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. They certainly had a very soporific effect on the Flopsy Bunnies!
When Benjamin Bunny grew up, he married his Cousin Flopsy. They had a large family, and they were very improvident and cheerful. I do not remember the separate names of their children; they were generally called the “Flopsy Bunnies.”
As there was not always quite enough to eat, — Benjamin used to borrow cabbages from Flopsy’s brother, Peter Rabbit, who kept a nursery garden.
Sometimes Peter Rabbit had no cabbages to spare. When this happened, the Flopsy Bunnies went across the field to a rubbish heap, in the ditch outside Mr. McGregor’s garden.
Mr. McGregor’s rubbish heap was a mixture. There were jam pots and paper bags, and mountains of chopped grass from the mowing machine (which always tasted oily), and some rotten vegetable marrows and an old boot or two. One day — oh joy! — there were a quantity of overgrown lettuces, which had “shot” into flower.
The Flopsy Bunnies simply stuffed themselves with lettuces. By degrees, one after another, they were overcome with slumber, and lay down in the mown grass.
Benjamin was not so much overcome as his children. Before going to sleep he was sufficiently wide awake to put a paper bag over his head to keep off the flies.