Wednesday, January 18, 2017

On the Nature of Winnie the Pooh Day!

The fact that today is Winnie-the-Pooh Day may have something to do with the fact that it's also A.A. Milne's birthday. I have a confession to make. I didn't become a fan of Winnie until long after I left childhood. Perhaps that's what makes him and his friends so extra special to me? It could have absolutely nothing to do with the unfounded accusations from those who "no" me that I've a large Eeyore-like streak running through my personality. Someone close to me even had the audacity to give me an Eeyore plush doll which lives on one of my desks. There's also a small, framed print of Pooh and Piglet walking through the Hundred Acre Wood and an unframed, large map of that same wood.

my alter ego? not at all
my alter ego? not at all
Photo by J. Harrington

  • My favorite sweatshirt is emblazoned with the poster for the October 8 Joan Baez / Grateful Dead Peace Concert. A framed reproduction of that self-same poster is on the wall of our "scriptorium."

  • We once had a yellow labrador pup named "Winnie" by the Daughter Person.
Our library currently includes:
    • The Tao of Pooh and

    • The Te of Piglet, plus

    • Winnie the Pooh on Management
      (in my opinion, one of the best management books going), plus

    • The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh,
    • a walk through the forest that inspired the Hundred Acre Wood
Childhood reading memories don't include Pooh, although I vaguely recall reading, and/or having read to me, Paddle-to-the Sea, which was originally published a few years before I was born. Looking at the Caldecott medal nominees doesn't yield any other titles that ring a bell, although The Wind in the Willows haunts my memory.

can you pick out the Woozle tracks?
can you pick out the Woozle tracks?
Photo by J. Harrington

All of this thinking and writing about the adventures and life of Pooh made me go out and double check the tracks in the back yard, the ones coming out of our part of our own hundred acre wood. Some are deer, as we noted a few days ago, but on careful, close-up inspection, I believe some are Woozle tracks. I couldn't make out if any of the others belonged to a very important bear or a very small piglet, but, if we get fresh snow, I'll check again.

Us Two

By A.A. Milne

Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
"Where are you going today?" says Pooh:
"Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.
Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.

"What's twice eleven?" I said to Pooh.
("Twice what?" said Pooh to Me.)
"I think it ought to be twenty-two."
"Just what I think myself," said Pooh.
"It wasn't an easy sum to do,
But that's what it is," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what it is," said Pooh.

"Let's look for dragons," I said to Pooh.
"Yes, let's," said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
"Yes, those are dragons all right," said Pooh.
"As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That's what they are," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what they are," said Pooh.

"Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh.
"That's right," said Pooh to Me.
"I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted "Shoo!
Silly old dragons!"- and off they flew.

"I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said he,
"I'm never afraid with you."

So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. "That's how it is," says Pooh.

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Please be kind to each other while you can.