The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher

Illustration for Mr Jeremy Fisher bedtime story by Beatrix Potter
Mr Jeremy Fisher likes fishing... until he's almost 'fished' himself!
The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog in red waistcoat relaxing by window, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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!

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog in red waistcoat, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog in waistcoat opening window, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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.”

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog in waistcoat digging hole, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog and lotus, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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 his boat.

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.

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog on day trip to pond, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog paddleboarding, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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.

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog on pond lily pad, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog's back fishing, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

The rain trickled down his back, and for nearly an hour he stared at the float.

“This is getting tiresome, I think I should like some lunch,” said Mr. Jeremy Fisher.

He punted back again amongst the water-plants, and took some lunch out of his basket.

“I will eat a butterfly sandwich, and wait till the shower is over,” said Mr. Jeremy Fisher.

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog relaxing in garden, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of scarab beetle, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

A great big water-beetle came up underneath the lily leaf and tweaked the toe of one of his galoshes.

Mr. Jeremy crossed his legs up shorter, out of reach, and went on eating his sandwich.

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.”

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog swimming in water, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog fishing with line, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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 bobbit!

“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!

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog walking on lily pad, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog catching fish in river, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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.

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog fishing on a lily pad pond, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog on a lily pad, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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!

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of fish swimming fast through water, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of fish swimming in pond, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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.

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog swimming in pond, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog walking through forest, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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!”

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog jumping, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog, turtle and lizard in garden, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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 larder.

Sir Isaac Newton wore his black and gold waistcoat,

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog and lizard talking, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

And Mr. Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise brought a salad with him in a string bag.

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog and turtle talking, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids

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!

Vintage Beatrix Potter illustration of frog in red waistcoat having dinner with friends, from Jeremy Fisher short story for kids 

Vintage Short Story by Beatrix Potter

 
Original Illustrations by Beatrix Potter 

Header Illustration adapted from illustration by Beatrix Potter 

Let’s Chat About The Stories ~ Ideas for Talking With Kids

 
Empathy 

1. My Jeremy Fisher enjoys fishing… until he is almost eaten by a fish! Why do you think he says he won’t go fishing again? 

Friendship 

2. Mr Jeremy Fisher’s friends don’t mind that there isn’t any fish for dinner. Why do you think this is? 

Creativity 

3. Mr Jeremy Fisher eats a butterfly sandwich for his picnic lunch. Can you think of some other kinds of sandwiches that frogs might like? 

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