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"If you fail to help me, I shall denounce you as a witch, and it will be you who is torn apart by the King's hounds!"
— The Charlatan[src]

Babbitty Rabbitty was the main protagonist of the children's tale, Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by Beedle the Bard. Babbitty was known to be a very wise old witch, who had worked as a washerwoman for a terribly foolish Muggle King.[1]


An instructor of magic

"I must look most undignified, to make the old washerwoman laugh so!"
— The King[src]

When a charlatan attempted to teach the king magic, her cackling made the king suspect the charlatan. The charlatan enlisted Babbitty's help in continuing his ruse through a demonstration by the king. The king cast spells, which were actually done by Babbitty who was hiding in a bush. When someone asked the king to resurrect a dog, neither the king nor Babbitty could oblige. This made the subjects ridicule the king. The king sentenced the charlatan to death, who turned around and accused Babbitty and said that a wicked witch was blocking them. Babbitty ran from the bush, and when the hounds chased after her she "disappeared", leaving the dogs barking at a tree.[1]

The king's promise

"You will erect a statue of Babbitty upon me, in memory of your poor washerwoman, and to remind you for ever of your foolishness!"
— Babbitty[src]

Babbity in her rabbit form

The charlatan told the king and the crowd that Babbitty had turned into a tree, and that the tree must be cut down, because she is an "evil" witch. The king was wild, and the tree was cut down. As the crowd and the king started to leave, they heard a cackling coming from the stump. Babbitty told the king that real wizards and witches cannot be cut in half, and that they should cut the charlatan in half to prove it. The charlatan confessed he was a fraud, and the witch told them that the King is cursed, and he'll wish for death every time a witch or wizard was harmed. Babbitty demanded a statue be built of herself, to remind them of what they've done. The King promised. Soon after, an old rabbit appeared out of a hole in the stump, with a wand in its mouth, revealing that she was an Animagus, and left the kingdom. Forever after, the statue of Babbitty remained on top of the stump.[1]


The king

"Very good, but you have not yet made amends to Babbitty"
— Babbitty[src]

The king

Babbitty was the king's washerwoman, and while he was her employer, she knew that he was terribly foolish. Much more intelligent than the king, Babbitty turned into a rabbit and hid inside a tree. When the King had the tree chopped down, she told the petrified King that by cutting a witch in half, he had unleashed a terrible curse upon his kingdom and every stroke of harm that he inflicted upon fellow wizards and witches would feel like an axe stroke in his side. Fooled into believing this, the naive King promised that he would issue a proclamation at once, protecting wizards and witches of the kingdom and to erect a statue of Babbitty on the stump.[1]

The charlatan

"Cut her down, Your Majesty, that is the way to treat evil witches!"
— The charlatan[src]

The charlatan

She thought that the charlatan and the king's "lessons" were ridiculous and laughed at the king, causing the charlatan to become in danger. Babbitty was blackmailed by to perform the king's spells for him without his knowledge, or else he denounce her as a witch to the Brigade of Witch-Hunters. Babbitty disliked the charlatan, and the charlatan was willing to have her killed to save his own skin, as he suggested that the king chop down the tree that Babbitty had "turned into". Babbitty told the crowd that real wizards and witches couldn't be cut in half, and that they should cut the charlatan in half to prove it. Terrified, the charlatan then confessed he was a fraud.[1]

Personality and traits

"...was watching the King and the charlatan from the window of her tiny cottage, and was laughing so hard she she soon sank out of sight, too weak to stand"
— Babbitty's humour[src]

Babbitty was a wise and resourceful witch. She had a strong sense of humour as she cackled uncontrollably when the king and charlatan practised their "magic". She was also quite the quick-thinker, shown when she swiftly conjured an intelligent plan even though, at the time, she was fleeing from the Brigade of Witch-Hunters. She was a folk hero to young wizards and witches across the wizarding world, displaying ingenuity and cleverness.[1]

