#5 Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne Chapter 1: in which we are introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and some bees, and the stories begin

Note: Jen and I decided to decorate Colin’s room with a “Classic Winnie the Pooh Theme” complete with A.A. Milne’s original stories. While I will not rigorously read to Colin the entire collection in one sitting, I will return to these texts from time to time.

The opening chapter (which is really a short tale) introduces the reader to Christopher Robin, his bear Winnie the Pooh, and the narrator who is assumed to be the father of the boy. One day, WtP is out walking in the Hundred Acre Wood and he comes across a tree. At the top of this tree are bees and therefore a beehive and therefore honey  (the driving mechanism of the story – the conch shell if you will). WtP climbs to the top only to find that the last branch collapses underneath his weight and he falls to the earth. Refusing to be deterred, Pooh goes to Christopher Robin who lives behind a door in a tree (what?) where he procures a blue balloon. He then cakes himself in black mud (isn’t that called oil?) so that he might appear to be a little black rain cloud. Unfortunately the bees are not fooled and WtP finds that being suspended some 50 feet up in the air to be quite terrifying so he asks Christopher Robin to shoot the balloon with his gun (again, what?). The boy is successful in hitting the balloon, and the story ends and then the real Christopher Robin an WtP take a bath.

End of Chapter/Story.

Observations:

1. An interesting use of framing by Milne in the book so far since it begins with Christopher Robin asking his father to tell him a story about Winnie the Pooh, because he (the bear) likes hearing stories about himself. CR also interjects at different points in the story adding commentary when necessary.

2. British colloquialisms are HILARIOUS. Such as WtP’s revelation that “These are the wrong sort of bees,” and “You didn’t exactly miss…but you missed the balloon.”

3. Why does Christopher Robin’s father allow his son to SHOOT A GUN in this story???

4. Doesn’t Christopher Robin know that bears are godless killing machines?!?!?!

5. Ultimately, WtP seems to be another story (or set of stories) that deal with the world of child. Christopher Robin has a specific view of the way things are (his explanation for WtP’s name) and there’s nothing anyone can tell him otherwise. After all, Winnie-the-Pooh told him so.

While this line does not occur in this story, I certainly can’t wait to get to it:

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?””

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Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 4:40 am  Leave a Comment  

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