Animal BOOK LOOK – Chapter 2 – Peter Rabbit and Jumper the Hare


Chapter 2

Peter Rabbit and Jumper the Hare


Hardly had jolly, round, red Mr. Sun thrown off his rosy blankets and begun his daily climb up in the blue, blue sky when Peter Rabbit and his cousin, Jumper the Hare, arrived at the place in the Green Forest where Peter had found Mother Nature the day before. She was waiting for them, ready to answer questions.

“I am so glad you are here,” she said. “Now before either of you ask any questions, I am going to ask some myself. Peter, what do you look like? Where do you live? What do you eat? I want to find out just how much you really know about yourself.”

Peter scratched one ear with a long hind foot and hesitated as if he didn’t know just how to begin. Mother Nature waited patiently. Finally Peter began rather timidly.

“Well,” he said, “the only way I know how I look is by the way the other members of my family look, for I’ve never seen myself. I suppose in a way I look like all the rest of the Rabbit family. I have long hind legs and short front ones. I suppose this is so I can make long jumps when I am in a hurry.”

Peter Rabbit – original art by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Mother Nature nodded, and Peter, taking this encouragement, continued. “My hind legs are stout and strong, and my front ones are lesser so. I guess this is because I do not have a great deal of use for them, except for running. My coat is a sort of mixture of brown and gray, more brown in summer and more gray in winter. My ears are longer for my size than are those of most animals, and really not very long after all, or not nearly as long for my size as my cousin Jumper’s are for his size. My tail is fluffy and short. It is so short that I carry it straight up. It is white like a little bunch of cotton, and I suppose that that is why I am called a Cottontail Rabbit, though I have heard that some folks call me a Gray Rabbit and others a Bush Rabbit.”

“I live in the dear Old Briar-patch and just love it. It is a mass of bushes and bramble-tangles and is the safest place I know of. I have cut little paths all through it just big enough for Mrs. Peter and myself. None of our predators can get at us there, excepting Shadow the Weasel or Billy Mink. I have a sort of nest there where I spend my time when I am not running about. It is called a form and I sit in it a great deal.”

Peter Rabbit’s home in the bramble-tangles in the meadow as seen in the snowy winter.

“In summer I eat clover, grass and other green things, and I just love to get over into Farmer Brown’s garden. In winter I have to take what I can get, and this is mostly bark from young trees, buds and tender twigs of bushes, and any green plants I can find under the snow. I can run fast for a short distance, however only for a short distance. That is why I like thick brush and bramble-tangles. There I can dodge. I don’t know any one who can dodge better! If Reddy Fox or Bowser the Hound surprises me away from the dear Old Briar-patch I run for the nearest hollow log or hole in the ground. Sometimes in summer I dig a hole for myself, although not often. It is much easier to use a hole somebody else has dug. When I want to signal my friends I thump the ground with my hind feet. Jumper does the same thing. And I almost forgot to say I don’t like water.”

Mother Nature smiled. “You are thinking of that cousin of yours, the Marsh Rabbit who lives way down in the Sunny South,” she said.

Peter admitted that he was. Jumper the Hare was interested all at once. You see, he had never heard of this cousin.

“That was a very good account of yourself, Peter,” said Mother Nature. “Now take a look at your cousin, Jumper the Hare, and tell me how he differs from you.”

Jumper the Hare, also known as the Northern or Varying Hare, in both his winter (right) and summer (left) coat. Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Peter took a long look at Jumper, and then, as before, scratched one ear with a long hind foot. “In the first place,” he said, “Jumper is considerably bigger than I. He has very long hind legs and his ears are very long. In summer he wears a brown coat and in the winter he is all white except for just the tips of his ears which are black. Because his coat changes so, he is called the varying Hare. He likes the Green Forest where the trees grow close together, especially those places where there are a great many young trees. He’s the biggest member of our family. I guess that’s all I know about Cousin Jumper.”

“That is very good, Peter, as far as it goes,” said Mother Nature. “I just have one correction to make. Jumper is not the biggest of his family.”

Both Peter and Jumper opened their eyes very wide with surprise. “Also,” continued Mother Nature, “you forgot to mention the fact that Jumper never hides in hollow logs and holes in the ground as you do. Can you explain why you don’t Jumper?”

