The Tale of Peter
(condensed from the original by Beatrix Potter)
Once upon a time there
were four little rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail,
and Peter. They lived with their mother in a sandbank, underneath the root
of a very big fir tree.
One morning old Mrs. Rabbit said, "I'm going to the bakery to buy brown
bread and currant buns. 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."
Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, who were good little bunnies, went down the
lane to gather blackberries ... but Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight
to Mr. McGregor's garden and squeezed under the gate! First he ate some
lettuce and some beans, and then he ate some radishes. On his way to find
some parsley, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor! Mr. McGregor jumped up and ran after Peter, shouting, "Stop,
Peter was very frightened. He rushed all over the garden, for he had
forgotten the way back to the gate. Unfortunately Peter ran into a
gooseberry net and got caught by the large brass buttons on his jacket.
Peter gave himself up for lost; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly
sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement and begged him to try to free
himself. Just as Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop
on top of Peter, Peter wriggled out of his jacket, leaving it behind him. He
rushed into the tool shed and jumped into a watering can. It would have been
a good 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 tool shed, perhaps hidden
underneath a flowerpot. He began to turn them over, one by one.
Suddenly Peter sneezed – Kerty schoo! Mr. McGregor was after him in no
time. Peter jumped out of a window. Fortunately the window was too small for
Mr. McGregor. Then Peter ran away from the tool shed, all around the garden.
At last, he found the garden gate. He slipped underneath and was safe once
more in the woods outside. I am sorry to say that Peter did not feel very
well that evening. His mother put him to bed and gave him a dose of
"One tablespoon to be taken at bedtime." But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail had bread and milk and blackberries for