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Gene Montandon          < Go Back

Peter rabbit woke early; the sun was already shining, sending a bright beam of light into his home through the hole in the roof. Peter's home was beneath the ground. He had dug it out into a round shape and he kept it very neat. He had his bed, a table and a small wood stove. At night his light was a candle, but he seldom used it because he was usually asleep before the sun went down.

This morning he was unusually hungry, so he quickly dressed. Peter wore bib overalls with one strap. He needed overalls because he carried his corn cob pipe and tobacco pouch in the front pocket, his pocket knife in his side pocket and a sack in the loop on the side. Time to go find something to eat.

Peter got his ladder and moved it to the hole then climbed up and peeked out carefully. The fields and woods held many dangers for him, but he was a smart and cautious rabbit, if a little sassy. He first looked up for owls and hawks, and then carefully looked in all directions to see if the red fox was near. The red fox was always trying to catch him, but Peter was fast and smart.

All looked safe, and Peter climbed the ladder, and then when he was out, he pushed the ladder so it would fall and no one could use it. He did not need it to get in, he just jumped in.

Off he went, staying close to the low bushes and tall grass. Soon he came to his favorite place, Farmer Brown's house. Peter sat in the bushes and watched. Farmer Brown had a large farm and a very large garden. Farmer Brown sold vegetables and melons from the garden when he went to town on Saturday.

Peter heard the screen door slam, and saw Farmer Brown heading for the barn with a milk pail. Peter smiled about his good timing, and headed for the garden fence, pulled back the grass and wiggled under the fence. Keeping low, he began filling his sack with turnips, carrots and potatoes. He only took what he needed for the day, so Farmer Brown might not notice anything was missing. All of a sudden, from the corner of his eye he saw something move. It was Farmer Brown's big yellow Tom Cat. Peter quickly headed for the fence, crawled under and was trying to get his sack pulled through when the Tom Cat came around the corner. Peter tugged hard on the sack and it popped through so quickly that Peter fell on his back. The Tom Cat was almost on him. Peter hit the ground so quick, running with the sack over his shoulder just as the Tom Cat leaped. The old Tom Cat landed in Peter's dust. Peter was laughing and running. Soon he needed a rest, and sat in a briar bush by a small stream. He felt safe and happy, and pulled his pipe from his bib pocket filling it with tobacco, then leaned back and puffed his pipe.

Mr. Red Fox was drinking from the stream downwind from Peter and he smelled tobacco. Mr. Fox grinned. He knew who it was, and it would be easy for him to follow the smell right to Peter. Mr. Fox would have rabbit stew for dinner.

Peter was ready to go home and have his dinner, so he emptied his pipe and put it in his bib pocket, then picked up his sack and carefully looked about. Off he went, but right behind him was Mr. Fox running fast, his mouth open ready to grab Peter in his jaws. Peter heard the soft running, and saw Mr. Fox almost on him. Peter began running as hard as he could. Mr. Fox was getting closer. Then Peter saw the hole, and with a great leap, jumped into the hole and he was home. Mr. Fox was looking down at Peter, and said "another day."

Peter laughed. Every day was the same, but he had made it home with his food, got his soup pot out and began making his dinner. He was hungry and tired, but happy.