My vote for the three funniest moments in A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh Stories

red squirrels sitting on books

I reread Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner this winter and spring, and they were even more hilarious then I remembered. Two of my favorite parts are in the second book. I wonder if maybe I never read all of Pooh Corner. I can’t imagine how I could forget Piglet’s very nervous, very confused, and very funny speech to Christopher Robin when he thinks Christopher Robin is actually a heffalump. Which leads me to my first choice….

#1: In the third chapter of Pooh Corner, Pooh and Piglet both fall into a deep pit. Pooh thinks they must be in a trap for Heffalumps, and he tells Piglet that when the Heffalump comes it will say, “’Ho-ho‘ twice, in a gloating sort of way” (Milne, page 210). Pooh plans out what he will say to frighten the Heffalump off, and  Piglet imagines himself talking to the Heffalump. Later, Christopher Robin happens to walk up to the pit (greeting them at first with a loud “Ho-ho”), and he has some trouble making sense of Piglet’s answer (which is a mix-up of what the Heffalump is supposed to say, what Piglet wants to say, Piglet’s directions to himself about what he is going to say, and a bit of carefree singing). It’s nice to see Piglet try to be brave, although he does so because he’s at least a teensy bit jealous of Pooh.

#2. My choice for second funniest moment is in Chapter Six of Pooh Corner when Eeyore is floating down the river after being bounced (or “boffed,” as Tigger tells us) into it. Eeyore is really not very nice to Pooh and Rabbit and Piglet and Roo, who all try to think of a way to get him out of the river. But they still help him. I enjoyed the part where Rabbit is up on the bridge and asks what Eeyore is doing down there, and Eeyore says that, among other things, he is definitely not in a tree “leaping from branch to branch” (Milne, page 262). I think it’s funny to imagine Eeyore doing that. It’s kind of funny to imagine any donkey swinging in a tree, but especially Eeyore. Apart from all that, I also like this chapter because Eeyore and Tigger act like they’re good friends by the end of it.

#3. My choice for the third funniest moment would be when Piglet pretends to be Roo and Kanga only discovers that the two have been switched once she is back home. So she decides to give Piglet a bath and Roo’s medicine and ignores Piglet’s yells, and it all turns out kind of painful and soapy and frightening for poor Piglet. Although this whole chapter is fun, I am a bit bothered by the fact that Rabbit and Pooh and Piglet would actually work together to kidnap Roo. But, as Kanga realizes, Christopher Robin is KING here, and he’ll look out for Roo.

I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m making fun of Piglet. I find a lot of the parts with Piglet very funny, but Piglet is actually really brave. When Pooh and Owl are in trapped, he lets the others raise him up on only a piece of string so he can run and get help. And later, he gives up something very special to him, which is maybe even more brave.

By the way, I am using a book that has both Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner in it. If you were looking at the page numbers at this post, you might have thought that the second book was actually over 800 pages long. That would be very long. Not everybody would be able to stand it. But I found this book, at the length it is, a lot of fun. It was kind of like watching a movie like Toy Story 2 or something like that.

I’ll probably be writing more posts about these stories soon. There are also some other animal books that I’d like to share. It might be fun to compare them with Milne’s.

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Milne, A. A. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh. Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 1994. Print.


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