The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher
By Beatrix Potter
Read by Emma Rye
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
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
“This is getting tiresome, I think I should like some lunch,” said Mr.
He punted back again amongst the water-plants, and took some lunch out of
“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
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
“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
Sir Isaac Newton wore his black and gold waistcoat,
And Mr. Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise brought a salad with him in a string
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!