They could hear him drag his chair on the flags, and chuckle—
“One, two, three, four, five, six leetle rabbits!” said Mr. McGregor.
“Eh? What’s that? What have they been spoiling now?” enquired Mrs. McGregor.
“One, two, three, four, five, six leetle fat rabbits!” repeated Mr. McGregor, counting on his fingers—“one, two, three—”
“Don’t you be silly; what do you mean, you silly old man?”
“In the sack! one, two, three, four, five, six!” replied Mr. McGregor.
(The youngest Flopsy Bunny got upon the window-sill.)
Mrs. McGregor took hold of the sack and felt it. She said she could feel six, but they must be old rabbits, because they were so hard and all different shapes.
“Not fit to eat; but the skins will do fine to line my old cloak.”
“Line your old cloak?” shouted Mr. McGregor—“I shall sell them and buy myself baccy!”
“Rabbit tobacco! I shall skin them and cut off their heads.”
Mrs. McGregor untied the sack and put her hand inside.
When she felt the vegetables she became very very
angry. She said that Mr.
McGregor had “done it a purpose.”
And Mr. McGregor was very angry too. One of the rotten marrows came flying through the kitchen window, and hit the youngest Flopsy Bunny.
It was rather hurt.
Then Benjamin and Flopsy thought that it was time to go home.
So Mr. McGregor did not get his tobacco, and Mrs. McGregor did not get her rabbit skins.
But next Christmas Thomasina Tittlemouse got a present of enough rabbit-wool to make herself a cloak and a hood, and a handsome muff and a pair of warm mittens.
BY BEATRIX POTTER
F. Warne & Co