.
               Tod's kitchen table, pouring out tea
               from Mr. Tod's teapot into Mr.
               Tod's teacup. He was quite dry
               himself and grinning; and he threw
               the cup of scalding tea all over Mr.

               Then Mr. Tod rushed upon
               Tommy Brock, and Tommy Brock
               grappled with Mr. Tod amongst
               the broken crockery, and there
               was a terrific battle all over the
               kitchen. To the rabbits underneath
               it sounded as if the floor would give
               way at each crash of falling furniture.

               They crept out of their tunnel,
               and hung about amongst the rocks
               and bushes, listening anxiously.

               Inside the house the racket was
               fearful. The rabbit babies in the
               oven woke up trembling; perhaps it
               was fortunate they were shut up inside.

               Everything was upset except the
               kitchen table.

               And everything was broken,
               except the mantelpiece and the
               kitchen fender. The crockery was
               smashed to atoms.

               The chairs were broken, and the
               window, and the clock fell with a
               crash, and there were handfuls of
               Mr. Tod's sandy whiskers.

               The vases fell off the mantelpiece,
               the cannisters fell off the
               shelf; the kettle fell off the hob.
               Tommy Brock put his foot in a jar
               of raspberry jam.
               And the boiling water out of the
               kettle fell upon the tail of Mr. Tod.

               When the kettle fell, Tommy
               Brock, who was still grinning,
               happened to be uppermost; and he
               rolled Mr. Tod over and over like a
               log, out at the door.

               Then the snarling and worrying
               went on outside; and they rolled
               over the bank, and down hill,
               bumping over the rocks. There will
               never be any love lost between
               Tommy Brock and Mr. Tod.

               As soon as the coast was clear,
               Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny
               came out of the bushes.

               "Now for it! Run in, Cousin
               Benjamin! Run in and get them! while
               I watch the door."

               But Benjamin was frightened—

               "Oh; oh! they are coming back!"

               "No they are not."

               "Yes they are!"

               "What dreadful bad language! I
               think they have fallen down the
               stone quarry."

               Still Benjamin hesitated, and
               Peter kept pushing him—

               "Be quick, it's all right. Shut the
               oven door, Cousin Benjamin, so
               that he won't miss them."

               Decidedly there were lively
               doings in Mr. Tod's kitchen!

               At home in the rabbit hole,
               things had not been quite comfortable.

               After quarreling at supper,
               Flopsy and old Mr. Bouncer had
               passed a sleepless night, and
               quarrelled again at breakfast. Old Mr.
               Bouncer could no longer deny that
               he had invited company into the
               rabbit hole; but he refused to reply
               to the questions and reproaches of
               Flopsy. The day passed heavily.

               Old Mr. Bouncer, very sulky, was
               huddled up in a corner, barricaded
               with a chair. Flopsy had taken
               away his pipe and hidden the tobacco.
               She had been having a complete
               turn out and spring cleaning,
               to relieve her feelings. She had just
               finished. Old Mr. Bouncer, behind
               his chair, was wondering anxiously
               what she would do next.

               In Mr. Tod's kitchen, amidst the
               wreckage, Benjamin Bunny picked
               his way to the oven nervously,
               through a thick cloud of dust. He
               opened the oven door, felt inside,
               and found something warm and
               wriggling. He lifted it out carefully,
               and rejoined Peter Rabbit.

               "I've got them! Can we get away?
               Shall we hide, Cousin Peter?"

               Peter pricked his ears; distant
               sounds of fighting still echoed in
               the wood.

               Five minutes afterwards two
               breathless rabbits came scuttering
               away down Bull Banks, half carrying,
               half dragging a sack between
               them, bumpetty bump over the
               grass. They reached home safely,
               and burst into the rabbit hole.

               Great was old Mr. Bouncer's relief
               and Flopsy's joy when Peter and
               Benjamin arrived in triumph with
               the young family. The rabbit babies
               were rather tumbled and very hungry;
               they were fed and put to bed.
               They soon recovered.