“I wouldn’t feel safe there,” replied Jumper. “I depend on my long legs for safety, and the way I can dodge around trees and bushes. I suppose Reddy Fox may be fast enough to catch me in the open, and yet he can’t do it where I can dodge around trees and bushes. That is why I stick to the Green Forest. If you please, Mother Nature, what is this about a cousin who likes to swim?”

Mother Nature’s eyes twinkled. “We’ll get to that later on,” she said. “Now, each of you hold up a hind foot and tell me what difference you see.”

Peter and Jumper each held up a hind foot and each looked first at his own and then at the other’s. “They look to me very much alike, only Jumper’s is a lot longer and bigger than mine,” said Peter. Jumper nodded as if he agreed.

“Look a bit closer,” encouraged Mother Nature. “Do you see that Jumper’s foot is a great deal broader than yours, Peter, and that his toes are spread apart, while yours are close together?”

Peter and Jumper were surprised, for it was just as Mother Nature had said. Jumper’s foot really was quite different from that of Peter. Peter’s was narrow and slim.

“That is a very important difference,” Mother Nature noted. “Can you guess why I gave you those big feet, Jumper?”

Jumper slowly shook his head. “Not unless it was to simply make me different,” he said.

“Well,” said Mother Nature, “What happens to those big feet of yours in the winter, Jumper?”

“Nothing that I know of, excepting that the hair grows out long between my toes,” Jumper replied.

“Exactly,” agreed Mother Nature. “And when the hair does this you can travel over light snow without sinking in. It is just as if you had snowshoes. That is why you are often called a Snowshoe Rabbit. I gave you those big feet and make the hair grow out every winter because I know that you depend on your legs to get away from your predators. You can run over the deep snow where your predators break through. Peter, though he is small and lighter than you are, cannot go where you can. Although Peter doesn’t need to depend always on his legs to save his life. There is one thing more that I want you both to notice, and that is that you both have quite a lot of short hairs on the soles of you feet. That is where you differ from that cousin of yours down in the Sunny South. He has only a very few hairs on his feet. That is so he can swim better.”

“If you please, Mother Nature, why is that cousin of ours so fond of the water?” piped up Peter.

Marsh Rabbit (or Marsh Hare) that lives down south and likes to swim.
Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“Because,” replied Mother Nature, “he lives in marshy country where there is a great deal of water. He is very nearly the same size as you, Peter, and looks very much like you. But his legs are not quite so long, his ears are a little smaller, and his tail is brownish instead of white. He is a poor runner and so in time of danger he takes to the water. For that matter, he goes swimming for pleasure. The water is warm down there, and he dearly loves to paddle about in it. If a Fox chases him he simply plunges into the water and hides among the water plants with only his eyes and his nose out of water.”

“Does he make his home in the water like Jerry Muskrat?” asked Peter innocently.

Mother Nature smiled and shook her head. “Certainly not,” she replied. “His home is on the ground. His babies are born in a nest made just as Mrs. Peter Rabbit makes her nest for your babies, and Mrs. Jumper Hare makes a nest for Jumper’s babies. It is made of grass and lined with soft fur which Mrs. Rabbit pulls from her own breast, and it is very carefully hidden. By the way, Peter how do your babies differ from the babies of your Cousin Jumper?”

Peter shook his head. “I don’t know,” he said. “I do know my babies don’t have their eyes open when they are born and they haven’t any hair.”

Jumper pricked up his long ears and said “Truly? Why, my babies have their eyes open and have the dearest little fur coats!”

Mother Nature chuckled. “That is the difference,” she said. “I guess both of you have learned something.”

“You said a little while ago that Jumper isn’t the biggest of our family,” said Peter. “If you please, who is?”

“There are several bigger than Jumper,” replied Mother Nature, and smiled as she saw the funny look of surprise on the faces of Peter and Jumper. “There is one way up in the Frozen North and there are two cousins way out in the Great West. They are as much bigger than Jumper as Jumper is bigger than you, Peter. I haven’t time to tell you about them right now. However, if you really want to learn about them please be here promptly at sun-up tomorrow morning. Well Hello! Here comes Reddy Fox, and he looks to me as if he is searching for a good breakfast . Let me see what you have learned about taking care of yourselves.”

