Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4 pages of information about The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.

[Illustration]

The squirrels filled their little sacks with nuts, and sailed away home in the evening.

[Illustration]

But next morning they all came back again to Owl Island; and Twinkleberry and the others brought a fine fat mole, and laid it on the stone in front of Old Brown’s doorway, and said—­

“Mr. Brown, will you favour us with your gracious permission to gather some more nuts?”

[Illustration]

But Nutkin, who had no respect, began to dance up and down, tickling old Mr. Brown with a nettle and singing—­

    “Old Mr. B!  Riddle-me-ree! 
     Hitty Pitty within the wall,
     Hitty Pitty without the wall;
     If you touch Hitty Pitty,
     Hitty Pitty will bite you!”

Mr. Brown woke up suddenly and carried the mole into his house.

[Illustration]

He shut the door in Nutkin’s face.  Presently a little thread of blue smoke from a wood fire came up from the top of the tree, and Nutkin peeped through the key-hole and sang—­

    “A house full, a hole full! 
     And you cannot gather a bowl-full!”

[Illustration]

The squirrels searched for nuts all over the island and filled their little sacks.

But Nutkin gathered oak-apples—­yellow and scarlet—­and sat upon a beech-stump playing marbles, and watching the door of old Mr. Brown.

[Illustration]

On the third day the squirrels got up very early and went fishing; they caught seven fat minnows as a present for Old Brown.

They paddled over the lake and landed under a crooked chestnut tree on Owl Island.

[Illustration]

Twinkleberry and six other little squirrels each carried a fat minnow; but Nutkin, who had no nice manners, brought no present at all.  He ran in front, singing—­

    “The man in the wilderness said to me,
    ‘How many strawberries grow in the sea?’
     I answered him as I thought good—­
     ‘As many red herrings as grow in the wood.’”

But old Mr. Brown took no interest in riddles—­not even when the answer was provided for him.

[Illustration]

On the fourth day the squirrels brought a present of six fat beetles, which were as good as plums in plum-pudding for Old Brown.  Each beetle was wrapped up carefully in a dock-leaf, fastened with a pine-needle pin.

But Nutkin sang as rudely as ever—­

     “Old Mr. B! riddle-me-ree
      Flour of England, fruit of Spain,
      Met together in a shower of rain;
      Put in a bag tied round with a string,
    If you’ll tell me this riddle, I’ll give you a ring!”

Which was ridiculous of Nutkin, because he had not got any ring to give to Old Brown.

[Illustration]

The other squirrels hunted up and down the nut bushes; but Nutkin gathered robin’s pincushions off a briar bush, and stuck them full of pine-needle pins.

Follow Us on Facebook