Mrs. Peter Rabbit by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter XXXII. Peter Rabbit's Nursery
With home, the home you call your own, It really doesn't matter where, There is no place, in all the world, That ever will or can compare. Peter Rabbit.
The news was out at last, thanks to Blacky the Crow. Peter Rabbit had a family! Yes, Sir, Peter Rabbit had a family! Right away the Old Briar- patch became the most interesting place on the Green Meadows to all the little people who live there and in the near-by Green Forest. Of course all of Peter's friends called as soon as ever they could. They found Peter looking very proud, and very important, and very happy. Mrs. Peter looked just as proud, and just as happy, but she also looked very anxious. You see, while she was very glad to have so many friends call, there were also other visitors. That is, they were not exactly callers, but they hung around the outside of the Old Briar-patch, and they seemed quite as much interested as the friends who really called. Indeed, they seemed more interested.
Who were they? Why, Reddy Fox was one. Then there was Old Man Coyote, also Redtail the Hawk and Digger the Badger, and just at dusk Hooty the Owl. They all seemed very much interested indeed, but every time little Mrs. Peter saw them, she shivered. You see, she couldn't help thinking that there was a dreadful, hungry look in their eyes, and if the truth is to be told, there probably was.
But happy-go-lucky Peter Rabbit didn't let this worry him. Hadn't he grown up from a teeny-weeny baby and been smart enough to escape all these dangers which worried Mrs. Peter so? And if he could do it, of course his own babies could do it, with him to teach them and show them how. Besides, they were too little to go outside of the Old Briar-patch now. Indeed, they were too little to go outside their nursery, which was in a clump of sweet-briar bushes in the very middle of the Old Briar- patch, and Peter felt that there they were perfectly safe.
"It isn't time to worry yet," said Peter to little Mrs. Peter, as he saw the fright in her eyes as the shadow of Redtail passed over them. "I don't believe in borrowing trouble. Time enough to worry when there is something to worry about, and that won't be until these little scallawags of ours are big enough to run around and get into mischief. Did you ever see such beautiful babies in all your life?"
For a minute the worried look left little Mrs. Peter, and she gazed at the four little helpless babies fondly. "No," she replied softly, "I never did. Oh, Peter, they are perfectly lovely! This one is the perfect image of you, and I'm going to call him Little Pete. And don't you think his brother looks like his grandfather? I think we'll call him Little Jed."
Peter coughed behind his hand as if something had stuck in his throat. He had no love for Little Jed's grandfather, Old Jed Thumper, the big, gray, old Rabbit who had tried so hard to drive him from the Old Pasture, but he didn't say anything. If Mrs. Peter wanted to name this one Little Jed, he wouldn't say a word. Aloud he said:
"I think, my dear, that this one looks just as you must have looked when you were little, and so we'll call her Fuzzy. And her sister we'll call Wuzzy," continued Peter. "Was ever there such a splendid nursery for baby Rabbits?"
"I don't believe there ever was, Peter. It's better than my old nursery in the Old Pasture," replied little Mrs. Peter, as with a sigh of perfect happiness she stretched out beside their four babies.
And Peter softly tiptoed away to the nearest sweet-clover patch with his heart almost bursting with pride.
Of the doings of Peter and Mrs. Peter Rabbit and their four children there are many more stories, so many that one book will not hold all of them. Besides, Bowser the Hound insists that I must write a book about him, and I have promised to do it right away. So the next book will be Bowser the Hound.