Hundred Acre Wood.



♦ ONE ♦
IN WHICH WE MEET POOH AND THE POST BEGINS.

Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.


I have loved Winnie the Pooh for as long as I can remember. If you were to ask me what my favourite book is, I'd probably say The Virgin Suicides. That's my current favourite (and you can read my review of it here). But my all-time favourite book/series is without a doubt, Winnie the Pooh. If you want to experience what I love, skip the Disney crap. You need to get your hands on the originals. I'm talking about books, people. Primarily Winnie the Pooh, The House At Pooh Corner and The World of Christopher Robin (containing When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six), all by A. A. Milne featuring wonderful illustrations by E. H. Shepard. The latter is a book of poetry about different characters but it's written in the same sweetly silly Milne style. I used to have these poems read to be so often that I know many of them off by heart. The other books are a series of stories about or favourite little group from the Hundred Acre Wood.

But now I am six. And I'm clever as clever. And now I think I'll stay six now forever and ever.



♦ TWO ♦
IN WHICH I HYPOCRITICALLY DISCOURAGE DISNEY ADAPTIONS.

The Disney versions of the characters are so darn cute, I'll admit, but I will always love the original drawings by E. H. Shepard. They're simply beautiful. And if I were ever to get a Winnie the Pooh tattoo, it'd have to be simple and elegant like that. Not bright and Disney-esque. Cute as they may be and as much as I like the old theme song, I was never a big fan of the movies or films. They just aren't the same, you know? I guess if you grew up with them instead of books it'd be a different story but to me, the voices all sound so wrong and it just isn't the same.

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.



♦ THREE ♦
IN WHICH WORDS ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.

What often frustrates me is that the famous or popular quotes are often the stupid ones! “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” - That's so freaking lovely, I'll admit, but damnit there are so many better quotes in the books! Maybe it's just because it's over-popularised and I'm tired of seeing it everywhere. But what about, “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them”? Winnie the Pooh has so many life lessons hidden inside it and damnit, I will not be told that I love a children's book. Winnie the Pooh is for everyone. Screw you if you don't feel the magic. The writing is actually pretty profound. My dad read the books to me when I was a kid - I know a lot of it off by heart, and yet when I read it by myself in my elderly teenage years, I'm still floored by the levels of meaning in the writing. It'd be amazing to be able to write a story that is loved and enjoyed by both children and adults alike.


Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.



♦ FOUR ♦
IN WHICH YOU LEARN ABOUT MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER.

"Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!" said Piglet, feeling him.
Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.

Eeyore is my spirit animal. He was my favourite right from the beginning. Maybe I felt sorry for him, or maybe I just truly am I child of woe (Wednesday's child is full of woe!) but from when I was about nine or ten, he was the character I identified with mostly. All that cutsie happiness bullshit? That's all Pooh and Piglet. And that's fine. But I think Eeyore tells it like it is. Sure, he may be annoyingly damper at times but he's honest and he doesn't try to be fake.


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.

For my birthday a few years ago, my brother gave me an empty jar and a popped red balloon. Kudos if you get the reference. I'm pretty sure it was because he forgot to get me a present but I really, really loved it. Things like that are so much more meaningful than boxes of perfume, you know? He knew I was Eeyore. He knew the books well enough to know what to do. It was fucking amazing. I think I cried.

I just love Eeyore, okay? He's my favourite forever. I love the whole gang, I really do, but Eeyore is me.

It's not much of a tail, but I'm sort of attached to it.



♦ FIVE ♦
IN WHICH WE BID ADEIU, UNTIL NEXT TIME.

For I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me.

My copy of The World of Christopher Robin was given to me for my fifth birthday. The first page announces this, amongst the mildew, in the form of "happy 5th birthday, lots of love, mum & dad xxxxx ooooo xxxxx". This is especially tragic because this is the last present I would ever receive from both of my parents, together. I have loved that copy to pieces, almost. My other Winnie the Pooh books are relatively new and beautiful copies with wonderfully coloured original sketches. Somewhere in his possession, my dad has a vintage, falling-apart copy of Winnie the Pooh, given to him by his dad, I think. I'm not allowed to touch it, but hey, someday it will be mine. Muahahaha. Thanks for reading this lengthy ramble. I really enjoy being able to share things I like and express myself to the world. Please note that nothing I put into this post is going to do the books any kind of justice so if you're interested I really recommend taking a look at them yourself. One last word of advice:

We can't all and some of us don't. That's all there is to it.


