It was Beatrix Potter’s birthday on Monday. And to celebrate this – and to keep my general promise to share some unofficial summer holiday type writing – I thought I’d share some correspondence from another very bad rabbit…
This was ‘written’ by my very own Mr Bunley Hopkins when I was going away for the weekend a few weeks ago:
Dear stand-in Rabbit serf,
May I begin by taking this opportunity to congratulate you on accepting the privilege of being my visiting butler during my first weekend hutch-alone. I do hope none of your fly-bys coincide with any of the wild adolescent parties I am planning…
Anyway, here is a job spec I have prepared for you:
1. Please visit my stately hutch on the following occasions (you will find it located in the paddock landscaped by Buckability Green located next to my human’s paltry residence):
– Friday late afternoon or evening
– Saturday morning at some point and then at the end of the day/eve as per convenience I suppose.
– Sunday morning. (My usual serf is returning to work very hard for me later on Sunday to make up for her shocking desire to take leave. I shall make her clean out my whole residence immediately as penance.)
2. On your morning visits please:
– open my sliding door so I can access my long gallery to promenade and feast during the day.
– top up my designer crockery right to the brim with delicious victuals (stored rather embarrassingly in the green wheelie bin next to the human’s squat).
3. On your evening sojourns please close my sliding door just in case any uninvited guests come calling at night…. I hardly dare mention this as it seems a little patronising, but you can never be sure with serfs… Pls make sure I am in my private quarters when the door is shut, rather than still strutting my very fine stuff in my outer courts…
4. Speaking of embarrassing requests… Can you make sure whenever you come that any disgusting slugs or – not that a rabbit of my sophistication would do these – squidgy poos are removed from my top floor? There is kitchen towel in the same green bin as the food as apparently you humans think it’s not the done thing to use your paws… Pls throw undesirables into the other green wheelie bin, not mine!
– If you would be so sensible as to desire my actual company, well done. I would be delighted to hop, flip and do all manner of impressive bungnastics for you to watch, praise and adore. And in return, I suppose I might agree to some cuddles. Actually… it’s a little needy of me to admit it but of an evening- well – sometimes they’re even quite nice.
For paddock and snuggle time, pls feel free to fully liberate me in my grounds etc. I only ask that when you have to drag yourself away you ensure my bottom gallery’s door is securely on and I am – again apologies – on the correct side of it.
Yours with yet more congratulations on your good fortune,
Mr Bunley Hopkins Esq
Ps if you have any questions due to your human brain struggling with my Bunley poet ways at any point… Pls do not hesitate to correspond with my usual serf who doubles up as a tolerable PA.
Did you know that Beatrix Potter’s first book, ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ started life as a letter to Noel – her friend’s five year old son? That was in 1893, which by my calculations means the original very bad rabbit was first born into imagination 121 years ago! By contrast, Mr Hopkins is only five months old.