Alan Alexander Milne
The house at Pooh Corner
You gave me Christopher Robin, and then
You breathed new life in Pooh.
Whatever of each has left my pen
Goes homing back to you.
My book is ready, and comes to greet
The mother it longs to see –
It would be my present to you, my sweet,
If it weren’t your gift to me.
AN Introduction is to introduce people, but Christopher Robin and his friends, who have already been introduced to you, are now going to say Good-bye. So this is the opposite. When we asked Pooh what the opposite of an Introduction was, he said “The what of a what?” which didn’t help us as much as we had hoped, but luckily Owl kept his head and told us that the Opposite of an Introduction, my dear Pooh, was a Contradiction; and, as he is very good at long words, I am sure that that’s what it is.
Why we are having a Contradiction is because last week when Christopher Robin said to me, “What about that story you were going to tell me about what happened to Pooh when…” I happened to say very quickly, “What about nine times a hundred and seven?” And when we had done that one, we had one about cows going through a gate at two a minute, and there are three hundred in the field, so how many are left after an hour and a half? We find these very exciting, and when we have been excited quite enough, we curl up and go to sleep… and Pooh, sitting wakeful a little longer on his chair by our pil low, thinks Grand Thoughts to himself about Nothing, until he, too, closes his eyes and nods his head, and follows us on tip-toe into the Forest. There, still, we have magic adventures, more wonderful than any I have told you about; but now, when we wake up in the morning, they are gone before we can catch hold of them. How did the last one begin? “One day when Pooh was walk ing in the Forest, there were one hundred and seven cows on a gate…” No, you see, we have lost it. It was the best, I think. Well, here are some of the other ones, all that we shall remember now. But, of course, it isn’t really Good-bye, because the Forest will always be there… and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it.
Chapter I. In which a house is built at Pooh Corner for Eeyore
ONE day when Pooh Bear had nothing else to do, he thought he would do something, so he went round to Piglet’s house to see what Piglet was doing. It was still snowing as he stumped over the white forest track, and he expected to find Piglet warming his toes in front of his fire, but to his surprise he saw that the door was open, and the more he looked inside the more Piglet wasn’t there.
“He’s out,” said Pooh sadly. “That’s what it is. He’s not in. I shall have to go a fast Thinking Walk by myself. Bother!”
But first he thought that he would knock very loudly just to make quite sure… and while he waited for Piglet not to answer, he jumped up and down to keep warm, and a hum came suddenly into his head, which seemed to him a Good Hum, such as is Hummed Hopefully to Others.
The more it snows
The more it goes
The more it goes
And nobody knows
How cold my toes
How cold my toes
“So what I’ll do,” said Pooh, “is I’ll do this. I’ll just go home first and see what the time is, and perhaps I’ll put a muffler round my neck, and then I’ll go and see Eeyore and sing it to him.”