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Literature / The Tale Of The Pie And The Patty Pan

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The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan is a children's book by Beatrix Potter.

Ribby (a cat) invites her friend Duchess (a dog) over for a party, promising to bake a delicious meat pie. Worried that Ribby's pie will turn out to be made of mouse-meat, Duchess notices that she and Ribby have identical pie-plates, so she devises a plan: while Ribby is out shopping for party supplies, Duchess will sneak into her house, take the mouse pie out of the oven, and replace it with a ham pie that Duchess herself made. She'll hide the mouse pie somewhere, and Ribby will be none the wiser. What could possibly go wrong?


This story provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: If your friend's mouse-meat pies (literally) make you sick, you should just tell her instead of concocting a Zany Scheme that will result in your looking like an idiot.
  • Animal Jingoism: Briefly mentioned when Ribby's cousin expresses disdain at the idea of Ribby being friends with a dog.
  • The Cameo: Ribby's snobby cousin is Tabitha Twitchit.
  • Dramatic Irony: The whole story runs on it, due to the characters thinking their two different pies are the same pie.
  • The Hyena: Dr. Maggotty laughs a lot. "Ha HA!"
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Twice: First Duchess freaks out when she thinks she's swallowed a patty-pan; then she realizes that she's eaten a whole pie made of mouse-meat.
  • The Unintelligible: Dr. Maggotty only says the words "spinach" and "gammon."
  • Zany Scheme: Duchess's pie-swapping plan.


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