               A new long pipe and a fresh supply
               of rabbit tobacco was presented
               to Mr. Bouncer. He was rather
               upon his dignity; but he accepted.

               Old Mr. Bouncer was forgiven,
               and they all had dinner. Then Peter
               and Benjamin told their story—but
               they had not waited long enough to
               be able to tell the end of the battle
               between Tommy Brock and Mr.


               [For Cicily and Charlie,
               a Tale of the Christmas Pig]
               Once upon a time there was an
               old pig called Aunt Pettitoes. She
               had eight of a family: four little girl
               pigs, called Cross-patch, Suck-suck,
               Yock-yock and Spot; and four little
               boy pigs, called Alexander, Pigling
               Bland, Chin-Chin and Stumpy.
               Stumpy had had an accident to his

               The eight little pigs had very fine
               appetites—"Yus, yus, yus! they eat
               and indeed they DO eat!" said Aunt
               Pettitoes, looking at her family
               with pride. Suddenly there were
               fearful squeals; Alexander had
               squeezed inside the hoops of the
               pig trough and stuck.
               Aunt Pettitoes and I dragged him
               out by the hind legs.

               Chin-chin was already in disgrace;
               it was washing day, and he
               had eaten a piece of soap. And
               presently in a basket of clean
               clothes, we found another dirty
               little pig—"Tchut, tut, tut! whichever
               is this?" grunted Aunt Pettitoes.
               Now all the pig family are pink, or
               pink with black spots, but this pig
               child was smutty black all over;
               when it had been popped into a
               tub, it proved to be Yock-yock.

               I went into the garden; there I
               found Cross-patch and Suck-suck
               rooting up carrots. I whipped them
               myself and led them out by the
               ears. Cross-patch tried to bite me.

               "Aunt Pettitoes, Aunt Pettitoes!
               you are a worthy person, but your
               family is not well brought up.
               Every one of them has been in
               mischief except Spot and Pigling

               "Yus, yus!" sighed Aunt Pettitoes.
               "And they drink bucketfuls of milk;
               I shall have to get another cow!
               Good little Spot shall stay at home
               to do the housework; but the others
               must go. Four little boy pigs and
               four little girl pigs are too many
               altogether." "Yus, yus, yus," said
               Aunt Pettitoes, "there will be more
               to eat without them."

               So Chin-chin and Suck-suck went
               away in a wheel-barrow, and
               Stumpy, Yock-yock and Cross-
               patch rode away in a cart.

               And the other two little boy pigs,
               Pigling Bland and Alexander went
               to market. We brushed their coats,
               we curled their tails and washed
               their little faces, and wished them
               good bye in the yard.

               Aunt Pettitoes wiped her eyes
               with a large pocket handkerchief,
               then she wiped Pigling Bland's nose
               and shed tears; then she wiped
               Alexander's nose and shed tears;
               then she passed the handkerchief to
               Spot. Aunt Pettitoes sighed and
               grunted, and addressed those little
               pigs as follows—

               "Now Pigling Bland, son Pigling
               Bland, you must go to market. Take
               your brother Alexander by the
               hand. Mind your Sunday clothes,
               and remember to blow your nose"
               —(Aunt Pettitoes passed round the
               handkerchief again)—"beware of
               traps, hen roosts, bacon and eggs;
               always walk upon your hind legs."
               Pigling Bland who was a sedate
               little pig, looked solemnly at his
               mother, a tear trickled down his

               Aunt Pettitoes turned to the
               other—"Now son Alexander take
               the hand"—"Wee, wee, wee!"
               giggled Alexander—"take the hand of
               your brother Pigling Bland, you
               must go to market. Mind—" "Wee,
               wee, wee!" interrupted Alexander
               again. "You put me out," said Aunt
               Pettitoes—"Observe signposts and
               milestones; do not gobble herring
               bones—" "And remember," said I
               impressively, "if you once cross the
               county boundary you cannot come
               back. Alexander, you are not
               attending. Here are two licenses
               permitting two pigs to go to market in
               Lancashire. Attend Alexander. I
               have had no end of trouble in getting
               these papers from the policeman."
               Pigling Bland listened
               gravely; Alexander was hopelessly

               I pinned the papers, for safety,
               inside their waistcoat pockets;
               Aunt Pettitoes gave to each a little
               bundle, and eight conversation
               peppermints with appropriate
               moral sentiments in screws of
               paper. Then they started.

