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Full text of "The tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck"

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THE TALE 

OF 

JEMIMA PUDDLE-DUCK 




SX" 



THE TALE OF 

JEMIMA PUDDLE-DUCK 

BY 

BEATRIX POTTER 



Author of 
" The Tale of Peter Rabbit", 




LONDON 

FREDERICK WARNE & CO., LTD. 
AND NEW YORK 

[All rights reserved] 



Copyright in all countries 
signatory to the Berne Convention 

Frederick Warm & Co. Ltd. 
London, England 



Printed for the Publishers 
by Jarrold & Sons Ltd., Norwich 

647-162 



76,5 



A FARMYARD TALE 

FOR 
RALPH AND BETSY 



1203388 



AA/HAT a funny sight it is 
to see a brood of duck- 
lings with a hen ! 
Listen to the story of 
Jemima Puddle-duck, who was 
annoyed because the farmer's 
wife would not let her hatch 
her own eggs. 



T.JER sister-in-law, Mrs. 
Rebeccah Puddle-duck, 
was perfectly willing to leave 
the hatching to some one else 
"I have not the patience to 
sit on a nest for twenty-eight 
days; and no more have you, 
Jemima. You would let them 
go cold ; you know you would ! " 
"I wish to hatch my own 
eggs; I will hatch them all 
by myself," quacked Jemima 
Puddle-duck. 




\v 




CHE tried to hide her eggs; 
but they were always found 
and carried off. 

Jemima Puddle-duck became 
quite desperate. She deter- 
mined to make a nest right 
away from the farm. 



CHE set off on a fine spring 
afternoon along the cart- 
road that leads over the hill. 

She was wearing a shawl 
and a poke bonnet. 




'- 



she reached the top 
of the hill, she saw a 
wood in the distance. 

She thought that it looked 
a safe quiet spot. 



JEMIMA PUDDLE-DUCK 
was not much in the habit 
of flying. She ran downhill 
a few yards flapping her shawl, 
and then she jumped off into 
the air. 




,., 



CHE flew beautifully when 
she had got a good start. 
She skimmed along over the 
tree- tops until she saw an open 
place in the middle of the wood, 
where the trees and brushwood 
had been cleared. 



JEMIMA alighted rather 
heavily, and began to 
waddle about in search of a 
convenient dry nesting place. 
She rather fancied a tree-stump 
amongst some tall fox-gloves. 

But seated upon the stump, 
she was startled to find an 
elegantly dressed gentleman 
reading a newspaper. 

He had black prick ears and 
sandy coloured whiskers. 

"Quack?" said Jemima 
Puddle-duck, with her head 
and her bonnet on one side 
"Quack?" 







- 

m 






- ; 





vis-- - 



-I 



'T'HE gentleman raised his 
eyes above his news- 
paper and looked curiously at 
Jemima 

''Madam, have you lost your 
way?" said he. He had a long 
bushy tail which he was sitting 
upon, as the stump was some- 
what damp. 

Jemima thought him mighty 
civil and handsome. She 
explained that she had not 
lost her way, but that she was 
trying to find a convenient 
dry nesting-place. 



"AH! is that so? indeed!" 
said the gentleman with 
sandy whiskers, looking curi- 
ously at Jemima. He folded 
up the newspaper, and put it 
in his coat-tail pocket. 

Jemima complained of the 
superfluous hen. 

" Indeed ! how interesting ! 
I wish I could meet with that 
fowl. I would teach it to 
mind its own business ! " 









-- 



"OUT as to a nest there is 
no difficulty: I have a 
sackful of feathers in my wood- 
shed. No, my dear madam, 
you will be in nobody's way. 
You may sit there as long as 
you like," said the bushy long- 
tailed gentleman. 

He led the way to a very 
retired, dismal-looking house 
amongst the fox-gloves. 

It was built of faggots and 
turf, and there were two broken 
pails, one on top of another, 
by way of a chimney. 



"'T'HIS is my summer resi- 
dence; you would not 
find my earth my winter 
house so convenient," said 
the hospitable gentleman. 

There was a tumble-down 
shed at the back of the house, 
made of old soap-boxes. The 
gentleman opened the door, 
and showed Jemima in. 



'T'HE shed was almost quite 
full of feathers it was 
almost suffocating; but it was 
comfortable and very soft. 

