Toad BOOK LOOK – Chapter 7 of 19

Chapter 7

Peter Discovers Something More

There are stranger things in the world today
Than ever you dreamed could be.
There’s beauty in some of the commonest things
If only you’ve eyes to see.

Ever since Peter Rabbit was a baby bunny and then had made his own home in the dear Old Briar Patch, he had known Old Mr. Toad, and never once had Peter suspected that he could sing.

Now that they had discovered that he really has a very beautiful singing voice, they began to have a greater appreciation for Old Mr. Toad. This was especially so for Peter. He got in the habit of going over to the Smiling Pool every day just to sit on the bank and listen to Old Mr. Toad.

“Why didn’t you ever tell us before that you could sing?” he asked one day, as Old Mr. Toad looked up at him from the Smiling Pool.

“What would be the use?” replied Old Mr. Toad. “You probably wouldn’t have believed me if I had.”

Peter knew that this was true, and he couldn’t find any answer ready. At last he ventured another question. “And if I’ve known you for so long why haven’t I ever heard you sing before?”

“You have,” said Old Mr. Toad. “I sang right in this very place last spring, and the spring before, and the spring before that. You’ve sat on that very bank lots of times while I was singing.”

Peter was confused and still very curious so he ventured another question. “Have I ever heard you singing up on the meadows or in the Old Orchard?”

“Oh no,” replied Old Mr. Toad, “I only sing in the springtime at the Smiling Pool. That’s the time for singing. I just have to sing then. In the summer it is too hot, and in the winter I sleep. I always return to my old home to sing. You know I was born here. All of the toads gather here in the spring to sing, so of course I come too.”

Old Mr. Toad then filled out his odd music bag under his chin and began to sing again. Peter watched him. Now it just happened that Old Mr. Toad was facing him, and so Peter looked down straight into his eyes. He never had looked directly into Mr. Toad’s eyes before, and now he just stared and stared, for it came over him that those eyes were very beautiful, very beautiful indeed.

“Oh!” he exclaimed, “what beautiful eyes you have, Mr. Toad!”

“So I’ve been told,” replied Old Mr. Toad. “The Toad family has always had beautiful eyes. There is an old saying that every Toad has jewels in his head, of course he hasn’t, not real jewels. It is just the beautiful eyes. Excuse me, Peter, I’m needed in that chorus.” Old Mr. Toad once more swelled out his throat and began to sing.

Peter watched him a while longer and then hopped away to the dear Old Briar-patch to sit and ponder all that he had learned today about his friend Old Mr. Toad.

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