The Tale of Peter Rabbit
by Beatrix Potter
Every child needs to meet Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter, a family of rabbits, and hear the cautionary tale of how Peter did not heed his mother’s advice: “You may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden.” Their mother stresses the danger by reminding them that their father was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor. While Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail go down to the lane to gather blackberries, Peter, “who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor’s garden and squeezed under the gate!” In search of parsley after too many French beans and radishes, Peter runs right into the dreaded Mr. McGregor! “Stop thief!” he yells, in hot pursuit of the purloining rabbit. Peter loses his shoes and his jacket, narrowly escaping with his life. While his siblings dine on bread, milk and blueberries, Peter is sent to straight to bed with chamomile tea. Beatrix Potter, a gardener herself, renders the plants and vegetables of the garden in meticulous detail, and while she portrays her rabbit characters with whiskers and fur that look almost real, she endows them with all-too-human traits.