The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin – Beatrix Potter

More in the Series – Beatrix Potter
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 3 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story: 2 points.
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point.

Squirrel Nutkin has no female characters at all, and nothing that looks remotely like diversity. Just squirrels and an owl. 🙂 Having said that, it is still a pretty awesome little tale about the dangers of being rude to those you should respect.

The squirrels bring Old Brown gifts so that he allows them to gather nuts on his island in peace and safety. But Nutkin is a bit of a little shit and instead of dealing with the owl with respect (they are on his turf after all), he taunts him with riddles and rhymes. He gets his come-uppance, and frankly he’s lucky it’s not worse.

It’s a neat little tale about respecting the person whose space you’re in, and recognising who it is and isn’t okay to mess with. But it’s also a cool tale about just, you know, generally not being a dick. Nutkin is definitely a bit of a prat, and gets what’s coming to him. There’s no redemption, really – he doesn’t seem to learn his lesson – just a simple tale of consequences.

Sometimes when you’re a jerk, the person to whom you are being a jerk rips off your tail. And  you frikkin’ deserve it.

C and I both enjoyed it. C laughed at the funny squirrel noises (though perhaps I get some credit for that). There’s something satisfying about someone who is being a jerk getting what’s coming to them. He seemed not in the least bit concerned; in fact all he said was, “I think he was lucky the owl didn’t eat him up!”.

Awesome tale. Nice work, Ms. Potter.

What do you think? Am I being too hard on poor little Nutkin? What’s your favourite Beatrix Potter book?



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