July 29, 2013

Beatrix Potter's Birthday!

"Rats, and Rats, and Rats"
Samuel Whiskers the Rat sitting by the "Roly-Poly" Pin with gathered vegetables, tomatoes and bread for his wife Anna Maria to steal away with.
Samuel Whiskers is a Beatrix Potter figurine based on her book.
He is surrounded by some fine furniture that we'll talk about in a future post.

Beatrix Potter's Birthday was July 28th.
She was born in 1866.
What joy she has brought into our lives through her stories and illustrations!

In Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding", published in 1908, Anna Maria the Rat steals some dough for a planned Roly-Poly Pudding. Samuel Whiskers steals the butter and the rolling pin from the dairy... a rolling pin being necessary to make a Roly-Poly pudding.

Tom Kitten had accidentally fallen into the Rat's room and been tied up by Anna Maria. A butter covered Tom Kitten was then placed and wrapped in the dough, and then dough and Kitten were rolled with the "Roly-Poly" pin. Tom Kitten was to be a Roly-Poly Pudding!

Some of the photographs and some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant.

"The Tale of Samuel Whiskers" or "The Roly-Poly Pudding", written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter.
In the photograph above, Samuel Whiskers is seen running away with a pat of butter.
Below the book is a pat of hand churned butter from Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille.

Tom Kitten's sister Mittens, who had hidden away in the dairy, exclaimed to her mother that she had seen "a dreadful 'normous big rat" who swiped away a rolling pin and a pat of butter.

In "The Private World of Tasha Tudor", by Tasha Tudor and Richard Brown, Tasha speaks of trapping a rat that reminded her of Samuel Whiskers.

The old Corgyncombe tall clock is from the late 1700s and was made in the area that is now called Cumbria.

Beatrix Potter lived in the scenic Lake District of England, which is now part of the area called Cumbria.

The clock reminds us of the one in "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers" or "The Roly-Poly Pudding", written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter illustrated mother cat Tabitha Twitchit on the landing of the stairway at Hill Top farm, with a clock behind her, whilst she is looking for her missing son Tom Kitten.

Noises under the floor boards of the attic were suspicious and after John Joiner the Terrier frees Tom Kitten, the rats take off with haste with bundles of goods loaded in a wheelbarrow stolen from Miss Potter. The rats take up residence in Farmer Potatoes' barn where they get into his livestock's feed and cause him great difficulties.

Beatrix Potter wrote: "There are rats, and rats, and rats in his barn!" "And they are all descended from Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Whiskers - children and grand-children and great great grandchildren. There is no end to them!"

 Samuel and Anna Maria's descendants are here!!!

'Tis a common problem on both sides of the ocean!

"The Tale of Beatrix Potter" by Margaret Lane, is a biography of Beatrix Potter written through research of her letters, papers and photographs. The book speaks of when Beatrix Potter purchased her Lake District property, Hill Top Farm, that rats were quite a problem and as Beatrix Potter wrote, one rat was even seen boldly "sitting up eating its dinner under the kitchen table in the middle of the afternoon."

Dried field corn, a favorite of Samuel and his wife.
They love it!
The field corn that had been gleaned from the field for Diane's winter critter friends.
The corn was husked, then hung up to dry.
This corn was intended for the birds and squirrels but the rats got into the container and finished off what was left of the corn!

The rats have also liked to get into my squash...


and carrots.

Preserving our harvest by canning provides a way of protecting it from the rats.

From the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden, green beans in a lovely old yellowware bowl and tomatoes.
How I love to hear the ping of the jars as they are sealing, whilst having tea after the jars have been taken out of the canner. To me, the sound of the jars sealing is so satisfying, like a squirrel storing up nuts for the long winter. 'Tis so good to enjoy naturally homegrown vegetables and fruits all the year through.

Canned goods at the Corgyncombe Cannery to be enjoyed by us, not Samuel and his descendants!

Here are links to some
Beatrix Potter Birthday Celebrations
of previous years at the Corgyncombe Courant:

copyright © 2013 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson


Anonymous said...

I had forgotten it was Beatrix Potter's birthday! Your loaves of bread are just lovely; I'm sure Beatrix would have enjoyed them.I think it is time I introduced my youngest granddaughter to Samuel and Anna Maria Whiskers!! Kathy L from Colorado

Jeri Landers said...

Hello cousins, I am late for the birthday party but celebrate Beatrix none-the-less! I guess I have just about every book ever written about Miss Potter, her work is such a lasting inspiration. You though, are my Heroine when it comes to your beautiful bread and canning. I love that clock! Cousin Jeri

Cheyenne said...

Oh how lovely! You are living my dream that I will soon make a reality in my life. You are such an inspiration and Beatrix Potter inspires me to write books for children. Thank you for posting such wonderful pieces of work!


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