POTTER, BEATRIX. Autograph letter signed ("Beatrix Potter [Mrs. W. Heelis]"), to "Dulcie," discussing her animals, etc. Sawrey near Ambleside, 16 November 1923. 2 pages, 4to, written on recto and verso, some creases from folding, otherwise fine. Taylor, Letters to Children, p. 182.
A WONDERFUL ILLUSTRATED LETTER, DISCUSSING MANY OF HER ANIMALS BY NAME, MENTIONING THEIR PARTICULAR HABITS, ETC.
"My dear Dulcie, I was tidying my desk and I found your letter, received as long ago as March, and not answered! It was very naughty of me...I did like to hear about 'Puff', because I once had a dear white rat called Sammy; and there are not many people who like rats except you and me. Sammy was a dear; but he was a bit of a thief like Puff. I used to find all sorts of things hidden in his box. Once I found a stick of red sealing wax & some matches, just as if he had intended to write a letter to Puff, and seal it carefully. Have you ever given Puff a hard boiled egg? I used to give one to Sammy, as a very great treat when eggs were cheap. I used to give it to him a long way off at the other end of the passage away from his cage and he used to push the egg in front of him rolling it over & over... Our cat Tommy has 2 very pretty kittens just now, most of her kittens are black, but these are tabby, very nicely marked." Potter continues with a description of a nest of young owls beside which she has sketched the three owls sitting together. Further on she describes "when the old owl comes there is such a scramble & a squawking" and has drawn same three in wild disarray. She continues, "Then the owlet that has got the mouse turns his back on the other two and spreads his wings & tail like an umbrella to keep his brothers away from the mouse while he gobbles it up..." Next to this Potter has drawn an owl stooped over with wings enveloping its prey.