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Friday, September 16, 2016

Peter Rabbit is not just a children's character

I, like many others, I am sure, now hark back to my favourite childhood characters in times of need.

Now, I'm not saying that I go to Peter Rabbit (my personal favourite) when there's an actual crisis or I'm trying to work my way out of a potentially life threatening situation, but the nuggets of wisdom do come in handy once in a while in adult life.

CS Lewis once said; "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again," and that quote is quite apt here.

I'm not really sure why I was (and still am to be honest) so fond of little ole Peter Rabbit, but I suspect it was because there were so many siblings in Peter's family and Peter still managed to stand out.

I have one brother and five sisters, so was often vying for attention or trying (in vain I dare say) to hog the limelight and perhaps that is why Peter and I had a connection (he may not know about it, but it was there I assure you and it was rather a tangible connection at that). I think maybe on some level, I was hoping I could glean some tips or hints from Peter's behaviour.

Now, obviously I didn't go off stealing carrots from a neighbouring farmer's land, but my siblings will argue that I was quite bold and irritating as a young child (I know it's hard to imagine when you see the kind of adult I have become, or not), so maybe I did have a little bit of Peter in me.

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite quotes from Peter Rabbit and from the wise pen of Beatrix Potter (these are not only my favourite quotes, but the ones that I think can be applied to adult life as helpful, if a bit randomly sourced, kernels of wisdom);

  • "Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate," - sometimes when you panic and stress out, you actually slow yourself down with your rushing and racing about. 
  • "Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendlys sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself," sometimes it does take a friend's advice to see that more work needs to be done or that we need to work harder to get past something. 
  • "Twinkleberry and six other little squirrels each carried a fat minnow; but Nutkin, who had no manners, brought no present at all," never arrive empty handed. 
  • "In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets - when gentlemen wore ruffles, and goldlaced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta - there lived a tailor in Gloucester," imagine living in those times and perhaps some day, people will say, in a time of laptops, tablets and smart phones when men wore skinny jeans and guyliner. 
  • "It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is 'soporific'. I have never felt sleepy after eating lettuces; but then I am not a rabbit," I love that a children's tale is so well written, that even as an adult, I may have to use a dictionary. This is true of anything, if you are a glutton, you will feel sleepy, sluggish and bloated. Everything in moderation I think. 
So, if you take anything away from this blog post, aside from all of the sage advice of course, maybe it will be to pick up that old favourite tale from your youth and see what the adult (and child within) thinks of the messages and morals it is trying to impart. 

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