|Illustration for "How a breakfast flew away" (Jan 9 1913)|
|Illustration for "Peter Rabbit visits the Smiling Pool" (Jan 10, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Peter Rabbit gets a new coat" (Jan 14, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Jerry Muskrat at home" (Jan 21, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Peter Rabbit and Danny Meadow Mouse live high" (Feb 12, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Farmer Brown's boy chops down a tree" (Feb 24, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Sammy Jay gets even with Peter Rabbit" (March 7, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Gentle Sister South Wind arrives" (March 11, 1913)|
March 20- March 21. Peter Rabbit and Johnny Chuck search for the singers at the Smiling Pool. Turns out to be hyla (spring peepers), not birds singing underwater.
|Illustration for "Peter Rabbit makes a discovery" (March 22, 1913)|
|Illustration for "A new home at last" (April 4, 1913)|
Sammy Jay reveals where their home is to Farmer Brown's boy. Johnny Chuck is a proud father of three babies and once Sammy Jay sees them he has a change of heart and tries to protect them. Johnny Chuck teaches the youngsters about dangers but one day a little chuck "who didn't mind" gets caught by Farmer Brown's boy.
Johnny Chuck's three friends, Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, and Unc' Billy Possum each try in turn to see what happened to the baby chuck. Peter is chased off by a cat ("Thomas," not yet Black Pussy), Jimmy gets his head caught in a can and is almost caught by Farmer Brown's boy, and Unc' Billy is discovered by FBB in the hay loft.
Now Unc' Billy is also a captive. After Sammy Jay (feeling guilty) spots them, Jimmy Skunk holds a meeting. It is decided that Prickly Porky should gnaw through the boxes they are held in. Reddy Fox tries to disrupt this plan but fails. Unc' Billy escapes but the baby chuck refuses to come. He prefers being a pet.
|Illustration for "Peter Cottontail" (March 15, 1913)|
|Illustration for "A hunt for trouble" (May 24, 1913)|
|Illustration for "The clever plan of Granny Fox" (July 5, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Peter and Little Miss Fuzzytail Quit Old Pasture" (August 2, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Mistah Mocker lends his voice to Sammy Jay" (August 14, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Peter Rabbit's four babies in their nursery" (August 29, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Reddy Fox loses his temper" (October 2, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Spotty the Turtle plays a doctor" (October 13, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Farmer Brown's boy visits the Green Forest again" (December 6, 1913)|
|Illustration for "Shadow the Weasel enjoys himself" (December 11, 1913)|
NotesIn 1913 Thornton Burgess continued what he was doing in the second half of 1912, offering long continuous narratives featuring the adventures of a single character. Burgess's 1913 newspaper stories would be the source of 9 separate classic books in the Burgess oeuvre. Harrison Cady became the regular illustrator in August, though he didn't sign his name until later in the year.
While pranks and tricks and sheer adventure were still important aspects of the stories, Burgess was beginning to focus more and more on nature study, seen best in his meticulous descriptions of beaver dam/lodge construction in the Paddy the Beaver episode. Peter Rabbit and Johnny Chuck, the boy characters of 1912, became parents in 1913. Seasonality became a firm guide as to what stories were told when. And moral instruction became more and more explicit.
The "abducted baby chuck" story (April 17- May 12) apparently caused some consternation among parents and young readers, as Burgess delayed the resolution of the story for almost a month. I know of no other Burgess story with a more fairytale-like structure (three characters, one at a time, attempt a rescue) and the ending, in which the baby chuck refuses to be "rescued," is truly surprising.
Burgess also made his most glaring natural history error during 1913, in his January stories featuring Peter Rabbit and his new coat. Cottontails do not get white coats in the winter. Only hares do. This is a point that future Burgess (perhaps in compensation for his earlier mistake) would take great pains to emphasize. Surprisingly, however, instead of burying this embarrassing set of stories, Burgess would reuse them in minibooks published by John H. Eggers in the 1920s.
Farmer Brown's BoyFarmer Brown boy in 1913 was still a nemesis of the Green Meadow and Green Forest communities, especially when it came to animals he regarded as pests and/or sources of food (bullfrog, oppossum) and income (beaver). At the same time, Burgess began to soften the character. While Farmer Brown's boy does forcibly abduct the baby woodchuck, he does it so that he can raise it lovingly as a pet. While he continues to carry stones in his pocket to throw at bullfrogs, he also fondly tickles Mr. Toad under the chin for being a help in his garden. The animal characters begin to doubt whether he is "all bad." Farmer Brown's boy's conversion into a friend of the animals generally can be said to have begun on December 6. In response to Paddy the Beaver's intelligence, he posts signs forbidding trespassers to interfere with the beaver and beaver lodge/dam.
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