PODCAST. Peter Rabbit made his first appearance in 1902 in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Peter disobeys Josephine’s orders and sneaks into Mr. McGregor’s garden, eating as many vegetables as he can before Mr. McGregor spots him and chases him about. Peter manages to escape, but not before losing his jacket and shoes, which Mr. McGregor uses to dress a scarecrow. Peter returns home weary, ill, and naked and is put to bed with a dose of chamomile tea.
The rabbits in Potter’s stories are anthropomorphic and wear human clothes: Peter wears a jacket and shoes. Peter, his widowed mother, Mrs. Josephine Rabbit, as well as his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail live in a rabbit hole that has a human kitchen, human furniture, as well as a shop where Josephine sells various items. Peter’s relatives are Cousin Benjamin Bunny and Benjamin’s father Mr. Bouncer Bunny.
Peter Rabbit was named after a pet rabbit whom Beatrix Potter had as a child, and whom she called Peter Piper. The first Peter Rabbit story, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, was originally created in 1893 as a letter to Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of Potter’s former governess, Annie Moore. The boy was ill and Potter wrote him a picture and story letter to help him pass the time and to cheer him up. The letter included sketches illustrating the narrative.
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