Special days > July 28th: Beatrix Potter's Birthday
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Read, print and
discuss the story. Have children draw and color an illustration
of Peter or their favorite part of the story.
Visit the lesson plan and rabbit theme for printable activities and crafts.
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, thief!"
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 chamomile tea.
"One tablespoon to be taken at bedtime." But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.