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PETER FINDS A NAME
ETER RABBIT had quite lost his appetite. When Peter forgets to eat
you may make up your mind that Peter has something very
important to think about. At least he has something on
his mind that he thinks is important. The fact is,
Peter had fully made up his mind to change his name. He
thought Peter Rabbit too common a name. But when he
tried to think of a better one, he found that no name
that he could think of really pleased him any more. So
he thought and he thought and he thought and he
thought. And the more he thought the less appetite he
Now Jimmy Skunk was the only one to whom Peter had told
how discontented he was with his name, and it was Jimmy
who had suggested to Peter to change it. Jimmy thought
it a great joke, and he straightway passed the word
along among all the little meadow and forest people
that Peter Rabbit was going to change his name.
Everybody laughed and chuckled over the thought of
Peter Rabbit's foolishness, and they planned to have a
great deal of fun with Peter as soon as he should tell
them his new name.
Peter was sitting on the edge of the Old Briar-patch
one morning when Ol' Mistah Buzzard passed, flying low.
"Good mo'ning, Brer Cottontail," said Ol' Mistah
Buzzard, with a twinkle in his eye.
At first Peter didn't understand that Ol' Mistah
Buzzard was speaking to him, and by the time he did it
was too late to reply, for Ol' Mistah Buzzard was way,
way up in the blue, blue sky. "Cottontail, Cottontail,"
said Peter over and over to himself and began to smile.
Every time he said it he liked it better.
"Cottontail, Peter Cottontail! How much better sounding
that is than Peter Rabbit! That sounds as if I really
was somebody. Yes, Sir, that's the very name I want.
Now I must send word to all my friends that hereafter I
am no longer Peter Rabbit, but Peter Cottontail."
Peter kicked up his heels in just the funny way he
always does when he is pleased. Suddenly he remembered
that such a fine, long, high-sounding name as Peter
Cottontail demanded dignity. So he stopped kicking up
his heels and began to practice putting on airs. But
first he called the Merry Little Breezes and told them
about his change of name and asked them to tell all his
friends that in the future he would not answer to the
name of Peter Rabbit, but only to the name of Peter
Cottontail. He was very grave and earnest and important
as he explained it to the Merry Little Breezes. The
Merry Little Breezes kept their faces straight while he
was talking, but as soon as they had left him to carry
his message they burst out laughing. It was such a
And they giggled as they delivered this message to each
of the little forest and meadow people:
"Peter Rabbit's changed his name.
In the future without fail
You must call him, if you please,
Mr. Peter Cottontail."
While they were doing this, Peter was back in the Old
Briar-patch practicing his new airs and trying to look
very high and mighty and important, as became one with
such fine-sounding name as Peter Cottontail.