               Pigling Bland and Alexander
               trotted along steadily for a mile; at
               least Pigling Bland did. Alexander
               made the road half as long again
               by skipping from side to side. He
               danced about and pinched his
               brother, singing—

                    "This pig went to market, this pig stayed
                         at home,
                    "This pig had a bit of meat—

               let's see what they have given US for
               dinner, Pigling?"

               Pigling Bland and Alexander sat
               down and untied their bundles.
               Alexander gobbled up his dinner in
               no time; he had already eaten all
               his own peppermints—"Give me
               one of yours, please, Pigling?" "But
               I wish to preserve them for
               emergencies," said Pigling Bland
               doubtfully. Alexander went into squeals
               of laughter. Then he pricked Pigling
               with the pin that had fastened
               his pig paper; and when Pigling
               slapped him he dropped the pin,
               and tried to take Pigling's pin, and
               the papers got mixed up. Pigling
               Bland reproved Alexander.

               But presently they made it up
               again, and trotted away together,

                    "Tom, Tom the piper's son, stole a pig
                         and away he ran!
                    "But all the tune that he could play, was
                         `Over the hills and far away!'"
               "What's that, young Sirs? Stole a
               pig? Where are your licenses?" said
               the policeman. They had nearly run
               against him round a corner. Pigling
               Bland pulled out his paper; Alexander,
               after fumbling, handed over
               something scrumply—

               "To 2 1/2 oz. conversation sweeties
               at three farthings"—"What's this?
               this ain't a license?" Alexander's
               nose lengthened visibly, he had lost
               it. "I had one, indeed I had, Mr.
               "It's not likely they let you start
               without. I am passing the farm.
               You may walk with me." "Can I
               come back too?" inquired Pigling
               Bland. "I see no reason, young Sir;
               your paper is all right." Pigling
               Bland did not like going on alone,
               and it was beginning to rain. But it
               is unwise to argue with the police;
               he gave his brother a peppermint,
               and watched him out of sight.

               To conclude the adventures of
               Alexander—the policeman sauntered
               up to the house about tea
               time, followed by a damp subdued
               little pig. I disposed of Alexander in
               the neighborhood; he did fairly
               well when he had settled down.

               Pigling Bland went on alone
               dejectedly; he came to cross roads and
               a sign-post—"To Market-town 5
               miles," "Over the Hills, 4 miles,"
               "To Pettitoes Farm, 3 miles."

               Pigling Bland was shocked, there
               was little hope of sleeping in Market
               Town, and tomorrow was the
               hiring fair; it was deplorable to
               think how much time had been
               wasted by the frivolity of Alexander.

               He glanced wistfully along the
               road towards the hills, and then set
               off walking obediently the other
               way, buttoning up his coat against
               the rain. He had never wanted to
               go; and the idea of standing all by
               himself in a crowded market, to be
               stared at, pushed, and hired by
               some big strange farmer was very

               "I wish I could have a little garden
               and grow potatoes," said Pigling

               He put his cold hand in his
               pocket and felt his paper, he put his
               other hand in his other pocket and
               felt another paper—Alexander's!
               Pigling squealed; then ran back
               frantically, hoping to overtake
               Alexander and the policeman.

               He took a wrong turn—several
               wrong turns, and was quite lost.

               It grew dark, the wind whistled,
               the trees creaked and groaned.

               Pigling Bland became frightened
               and cried "Wee, wee, wee! I can't
               find my way home!"

               After an hour's wandering he got
               out of the wood; the moon shone
               through the clouds, and Pigling
               Bland saw a country that was new
               to him.