Magical abilities and skills

  • Household magic: Babbitty was highly skilled in household magic, being able to get the King's sheets and palace linens to wash themselves, and that she always kept them "soft, fragrant and white" through this is a testament to her talent in this field.
  • Charms: Babbitty was skilled in charms - she levitated a horse "high into the air".
  • Transfiguration: Babbitty was extremely talented in transfiguration, for she was an Animagus who could successfully transform into a rabbit at will (the Animagus transformation is a highly difficult branch of transfiguration), and also vanished a hat (vanishment was another exceedingly difficult branch of this magic).
  • Potions: As an Animagus, Babbitty would have needed to have successfully brewed an effective Animagus potion to gain the ability to transform, and her successful transformation was a testament to her being a highly skilled Potioneer, for accurately brewing this Animagus potion was immensely difficult, complex, and time-consuming.
  • Dark Arts (possibly): Babbitty threatened the King that each and every stroke of harm he inflicted on a witch or wizard would feel like "an axe stroke in his own side", and the agony would be such that he would wish he could literally die from the pain. Albus Dumbledore speculated that she could have inflicted this pain on the King through the Cruciatus Curse, which was legal at that time.[1]


"...some magical historians have suggested that Beedle modelled Babbitty on the famous French sorceress Lisette de Lapin, who was convicted of witchcraft in Paris in 1422."
Professor Dumbledore's notes[src]

Magical historians had suggested that Lisette de Lapin may have been the inspiration behind Babbitty.[1]

In 1998, Ron Weasley mentioned being told the story of Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump by his mother when he was a child.[2]


Babbitty might be the revised name for Babette, a French diminutive of Elizabeth. This seems to bolster Dumbledore's argument that Babbitty was based on Lisette de Lapin; Lisette is also a diminutive of Elizabeth.

Behind the scenes

See also


Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump"
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore)

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
By Beedle the Bard
Tales of Beedle the Bard.png

Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump · The Fountain of Fair Fortune · The Warlock's Hairy Heart · The Tale of the Three Brothers · The Wizard and the Hopping Pot


Altheda · Amata · Amata's lover · Antioch Peverell · Antioch Peverell's enemy · Antioch Peverell's killer · Asha · Babbitty · Brigade of Witch-Hunters · Cadmus Peverell · Cadmus Peverell's fiancée · Captain of the Brigade of Witch-Hunters · Charlatan · Death · Evil Sorcerer · Gigantic white worm · Ignotus Peverell · Ignotus Peverell's son · King · Kinsfolk · Maiden · Old man · Old man's donkey · Old man's family · Peasant woman · Peasant woman's granddaughter · Sabre · Sir Luckless · Warlock · Warlock's family · The Warlock's friends · Wizard · Wizard's father · Young woman · Young woman's child


Altheda's potion · Altheda's wand · Cloak of Invisibility · Creepers · Crystal casket · Elder Wand · Enchanted garden · Fountain · Gold statue of Babbitty · Hairy Heart · The Hopping Pot · Never-ending hill · Poisonous toadstool · Poultice for warts · Resurrection Stone · Silver chalice

GF 37.jpg
Before registration system
Falco Aesalon (Falcon) · Cliodna (Sea Bird) · Morgan le Fay (Bird) · Morrigan (Crow)
Minerva McGonagall (Cat) · Adrian Tutley (Gerbil) · Talbott Winger's mother (White Swan) · Unidentified witch (Black cat) · Five unidentified individuals (Unknown)
Sirius Black (Black dog) · Olivier Kikkert (Frog) · Peter Pettigrew (Rat) · James Potter (Stag) · Rita Skeeter (Beetle) · Talbott Winger (Eagle)
Unknown registry status
Bly (Lemur) · Jacob's sibling (Brown dog, Black and white cat or Eagle) · Lottie Turner's father (Butterfly)
Fictional Animagi
Babbitty Rabbity (Rabbit)