Peter and Jumper gave one startled look in the direction Mother Nature was pointing. Sure enough, there was Reddy Fox. Not far away was a hollow log. Peter wasted no time in getting to it. In fact, he left in such a hurry that he forgot to say goodbye to Mother Nature. She didn’t mind, for she quite understood Peter’s urgency, and she laughed when she saw his funny little white tail disappear inside the hollow log. As for Jumper, he promptly took to his long legs and disappeared with great bounds and Reddy Fox racing right after him.

This Curious Capkin has created more P.L.A.Y. Ponderings just for you!

Following the prompts below draw, doodle, write, ponder, paint, color, and creatively capture your thoughts in your P.L.A.Y. Adventures nature journal!

  1. Is there a “mirror” in the field or forest that Peter Rabbit could use to see how he looks? What might this be?
  2. Draw two very large circles that overlap and fill up your page. Where the two circles overlap in the middle write the things both Peter Rabbit and Jumper the Hare have in common. Then separately in each remaining half of each circle write the special traits they each have that the other one does not. Note: The two overlapping circles template is called a Venn Diagram and is used to compare and contrast two things.
  3. What is the purpose of Peter Rabbit’s long legs and short tail?
  4. What specific location does Peter Rabbit like to call home in or near the Green Meadows and on the edge of the Green Forest? Why is this his favorite spot? Have you ever ventured in to one and been snagged in it?
  5. Does Jumper the Hare prefer the meadow or the forest? Why?
  6. How do their feet differ? What are there uses?
  7. *Have you observed a rabbit? How does the nose move in relation to the mouth? Focus on the upper lip, what purpose does it serve? How does the rabbit eat in the summer vs. the winter and how would this special upper lip help? What are the teeth used for specifically? What are the whiskers for?

* Asterisk items are inspired by or are questions from the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock – Copyright 1911.

If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.


❤ ❤ ❤ Thank You! ❤ ❤ ❤


Winter #56 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A January treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

” Several Subtle Shades of Gold, Green, and Grey “

BonusMeadow Magic or Forest Find

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin & I found this treasure to match the description.


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Animal BOOK LOOK – Chapter 1 – Mother Nature Knows Best


Chapter 1

Mother Nature Knows Best


“As sure as the sun will rise, Peter Rabbit, some day I will catch you,” snarled Reddy Fox, as he poked his black nose in the hole between the roots of the Big Hickory tree which grows close to the Smiling Pool. “It is lucky for you that you were not one jump farther away from this hole.”

Peter, safe inside that hole, didn’t have a word to say, or, if he did, he didn’t have breath enough to say it. It was quite true that if he had been one jump farther from that hole, Reddy Fox would have caught him. As it was, the hairs on Peter’s funny white tail actually had tickled Reddy’s back as Peter plunged frantically through the root-bound entrance to that hole. It had been the narrowest escape Peter had had for a long, long time. You see, Reddy Fox had surprised Peter nibbling sweet clover on the bank of the Smiling Pond, and it had been a lucky thing for Peter that that hole, dug long ago by Johnny Chuck’s grandfather, had
been right where it was. Also, it was a lucky thing that old Mr. Chuck had been wise enough to make the entrance between the roots of that tree in such a way that it could not be dug any larger.

Sweet Clover nibbled by Peter Rabbit

Reddy Fox was too shrewd to waste any time trying to dig it larger. He knew there wasn’t room enough for him to get between those roots. So, Reddy trotted off across the Green Meadows. Peter remained where he was for a long time. When he was quite sure that it was safe to do so, he crept out and hurried, lipperty-lipperty-lip, up to the Old Orchard. He felt that that would be the safest place for him, because there were ever so many hiding places in the old stone wall.

When Peter reached the Old Orchard he was pleasantly surprised to see his friend Jenny Wren. Jenny had arrived that very morning from the Sunny South where she had spent the entire winter. “Tut, tut, tut!” exclaimed Jenny as soon as she saw Peter. “If it isn’t Peter Rabbit himself! How did you manage to keep out of the clutches of Reddy Fox all the long winter?”

