In Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes, Cotton-Tail receives gifts of carrots from a black gentleman rabbit, who is apparently shy as he initially leaves them anonymously on her doorstep. The pair eventually marry, and by the time of The Tale of Mr. Tod have four or five children, most of whom resemble Cotton-Tail while one takes after their father. The family lived near one of Mr. Tod’s dwellings, which was also frequently inhabited by Tommy Brock. This situation forced Cotton-Tail and her husband to act cautiously for their own sakes and those of their children.
As such, when Peter and Benjamin stopped at their home in pursuit of Tommy Brock, Cotton-Tail’s husband did not emerge to join them. Cotton-Tail, who was outside watching her children play, didn’t comment on her husband’s whereabouts, but did tell her brother and brother-in-law about seeing Tommy Brock pass that way.