PETER RABBIT VISITS THE PEACH ORCHARD
ON'T go, Peter Rabbit! Don't go!"
Peter hopped to the edge of the Old Briar-patch and
looked over the moonlit, snow-covered meadows to the
hill back of Farmer Brown's house. On that hill was the
young peach orchard of which Tommy Tit the Chickadee
had told him, and ever since Peter's mouth had watered
and watered every time he thought of those young
peach-trees and the tender bark on them.
"I think I will, Danny, just this once," said Peter.
"It's a long way, and I've never been there before; but
I guess it's just as safe as the Meadows of the Green
"Oh I'm as bold as bold can be!
I'll hie me forth the world to see!
My ears are long,
My legs are strong,
So now good day;
I'll hie away!
And with that, Peter Rabbit left the dear safe Old
Briar-patch, and away he went lipperty-lipperty-lip,
across the Green Meadows towards the hill and the young
orchard back of Farmer Brown's house.
Danny Meadow Mouse watched him go and shook his head in
disapproval. "Foolish, foolish, foolish!" he said over
and over to himself. "Why can't Peter be content with
the good things that he has?"
Peter Rabbit hurried along through the moonlight,
stopping every few minutes to sit up to look and
listen. He heard the fierce hunting call of Hooty the
Owl way over in the Green Forest, so he felt sure that
at present there was nothing to fear from him. He knew
that since their return to the Green Meadows and the
Green Forest, Granny and Reddy Fox had kept away from
Farmer Brown's so he did not worry about them.
All in good time Peter came to the young orchard. It
was just as Tommy Tit the Chickadee had told him. Peter
hopped up to the nearest peach-tree and nibbled the
bark. My, how good it tasted! He went all around the
tree, stripping off the bark. He stood up on his long
hind legs and reached as high as he could. The he dug
the snow away and ate down as far as he could. When he
could get no more tender young bark, he went on to the
Now though Peter didn't know it, he was in the very
worst kind of mischief. You see, when he took off all
the bark all the way around the young peach-tree he
killed the tree, for you know it is on the inside of
the bark that the sap which gives life to a tree and
makes it grow goes up from the roots to all the
branches. So when Peter ate the bark all the way around
the trunk of the young tree, he had made it impossible
for the sap to come up in the spring. Oh, it was the
very worst kind of mischief that Peter Rabbit was in.
But Peter didn't know it, and he kept right on filling
that big stomach of his and enjoying it so much that he
forgot to watch out for danger. Suddenly, just as he
had begun on another tree, a great roar right behind
him made him jump almost out of his skin. He knew that
voice, and without waiting to even look behind him, he
started for the stone wall on the other side of the
orchard. Right at his heels, his great mouth wide open,
was Bowser the Hound.
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