               The road crossed a moor; below
               was a wide valley with a river twinkling
               in the moonlight, and beyond
               —in misty distance—lay the hills.

               He saw a small wooden hut,
               made his way to it, and crept inside
               —"I am afraid it IS a hen house,
               but what can I do?" said Pigling
               Bland, wet and cold and quite tired
               "Bacon and eggs, bacon and
               eggs!" clucked a hen on a perch.

               "Trap, trap, trap! cackle, cackle,
               cackle!" scolded the disturbed
               cockerel. "To market, to market!
               jiggettyjig!" clucked a broody white
               hen roosting next to him. Pigling
               Bland, much alarmed, determined
               to leave at daybreak. In the meantime,
               he and the hens fell asleep.

               In less than an hour they were all
               awakened. The owner, Mr. Peter
               Thomas Piperson, came with a lantern
               and a hamper to catch six
               fowls to take to market in the

               He grabbed the white hen roosting
               next to the cock; then his eye
               fell upon Pigling Bland, squeezed
               up in a corner. He made a singular
               remark—"Hallo, here's another!"
               —seized Pigling by the scruff of the
               neck, and dropped him into the
               hamper. Then he dropped in five
               more dirty, kicking, cackling hens
               upon the top of Pigling Bland.

               The hamper containing six fowls
               and a young pig was no light
               weight; it was taken down hill,
               unsteadily, with jerks. Pigling,
               although nearly scratched to pieces,
               contrived to hide the papers and
               peppermints inside his clothes.

               At last the hamper was bumped
               down upon a kitchen floor, the lid
               was opened, and Pigling was lifted
               out. He looked up, blinking, and
               saw an offensively ugly elderly
               man, grinning from ear to ear.

               "This one's come of himself,
               whatever," said Mr. Piperson, turning
               Pigling's pockets inside out. He
               pushed the hamper into a corner,
               threw a sack over it to keep the
               hens quiet, put a pot on the fire,
               and unlaced his boots.

               Pigling Bland drew forward a
               coppy stool, and sat on the edge of
               it, shyly warming his hands. Mr.
               Piperson pulled off a boot and
               threw it against the wainscot at the
               further end of the kitchen. There
               was a smothered noise—"Shut
               up!" said Mr. Piperson. Pigling
               Bland warmed his hands, and eyed

               Mr. Piperson pulled off the other
               boot and flung it after the first,
               there was again a curious noise—
               "Be quiet, will ye?" said Mr. Piperson.
               Pigling Bland sat on the very
               edge of the coppy stool.

               Mr. Piperson fetched meal from
               a chest and made porridge, it
               seemed to Pigling that something
               at the further end of the kitchen
               was taking a suppressed interest in
               the cooking; but he was too hungry
               to be troubled by noises.

               Mr. Piperson poured out three
               platefuls: for himself, for Pigling,
               and a third-after glaring at Pigling—
               he put away with much scuffling,
               and locked up. Pigling Bland
               ate his supper discreetly.

               After supper Mr. Piperson consulted
               an almanac, and felt Pigling's
               ribs; it was too late in the
               season for curing bacon, and he
               grudged his meal. Besides, the hens
               had seen this pig.

               He looked at the small remains
               of a flitch [side of bacon], and then
               looked undecidedly at Pigling. "You
               may sleep on the rug," said Mr.
               Peter Thomas Piperson.

               Pigling Bland slept like a top. In
               the morning Mr. Piperson made
               more porridge; the weather was
               warmer. He looked how much
               meal was left in the chest, and
               seemed dissatisfied—"You'll likely
               be moving on again?" said he to
               Pigling Bland.

               Before Pigling could reply, a
               neighbor, who was giving Mr. Piperson
               and the hens a lift, whistled
               from the gate. Mr. Piperson hurried
               out with the hamper, enjoining
               Pigling to shut the door behind him
               and not meddle with nought; or
               "I'll come back and skin ye!" said
               Mr. Piperson.

