Sep 4, 2012

Mrs. Peter Rabbit

by Thornton W. Burgess

In this little book Peter Rabbit is suddenly feeling restless and lonely. He needs a change of scenery so leaves his home and visits the Old Pasture. On the way he has a narrow escape from an owl which leaves him injured. Hiding in a strange place with smarting wounds, Peter is miserable for some time but then starts exploring the new environment and his spirits lift somewhat with the adventure of it all. He learns that another, larger and older rabbit, lives in the Old Pasture territory and has a few scrapes with the stranger. Almost ready to give up fighting and go home when he discovers another rabbit lives here as well: a gentle, timid rabbit with soft eyes- a girl rabbit, of course! So Peter is determined to stay and make her acquaintance, and he ends up taking her back home with him as his new mate. The two rabbits set up housekeeping and of course soon start a family, although they try to keep that secret hidden for a while. Having read quite a few of these Burgess books by now, I soon recognized a pattern of a restless young male animal going off in search of adventure and then finding a companion. This one reminded me a lot of the woodchuck's story. None of the usually present moralistic themes jumped out at me (but then I read a lot while tired, and in bits and snatches) aside from the one of minding your own business, as lots of Peter's friends wanted to poke their noses in where they weren't wanted, when he suddenly returned home with Mrs. Peter!

It's funny that I never thought of the Mrs. Peter Rabbit character before as Peter's wife. I've read several of the books out of order, so met her before and she was always worrying about Peter's recklessness and chiding him; sounded like a mother to me, I guess! (Also, I have a perpetual image in my head of Peter as the Peter Rabbit from Beatrix Potter, who was always a young bunny living at home with his mom).

My computer is out of sorts so if you're reading this post with no cover image it's because I'm not working on my own computer; I'll post images up soon as it's fixed!

Rating: 3/5 ........ 64 pages, 1919

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