Beatrix Potter’s birthday is definitely a day worth celebrating. She was such a cool lady—a scientific naturalist as well as a children’s book author—and her drawings were both realistic and expressive.
As kids, Peter Rabbit was a favorite for many of us. But there was always something that bothered us: all that food Peter Rabbit turned down in order to risk his life for lettuces, French beans, and radishes. French beans and radishes! Come on, those aren’t even the good vegetables! They’re not worth risking your life for.
Let's go back through the story and see how many easily accessible food opportunities Peter Rabbit missed.
Peter dodged his siblings, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, while they were heading out to pick blackberries. Because you’re following Peter, the implication is that FM&C were these huge squares. But they were picking blackberries! Is that not the sweeter, more delicious plant option?
2. Currant Buns
If he wasn’t into hanging out with his siblings, Peter could have followed old Mrs. Rabbit to the bakery where she purchased currant buns. I’m imagining a tiny animal bakery run by a pleasant old racoon with an apron or something. This is a way safer place to get into mischief. “Mischief” is grabbing a currant bun from mom’s basket without asking. You get a scolding, and then the mischief’s over. But going into a garden run by a giant who will definitely kill you? That’s just a death wish.
Okay, so tomatoes weren't in the story, but if you’re going to raid a vegetable garden, why not go for the tomatoes? We're thinking one of those garden fresh heirloom types that taste more like candy than a salad ingredient. Why waste your garden-raiding on radishes? How many radishes can you even eat in a row with no variation?
So when you were little, you probably didn’t know what gooseberries were exactly, but it's obvious that they sound better than French beans. Peter gets caught in a gooseberry net and, understandably panicked, doesn’t take any gooseberries. But if Peter had some foresight when surveying the garden, he would’ve grabbed some gooseberries and stuck them in his pocket at the beginning of his adventure. Turns out gooseberries are bitter but gooseberry pie is delicious. Peter could’ve given them to his mom to bake, and maybe it would’ve softened his punishment a little bit.
5. Bread and Milk
Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail eat this with their blackberries at the end of the day. It’s probably not sliced wheat bread either. It’s probably thick, fresh bread their mom got from the bakery. Put some blackberries on that and it probably tastes like jam. Mmm. See, it’s not that Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail are more risk-averse than Peter. They’re just in it for the long game.
Can you tell we strongly identify with Peter’s slightly less adventurous siblings? Well. Now you know.