Peter Rabbit Sees a Change in Clothes
Peter Rabbit couldn’t get Old Mr. Toad off his mind. He had discovered so many interesting things about Old Mr. Toad that he believed him to be one of the most interesting of all his neighbors. Peter appreciated Old Mr. Toad’s beautiful eyes, sweet voice, and such a wonderfully odd and useful tongue.
“Funny,” mused Peter, “how we can live right beside people all our lives and not really know them at all. I believe I will go look up Old Mr. Toad and see if I can find out anything more.”
Off started Peter, lipperty-lipperty-lip. He didn’t know just where to go now that Old Mr. Toad had left the Smiling Pool. He had an idea though that he would not be far from their meeting place of the day before, when Old Mr. Toad had explained about his wonderful tongue. However, when he got there, Peter found no trace of Old Mr. Toad. You see, it had rained the day before, and that is just the kind of weather that a Toad likes best for traveling. Peter hadn’t thought of that. He looked for awhile and finally gave up and started up the Crooked Little Path with the idea of running over to call on Johnny Chuck in the Old Orchard.
Jolly, round, bright Mr. Sun was shining his brightest, and Peter soon forgot all about Old Mr. Toad. He scampered along up the Crooked Little Path, thinking of nothing in particular just how good it was to be alive, and occasionally kicking up his heels for pure joy. He had just done this when his ears caught the sound of an odd noise a little to one side of the Crooked Little Path. Instantly Peter stopped and sat up to listen. There it was again, and it seemed to come from under an old piece of board. It was just a little, rustling sound, hardly to be heard.
“There’s someone under that old board,” thought Peter, and peeped under. All he could see was that there was something moving. Instantly Peter was curious. Whoever was there was not very big. He was sure of that. Of course that meant that he had nothing to fear. So what do you think Peter did? Why, he just pulled that old board over. And when he did that, who do you think he saw? It was Old Mr. Toad!
Oh what a sight Old Mr. Toad was! Peter just stared. For a full minute he couldn’t find his voice. Old Mr. Toad was changing his clothes! He was taking off his old suit and under it was a brand new one. And such a time he was having!
He was opening and shutting his big mouth, and drawing his hind legs under him, and rubbing them against his body. Then Peter saw a strange thing. He saw that Old Mr. Toad’s old suit had split in several places, and he was getting it off by sucking it into his mouth!
In a few minutes his hind legs were free of the old suit, and little by little it began to be pulled free from his body. All the time Old Mr. Toad was working very hard to suck it at the corners of his big mouth. He simply glared at Peter as he could say nothing because his mouth was too full. Peter just kept sitting and staring in disbelief.
When Old Mr. Toad had his hands free by pulling the sleeves of his old coat off inside out, he used his hands to pull the last of it over his head. Then he gulped very hard two or three times to swallow his old suit, and when the last of it had disappeared, he found his voice.
“Well Peter, what do you have to say for yourself?” asked Old Mr. Toad in his new suit.