IN WHICH EEYORE LOSES A TAIL AND POOH FINDS ONE
THE Old Grey Donkey, Eeyore, stood by himself in a thistly corner of the forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, “Why?” and sometimes he thought, “Wherefore?” and sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?” – and sometimes he didn’t quite know what he was thinking about. So when Winnie-the-Pooh came stumping along, Eeyore was very glad to be able to stop thinking for a little, in order to say “How do you do?” in a gloomy manner to him.
“And how are you?” said Winnie-the-Pooh.
Eeyore shook his head from side to side.
“Not very how,” he said. “I don’t seem to have felt at all how for a long time.”
“Dear, dear,” said Pooh, “I’m sorry about that. Let’s have a look at you.” So Eeyore stood there, gazing sadly at the ground, and Winnie-the-Pooh walked all round him once.
“Why, what’s happened to your tail?” he said in surprise.
“What has happened to it?” said Eeyore.
“It isn’t there!”
“Are you sure?”
“Well, either a tail is there or it isn’t there You can’t make a mistake about it. And yours isn’t there!”
“Then what is?”
“Let’s have a look,” said Eeyore, and he turned slowly round to the place where his tail had been a little while ago, and then, finding that he couldn’t catch it up, he turned round the other way, until he came back to where he was at first, and then he put his head down and looked between his front legs, and at last he said, with a long, sad sigh, “I believe you’re right”
“Of course I’m right,” said Pooh
“That accounts for a Good Deal,” said Eeyore gloomily. “It explains Everything. no Wonder.”
“You must have left it somewhere,” said Winnie-the-Pooh.
“Somebody must have taken it,” said Eeyore.
“How Like Them,” he added, after a long silence. Pooh felt that he ought to say something helpful about it, but didn’t quite know what.
So he decided to do something helpful instead.
“Eeyore,” he said solemnly, “I, Winnie-the-Pooh, will find your tail for you.”
“Thank you, Pooh,” answered Eeyore. “You’re a real friend,” said he. “Not like Some,” he said.
So Winnie-the-Pooh went off to find Eeyore’s tail.
It was a fine spring morning in the forest as he started out. Little soft clouds played happily in a blue sky, skipping from time to time in front of the sun as if they had come to put it out, and then sliding away suddenly so that the next might have his turn. Through them and between them the sun shone bravely, and a copse which had worn its firs all the year round seemed old and dowdy now beside the new green lace which the beeches had put on so prettily. Through copse and spinney marched Bear; down open slopes of gorse and heather, over rocky beds of streams, up steep banks of sandstone into the heather again; and so at last, tired and hungry, to the Hundred Acre Wood. For it was in the Hundred Acre Wood that Owl lived.
“And if anyone knows anything about anything,” said Bear to himself, “it’s Owl who knows something about something,” he said, “or my name’s not Winnie-the-Pooh,” he said. “Which it is,” he added. “So there you are.”
Owl lived at The Chestnuts, and old-world residence of great charm, which was grander than anybody else’s, or seemed so to Bear, because it had both a knocker and a bell-pull. Underneath the knocker there was a notice which said: