ONCE upon a time, there were four rabbits, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter. They lived with their mother, Old Mrs Rabbit, in a warren which looked – to the unaccustomed eye – rather like the lice infested trenches of World War One.
One day Peter’s mother said, ‘I am going to market to sell my mittens.
‘You may play in the woods if you wish but, Peter, you and your naughty cousin Benjamin Bunny are not to antagonize Mr McGregor nor blow up any Panzer tanks today.’
And with that, she left in a swish-swash-swish of rustling skirts.
But oh! That Peter was a naughty rabbit!
No sooner had his mother left than he had dressed for combat and hopped down to the end of the lane to rendezvous with his cousin Benjamin.
As the two young rabbits exchanged their fulsome greetings, they suddenly became aware of a mighty a-clinking and a-clanking coming up the road!
Their little hearts a-flutter, they peered judiciously around the corner.
AND what do you think the two naughty young rabbits saw when they peeped out?
Mr McGregor in a Mk II Tiger tank with a traversable 88mm howitzer and two forward mounted 7.62mm machine guns!
‘Be quick and fetch the Panzerfaust anti-tank gun from Tom Kitten!’ whispered Benjamin.
So Peter went lipperty-lipperty all the way to Tom Kitten’s house.
‘Quick!’ Peter implored him. ‘Lend me your Panzerfaust, for Mr McGregor has a Tiger tank and will surely blast us all into bloody shards of flesh, bone and sinewy pulp if we are not careful, if we are not most circumspect!’
Tom Kitten gave Peter his anti-tank gun willingly for Mr McGregor had scolded him once. But by the time Peter had returned to his cousin, Mr McGregor had driven up the road and opened fire on Jemima Puddleduck, killing her instantly.
‘Thank goodness you were not the least tardy!’ cried Benjamin, as the turret of Mr McGregor’s tank slowly turned towards the humble abode of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. ‘Waste the fucker!’
PETER steadied the bazooka on his shoulder and squinted one beady little rabbit eye down the sights.
Now, rabbits eat lots of carrots and every child knows that carrots do your eyesight a power of good, so of course Peter did not miss.