               It crossed Pigling's mind that if
               HE had asked for a lift, too, he
               might still have been in time for

               But he distrusted Peter Thomas.

               After finishing breakfast at his
               leisure, Pigling had a look round
               the cottage; everything was locked
               up. He found some potato peelings
               in a bucket in the back kitchen.
               Pigling ate the peel, and washed up
               the porridge plates in the bucket.
               He sang while he worked—

                    "Tom with his pipe made such a noise,
                    He called up all the girls and boys—
                    "And they all ran to hear him play,
                         "Over the hills and far away!—"

               Suddenly a little smothered voice
               chimed in—

                    "Over the hills and a great way off,
                    The wind shall blow my top knot

               Pigling Bland put down a plate
               which he was wiping, and listened.

               After a long pause, Pigling went
               on tiptoe and peeped round the
               door into the front kitchen; there
               was nobody there.

               After another pause, Pigling
               approached the door of the locked
               cupboard, and snuffed at the keyhole.
               It was quite quiet.

               After another long pause, Pigling
               pushed a peppermint under the
               door. It was sucked in immediately.

               In the course of the day Pigling
               pushed in all his remaining six

               When Mr. Piperson returned, he
               found Pigling sitting before the fire;
               he had brushed up the hearth and
               put on the pot to boil; the meal was
               not get-at-able.

               Mr. Piperson was very affable; he
               slapped Pigling on the back, made
               lots of porridge and forgot to lock
               the meal chest. He did lock the
               cupboard door; but without properly
               shutting it. He went to bed early,
               and told Pigling upon no account
               to disturb him next day before
               twelve o'clock.

               Pigling Bland sat by the fire,
               eating his supper.
               All at once at his elbow, a little
               voice spoke—"My name is Pig-wig.
               Make me more porridge, please!"
               Pigling Bland jumped, and looked

               A perfectly lovely little black
               Berkshire pig stood smiling beside
               him. She had twinkly little screwed
               up eyes, a double chin, and a short
               turned up nose.

               She pointed at Pigling's plate; he
               hastily gave it to her, and fled to
               the meal chest—"How did you
               come here?" asked Pigling Bland.

               "Stolen," replied Pig-wig, with
               her mouth full. Pigling helped himself
               to meal without scruple. "What
               for?" "Bacon, hams," replied Pig-
               wig cheerfully. "Why on earth don't
               you run away?" exclaimed the
               horrified Pigling.

               "I shall after supper," said Pig-
               wig decidedly.

               Pigling Bland made more porridge
               and watched her shyly.

               She finished a second plate, got
               up, and looked about her, as
               though she were going to start.

               "You can't go in the dark," said
               Pigling Bland.

               Pig-wig looked anxious.

               "Do you know your way by day-

               "I know we can see this little
               white house from the hills across
               the river. Which way are you going,
               Mr. Pig?"

               "To market—I have two pig
               papers. I might take you to the bridge;
               if you have no objection," said
               Pigling much confused and sitting
               on the edge of his coppy stool. Pig-
               wig's gratitude was such and she
               asked so many questions that it
               became embarrassing to Pigling

               He was obliged to shut his eyes
               and pretend to sleep. She became
               quiet, and there was a smell of

               "I thought you had eaten them?"
               said Pigling, waking suddenly.

               "Only the corners," replied Pig-
               wig, studying the sentiments with
               much interest by the firelight.

               "I wish you wouldn't; he might
               smell them through the ceiling,"
               said the alarmed Pigling.

               Pig-wig put back the sticky
               peppermints into her pocket; "Sing
               something," she demanded.

               "I am sorry. . . I have tooth-
               ache," said Pigling much dismayed.

               "Then I will sing," replied Pig-
               wig, "You will not mind if I say
               iddy tidditty? I have forgotten some
               of the words."

               Pigling Bland made no objection;
               he sat with his eyes half shut, and
               watched her.

