The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- Beatrix Potter
"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 buns.
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.
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's
hoeing onions. His back was turned towards Peter, and beyond him was the gate!
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 a pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!