Many years later my soon-to-be husband bought me the Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter, and I read the stories to my students in a Washington D.C. public school. Though some of my children had very difficult lives and were quite tough and hardened, they could not resist hearing about the duck who almost got eaten by a fox, and about the bad rabbit who almost got turned into rabbit pie. They would pretend that they were not listening as I read out loud, but I knew they were.
Some years later I began to read Beatrix Potter's stories to my own daughter, and when we got a pet duck, she was called Jemima. I am sorry to say that our Jemima did not have much more sense than the original did. However she did give us many delicious eggs.
Today, on Beatrix Potter's birthday, I give thanks for Beatrix's beautiful illustrations and her memorable characters. I give thanks that Beatrix found the courage to defy her parents, and that she went ahead and wrote her timeless stories.