The Tale Of Benjamin Bunny
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by Beatrix Potter
Then 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.
Benjamin, on the contrary, 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 Benjamin's papa was old Mr. Benjamin Bunny.) The lettuces certainly were very fine.
Peter did not eat anything; he said he should like to go home. Presently he dropped half the onions.
Little 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 doorsteps cracking cherry-stones; they winked at Peter Rabbit and little Benjamin Bunny.
Presently Peter let the pocket-handkerchief go again.
They 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.
This 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 himself and Peter and the onions underneath a large basket....
The 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.
She sat there for five hours.
I cannot draw you a picture of Peter and Benjamin underneath 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.
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.
Old 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 greenhouse, scratching off a handful of fur. The cat was too much surprised to scratch back.
When old Mr. Bunny had driven the cat into the greenhouse, 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.
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