March 8, 1895, page 2–3

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Beatrix Potter

Autograph letter signed, London, to Noel Moore, March 8, 1895

March 8, 1895

Gift of Colonel David McC. McKell, 1959

MA 2009.3

This is the first of several get-well letters Potter wrote to Noel Moore while he was sick in bed during the spring of 1895. Her stories about a visit to the zoo were designed to raise the spirits of a child who might hope for similar adventures when his health improved. Instead of the usual cheery admonitions, she devised an amusing fantasy where the patient is attended by a solicitous mole physician and a sprightly mouse nurse bearing a tea-cup on a tray. She liked the image of the light-footed lady mouse and adapted it in Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes (1917), where the title character is shown scampering off with a platter full of pies.


I hope the little mouse will soon be able to sit up in a chair by the fire.

I went to the zoo on Wednesday & saw the new giraffe. It is a young one, very pretty, and the keeper says it will grow a good deal taller.

I saw the box that it came in, the keeper says it had quite a stiff neck because the box was not large enough. They brought it by train from Southampton and they could not have a larger box because of getting through the tunnels. I also saw anew monk[e]y, called Jenny, it had black hair & a face like a very ugly old woman. A man gave it a pair of gloves which it put on, and it took a bunch of keys & tried to unlock its cage door.