               She wagged her head and rocked
               about, clapping time and singing in
               a sweet little grunty voice—

                "A funny old mother pig lived in a stye,
                    and three little piggies had she;
                "(Ti idditty idditty) umph, umph,
                    umph! and the little pigs said wee,
               She sang successfully through
               three or four verses, only at every
               verse her head nodded a little
               lower, and her little twinkly eyes
               closed up—

                "Those three little piggies grew peaky
                    and lean, and lean they might very
                    well be;
                "For somehow they couldn't say umph,
                    umph, umph! and they wouldn't
                    say wee, wee, wee!
                "For somehow they couldn't say—
               Pig-wig's head bobbed lower and
               lower, until she rolled over, a little
               round ball, fast asleep on the

               Pigling Bland, on tiptoe, covered
               her up with an antimacassar.

               He was afraid to go to sleep himself;
               for the rest of the night he sat
               listening to the chirping of the
               crickets and to the snores of Mr.
               Piperson overhead.

               Early in the morning, between
               dark and daylight, Pigling tied up
               his little bundle and woke up Pig-
               wig. She was excited and half-
               frightened. "But it's dark! How can
               we find our way?"

               "The cock has crowed; we must
               start before the hens come out; they
               might shout to Mr. Piperson."

               Pig-wig sat down again, and
               commenced to cry.
               "Come away Pig-wig; we can see
               when we get used to it. Come! I can
               hear them clucking!"

               Pigling had never said shuh! to a
               hen in his life, being peaceable;
               also he remembered the hamper.

               He opened the house door quietly
               and shut it after them. There was
               no garden; the neighborhood of
               Mr. Piperson's was all scratched up
               by fowls. They slipped away hand
               in hand across an untidy field to
               the road.
                "Tom, Tom the piper's son, stole a pig
                    and away he ran!
                "But all the tune that he could play, was
                    `Over the hills and far away!'"
               "Come Pig-wig, we must get to
               the bridge before folks are stirring."

               "Why do you want to go to
               market, Pigling?" inquired Pig-wig.

               The sun rose while they were
               crossing the moor, a dazzle of light
               over the tops of the hills. The sunshine
               crept down the slopes into
               the peaceful green valleys, where
               little white cottages nestled in
               gardens and orchards.

               "That's Westmorland," said Pig-
               wig. She dropped Pigling's hand
               and commenced to dance, singing—
               presently. "I don't want; I want to
               grow potatoes." "Have a peppermint?"
               said Pig-wig. Pigling Bland
               refused quite crossly. "Does your
               poor toothy hurt?" inquired Pig-
               wig. Pigling Bland grunted.

               Pig-wig ate the peppermint herself,
               and followed the opposite side
               of the road. "Pig-wig! keep under
               the wall, there's a man ploughing."
               Pig-wig crossed over, they hurried
               down hill towards the county

               Suddenly Pigling stopped; he
               heard wheels.

               Slowly jogging up the road below
               them came a tradesman's cart. The
               reins flapped on the horse's back,
               the grocer was reading a newspaper.

               "Take that peppermint out of
               your mouth, Pig-wig, we may have
               to run. Don't say one word. Leave it
               to me. And in sight of the bridge!"
               said poor Pigling, nearly crying.
               He began to walk frightfully lame,
               holding Pig-wig's arm.

               The grocer, intent upon his
               newspaper, might have passed
               them, if his horse had not shied
               and snorted. He pulled the cart
               crossways, and held down his
               whip. "Hallo? Where are you going
               to?"—Pigling Bland stared at him

               "Are you deaf? Are you going to
               market?" Pigling nodded slowly.

               "I thought as much. It was
               yesterday. Show me your license?"

               Pigling stared at the off hind
               shoe of the grocer's horse which
               had picked up a stone.

               The grocer flicked his whip—
               "Papers? Pig license?" Pigling fumbled
               in all his pockets, and handed
               up the papers. The grocer read
               them, but still seemed dissatisfied.
               "This here pig is a young lady; is
               her name Alexander?" Pig-wig
               opened her mouth and shut it
               again; Pigling coughed asthmatically.

