Friday, May 21, 2010

Beatrix Potter | The Tale of Peter Rabbit | 1902

Dear Mrs. McGregor,

I think I deserve to know, at this point in our long history, whether or not you truly baked Mr. Rabbit into a pie. Because it’s not quite adding up. How did the Rabbits find out about it? Did you do it right in front of them, or in front of their friends? Did you send over a piece, still warm, garnished with his hat and pipe? Who are you, the Pablo Escobar of the vegetable world? Did your husband make you do it? I understand that you were trying to send a message, but it just seems so extreme, so cruel, so out of character.

Maybe Mr. Rabbit was tried in lapine court and sent into witness protection or to a work camp or something, and the pie is a big cover. That possibility has crossed my mind several times. But it still makes you look bad, very bad. And I think you and Mr. McG. would be foolish not to expect vengeance from the family for generations to come. Peter is the least of your problems—he gets lost easily, scares easily. We know this. But his cousin Benjamin? He’s a strategist, through and through. Wily, and fearless. He was the one, remember, who got them all out of the sack. No tobacco for Mr. McG., no fur-lined cloak for you. (Also, what was up with that request? Have you been hanging out with Cruella De Vil? You know as well as I do that a fur-lined cloak is not at all a practical thing to wear while canning and pickling.)

Anyway, in spite of how all of this has weighed on my heart, I still want to believe the best in you. But I'm haunted by the image of you in a rabbit-lined cloak, baking rabbit-daddy pie, and laughing that adorable laugh of yours. Say it ain’t so.

Kristen Iskandrian