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Full text of "The tale of Benjamin Bunny"

THE TALE OF 



JAMIN BUNNY 




BY 
iTRIX POTTER 



t 



F.WARNE&C9UB 



THE TALE 

OF 

BENJAMIN BUNNY 



s 




THE TALE OF 

BENJAMIN BUNNY 



BY 



BEATRIX POTTER 



The Tale 



LIBRARY 




LONDON 

FREDERICK WARNE & CO., LTD, 

AND NEW YORK 



[All rights reserved} 




Copyright in all countries 
signatory to the Berne Convention 

FREDERICK WARNE & Co. LTD. 
LONDON, ENGLAND 



ISBN o 7232 0595 7 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN FOR THE PUBLISHERS 

BY WILLIAM CLOWES (BECCLES) LIMITED 

BECCLES AND LONDON 



06397.1180 



FOR THE CHILDREN OF SAWREY 

FROM 

OLD MR. BUNNY 



morning a little rabbit 
sat on a bank. 

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 rela- 
tions, who lived in the wood at 
the back of Mr. McGregor's 
garden. 



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 muffetees (I once bought 
a pair at a bazaar). She also 
sold herbs, and rosemary tea, 
and rabbit-tobacco (which is 
what we call lavender). 



JJTTLE 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. 




~^ ' 



15 




16 



pETER was sitting by him- 
self. He looked poorly, 
and was dressed in a red cotton 
pocket-handkerchief. 

"Peter," said little Benja- 
min, in a whisper "who has 
got your clothes? " 



pETER replied " The scare- 
crow 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 be- 
side 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. 



18 




U' 



pETER said he hoped that 
it would rain. 

At this point, old Mrs. 
Rabbit's voice was heard in- 
side 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. 



21 



HPHEY 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. Mc- 
Gregor'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. 




23 




24 



TITTLE 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 soft. 



TT had been sown with let- 
tuces. 
They left a great many odd 

little foot-marks all over the 

bed, especially little Benjamin, 

who was wearing clogs. 



TITTLE 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-hand- 
kerchief. 

They took them off the scare- 
crow. 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. 



HTHEN 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. 







v - 



g EN JAM IN, on the con- 
trary, 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 dinner. 

(The name of little Benja- 
min's papa was old Mr. Benja- 
min Bunny.) 

The lettuces certainly were 
very fine. 



33 



pETER did not eat any- 
thing; he said he should 
like to go home. Presently he 
dropped half the onions. 



34 




35 



TITTLE 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 door- 
steps cracking cherry-stones, 
they winked at Peter Rabbit 
and little Benjamin Bunny. 



37 



PRESENTLY Peter let the 

pocket-handkerchief go 
again. 







39 



\ 




< 



40 



HPHEY 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. 



T^HIS 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 him- 
self and Peter and the onions 
underneath a large basket. . . . 




44 



HPHE cat got up and stretched 
herself, and came and 
sniffed at the basket. 

Perhaps she liked the smell 
of onions! 

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



45 



CHE sat there for five hours. 

I cannot draw you a picture 
of Peter and Benjamin under- 
neath 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. 



uv4* 

r, f *T 




47 



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 hand. 

He was looking for his son. 



49 



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 green-house, scratching 
off a handful of fur. 

The cat was too much sur- 
prised to scratch back. 



\yHEN old Mr. Bunny had 
driven the cat into the 
green-house, he locked the 
door. 

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

Then he took out his nephew 
Peter. 



53 



THHEN he took out the hand- 
kerchief of onions, and 
marched out of the garden. 



54 




55 



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 foot-marks 
were too ridiculously little! 

Also he could not under- 
stand how the cat could have 
managed to shut herself up 
inside the green-house, lock- 
ing the door upon the outside. 









I 




u s 



', 



57 



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- tobacco. 

THE END 



ft 



Potter, B. 

The tale of Benjamin Bunny 






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