|"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter."|
The Tale of Peter Rabbit was written by Beatrix Potter and first published in 1902.
As Mrs. Rabbit gets ready to make a trip to the Bakery to buy a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns, she warns her children to stay out of Mr. McGregor's Garden and reminds them that their father, Mr. Rabbit, suffered an "accident" there and was baked into a pie by Mrs. McGregor. Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail decide to go down the lane to pick blackberries. Peter Rabbit, on the other hand, being the mischievous young bunny that he is, ignores his mother's warnings and runs straight to Mr. McGregor's Garden as soon as Mrs. Rabbit leaves the Big Fir Tree. He squeezes underneath the gate and starts having a ball while he eats lettuces, French beans, and radishes, but soon runs into Mr. McGregor, who starts chasing after him right away. In all the commotion, Peter gets lost and has trouble finding his way out of the garden and even ends up losing both of his shoes. With his shoes gone, he begins running on all fours and ends up running straight into a gooseberry net. He is unable to untangle himself from the net and begins to cry as he is terrified of what will happen to him. Moments before Mr. McGregor reaches him, two friendly sparrows fly over to Peter and encourage him to not give up. He manages to wiggle out of his coat and gets away just in time. He runs into a tool shed nearby and jumps into a watering can that still has water in it. As Mr. McGregor searches the tool shed, Peter can't help but sneeze and Mr. McGregor is back on his trail once again. Peter manages to leap out of the watering can and out of the tool shed through a small window...but he still can't find his way out of the garden. As he searches for the gate, shivering and frightened, he comes across a mouse carrying peas and beans but she is unable to help him because she is carrying a large olive in her mouth so she simply shakes her head and goes on her way. Then he comes across the pond where Mr. McGregor keeps goldfish and fills his watering can. Peter sees a cat sitting very still and staring at the gold fish but decides to stay away because his cousin, Benjamin Bunny, had warned him about cats. He wanders around and starts walking back toward the tool shed when he suddenly hears a scratching noise. He climbs into a wheelbarrow to carefully take look at what could be making such a sound. Peter sees Mr. McGregor using a garden tool on some onions and then, beyond Mr. McGregor, he finally sees the gate. Peter runs toward the gate as fast as he can and by the time the old man sees him, Peter is halfway out of the garden. After Peter leaves, Mr. McGregor uses Peter's shoes and coat to make a scarecrow to keep the black birds away from his crops. When Peter finally makes it home to the Big Fir Tree, he is so exhausted that he immediately lays down and falls asleep. Mrs. Rabbit notices that Peter is missing his coat and his shoes--for the second time in two weeks. Later that night, Peter feels unwell, so Mrs. Rabbit gives him a dose of chamomile tea and puts him to bed while his sisters happily eat blackberries, bread, and milk for supper.