Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes


Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
Old Mister Prickly Pin (later renamed Mr. Pricklepin), pages from the draft Book of Rhymes manuscript, 1904–5
Watercolor and graphite
The National Trust: Hill Top and Beatrix Potter Collection
© National Trust / Robert Thrift


Philip: What follows is a reading from Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes, read by the actor Robert Webb:

Appley Dapply, a little brown mouse, goes to the cupboard in somebody's house. In somebody's cupboard, there's everything nice: cake, cheese, jam, biscuits, all charming for mice. Appley Dapply has little sharp eyes and Appley Dapply is so fond of pies.

Now, who is this knocking at Cottontail's door? Tap tap-it, tap tap-it; she's heard it before? And when she peeps out, there is nobody there but a present of carrots put down on the stair. Hark! I hear it again! Tap tap tap-it, tap tap-it. Why, I really believe it's a little black rabbit.

Old Mr. Pricklepin has never a cushion to stick his pins in. His nose is black and his beard is grey, and he lives in an ash stump over the way.

You know the old woman who lived in a shoe and had so many children, she didn't know what to do? I think if she lived in a little shoe house, that little old woman was surely a mouse.