Signed with initials and dated at lower right in graphite, "HBP.96".
This study of two mice stealthily approaching a plate of nuts has all of the hallmarks of Potter's studies done from observation. Her keen interest in nature and domesticity yielded such engaging depictions of quotidian life in the country. These studies undoubtedly served as inspiration for her illustrations to such works as A Tale of Two Bad Mice of 1904, in which two rodents wreak havoc in a dollhouse. This drawing was among the many works by Potter collected by Julia P. Wightman who had a particular interest in children's books.