My rabbit Peter is so lazy


Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
Illustrated letter to Noel Moore, February 4, 1895
The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Colonel David McC. McKell, 1959, MA 2009.2


The Morgan owns twelve of Beatrix Potter’s celebrated picture letters written to children. In one of the most delightful letters from this collection, she entertains her correspondent with a description of her pet rabbit, Peter Piper:

My dear Noel,
It is a long time since I have been to see you, but it is too cold to drive with my pony. I shall be very glad when the warm weather comes. I wonder if you have been making a snow-man in the garden? Or feeding the sparrows, we have a great many every morning.

My rabbit, Peter, is so lazy, he lies before the fire in a box, with a little rug. His claws grew too long, quite uncomfortable, so I tried to cut them with scissors but they were so hard that I had to use the big garden scissors. He sat quite still and allowed me to do his little front paws but when I cut the other hind foot claws he was tickled, & kicked, very naughty. If he were a wild rabbit digging holes they would be worn down & would not need cutting.

Here are some rabbits throwing snow balls.

I wonder if your pussycat has learned to catch mice yet. I think it would rather lap milk, it is too fine to work like a common cat.

These mice are getting away down a hole.

I wonder if those dolls have any hair still & whether they have eaten all those nice sausages.

I remain with love yrs aff.
Beatrix Potter