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Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - August

I hope you are having a pleasant summer!  It is beautiful here in the Lake District.  Jemima is going to continue on the south road around Esthwaite Water that Pig Blanding took at the signpost. . . . 
photo credit: Nigel Whitehouse/Guzelian
The holiday house that Beatrix's parents rented (then called Lakefield and now called Ees Wyke) overlooked this lovely lake.  In my research I found that the lake was put up for sale in 2013.  Jemima has a tale to tell us about a frog that lives along Esthwaite water.  Here is our map so you can see where we are. . . .

We are to meet her on Ees Bridge that crosses Cunsey Beck. . . .
photo credit:  David Long
This bridge was rebuilt in 1907 using stone quarried from Hill Top land. . . .




Quack, QUACK!  I wanted you to meet me on the bridge so I could show where Jeremy Fisher had his close call!  He told me just the other day—the day when we had a nice gentle rain.  He’d dug up a bunch of worms and planned to invite his friends Mr. Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise and Sir Isaac Newton to lunch if he caught more than 5 minnows.



The Tale of Jeremy Fisher
As told by Jemima Puddle-Duck

Mr. Jeremy Fisher remembered to put on his macintosh and a pair of galoshes.  A good thing he did because when he had his close call his macintosh helped his escape!  QUACK!  With his rod and basket in hand he hopped to where he kept his boat. . . .


It was well-hidden amongst the lily pads.  He untied the rope. . . .



.....and  pushed his way with a reed pole to where he was sure he’d find the minnows. . . .



After an hour of nothing happening he grew tired and hungry. . . 



So he sat back and ate his lunch—a butterfly sandwich. . . . 




Jeremy had left his foot to dangle in the water where a water beetle gave it a tweak!  But no, that was not the close call.  Quack! . . . .


After finishing his lunch he pushed his way to another spot and let down his hook.  Suddenly, the float began to bobble. . . .



Instead of a minnow, though, he’d caught a stickleback covered with spines. . . .



It floundered about in the little boat before jumping back in the water.  Poor Jeremy nursed his sore fingers, but no, this was not the close call either. . . .


It was what happened next!  A huge trout jumped out of the water and snatched Jeremy right away!  QUACK1  QUACK!. . . .



Thankfully, the macintosh tasted so bad that the trout spit Jeremy out of his mouth.  But his galoshes were lost. . . .



Jeremy climbed up the embankment and hopped home without his rod and basket which he didn’t mind so much because he never planned to go fishing again!  QUACK! . . . .



He invited his friends to dinner anyway.  Mr. Tortoise brought a salad and Jeremy served them a roasted grasshopper with lady-bird sauce from his larder. . . .



You can listen to the story as written by Beatrix here. . . .


                                

The animated version starts at 13:55 minutes just after The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle, although you may want to watch the very beginning with the live-action scenes at Hill Top Farm. . . .

                               

The ballet of Jeremy Fisher's tale is quite delightful. . . .

                    

As a child Beatrix had a pet frog.  She'd also go fishing with her father and his friends, so she was familiar with the frog's habitat and dangers.  She first wrote the story in 1893.  The next year she drew nine sketches of frogs and sold them to a publisher who used them with verses by Clifton Bingham in 1896.  In 1902 she suggested to Norman that she expand the story she'd written years ago.  It wasn't until 1905 that she was able to convince him that even though "some people don't like frogs" she felt she could "make it a really pretty book with a good many flowers and water plants for backgrounds." She said of the illustrations that she had tried to copy Caldecott, but felt she'd failed, so I do not feel so bad about failing to capture Beatrix's style!  It encourages me to find my own style and improve upon that.  For more background information about The Tale of Jeremy Fisher go HERE.

I am one of those people Beatrix knew were not a fan of frogs so I only practiced drawing Jeremy a few times this month. . . .

Frogs are not particularly cute, in my estimation.  This toad decided to burrow into my flower pot on the top step to my front porch. . . .
My plant has since died!

This is Beatrix's watercolor that I'm going to paint. . . .

My preliminary drawing. . . .


I decided to take a photograph before I finished painting the background just in case I didn't know when to stop (which seems to be my modus operandi). . . .

This is the final watercolor (after not stopping when I should have and then trying to "repair" it). . . .

