(A Very Modern Version of the Peter Rabbit Story)

By Bob Henry Baber

The author reserves all rights. However, permission is granted to those AppLit readers who wish to make copies of this story for classroom use.

No doubt you've heard the story of Peter Rabbit, the country bunny who so long ago got into trouble when he went into a certain garden against his mother's very sound advice. Well, it's a good thing that GrandPaw Peter survived his mishap with Mr. McGregor, because this story's about his great, great, grandbun—a fine rabbit who calls himself Peter Rapp-It because he's bound and determined to become a big star in the rapp music business just like his father, Fluff Daddy. You might say he was planning on following in his daddy's paw path. Anyhow, at some point the rabbit family migrated to Cleveland, Ohio, the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and that's where our story takes place.  

Now Peter's mother, Buff Momma, had stopped at the mall on her way home from Tae-Bo class and had new spring clothes and sneakers for Peter, his sister, Topsey, and his brother, Turvey.

"Wow, new FUBU!" the buns exclaimed as they tried on their stuff. 

"Can we wear them outside Mom, can we?"

Topsey and Turvey pleaded and begged so hard that Buff Momma finally gave in with a sigh. 

"Okay, but you'd better stay right here in the yard and don't you dare get a thing on them or mess them up, y'hear?"

Out the buns went, bouncing with joy as only brown and white tailed bunnies with new hip hop clothes can do. But it wasn't long before Peter concocted a different plan. You see, Peter was feeling pretty cool and all, and the sudden urge to do a little rapping in Mr. McGregor's music studio just around the corner popped into his head and wouldn't unpop.

"Hip Hop Pippity Pop, Name's Peter
and I'm on Top."

"C'mon," Peter begged his siblings. "We'll just sneak in for one quick rhyme and hop right on home.  I promise."

"Hip Hop Bippity Bop, No Rapp
If Caught By Pop..."

Topsey and Turvey were hesitant, but the thought of being in the very place where all the musicians hung out just got the best of them and so, before you could so much as twitch your nose a time or two, they were gone. 

Outside the studio was a silver sign that read "Garden Recordings...with little peas and juices for all." It was in the shape of a giant CD, the center of which was painted with tomatoes, carrots, beans, lettuce, and squash—all the things the buns loved to eat. Inside the lobby the walls were lined with gold trophies and records and other awards that the buns speculated must have been worth dillions of dollars. The newest gold record belonged, of course, to Broccoli Spears—the buns' fave. 

"Shhhh!" Peter warned as the threesome snuck into the actual recording room, which was a clutter of microphone stands, wires, drums and musical instruments of all sizes and shapes. Peter stepped up to a mic and rubbed his nose. To his surprise his perked up ears heard a rustling noise come out of the huge speakers suspended in the corners of the studio.

"Hippiddy, Hoppiddy, 1, 2, 3..." Peter's amplified words bounced off the walls like little sound bites being chewed. By this time Topsey and Turvey had moved closer until they were standing like backup singers behind Peter, who began to rapp a song he'd made up upon the spot. 

Well I really luv rapp
and it's plain to see
I'm about to make
rapp music history—
o yeah.....o yeah.....o yeah!"

Just then a door slammed and a man yelled out, "McGregor's the name and music's my game. What are you flopears doing in here?" And with that he lit out after them. Topsey and Turvey, being closest to the exit door, made good their escape and hi-tailed it on home. But Peter Rapp-It, alas, was not so fortunate. He snagged his new jacket on a piece of speaker wire and tore a big hole in the arm. Even worse, he caught his left sneaker under the foot of the piano and it popped right off. But with Mr. McGregor in hot pursuit he didn't have time to retrieve it.  In fact, he was barely able to get out the door before Mr. McGregor caught up with him.  

Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow," McGregor said as he shook his head at Peter skittering up the street. 

By the time Peter returned home Topsey and Turvey had spilled the green beans about their escapade to Buff Momma who was, to say the least, not a happy camper.  

"Peter Rapp-It, where have you been? And where is your other sneaker? Do you know how much those FUBU's cost? Now you go straight upstairs until Fluff Daddy gets home and we can figure out what your punishment will be."

Peter, his tail drooping, thought about his last punishment, which had resulted in an acute case of "Room-atism."

But just as he was trudging away the celery-phone rang.

"Yes," he heard Buff Momma say apologetically, "Yes, Peter Rapp-It is my son.  He's bad!" Don't I know it! Say What? Oh yeah, you mean, he's good?! Y'say you want to offer him and his backup singers a contract!? Topsey, Turvey, Peter, come quick," Buff Momma screamed as she waved the cel-phone above her head and did the bunny hop with Fluff Daddy, who had just come home and didn't have a clue as to what all the commotion was about. 

"O, Peter, can you believe it?"

But Peter Rapp-It had already grabbed a carrot off the table, and pretending it was a mic, was singing away to the joy of his entire family. 

"Well I really luv rapp
and it's plain to see
I'm about to make
rapp music history—
o yeah.....o yeah.....o yeah!"


Visual Artist Note: The bunnies, like man and woman kind, are multicultural and mixed. 

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