Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter

The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter

COUSIN B. Once upon a time there was a frog called Mr.
Jeremy Fisher; he lived in a little damp house amongst the buttercups at
the edge of a pond. The water was all slippy-sloppy in the larder
and in the back passage. But Mr. Jeremy liked getting his feet wet;
nobody ever scolded him, and he never caught a cold! He was quite pleased when he looked out and
saw large drops of rain, splashing in the pond– “I will get some worms and go fishing and
catch a dish of minnows for my dinner,” said Mr. Jeremy Fisher. “If I catch
more than five fish, I will invite my friends Mr. Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise
and Sir Isaac Newton. The Alderman, however, eats salad.” Mr. Jeremy put on a macintosh, and a pair
of shiny goloshes; he took his rod and basket, and set off with enormous
hops to the place where he kept his boat. The boat was round and green, and very like
the other lily-leaves. It was tied to a water-plant in the middle of the
pond. Mr. Jeremy took a reed pole, and pushed the
boat out into open water. “I know a good place for minnows,” said Mr. Jeremy
Fisher. Mr. Jeremy stuck his pole into the mud and
fastened the boat to it. Then he settled himself cross-legged and arranged
his fishing tackle. He had the dearest little red float. His rod
was a tough stalk of grass, his line was a fine long white horse-hair, and
he tied a little wriggling worm at the end. The rain trickled down his back, and for nearly
an hour he stared at the float. “This is getting tiresome, I think I should
like some lunch,” said Mr. Jeremy Fisher. He punted back again amongst the water-plants,
and took some lunch out of his basket. “I will eat a butterfly sandwich, and wait
till the shower is over,” said Mr. Jeremy Fisher. A great big water-beetle came up underneath
the lily leaf and tweaked the toe of one of his goloshes. Mr. Jeremy crossed his legs up shorter, out
of reach, and went on eating his sandwich. Once or twice something moved about with a
rustle and a splash amongst the rushes at the side of the pond. “I trust that is not a rat,” said Mr. Jeremy
Fisher; “I think I had better get away from here.” Mr. Jeremy shoved the boat out again a little
way, and dropped in the bait. There was a bite almost directly; the
float gave a tremendous bobbit! “A minnow! a minnow! I have him by the nose!”
cried Mr. Jeremy Fisher, jerking up his rod. But what a horrible surprise! Instead of a
smooth fat minnow, Mr. Jeremy landed little Jack Sharp the stickleback,
covered with spines! The stickleback floundered about the boat,
pricking and snapping until he was quite out of breath. Then he jumped back
into the water. And a shoal of other little fishes put their
heads out, and laughed at Mr. Jeremy Fisher. And while Mr. Jeremy sat disconsolately on
the edge of his boat–sucking his sore fingers and peering down into the
water–a _much_ worse thing happened; a really _frightful_ thing it would
have been, if Mr. Jeremy had not been wearing a macintosh! A great big enormous trout came up–ker-pflop-p-p-p!
with a splash–and it seized Mr. Jeremy with a snap, “Ow! Ow!
Ow!”–and then it turned and dived down to the bottom of the pond! But the trout was so displeased with the taste
of the macintosh, that in less than half a minute it spat him out again;
and the only thing it swallowed was Mr. Jeremy’s goloshes. Mr. Jeremy bounced up to the surface of the
water, like a cork and the bubbles out of a soda water bottle; and he
swam with all his might to the edge of the pond. He scrambled out on the first bank he came
to, and he hopped home across the meadow with his macintosh all in tatters. “What a mercy that was not a pike!” said Mr.
Jeremy Fisher. “I have lost my rod and basket; but it does not much matter,
for I am sure I should never have dared to go fishing again!” He put some sticking plaster on his fingers,
and his friends both came to dinner. He could not offer them fish, but
he had something else in his larder. Sir Isaac Newton wore his black and gold waistcoat, And Mr. Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise brought
a salad with him in a string bag. And instead of a nice dish of minnows–they
had a roasted grasshopper with lady-bird sauce; which frogs consider
a beautiful treat; but _I_ think it must have been nasty! THE END

7 comments on “The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter

  1. Poor old Mr Jeremy Fisher. He probably didn't want to stay there all night waiting for those minnows to come.

  2. I read this at the age of 4 or 5. It's so strange how this came back to me today. I thought I wouldn't remember the name in a million years. But I did. The illustrations are the same as those in the little book I had. This is beyond nostalgia or déjà vu. Thanks!

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