Peter On The Road: The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson
I HAVE NOT SEEN MANY RABBITS MOPE, BUT WHEN THEY DO, THEIR EARS DROOP.
PETER RABBIT WAS IN LOW SPIRITS. IT HAD BEEN A RAINY SUMMER, HIS BLUE COAT HAD BEEN TORN BY BRIERS, AND HIS SHOES WERE HURTING.
"WHAT I NEED," HE SAID, "IS A CHANGE OF SCENE."
BENJAMIN BUNNY ADVISED AGAINST IT.
Benjamin Bunny, literature's party-pooper poster child, wants no part of Peter's idea of a change of scene. But does that deter our Peter? Did it ever?
Peter takes his malaise as usual, to Mr. McGregor's garden, squeezing under that apparently only ornamental gate and heading for the lettuce patch, when his attention is drawn to an intriguing covered wicker crate smelling sensually of onions. Oh, no, Peter! DON'T climb into that basket!
He does, of course (otherwise this wouldn't be much of a story, now would it?). Satiated on onions (and feeling a familiar post-prandial nausea), Peter falls asleep inside that wicker basket and wakens to find himself bouncing along in McGregor's cart headed for market day in parts unknown. Peter bails out of the cart and eventually meets up with a distant Celtic cousin in a kilt, who introduces himself as Finlay McBarney and takes the bedraggled Peter home. Mrs. McBarney settles his tummy with a bowl of porridge as Finlay promises to take Peter home right after he defends his manly status at the highland games the next day.
"I CHALLENGE ALL COMERS!" boasts Finlay McBarney.
The games seems to consists of all comers endlessly tossing large objects as far as they can, and soon bored, Peter wanders out of the clearing and into the woods where he ignores a warning KEEP OUT sign (of course) and discovers--a giant radish. Feeling a little peckish, Peter takes a nibble from what he feels is an inconspicuous place, and before he notices, he finds himself full of radish and quite deep inside that spicy veggie and, as is his wont, falls asleep yet again.
How Peter Rabbit find his way out of that ginormous radish and back home in time for a cup of Mother Rabbit's curative chamomile tea is the subject of Emma Thompson's reprise of Peter's further adventures in The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit (Potter) (Frederick Warne, 2012), which features Eleanor Taylor's large-format illustrations and in its narrative recreates the wry humor and cozy mood of Beatrix Potter's original "little runaway" tales. Included with the book is the Oscar-winning Thompson's own reading of the story which highlights the unique tone of Potter's classic storytelling. Says Publishers Weekly, " Here’s to having Peter hop into trouble for another hundred years."