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Beatrix Potter


2.  Beatrix Potter, author/illustrator.
The Tale of Mr. Tod.
London, New York: Frederick Warne & Co., 1912.

In the introduction to this story, Potter announced that for a change she was going to write about disagreeable people. Certainly Tommy Brock the badger is one of Potter's most ruthless villains and Mr. Tod the fox is not exactly a pleasant person either!

Because the food supply is limited, Tommy Brock kidnaps Benjamin Bunny's children, and heads off to Mr. Tod's house, whose kitchen he'll "borrow" to make a rabbit pie in the morning. Notice that he turned in without taking off his dirty boots!

When Mr. Todd catches Tommy Brock trespassing again, he decides to take revenge. The elaborate contraption he rigs up to kill his long-time enemy was inspired by details in several different Uncle Remus stories.

If you've never read this longer tale by Beatrix Potter, which some consider her masterpiece, you can read it on-line at Project Gutenberg. (Image Credits)