Today is the birthday of A.A. Milne, according to the Writer’s Almanac. He was born in
in 1882 and was the creator of our beloved Winnie-the-Pooh and friends. Milne wrote more than just Pooh stories, but his other works were never really successful. You can get many of them for Kindle free: The Holiday Round, If I May, Mr Pim Passes By, and more. I have enjoyed them, but that’s probably because I wanted to. London
Personally, I was always partial to Eeyore. I don’t think I am an Eeyore personality type, although no one is really a good judge of his own personality type, but I think I have his sense of humour – both Eeyore and A.A. would have spelled it that way.
When I was a child, many years ago, my brother and I had the four book set which including two books of stories and two books of Milne’s poems (When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six). As much as I loved the stories, I think I may have preferred the poems. I still have the books and dip into them occasionally as the first lines pop into my head for no apparent reason and I simply must look up the rest of them. If you have never read any of them…you should. You can find them online. Might I suggest a few of my favorites – I’ll just give you the first couple of lines and hope you are snagged.
They bundled him
If I were a bear,
And a big bear too,
I shouldn’t much care
If it froze or snew……
And my personal favorite:
The Doormouse and the Doctor
There once was a Dormouse who lived in a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red).
And all the day long he’d a wonderful view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)....
I do remember reading the stories to my daughter, and before that to my nephews. It’s quite heartwarming that they still remember me reading “The Heffalump”. I’m afraid I didn’t read the poems as often as I should have. Perhaps I gave them a choice, in which case we know they would have chosen stories.
On our 1997 trip to
we visited Hartfield and the candy shop visited by Christopher Robin as a child. It is now a tourist location and full of lovely things to buy. I limited myself to an Eeyore placemat and several postcards of E.H. Shepard’s illustrations. England
We then drove to Hundred Acre Wood (
), parked, and set out for Ashdown Forest . I was already having knee problems by then and as we followed the signs to the bridge through the forest, then along the edge of a field for what seemed for miles, the daily wear and tear was really getting to me. Near the end of the field we met a couple coming in the opposite direction and they stopped to speak with us. They said it was only over the rise at the end of the field and then down a short hill. Since they were English, we knew that could mean anything from 300 yards to two miles. We stood there as they went on their way and pondered just how badly we wanted to stand on a bridge and throw sticks into the water. Not all that badly. We had some pride however, we waited until the couple was out of sight before we turned around and headed back. I could just hear Eeyore saying, “Oh well, it was a nice walk…as far as it went.” Poohsticks Bridge
When we reached the carpark, we collected some ‘Poohsticks”. After all, we really were in Hundred Acre Wood, so they were real Poohsticks. I treasure my sticks, now framed with one of the postcards, but every time I look at it, I am reminded of my feet of clay. Or should I say knees of clay.