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PETER RABBIT DECIDES TO CHANGE HIS NAME
ETER RABBIT! Peter Rabbit! I don't see what Mother Nature ever gave
me such a common sounding name as that for. People
laugh at me, but if I had a fine sounding name they
wouldn't laugh. Some folks say that a name doesn't
amount to anything, but it does. If I should do some
wonderful thing, nobody would think anything of it. No,
Sir, nobody would think anything of it at all just
because—why just because it was done by Peter
Peter was talking out loud, but he was talking to
himself. He sat in the dear Old Briar-patch with an
ugly scowl on his usually happy face. The sun was
shining, the Merry Little Breezes of Old Mother West
Wind were dancing over the Green Meadows, the birds
were singing, and happiness, the glad, joyous happiness
of springtime, was everywhere but in Peter Rabbit's
heart. There there seemed to be no room for anything
but discontent. And such foolish
discontent—discontent with his name! And yet, do
you know, there are lots of people just as foolish as
"Well, what are you going to do about it?"
The voice made Peter Rabbit jump and turn around
hastily. There was Jimmy Skunk poking his head in at
the opening of one of Peter's private little paths. He
was grinning, and Peter knew by that grin that Jimmy
had heard what he had said. Peter didn't know what to
say. He hung his head in a very shame-faced way.
"You've got something to learn," said Jimmy Skunk.
"What is it?" asked Peter.
"It's just this," replied Jimmy.
"There's nothing in a name except
Just what we choose to make it.
It lies with us and no one else
How other folks shall take it.
It's what we do and what we say
And how we live each passing day
That makes it big or makes it small
Or even worse than none at all.
A name just stands for what we are;
It's what we choose to make it.
And that's the way and only way
That other folks will take it."
Peter Rabbit made a face at Jimmy Skunk. "I don't like
being preached to."
"I'm not preaching; I'm just telling you what you ought
to know without being told," replied Jimmy Skunk. "If
you don't like your name, why don't you change it?"
"What's that?" cried Peter sharply.
"If you don't like your name, why don't you change it?"
Peter sat up and the disagreeable frown had left his
face. "I—I—hadn't thought of that," he said
slowly. "Do you suppose I could, Jimmy Skunk?"
"Easiest thing in the world," replied Jimmy Skunk.
"Just decide what name you like and then ask all your
friends to call you by it."
"I believe I will!" cried Peter Rabbit.
"Well, let me know what it is when you have decided,"
said Jimmy, as he started for home. And all the way up
the Crooked Little Path, Jimmy chuckled to himself as
he thought of foolish Peter Rabbit trying to change his