Peter chuckled. “I didn’t have much trouble with Reddy during the winter,” he said , “however, this very morning he nearly caught me and it is a wonder that my hair is not snow white from fright.” Then he told Jenny all about his narrow escape. “Had it not been for that handy hole of Grandfather Chuck, I couldn’t possibly have escaped,” Peter concluded.

An apple tree in the Old Orchard beginning to blossom.

Jenny Wren cocked her little head to one side and her sharp little eyes snapped. “By the way Peter, why don’t you learn to swim like your cousin down in the Sunny South?” she asked. “If he had been in your place, he would have simply plunged into the Smiling Pool and swam away from Reddy Fox.”

Peter sat bolt upright with his eyes very wide open. In them was a funny look of surprise as he stared up at Jenny Wren. “What are you talking about, Jenny Wren?” he asked. “Don’t you know that none of the Rabbit family swim unless it is to cross the Laughing Brook when there is no other way of getting to the other side, or when actually driven into the water by an enemy from whom there is no other escape? I can swim a little if I have to, although you won’t catch me in the water if I can stay on land. What is more, you won’t find any other members of my family doing such a thing either.”

“Tut, tut, tut, Peter!” exclaimed Jenny Wren. “I wonder how much you really know about your own family. How many relatives do you have Peter?”

“One,” replied Peter promptly, “my big cousin, Jumper the Hare.”

“Oh my, well I have to say,” said Jenny Wren, “while I’m way down in the Sunny South where I spend the winters, I’ve met a cousin of yours who is more closely related to you than Jumper the Hare. And what is more, he is almost as fond of the water as Jerry Muskrat. He is called the Marsh Rabbit or Marsh Hare, and many a time I have watched him swimming about by the hour.”

Peter Rabbit talking with Jenny Wren at the Stone Wall in the Old Orchard. Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“Truly, it is hard to believe that there is a hare fond of water!” declared Peter. “I belong to the Cottontail branch of the Hare family, and it is a fine family if I do say so. My cousin Jumper is a true Hare, and the only difference between us is that he is bigger, has longer legs and ears, changes the color of his coat in winter, and seldom, if ever, goes into holes in the ground. So the idea of you trying to tell me I have more relatives that I don’t even know is surprising to say the least.”

Jenny Wren suddenly became serious. “Peter,” she said very earnestly, “take my advice and go see Mother Nature and learn what you can from her. What I have told you is true, every word of it. You have a cousin down in the Sunny South who spends half his time in the water. What is more, I suspect that you and Jumper have other relatives of whom you’ve never heard. Truly, go see Mother Nature as she is so wise and always knows best.” With this, Jenny Wren flew away to find Mr. Wren so that they might decide where to make their home for the summer.

Peter wondered. Could it be possible that Jenny Wren was right? Could it be that he really didn’t know what relatives he had or anything about them? Of course Mother Nature could tell him all he wanted to know. And he knew that whatever she might tell him would be true.

Finally with curiosity Peter started for the Green Forest to look for Mother Nature. It didn’t take long to find her. She was very busy, for there is no time in all the year when Mother Nature has quite so much to do as in the spring.

Peter finds Mother Nature in the Green Forest

“If you please, Mother Nature,” said Peter in a very polite voice, “I’ve some questions I want to ask you.”

Mother Nature’s eyes twinkled in a kindly way. “All right, Peter,” she replied. “I guess I can talk and work at the same time. What is it you want to know?”

“I want to know if it is true that there are any other members of the Rabbit and the Hare family besides my big cousin, Jumper, who lives here in the Green Forest, and myself.”

Mother Nature’s eyes twinkled more than ever. “Why, of course, Peter,” she replied. “There are several other members. I suppose you don’t know this because you have never have traveled beyond the Green Forest.”

Peter looked very humble. “Is it true that way down in the Sunny South I have a cousin who loves to spend his time in the water?” Peter asked.

“It certainly is,” replied Mother Nature. “He is called the Marsh Rabbit, and he is more nearly your size, and looks more like you, than any of your other cousins.”

