Happy Birthday BeaPot. Kate McCabe wonders what all her cutest animal creations are up to these days.
Imagine that Great Britain’s bucolic beauty became a person and then married England’s predilection for charming, elegant prose (the prose in this metaphor also became embodied and personified) and you might begin to understand the life of the brilliant Beatrix Potter – because those two figurative things had a baby after they got married – and that baby was Beatrix Potter.
Today would have been Potter’s 150th birthday, had she lived that long. Her life was cut short at the age of 77, just as she was about to embark upon her post as president-elect of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association. Tragically, this would have been her proudest achievement.
Potter was a true renaissance woman, not only penning dozens of children’s stories but also illustrating them. Goes to show, you don’t need a man to find success, ladies. BeaPot was also a mycologist (that’s a person who studies mushrooms – blimey).
The owner of 14 different farms, Potter was as generous as she was fond of farms, donating one of her farms (Hill Top) to The National Trust upon her death. #Farms
Many readers will have happy memories of some of her more famous creations such as Peter Rabbit, Pudsey Bear, Captain Birdseye and Dappy. For most of us it wouldn’t feel right to have gone to sleep without a BeaPot tale to accompany our typically British bedtime rituals. Rituals such as eating a steaming hot bowl of strawberry jam and goodnight prayers to Charleston Meeker, the British god of apologising.
Having grown up with the critters who inhabited Potter’s books, you might be wondering: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? We managed to catch up with seven of them. You won’t believe what they’ve been up to!
The rabbit formerly known as Hill Top’s bad boy, has gone through several career changes over the last century. Our Pete has been a restaurateur, a stay-at-home dad and a philanthropist. Nowadays he’s mostly working as CEO of the not-for-profit organisation Carrots Without Borders, a group that aims to eliminate the perceived ownership of outdoor vegetables.
The reclusive squirrel only comes out of hiding when he needs to promote the latest in his string of owl-based horror films. His newest feature, Owl 16: The Owling (starring Elijah Wood as Old Brown) arrives in theatres in August.
Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb
Last seen here, vandalising a doll’s house after learning that the food contained within was made of plaster…
…the rowdy pair of mice will be exiting one manufactured reality and entering another. Starting in 2017, you’ll be able to catch them on their own docu-drama television show, The Only Way Is Dollhouse.
The clever fox and popular japester (remember when he tried to eat Jemima Puddleduck? Haha! Top bantz.) is now appearing as the spokesman for Nescafe.
Having tried so hard for so long (and in the public eye to boot) to have her own brood of ducklings, Jemima and her husband Kep (a farm collie) have happily welcomed into their home an 18th child, Crumbly MacBreadbeak, a Canada gosling that they adopted during a recent trip to the ruggedly beautiful Commonwealth nation.
Of Canada, Jemima commented: “This whole country just looks like one big Hill Top Farm but with more mullets.”
A roly-poly youth with the soul of a clown and a head full of mischief, you won’t shitting BELIEVE what Tom looks like now:
We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely looking forward to the next 150 years of these adorable characters.
May they keep sneak-thieving our hearts and burrowing into our souls with their incredibly pointy little claws, fangs, and snoots.
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Kate McCabe is an American comic living in Manchester. When not gigging as a standup, she improvises with ComedySportz Manchester, and contributes to local TV and radio including The Gay Agenda on Fab Radio.