The Tale of Benjamin Bunny is a classic children's book by the English author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. It was first published in September 1904. The story is a sequel to The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Potter's first book published two years earlier.
In The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Peter has a misadventure in Mr. McGregor's garden and loses his coat and shoes. In The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, Peter's cousin Benjamin takes Peter back into Mr. McGregor's garden to retrieve his clothes. The two young rabbits get themselves into quite a predicament before help finally arrives.
The character of Benjamin Bunny is featured in two subsequent books; The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies (1909) and The Tale of Mr. Tod (1912). He is also mentioned briefly in The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (1905) and appears in illustrations only in The Tale of Ginger and Pickles (1909).
The Tale of Benjamin Bunny was adapted with The Tale of Peter Rabbit as the first episode of the BBC television series The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends. The episode first aired in the United Kingdom on May 13, 1992.
Little Benjamin Bunny sees Mr. and Mrs. McGregor drive away in a gig. He hops along toward the home of his aunt who is a widow with four little children named Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. Benjamin finds Peter sitting outside by himself. Peter does not look very well, and he is wearing a red handkerchief instead of his clothes. Peter explains to Benjamin that he lost his clothes while being chased around by Mr. McGregor in his garden.
Benjamin tells Peter that both Mr. and Mrs. McGregor are away for the day. The two little rabbits walk to the top of the wall along Mr. McGregor's garden and look down. They see Mr. McGregor's scarecrow wearing Peter's coat and shoes. Benjamin climbs down the pear tree to get into the garden. Peter tries to follow but falls down head first. Fortunately, the bed below is soft and he is not hurt.
Benjamin and Peter take the clothes off the scarecrow. Then Benjamin takes the red handkerchief Peter had been wearing and fills it with onions for Peter's mother. Benjamin tells Peter that he often comes to the garden with his father to get lettuce for their Sunday dinner. Benjamin is very much at home in the garden, but Peter cannot enjoy himself. He just wants to go home.
They cannot go back up the pear tree with the onions, so Benjamin leads Peter to the other side of the garden. Peter hears awful noises and stops. The little rabbits peek around the corner and see a sleeping cat. Benjamin quickly hides himself, Peter, and the onions under a large basket. The cat gets up and walks over to the basket. She sniffs then sits down on top of the basket. She stays there for the next five hours.
It is quite late in the afternoon when Benjamin's father, Mr. Benjamin Bunny, comes looking for his son. He jumps off the wall on to the top of the cat. Before the surprised cat can strike back, he kicks her into the greenhouse and locks the door. He then takes his son out from under the basket and whips him with the switch he brought along. Mr. Bunny punishes his nephew next then marches the boys out of the garden.
Mr. McGregor returns half an hour later and wonders how the cat managed to lock herself in the greenhouse. Peter's mother is happy to see that Peter found his clothes. She decides to forgive him.
- ↑ Benjamin Bunny is named after Beatrix Potter's first pet rabbit, Benjamin Bouncer.