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Literature / The Tale of Benjamin Bunny

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The Tale of Benjamin Bunny is a children's book by Beatrix Potter published in 1904.

A sequel of sorts to The Tale of Peter Rabbit, this story is about Peter's cousin Benjamin and how he talked Peter into going back to Mr. McGregor's garden to retrieve Peter's clothes, and maybe swipe some vegetables on the way. Naturally, all does not go as planned.

This book provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Benjamin Bunny.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The cat — she sits on the basket for five hours, trapping the boys under there, but it's stated to be unknown whether she truly wanted to eat the boys, or she just liked the smell of onions.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The Animated Adaptation has a sibling example with Peter's sisters, who teased him when he returned home in the first story with all his clothes missing and made fun of him for being sent to bed, but here they're far more worried about him and are shown hugging him when he's safely returned home.
  • Belated Happy Ending: Peter manages to get his shoes & coat back after losing them in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
  • Civilised Animal: The rabbits dress like humans, but live in burrows.
  • Corporal Punishment: Mr. Bunny whips Benjamin and Peter with a switch when he finds them in McGregor's garden.
  • The Drag-Along: Peter doesn't want anything to do with the garden after his first encounter, but he gets roped into it by the far more carefree Benjamin.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Mr. Bunny smokes a fatherly pipe.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Benjamin, Peter, and Benjamin Sr. wear no pants.
  • No Full Name Given: We don't know the McGregors' first names, nor that of Mrs. Rabbit.
  • Onion Tears: When Peter and Benjamin are hiding under the basket while carrying a bag of onions, it says that the smell made them cry.
  • Papa Wolf: Mr. Bunny beats up a cat in order to rescue his son and nephew.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: According to Benjamin, he and Mr. Bunny go into Mr. McGregor's garden all the time to steal vegetables, but it doesn't stop Mr. Bunny from punishing both him and Peter for going in there. That said, it's possible that Mr. Bunny is angry that they went to the garden by themselvesnote , without an adult and without telling anyone where they were going.
  • Properly Paranoid: Peter is understandably very jumpy during the whole time they're in the garden.
  • Species Surname: The rabbits have "Rabbit" and "Bunny" as last names.
  • Stripping the Scarecrow: Benjamin and Peter steal the clothes from Farmer McGregor's scarecrow (although technically they are retrieving the clothes Peter lost during his previous adventure).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yeah, let's go back to the place where Peter almost got killed note . That sounds like a good idea. To his credit, Peter hates the idea and has to be dragged into it by Benjamin. Both of them only escape thanks to Benjamin's father.