We have frogs in our little pond in the front yard.  While I don't think frogs are cute I do like to listen to our Bull Frog sing. . . .


Peter Rabbit's Little Guide To Life shares the lesson learned from today's story. . . .

"When you are invited to a dinner party, it is polite to arrive on time and wear your best clothes, like Mr. Jeremy Fisher's guests.  Always bring a thoughtful present for your host, though flowers or chocolates may be more appreciated than a bag full of lettuce."


.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!

10 comments:

  1. Such a nice visit to Ees Wyke with Jeremy Fisher and Jemima, Cathy. I too am not a big fan of frogs. Even though I enjoy what frogs get rid of in the garden, they always seem to startle me. Interesting background of this tale of Miss Potter's. We looked at our maps from our trip to this area and we took the road to east and not the west, so we did not pass over Ees bridge on our way to Hawkshead. Your watercolor of Jeremy is charming. I love the coloration you achieved. ♥

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    1. Thank you, Martha Ellen. I'm happy to add to the memories of your visit by having you get out your maps to see which route you took! If we ever go I think I'll know just about every square inch of the Near Sawrey and the paths around it.

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  2. Great job on your watercolor of Jeremy Fisher!

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  3. Another lovely BP post. I too am not a fan of frogs, and I think it's the startle factor that partly is responsible. But Mr.Jeremy Fisher is a sweet guy so I can see why you would like to paint him!

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  4. I'm racking my brain, trying to remember if "The Tale of Jeremy FIsher" was one of the 4 little books in the Beatrix set I received as a newborn. The story sounds familiar, but I keep thinking my set was "Peter Rabbit," "Squirrel Nutkin," "Tailor of Gloucester" and "Benjamin Bunny." Sure wish I had those books now. When she was older & started having grandchildren, Mom often said how she regretted not keeping any of our baby things - & childhood clothing etc. She kept photos obviously, and hospital bracelets and first haircuts - that kind of thing. But really no clothing at all, and that was something she always regretted later. She always said she should have at least kept the last pair of little white baby shoes. Though at the time, with 6 rugrats under the age of 8 running around, I don't think she was contemplating the concept of future grandchildren too often - LOL. Most of our "discards" that were still decent enough to wear were donated to St Joseph's Villa, the Catholic orphanage in our area. And there was never much of that. By the time child #6 was done wearing anything, it was usually well-and-truly threadbare, and destined for the ragbag. I was the lucky one - as oldest I got the most new stuff. Mom and my aunts were always swapping things too. Mom's older brother George had 3 daughters, all older than me by a bit - and her younger brother had 3 girls too - so there was a lot of trading going on between families. I loved getting my older cousins' clothes because their mom was a very accomplished seamstress - she could literally sew anything - and it was all beautifully-made and finished. She once made her husband a camelhair overcoat for Winter. You should have seen that thing - the most gorgeous fabric in the world. Even as a kid I was impressed. It could have come out of a showroom on Fifth Avenue. ANYWAY - I loved today's story - "roasted grasshopper with ladybird sauce" - LOL - and of course your paintings too. In fact you might be right about knowing when to stop. I actually think I like the top version of Jeremy a little better, although my opinion is not worth an awful lot - I'm notorious in my family for preferring SIMPLE. I do think your final version of the drawing would be much better for a children's book though - it looks more complete - more for the kids' eyes to observe. Are you planning to do something with the drawings? You should definitely preserve them in some way. Your own small books for the grandkids - or maybe frame them for their bedrooms? Original artwork by Grandmommy - that would be great! I still have hankies made for me by my grandmother with her own hand tatting. Tatting, which is quickly becoming a lost art... 💛 PS - how is Olivia's other Grandpa doing? Hope he's still feeling well.

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    1. Janet, I appreciate your feedback. I like simple, too, but in trying to reproduce Beatrix's illustration I attempted to do the same marks she made in the pond. When it didn't look right I just kept going trying to fix it! It's too early in his treatment to know whether it's going to make a difference or not. I'll keep you posted when anything changes.

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  5. I always loved the story of Jeremy Fisher maybe because I once dressed by as a fish in a school play! Your painting is fantastic! Sarah x

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. I was a pig in one my elementary school plays! I don't think pigs are particularly cute either. 🐷

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