Peter gulped as if he were swallowing something that went down hard. “That is what Jenny Wren said, however I found it hard to believe her,” replied Peter. “She said she had often watched him swimming about like Jerry Muskrat.”

Mother Nature nodded. “Quite true,” she said. “He is quite as much at home in the water as on land, if anything a little more so. He is one member the family who takes to the water, and he certainly does love it. Is there anything else you want to know, Peter?”

Peter shifted about uneasily and hesitated. “What is it, Peter?” asked Mother Nature kindly. “There is nothing in this Great World better than asking a question. Ask any question you like.”

Peter took heart. “If you please, Mother Nature, I would like to learn all about my family. May I come to see you every day to learn more?”

Mother Nature smiled. “Certainly you may come to learn with me, Mr. Curiosity,” she said. “It is a good idea; a very good idea. I’m very busy, as you can see, however I’m never too busy to share with those who really want to learn. We’ll have a session here every morning just at sun-up. I can’t do any more today as it is getting late. Run along home to the dear Old Briar-patch and think up some questions to ask me tomorrow morning. And, by the way, Peter, I will ask YOU some questions too. For one thing I shall ask YOU to tell me all you know about your own family. Now scamper along and I’ll see you tomorrow morning right here at sun-up.”

“Mother Nature, may I bring my cousin, Jumper the Hare, if he wants to come along?” asked Peter.

“Yes, bring him and anyone else who wants to learn,” replied Mother Nature kindly.

Peter bade her goodbye in his most polite manner and then scampered as fast as he could go, lipperty-lipperty-lip, to the dear Old Briar-patch. There he spent the remainder of the day thinking up questions and also trying to find out how much he really did know about his own family.

This Curious Capkin has created more P.L.A.Y. Ponderings just for you!

Following the prompts below draw, doodle, write, ponder, paint, color, and creatively capture your thoughts in your P.L.A.Y. Adventures nature journal!

  1. Do you have cotton-tail rabbits where you live? How do you know?
  2. What signs have you seen to inform you that rabbits live in your yard, neighborhood, or nearby field and forest area?
  3. Do you think Peter Rabbit’s cousin, Jumper the Hare, lives nearby you too? Why or why not?
  4. *Have you discovered rabbit tracks in the snow? Which direction was the rabbit going? Lipperty-lipperty-lip! Were the tracks made at night or during the day? How are the feet of a rabbit protected so they do not freeze in the snow?

* Asterisk items are inspired by or are questions from the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock – Copyright 1911.

Colorful Curious Capkins Contemplating Cotton-tail tracks!

If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.


❤ ❤ ❤ Thank You! ❤ ❤ ❤


Winter #51 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A January treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

” Winter Greens Growing in a Group 

BonusTufted Texture

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin & I found this treasure to match the description.


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

P.L.A.Y. Project: Snowflakes + Cool Crystals #10

Welcome to my P.L.A.Y. project:

Snowflakes & Cool Crystals


First post in series found HERE.


Cool Crystals are back for 2021!
Hurray for Sweet Snowflake Season!
Love the 6-sided shape structure and sparkle!


Have you heard of Snowflake Bentley?



Have you seen Kenneth Libbrecht’s current day work The Secret Life of a Snowflake?



Time to make tracks to your local library or purchase your own copies online as these books are not to be missed snow season treasures for the whole family and great ways to kick-off new outdoor P.L.A.Y. Project Adventures!


And while you’re out there you might want to take a moment for some extra P.L.A.Y. by making a few seasonal snow angels too!

This Snow Angel was made in 16 inches of Puffy Powdery Winter White Wonder by a fellow P.L.A.Y. er! (Thanks for the fun walk R + E+ W!)


Curious Capkins love getting outdoors to P.L.A.Y. with you in all seasons and all kinds of weather!
So step into the sunshine, snow shower, wind or rain and enjoy the adventure – you and your kiddos will be so very glad you did!


Tips on how to make your own set of curious Capkins found HERE.


Nature Poop Post #7

A magical moment in any outdoor adventure is to find . . .

SCATBEDOODOO!!!

Who left these behind?