Images © E. H. Shepard, excerpts © A. A. Milne.

13 comments:

  1. Absolutely adore this post! Very nicely put together, I really like what you did here :D

    Being from a non-English speaking country, I grew up with just the Disney version and didn't start to appreciate the true beauty of Winnie the Pooh until my teenage years, when I started learning English. I have been blown away by the beauty of the original stories ever since though, the way Milne plays around with language is almost like magic!
    I actually bought my first Winnie the Pooh book when I was 19, haha. I have 'A World of Winnie-the-Pooh', which I think is more like a best-of selection of stories? Anyway, I love it with all my heart!

    The only detail I actually liked better in the Dutch version I grew up with is Chritopher Robin's name. His name in Dutch is quite unusual, so 'Christopher Robin' just sounds too normal :p

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  2. This post is gold. And I think my favorite post atm, on your lovely blog <3

    I will forever bear a grudge against my parents for not introducing me to the classic Winnie the Pooh (and Dr. Seuss, such a grudge I tell you), but well, they're Chinese...

    So unfortunately, I think my first encounter was with the Disney version and like you said, it was cute, but that was it. The classic version however, is beautiful on so many levels. The simple illustrations, the words, the magical feeling you get when reading it. I don't think I'll ever get sick of reading this one.

    And of course, I will forever be in love with this line, heh.
    'It's not much of a tail, but I'm sort of attached to it.'


    PS. It's Elaine here btw, I created this account hell of a long time ago and I'm lazy to change my username.

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  3. hehe, thank you!
    i'm glad you think so! i always assumed that if you knew the Disney version first then you probably wouldn't like the originals so I'm pleased to hear you do! Great taste, Aline, great taste. ;)


    Hahahah really? Wow, that's cool. "Christopher Robin" sounds very posh and Englishy, doesn't it? hahaa.

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  4. Helloooooo Elaine <3

    Aww, thank you! You can't really blame them, my dear. It's just great that you discovered it on your own! My mum doesn't really know much about Winnie the Pooh either but whatever. Like I said to Aline up there ^ I'm really glad that you like the originals even though you knew Disney first! It must be pretty special, hehe.

    I know right? I loooove that line. And this gif: http://i52.tinypic.com/1409p9j.gif Ugh I love him so much <3

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  5. I know, thank goodness I eventually got to the classic. I think it's pretty hard not to prefer the classics over the Disney version actually.


    And that gif! So. Much. Love.

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  6. What a beautiful & nostalgic post. I've always related to Eeyore... I think because I've always kind of had a heavy heart and been a little bit sad. That story about your brother's birthday present for you is perfect, absolutely love how much thought he put into that.

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  7. Oh man, this post makes me so nostalgic. A.A. Miline's "Now We Are Six" (I think that's what it's called) and the poetry collection before that (I forgot the name!) were one of the first poetry books I owned back when I was first learning/reading in English and I adored them, still do. I loved every character and how you could relate to everyone of them - both their strengths and faults. I've read them so many times but I think I might have to go back and read them and find those lovely quotes you pointed out. I don't think I really got them when I was younger. I should probably check out the original storybooks too!

    Lovely collection of quote and illustrations, basically: this post <3

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  8. I just realised you even mentioned "When We Are Young" and "Now We Are Six" in the post. Duhhh, I'm so dumb.

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  9. i love love love the poetry books <3 they're always lovely, no matter how many times i have read them.


    <3

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  10. Dinah, I enjoyed reading this post, and you have very much convinced me to read the books. Now I'm off to go find an electronic copy to read on my iPad with hopefully the illustrations!

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  11. Hey Nicole! :)
    I'm glad I succeeded! I hope you like it! Let me know what you think, okay?

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