Little Grey Rabbit
Updated: Nov 23
Little Grey Rabbit, A Pepys Game, Pictured by Margaret Tempest from the books by Alison Uttley
First Published: 1954, A Pepys Game, Pepys Series, Castell Brothers Ltd., St. Cross Street, London
Illustrator or Designer: Margaret Tempest
Contents: 44 Cards + Rules Booklet
There is 1 Wise Owl card and 43 other cards each giving the "name of a character and telling the players exactly what to do". " The game is played for counters (safety matches will do very well) and the object is to be the player who has collected most counters at the end."
Characters can feature on several cards. Typical instructions include: Wandering Hedgehog Gives 1 to Grey Rabbit, Moldy Warp Receives 1 From Wise Owl and Fuzzypeg Receives 1 From Every Player.
Little Grey Rabbit cards: Wise Owl, Badger, Bill & Tim, The Brids, The Ducks, Fox, Fuzzypeg.
Little Grey Rabbit cards: Fuzzypeg, Grey Rabbit. The Gypsy, Hare.
Little Grey Rabbit cards: Hare, Little Hare, Mrs Hedgehog, Hedgehog, Mrs Webster, Moldy Warp.
Little Grey Rabbit cards: Moldy Warp, Baby Rat, Rat, Robin, Speckledy Hen, Squirrel.
Little Grey Rabbit cards: Squirrel, Tabby Cat, Wandering Hedgehog, Water-Rat, The Weasels.
So often illustrators go uncredited in Pepys (and other) games. Here Margaret Tempest, illustrator of Alison Uttley's Little Grey Rabbit books and these cards, is given top billing on the box front and in the rule book.
This billing may not have been appreciated by Alison Uttley who disliked Tempest intensely. Uttley and Tempest disagreed over who was the true creator of the Little Grey Rabbit character.
Much has been written about Alison Uttley (1884-1976), a remarkable woman who graduated in Physics from Manchester, being only the second woman to do so, worked as a teacher after training at Cambridge, rose to the challenges presented by personal tragedies and wrote around 100 books, including ones for older children and adults in a celebrated literary career. Alongside her scientific background Uttley believed in time travel, that inanimate objects had life and that animals have human-like personalities. She loathed Enid Blyton, her near neighbour in Beaconsfield and also strongly disliked Beatrix Potter. The Alison Uttley Society have excellent resources for anyone wanting to learn more about her.
Far less has been written about Margaret Tempest (1892-1982) and I don't know of a society or website devoted to her life and work. Suffolk Artists do have have page with a short biography and a portrait photo.
Pepys produced their 1st Edition of the game in 1954 and their 3rd Edition in 1975. There is no evidence that Pepys ever produced a 2nd Edition. In Pepys, The Story of The Company and its Games 4th Ed. Rex Pitts leaves a space for the inclusion of a 2nd Ed. should a copy ever come to light. He also notes a small variation between two examples of the 3rd Edition, one titled pre 1977, is the version featured here. The other example post 1977 has a newer style Pepys logo (without the flourish) on the box front.
Little Grey Rabbit is one of the games that Gibsons retained when they took over Pepys. Their edition will shortly have its own entry on the site.
The 1st Edition pack featured here was part of Rex Pitts' personal collection.
Game & Version Details
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Card Back
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Card Back
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Rules Front
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Rules Back
Woodland Happy Families
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Rules Inside Back Cover
Pepys PartyGames - Little Noddy, Whirligig, Educating Archie, Biggles, Treasure Island, Dan Dare
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Rules Front
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Rules Back
Woodland Happy Families
Jaques' Happy Families
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Box Back
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Box Back
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Box Top
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Box Side Left
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Box Base
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Box Side Right
Little Grey Rabbit 1st Ed - Box Back With Flap
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Box Top
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Box Side Left
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Box Base
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Box Side Right
Little Grey Rabbit 3rd Ed - Box Back With Flap