IN WHICH KANGA AND BABY ROO COME TO THE FOREST, AND PIGLET HAS A BATH
NOBODY seemed to know where they came from, but there they were in the Forest: Kanga and Baby Roo. When Pooh asked Christopher Robin,
“How did they come here?” Christopher Robin said, “In the Usual Way, if you know what I mean, Pooh,” and Pooh, who didn’t, said “Oh!” Then he nodded his head twice and said, “In the Usual Way. Ah!” Then he went to call upon his friend Piglet to see what he thought about it. And at Piglet’s house he found Rabbit. So they all talked about it together.
“What I don’t like about it is this,” said Rabbit.
“Here are we – you, Pooh, and you, Piglet, and Me – and suddenly “
“And Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“And Eeyore – and then suddenly – “
“And Owl,” said Pooh
“And Owl – and then all of a sudden – “
“Oh, and Eeyore,” said Pooh. “I was forgetting him.”
“Here – we – are,” said Rabbit very slowly and carefully, all – or – us, and then, suddenly, we wake up one morning, and what do we find? We find a Strange Animal among us. An animal of whom we had never even heard before! An animal who carries her family about with her in her pocket! Suppose I carried my family about with me in my pocket, how many pockets should I want?”
“Sixteen,” said Piglet.
“Seventeen, isn’t it?” said Rabbit. “And one more for a handkerchief – that’s eighteen. Eighteen pockets in one suit! I haven’t time.”
There was a long and thoughtful silence? .. and then Pooh, who had been frowning very hard for some minutes, said: “I make it fifteen.”
“What?” said Rabbit.
“What about them?”
Pooh rubbed his nose and said that he thought Rabbit had been talking about his family.
“Did I?” said Rabbit carelessly.
“Yes, you said – “
“Never mind, Pooh,” said Piglet impatiently. “The question is, What are we to do about Kanga?”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.
“The best way,” said Rabbit, “would be this. The best way would be to steal Baby Roo and hide him, and then when Kanga says, ‘Where’s Baby Roo?’ we say, ‘Aha!'”
“Aha!” said Pooh, practising. “Aha! Aha!… Of course,” he went on, “we could say ‘Aha!’ even if we hadn’t stolen Baby Roo.”
“Pooh,” said Rabbit kindly, “you haven’t any brain.”
“I know,” said Pooh humbly.
“We say ‘Aha!’ so that Kanga knows that we know where Baby Roo is. ‘Aha!’ means ‘We’ll tell you where Baby Roo is, if you promise to go away from the Forest and never come back. ‘ Now don’t talk while I think.”
Pooh went into a corner and tried saying ‘Aha!’ in that sort of voice. Sometimes it seemed to him that it did mean what Rabbit said, and sometimes it seemed to him that it didn’t. “I suppose it’s just practice,” he thought. “I wonder if Kanga will have to practise too so as to understand it.”
“There’s just one thing,” said Piglet, fidgeting a bit. “I was talking to Christopher Robin, and he said that a Kanga was Generally Regarded as One of the Fiercer Animals I am not frightened of Fierce Animals in the ordinary way, but it is well known that if One of the Fiercer Animals is Deprived of Its Young, it becomes as fierce as Two of the Fiercer Animals. In which case ‘Aha!’ is perhaps a foolish thing to say.”
“Piglet,” said Rabbit, taking out a pencil, and licking the end of it, “you haven’t any pluck.”