(English, Science and PSHE)
ONCE upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter. They lived with their mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir tree.
‘Now, my dears,’ said old Mrs Rabbit one morning,’you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr McGregor’s garden: Your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs McGregor. Now run along, and don’t get into mischief. I am going out.’
Then old Mrs Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella to the baker’s. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns. Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries. But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr McGregor’s garden and squeezed under the gate!
First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes; and then feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.
But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr McGregor! Mr McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, ‘Stop thief!’
From The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Write an ending to this story describing what happens to Peter Rabbit. Does Peter make his escape, or is the ending more sinister?
Teachers’ Note: Pupils can read their endings to the class and discuss which ending they like best and why.
Rabbits are lively, intelligent and sociable creatures who enjoy playing, exploring and cuddling up with their friends. They don’t like living alone, and they can sometimes be quite naughty and grumpy! Rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn but can be awake though the day and night. They need to exercise for several hours every day and don’t like being locked up in hutches. A lot of people keep rabbits as companion animals, but some people get bored with them and give them away again. Sometimes a rabbit may simply be left in a hutch and ignored. More than 33,000 unwanted rabbits were taken to animal sanctuaries in the UK in 1999.
Using the Internet and books, answer these questions.
1. How many different species of rabbit are there? Name five and describe them.
2. What is a baby rabbit called?
3. What do rabbits like to eat?
4. Are there any foods that are not good for them?
5. How long do rabbits live for if they are cared for properly?
6. What health problems might a rabbit suffer from?
Is it fair to leave a rabbit locked alone in a hutch for a long time? Why or why not?
If it’s not fair, how can his or her life be made better?
If people don’t take care of their animals, should they be allowed to keep them?