SCATBEDOODOO is a new special P.L.A.Y. combination of two things:

SCAT = animal poop (aka feces)

SCAT = the improvised singing of nonsense syllables in jazz music like bop-doo-wop.


❤ 🙂 ❤

What to do when you find the poo out in the wild:

1-Watch Your Step!

2-Look with your eyes not your hands (no touch!)

3-Draw or take a snapshot of the poop to later decipher which field or forest animal left behind this special clue.

4- Get curious if you like and poke it with a stick to try to figure out what this animal ate. Can you see fur, seeds, grasses, or ???

BONUS P.L.A.Y.  Sing your own verse of SCATBEDOODOO to celebrate discovering which animal has passed this way before you!

❤  🙂 ❤


The authors write in the introduction:

“(this book assists with) . . . the joy of reading stories written in the soil and snow. The fun of nature’s challenge is solving the mysteries written on the trail.”

I highly recommend picking up a copy for your nature library! ~ Karen ;0)


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Winter #55 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A January treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for a

” Forest Fungi Scene From Under the Sea “

BonusScalloped Shell-like Structures

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin & I found this treasure to match the description.


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Deer BOOK LOOK – Chapter 10 – The Ultimate Challenge

Original story written in 1921 by Thornton Burgess and revised by P.L.A.Y. for the 21st century family.

– Chapter 10 –

The Ultimate Challenge


Down from the top of the ridge back of the pond of Paddy the Beaver plunged Lightfoot the Deer, his eyes focused on the newcomer. He had understood the call of Sammy Jay. He knew that somewhere down there was the big newcomer he had been looking for.

The newcomer had understood Sammy’s call quite as well as Lightfoot. He knew he could not run away now so he bounded out into a little open place by the pond of Paddy the Beaver and there he waited.

Meanwhile Sammy Jay was flying about in the greatest excitement, calling out at the top of his lungs. Clever the Crow, over in another part of the Green Forest, heard him and took up the cry and at once hurried over to Paddy’s pond. Everybody who was near enough hurried there. Bobby Coon and Billy Possum climbed trees from which they could see and at the same time be safe. Billy Mink hurried to a safe place on the dam of Paddy the Beaver. Paddy himself climbed up on the roof of his house out in the pond. Peter Rabbit and Jumper the Hare, who happened to be not far away, hurried over where they could peep out from under some young hemlock trees.

For what seemed like the longest time, which was really only for a minute, Lightfoot and the big newcomer stood still, staring at each other. Then with a snort they lowered their heads and plunged together. Their antlers clashed with a noise that rang through the Green Forest, and both fell to their knees. There they pushed and struggled. Then they separated and backed away, to repeat the movement over again. If they had not known before, everybody knew now what those great antlers were for. Once the big newcomer managed to reach Lightfoot’s right shoulder with one of the sharp points of his antlers and made a long tear in Lightfoot’s gray coat. It only made Lightfoot push harder.

Sometimes they would rear up and strike with their sharp hoofs. Back and forth they plunged, and the ground was torn up by their hooves. Both were getting out of breath, and from time to time they had to stop for a moment’s rest. Then they would come together again to challenge one another.

As Lightfoot the Deer and the big newcomer from the Great Mountain were challenging one another in the little opening near the pond of Paddy the Beaver, neither knew who saw them. Each was determined to drive the other from the Green Forest. Each was trying for the to win over Miss Daintyfoot the Doe.

Neither of them knew that Miss Daintyfoot the Doe herself was watching them. She had heard the clash of their great antlers as they had come together the first time, and she had known exactly what it meant. Quietly she had stolen forward to a thicket where, safely hidden, she could watch. She knew that they were all tangled up over her.

After a while Lightfoot’s greater size and strength began to show and little by little the big newcomer was forced back towards the edge of the open place. Eventually the newcomer tired and he turned tail and plunged for the shelter of the Green Forest. With a snort of triumph, Lightfoot ran after him.

