Story + Local Videos
Peter Rabbit Takes a Swim
Farmer Brown’s boy sat with his chin in his hands staring at the new pond in the Green Forest and at the dam which had made it. That dam puzzled him. Who could have built it? What did they build it for? Why hadn’t he heard them chopping? He looked at the stump of one of the nearby trees, and then a still more puzzled look made deep furrows between his eyes. It looked very much as if teeth, and not an axe, had cut down that tree. Farmer Brown’s boy stared and stared, his mouth gaping wide open. He looked so funny that Peter Rabbit, who was hiding under an old pile of brush close by, nearly laughed right out.
Peter didn’t laugh though for just that very minute something happened. Sniff! Sniff! That was right behind him at the very edge of the old brush pile, and every hair on Peter stood on end with fright.
“Bow, wow, wow!” It seemed to Peter that the great voice was right in his very ears. It frightened him so that he just had to jump. He didn’t have time to think. And so he jumped right out from under the pile of brush and of course right into plain sight. And the very instant he jumped there came another great roar behind him. Of course it was from Bowser the Hound. You see, Bowser had been following the trail of the boy, and since he always stops to sniff at everything he passes, he had been some distance behind. When he came to the pile of brush under which Peter was hiding he had sniffed at that, and of course he had smelled Peter right away.
Now when Peter jumped out so suddenly he had landed right at one end of the dam. The second roar of Bowser’s great voice frightened him still more, and he jumped right up on the dam. There was nothing for him to do now except go across, and it wasn’t the best of going. You see, it was mostly a tangle of sticks. Happy Jack Squirrel or Chatterer the Red Squirrel or Striped Chipmunk would have skipped across it without the least bit of trouble. Peter Rabbit however has no sharp little claws with which to cling to logs and sticks, and right away he was in a heap of trouble. He slipped down between the sticks, scrambled out, slipped again, and then, trying to make a long jump, he lost his balance and tumbled head over heels into the water!
Poor Peter Rabbit! He gave himself up for lost this time. He could swim only just a little and doesn’t like the water. He couldn’t dive and keep out of sight like Jerry Muskrat or Billy Mink. All he could do was to paddle as fast as his legs would go. The water had gone up his nose and down his throat so that he choked, and all the time he felt sure that Bowser the Hound would plunge in after him and catch him. And if he didn’t, why Farmer Brown’s Boy would simply wait for him to come ashore and then catch him.
However, Farmer Brown’s boy didn’t do anything of the kind. Instead he shouted to Bowser and called him away. Bowser didn’t want to come and yet very slowly he walked over to where Farmer Brown’s boy was sitting.
“You know it wouldn’t be fair, old fellow, to try to catch Peter now. It wouldn’t be fair at all, and we never want to do anything unfair, do we?” he said. Whether Bowser agreed or not he simply wagged his tail as if he did and sat down to watch Peter swim.
It seemed to Peter as if he never, ever would reach the shore, though really it was only a very little distance that he had to swim. When he did scramble out, he was a soggy looking Rabbit. He didn’t waste any time, and started for home as fast as he could go, lipperty–lipperty–lip.
“Well, I never!” exclaimed Sammy Jay, who had seen it all from the top of a pine tree. “Well, I never! I guess Farmer Brown’s boy is quite nice after all.”
Purchase your copy of this P.L.A.Y. story adventure HERE!
The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated):
A P.L.A.Y. Nature Story Activity Book
by Karen L. Willard
Learn all about amazing beaver behaviors in this P.L.A.Y.-filled nature story activity book based on the Thornton Burgess animal adventure series.
❤ ❤ ❤
This P.L.A.Y. guide book provides hours of entertainment as a read aloud to share with the whole family, a community group, in a classroom, or to simply curl up with solo.
The BONUS P.L.A.Y. guide pages include opportunities to:
illustrate each chapter
photos shared of real beaver activity
tree themed and blank nature journaling pages
recommended resources and so much more
P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series
Video 15 HERE
Where did all the beaver tree stumps go along the river bank?
Hint: A Thick Blanket of White!
Video 16 HERE
Guess who popped up out of the ice?
Paddy sure has been busy even with the 20 inches of snow from the latest storm!
Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST
From January 2019 to March 2020 Karen P.L.A.Y.fully captured signs of a beaver’s local activities at her home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts to pin and share the adventures with you on her Pinterest Beaver Board.