The Tale Of Peter Rabbit
ONCE upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir tree.
"NOW, my dears," said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, "you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor."
"NOW run along, and don't get into mischief. I am going out."
THEN old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, to the baker's. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.
FLOPSY, Mopsy, and Cottontail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries; BUT Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's garden and squeezed under the gate!
FIRST he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes; AND then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.
BUT round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor!
MR. McGREGOR was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, "Stop thief!"
PETER was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate. He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.
AFTER losing them, he ran on four legs and went faster, so that I think he might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new.
PETER gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself.
MR. McGREGOR came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon the top of Peter; but Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind him. AND rushed into the toolshed and jumped into a can. It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had not had so much water in it.
MR. McGREGOR was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the toolshed, perhaps hidden underneath a flower-pot. He began to turn them over carefully, looking under each.
Presently Peter sneezed-- "Kertyschoo!" Mr. McGregor was after him in no time, AND tried to put his foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants. The window was too small for Mr. McGregor, and he was tired of running after Peter. He went back to his work.
PETER sat down to rest; he was out of breath and trembling with fright, and he had not the least idea which way to go. Also he was very damp with sitting in that can.
After a time he began to wander about, going lippity-- lippity--not very fast, and looking all around.
HE found a door in a wall; but it was locked, and there was no room for a fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath. An old mouse was running in and out over the stone doorstep, carrying peas and beans to her family in the wood. Peter asked her the way to the gate, but she had such a large pea in her mouth that she could not answer. She only shook her head at him. Peter began to cry.
THEN he tried to find his way straight across the garden, but he became more and more puzzled. Presently, he came to a pond where Mr. McGregor filled his water-cans. A white cat was staring at some gold-fish; she sat very, very still, but now and then the tip of her tail twitched as if it were alive. Peter thought it best to go away without speaking to her; he had heard about cats from his cousin, little Benjamin Bunny.
HE went back towards the tool-shed, but suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe--scr-r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter scuttered underneath the bushes. But presently, as nothing happened, he came out, and climbed upon a wheelbarrow, and peeped over. The first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. His back was turned towards Peter, and beyond him was the gate!
PETER got down very quietly off the wheelbarrow, and started running as fast as he could go, along a straight walk behind some black-currant bushes. Mr. McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate, and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.
MR. McGREGOR hung up the little jacket and the shoes for a scare-crow to frighten the blackbirds.
PETER never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir-tree.
He was so tired that he flopped down upon the nice soft sand on the floor of the rabbit-hole, and shut his eyes. His mother was busy cooking; she wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!
I AM sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter! "One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time."
BUT Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries, for supper.
The Tale Of Tony The Poodle
Once upon a time there was a fawning poodle whose name was Tony. He resided in a breathtaking grace-and-favour Ivory Tower in a nice place called Downing Street in a backwater country named Great Britain, with Cherie, his money-grabbing, grasping, grafting, supermarket-sweeping, barking-mad bitch (aka 'The Wicked Witch'), and their two tabby cats named Major and Thatcher. He kept a staff of two hundred, including a butler, and owned a bankrupt political party called New Labour. (Or so he thought...it was actually owned by Robber Brown).
Now Tony the Poodle didn't do much except lie in the sun (or anywhere else for that matter) whilst planning his so-called "Legacy"...or the next junket or freebie trip away.
"Yo Tone...!", said his bestest friend ever, George the Dumb Ass, from an oil-guzzling place named the United States of America, "We're goin' on a trip into that bastard Mr Hussein's backyard...the truth is, mah paw had a bit of an, um...episode there fifteen years ago...ah sure am gonna kick that wretched A-rab mofo from here to Kingdom Come!"
"Oh good! Goody gumdrops! That'd be cool, George!" said the Poodle. "But, erm, hold on a minute, don't you think that...you know...we Western superpowers should attempt the appropriate sanctions, or get, like, a watertight United Nations Resolution or something first?"
"What? Better forget it!" replied the swaggering, brainless, bible-thumping, half-drunk warmonger George. "After September Eleven? Remember the Twin Towers! And the Pentagon! A watertight new-nited what? Bugger that! I-raqland here we come!"
"OK, fine...whatever you want, George...just whatever you want!" went Tony the Poodle, gushingly, humping George's leg.
But first, the Poodle went out to do the shopping. He bought a plectrum, a purple jacket and trousers, two apartments in Bristol, a bottle of champagne, a wreath for David Kelly (the scapegoat), a tin of whitewash for his trusted friend Hutton the Porker, fragrant strawberries and cream and a double cheeseburger for George's breakfast, got some travel brochures, two shotguns, and two Bee Gees CDs.
Tony the Poodle liked the Bee Gees very much...he sometimes went on free trips to Florida with his new friend Robin the Chipmunk. Tony the Poodle knew the proper chords to Robin and his brother Dobbin's song Stayin' Alive on his shining Fender Stratocaster guitar. He also had some friends named Sir Clifford of Barbados and Mr Silvio Ravioli di Toscana, and he visited them for frequent free holidays...and wristwatches, too!
Now Tony and George told the whole wide world that Mr Hussein, the "Butcher of Baghdad", had some weapons of mass destruction which could be deployed within forty-five minutes! Both the Poodle and the Dumb Ass knew that this was an utter crock of garbage, but, together with the Hebrews, told everyone that it was true nonetheless.
Then the Poodle went begging...he rounded up all together his select mega-rich business entrepreneur "friends", then in return for lots and lots of cash, which he needed both to go and sort-out Mr Hussein, and also to repay the huge mortgage on the latest kennel, he gave the wealthy benefactors a lot of big, impressive-sounding but worthless titles (or "peerages") which they could attach to their names, such as "Sir" or "Lord" . (Or at least OBE or CBE.)
However, a nice honest policeman named Mr. Yates thought that this was altogether very naughty, so he chased after Tony the Poodle with a great big stick, the better to arrest him with. He caught up with him, and attempted to grab him...but he was covered from head to toe in a somewhat slippery substance called Teflon, and he was thus able to escape from the clutches of the poor Mr. Yates, and then to squeeze under the gate in the Yard. What a perfect embarrassment!
One summer month, the Dumb Ass and the Poodle jumped on a fast Jumbo plane together, then went east to I-raqland to find and then capture Mr. Hussein. With malice aforethought, they bombarded, battered, and blanketed the I-raqland infrastructure for months and months...a major laser-targeted battle called 'Operation Shock-and-Awe'. They even knocked over a huge statue of Mr. Hussein. Then one unforgettable night, on a little farm, they found THE fallen Mr. Hussein, unkempt, hiding down a hole in the ground, frightened, so they pulled him out by his ears, shone a bright torch into his mouth, then threw him into a dark, damp A-rab prison.
Then afterwards, Mr. Hussein was put in front of some judges from I-raqland who had been told just what to say by the Dumb Ass.
Furthermore, that horrible A-rab Mr. Hussein was at last charged with Crimes Against Humanity for the Dujail massacre of one-hundred-and-forty-eight innocent civilians, found guilty, sentenced to death, then he, together with his half-brother Barzan, was hanged at Camp Cropper in Baghdad's protected Green Zone, photographed on a mobile phone...then the power-mad statesman George the Dumb Ass and his mate Tony the Poodle lived happily together, nuclear-powered, for ever.