The newcomer’s one thought was to get away. Straight back towards the Great Mountain from which he had come. Lightfoot followed for only a short distance. He knew that the big newcomer was going for good and would not come back. Then Lightfoot turned back to the open place where they had fought. There he threw up his beautiful head, crowned by its great antlers, and signaled a challenge to all the Green Forest. As she looked at him, Miss Daintyfoot the Doe knew that she wanted to stay with him here in the Green Forest.

And so it was, that these white-tailed deer roamed the fields and forest throughout the winter leaving their tracks in the glistening white snow wherever they went.

And every so often if you take a walk in the woods, especially in the late autumn, you might come across a magical moment where you see another sign that they were here too.

OH DEER!
A surprise magical moment of finding frosted poop pellets in the forest!

This Curious Capkin has created more P.L.A.Y. Adventures just for you!

Capture your thoughts in your P.L.A.Y. Adventures nature journal!

  1. What do deer do in the winter? What foods do they eat? How do they survive?
  2. How do deer stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer?
  3. When male and female deer mate how many babies do they have? What time of year are they born?
  4. What questions do you still have about Lightfoot the Deer and Daintyfoot the Doe? Write them down and seek out answers that lead you to more questions!

P.L.A.Y. presents . . .

More updated animal stories from the Thornton Burgess archives featuring local four-legged friends in the fields and forests.

Winter #86 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A December treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

” Prints in Powder Pointing a Pathway “

Bonus Winter White

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin & I found this treasure to match the description.


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Deer BOOK LOOK – Chapter 9 – Sammy Jay Makes the Call

Original story written in 1921 by Thornton Burgess and revised by P.L.A.Y. for the 21st century family.

– Chapter 9 –

Sammy Jay Makes the Call


Sammy Jay was bubbling over with excitement as he flew about through the Green Forest, following Lightfoot the Deer. He was so excited he wanted to call out. And yet he didn’t. He kept his tongue still. You see, he didn’t want Lightfoot to know that he was being followed. Under that pointed cap of Sammy Jay’s are quick wits. It didn’t take him long to discover that the big stranger whom Lightfoot was seeking was doing his best to keep out of Lightfoot’s way and that he was having no difficulty in doing so because of the random way in which Lightfoot was searching for him. Lightfoot made so much noise that it was quite easy to know just where he was and to keep out of his sight.

“That stranger is nearly as big as Lightfoot, however it is very plain that he doesn’t want to be challenged,” thought Sammy.

Now the truth is as big as he was, the stranger wasn’t quite so big as Lightfoot, and he knew it. He had seen Lightfoot’s big hoofprints, and from their size he knew that Lightfoot must be bigger and heavier than he. Then, too, he knew that he really had no right to be there in the Green Forest as that was Lightfoot’s home. He knew that Lightfoot would feel this way about it and that this would make him challenge the newcomer. So the big stranger wanted to avoid meeting Lightfoot. And yet he wanted still more to find that beautiful young visitor with the dainty feet for whom Lightfoot had been looking. He wanted to find her just as much as
Lightfoot wanted to find her, and he hoped that if he did find her, he could get her to go away with him back to the Great Mountain.

All this Sammy Jay guessed, and after a while he grew tired of following Lightfoot for nothing. “I’ll have to help in this thing myself,” muttered Sammy. “At this rate, Lightfoot never will find that big newcomer!”

So Sammy stopped following Lightfoot and began to search through the Green Forest for the big newcomer. It didn’t take very long to find him. He was over near the pond of Paddy the Beaver. As soon as he saw him, Sammy began to call out at the top of his lungs. At once he heard the sound of snapping twigs at the top of a little ridge back of Paddy’s pond and knew that Lightfoot had heard and understood.

Signs of Sammy Jay Making the Call!

This Curious Capkin has created more P.L.A.Y. Adventures just for you!

Capture your thoughts in your P.L.A.Y. Adventures nature journal!

  1. Have you heard a Blue Jay call?
  2. Have you ever wondered what the Blue Jay may be giving a warning call for? Is it your presence or something else?
  3. How do you feel about Sammy Jay calling out and exposing where the newcomer deer was in the Green Forest?
  4. Did you know that when some birds call out they are warning other birds and animals of a change in the forest or nearby area?
  5. More P.L.A.Y. Bird adventures, stories, and resources can be found HERE.