               The grocer ran his finger down
               the advertisement column of his
               newspaper—"Lost, stolen or
               strayed, 10S. reward;" he looked
               suspiciously at Pig-wig. Then he
               stood up in the trap, and whistled
               for the ploughman.

               "You wait here while I drive on
               and speak to him," said the grocer,
               gathering up the reins. He knew
               that pigs are slippery; but surely,
               such a VERY lame pig could never

               "Not yet, Pig-wig, he will look
               back." The grocer did so; he saw the
               two pigs stock-still in the middle
               of the road. Then he looked over at
               his horse's heels; it was lame also;
               the stone took some time to knock
               out, after he got to the ploughman.

               "Now, Pig-wig, NOW!" said
               Pigling Bland.

               Never did any pigs run as these
               pigs ran! They raced and squealed
               and pelted down the long white hill
               towards the bridge. Little fat Pig-
               wig's petticoats fluttered, and her
               feet went pitter, patter, pitter, as
               she bounded and jumped.

               They ran, and they ran, and they
               ran down the hill, and across a
               short cut on level green turf at the
               bottom, between pebble beds and

               They came to the river, they
               came to the bridge—they crossed it
               hand in hand—then over the hills
               and far away she danced with Pigling


               With very kind regards to old Mr. John Taylor,
               Who "thinks he might pass as a dormouse,"
               (Three years in bed and never a grumble!).]
               Once upon a time there was
               a village shop. The name over
               the window was "Ginger and

               It was a little small shop
               just the right size for Dolls—
               Lucinda and Jane Doll-cook
               always bought their groceries
               at Ginger and Pickles.

               The counter inside was a
               convenient height for rabbits.
               Ginger and Pickles sold red
               spotty pocket handkerchiefs at
               a penny three farthings.

               They also sold sugar, and
               snuff and galoshes.

               In fact, although it was
               such a small shop it sold
               nearly everything—except a
               few things that you want in
               a hurry—like bootlaces, hair-
               pins and mutton chops.

               Ginger and Pickles were the
               people who kept the shop.
               Ginger was a yellow tomcat,
               and Pickles was a terrier.

               The rabbits were always a
               little bit afraid of Pickles.
               The shop was also patronized
               by mice—only the mice
               were rather afraid of Ginger.

               Ginger usually requested
               Pickles to serve them, because
               he said it made his mouth

               "I cannot bear," said he, "to
               see them going out at the door
               carrying their little parcels."

               "I have the same feeling
               about rats," replied Pickles,
               "but it would never do to eat
               our customers; they would
               leave us and go to Tabitha

               "On the contrary, they
               would go nowhere," replied
               Ginger gloomily.

               (Tabitha Twitchit kept the
               only other shop in the village.
               She did not give credit.)

               But there is no money in
               what is called the "till."

               Ginger and Pickles gave
               unlimited credit.

               Now the meaning of
               "credit" is this—when a customer
               buys a bar of soap, instead
               of the customer pulling
               out a purse and paying for it
               —she says she will pay another

               And Pickles makes a low
               bow and says, "With pleasure,
               madam," and it is written
               down in a book.

               The customers come again
               and again, and buy quantities,
               in spite of being afraid of
               Ginger and Pickles.
               The customers came in
               crowds every day and bought
               quantities, especially the
               toffee customers. But there was
               always no money; they never
               paid for as much as a penny-
               worth of peppermints.

               But the sales were enormous,
               ten times as large as
               Tabitha Twitchit's.

               As there was always no
               money, Ginger and Pickles
               were obliged to eat their own

               Pickles ate biscuits and Ginger
               ate a dried haddock.