Jemima Puddle-duck was 
rather surprised to find such a 
vast quantity of feathers. But 
it was very comfortable; and 
she made a nest without any 
trouble at all. 



33 



VA7HEN she came out, the 
sandy whiskered gentle- 
man was sitting on a log 
reading the newspaper at 
least he had it spread out, but 
he was looking over the top 
of it. 

He was so polite, that he 
seemed almost sorry to let 
Jemima go home for the night. 
He promised to take great care 
of her nest until she came back 
again next day. 

He said he loved eggs and 
ducklings; he should be proud 
to see a fine nestful in his 
wood-shed. 



34 




35 




;-> 



JEMIMA PUDDLE-DUCK 
J came every afternoon; she 
laid nine eggs in the nest. 
They were greeny white and 
very large. The foxy gentle- 
man admired them immensely. 
He used to turn them over 
and count them when Jemima 
was not there. 

At last Jemima told him 
that she intended to begin to 
sit next day "and I will bring 
a bag of corn with me, so that 
I need never leave my nest 
until the eggs are hatched. 
They might catch cold," said 
the conscientious Jemima. 



"A/TADAM, I beg you not 
to trouble yourself with 
a bag; I will provide oats. 
But before you commence your 
tedious sitting, I intend to give 
you a treat. Let us have a 
dinner-party all to ourselves ! 

May I ask you to bring up 
some herbs from the farm- 
garden to make a savoury 
omelette? Sage and thyme, 
and mint and two onions, and 
some parsley. I will provide 
lard for the stuff lard for the 
omelette," said the hospitable 
gentleman with sandy whiskers. 







^ 




&-. 



,s,^^' ^,1-^ 



JEMIMA PUDDLE-DUCK 
J was a simpleton : not even 
the mention of sage and onions 
made her suspicious. 

She went round the farm- 
garden, nibbling off snippets 
of all the different sorts of 
herbs that are used for stuffing 
roast duck. 



A ND she waddled into the 
kitchen, and got two 
onions out of a basket. 

The collie-dog Kep met her 
coming out, "What are you 
doing with those onions? 
Where do you go every after- 
noon by yourself, Jemima 
Puddle-duck?" 

Jemima was rather in awe 
of the collie; she told him the 
whole story. 

The collie listened, with his 
wise head on one side; he 
grinned when she described 
the polite gentleman with 
sandy whiskers. 




'. ; 







M 



TIJE asked several questions 
about the wood, and 
about the exact position of the 
house and shed. 

Then he went out, and trotted 
down the village. He went to 
look for two fox-hound puppies 
who were out at walk with the 
butcher. 



45 



JEMIMA PUDDLE-DUCK 
went up the cart-road for 
the last time, on a sunny after- 
noon. She was rather bur- 
dened with bunches of herbs 
and two onions in a bag. 

She flew over the wood, and 
alighted opposite the house of 
the bushy long- tailed gentle- 
man. 



4 6 






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T1JE was sitting on a log; 
he sniffed the air, and 
kept glancing uneasily round 
the wood. When Jemima 
alighted he quite jumped. 

"Come into the house as 
soon as you have looked at 
your eggs. Give me the herbs 
for the omelette. Be sharp ! " 

He was rather abrupt. 
Jemima Puddle-duck had never 
heard him speak like that. 

She felt surprised, and un- 
comfortable. 



4'J 



AA7HILE she was inside she 
heard pattering feet 
round the back of the shed. 
Some one with a black nose 
sniffed at the bottom of the 
door, and then locked it. 

Jemima became much 
alarmed. 



A MOMENT afterwards 

there were most awful 

noises barking, baying, 

growls and howls, squealing 

and groans. 

And nothing more was ever 
seen of that foxy-whiskered 
gentleman. 



53 



PRESENTLY Kep opened 
the door of the shed, and 
let out Jemima Puddle-duck. 

Unfortunately the puppies 
rushed in and gobbled up all 
the eggs before he could stop 
them. 

He had a bite on his ear 
and both of the puppies were 
limping. 



54 



JEMIMA PUDDLE-DUCK 
was escorted home in tears 
on account of those eggs. 



^ 













CHE laid some more in June, 
and she was permitted to 
keep them herself: but only 
four of them hatched. 

Jemima Puddle-duck said 
that it was because of her 
nerves; but she had always 
been a bad sitter. 



59 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY 

Los Angeles 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 






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