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Literature / The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

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The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin is a children's book by Beatrix Potter.

Every autumn, all the squirrels sail across the lake to Owl Island in order to collect the plentiful nuts that grow there, and they always remember to bring a tasty gift to appease Mr. Brown, the owl who lives there. Unfortunately, one of the squirrels is an obnoxious loud-mouth named Nutkin, who likes to dance around in Mr. Brown's face, jeering at him and spouting nonsensical riddles. As the nut-gathering days pass by, it seems only a matter of time before Mr. Brown loses his temper...


This book provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: Do Not Taunt Cthulhu, especially if Cthulhu is considerately allowing you to gather food on his island.
  • Attack the Tail: Nutkin's tail is bitten off by Mr. Brown.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Nutkin
  • Carnivore Confusion: The squirrels bring the owl some dead mice and a dead mole as a gift.
  • Lazy Bum: Nutkin
  • Ominous Owl: Mr. Brown may be polite, but he's still pretty creepy even before he gets fed up with Nutkin.
  • Pun: "This is a Tale about a tail."
  • Riddle Me This: Though Nutkin doesn't expect an answer; he's just doing it to be annoying.
  • Sleepyhead: Mr. Brown, since he's an owl and the squirrels visit during the daytime.


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