               They ate them by candle-
               light after the shop was
               "It is very uncomfortable, I
               am afraid I shall be summoned.
               I have tried in vain to
               get a license upon credit at the
               Post Office;" said Pickles.
               "The place is full of policemen.
               I met one as I was coming

               "Let us send in the bill
               again to Samuel Whiskers,
               Ginger, he owes 22/9 for

               "I do not believe that he
               intends to pay at all," replied

               When it came to Jan. 1st
               there was still no money, and
               Pickles was unable to buy a
               dog license.

               "It is very unpleasant, I am
               afraid of the police," said

               "It is your own fault for
               being a terrier; I do not
               require a license, and neither
               does Kep, the Collie dog."
               "And I feel sure that Anna
               Maria pockets things—

               "Where are all the cream

               "You have eaten them yourself."
               replied Ginger.

               Ginger and Pickles retired
               into the back parlor.

               They did accounts. They
               added up sums and sums, and

               "Samuel Whiskers has run
               up a bill as long as his tail; he
               has had an ounce and three-
               quarters of snuff since October.

               "What is seven pounds of
               butter at 1/3, and a stick of
               sealing wax and four

               "Send in all the bills again
               to everybody `with compliments,'"
               replied Ginger.
               Pickles nearly had a fit, he
               barked and he barked and
               made little rushes.

               "Bite him, Pickles! bite
               him!" spluttered Ginger behind
               a sugar barrel, "he's only
               a German doll!"

               The policeman went on
               writing in his notebook; twice
               he put his pencil in his mouth,
               and once he dipped it in the

               Pickles barked till he was
               hoarse. But still the policeman
               took no notice. He had bead
               eyes, and his helmet was
               sewed on with stitches.

               After a time they heard a
               noise in the shop, as if something
               had been pushed in at
               the door. They came out of the
               back parlor. There was an
               envelope lying on the counter,
               and a policeman writing in a
               At length on his last little
               rush—Pickles found that the
               shop was empty. The policeman
               had disappeared.

               But the envelope remained.

               "Do you think that he has
               gone to fetch a real live policeman?
               I am afraid it is a summons,"
               said Pickles.

               "No," replied Ginger, who
               had opened the envelope, "it is
               the rates and taxes, 3 pounds 19
               11 3/4."  [pounds are British money,
               the 19 is schillings, and then pence]

               "This is the last straw," said
               Pickles, "let us close the shop."

               They put up the shutters,
               and left. But they have not
               removed from the neighborhood.
               In fact some people
               wish they had gone further.
               Ginger is living in the warren
               [game preserve for rabbits].
               I do not know what
               occupation he pursues; he
               looks stout and comfortable.

               Pickles is at present a game-
               After a time Mr. John
               Dormouse and his daughter
               began to sell peppermints and

               But they did not keep "self-
               fitting sixes"; and it takes five
               mice to carry one seven inch

               The closing of the shop
               caused great inconvenience.
               Tabitha Twitchit immediately
               raised the price of everything
               a halfpenny; and she continued
               to refuse to give credit.
               Of course there are the
               tradesmen's carts—the butcher,
               the fishman and Timothy

               But a person cannot live on
               "seed wigs" and sponge cake
               and butter buns—not even
               when the sponge cake is as
               good as Timothy's!
               And Miss Dormouse refused
               to take back the ends when
               they were brought back to her
               with complaints.

               And when Mr. John
               Dormouse was complained to, he
               stayed in bed, and would say
               nothing but "very snug;"
               which is not the way to carry
               on a retail business.

               Besides—the candles which
               they sell behave very strangely
               in warm weather.

               So everybody was pleased
               when Sally Henny Penny sent
               out a printed poster to say
               that she was going to reopen
               the shop—"Henny's Opening
               Sale! Grand cooperative Jumble!
               Penny's penny prices!
               Come buy, come try, come

               The poster really was most
               There was a rush upon the
               opening day. The shop was
               crammed with customers,
               and there were crowds of
               mice upon the biscuit cannisters.

               Sally Henny Penny gets
               rather flustered when she tries
               to count out change, and she
               insists on being paid cash; but
               she is quite harmless.

               And she has laid in a
               remarkable assortment of

               There is something to
               please everybody.