The Tale Of Jemima Puddle-Duck
Beatrix Potter
Children
9:00 m
Level 3
The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck is a children’s book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. It was first published by Frederick Warne & Co. in July 1908. Potter composed the book at Hill Top, a working farm in the Lake District she bought in 1905. Following the purchase, her works began to focus on country and village life, incorporating large casts of animal characters and sinister villains. Jemima Puddle-Duck was the first of her books set wholly at the farm with background illustrations based on the farm buildings and yard, and nearby locales. Jemima is a domestic duck of the Aylesbury breed, whose eggs are routinely confiscated by the farmer’s wife because she believes Jemima a poor sitter. Jemima searches for a place away from the farm where she can hatch her eggs without human interference, and naively confides her woes to a suave fox who invites her to nest in a shed at his home. Jemima accepts his invitation, little realising her danger: the fox plans to kill and roast her. Kep, a collie on the farm, discovers Jemima’s whereabouts and rescues her just in time. Potter indicated the tale was a revision of “Little Red Riding Hood” with Jemima, the fox, and the dog parallels to the fairy tale’s heroine, wolf, and woodcutter. Jemima, Kep, the farmer’s wife, and her two children were all modelled on real world individuals at Potter’s Hill Top farm.

The Tale
Of
Jemima Puddle-Duck

by
Beatrix Potter


A FARMYARD TALE
FOR
RALPH AND BETSY


What a funny sight it is to see a brood of ducklings with a hen! Listen to the story of Jemima Puddle-duck, who was annoyed because the farmer’s wife would not let her hatch her own eggs.

Her sister-in-law, Mrs. Rebeccah Puddle-duck, was perfectly willing to leave the hatching to some one else — “I have not the patience to sit on a nest for twenty-eight days; and no more have you, Jemima. You would let them go cold; you know you would!”
“I wish to hatch my own eggs; I will hatch them all by myself,” quacked Jemima Puddle-duck.

She tried to hide her eggs; but they were always found and carried off. Jemima Puddle-duck became quite desperate. She determined to make a nest right away from the farm.

She set off on a fine spring afternoon along the cart-road that leads over the hill. She was wearing a shawl and a poke bonnet.

When she reached the top of the hill, she saw a wood in the distance. She thought that it looked a safe quiet spot.

Jemima Puddle-duck was not much in the habit of flying. She ran downhill a few yards flapping her shawl, and then she jumped off into the air.

She flew beautifully when she had got a good start. She skimmed along over the tree-tops until she saw an open place in the middle of the wood, where the trees and brushwood had been cleared.