In which Christopher Robin and Pooh come to an enchanted place, and we leave them there
This is the very last chapter of the Pooh stories, and we know it is an ending because Christopher Robin is going away. Nobody quite knows where he is going or even how they know that he is going in the first place, but he is definitely going somewhere, and everyone knows that Things are going to be Different.
Upon hearing the news, Rabbit feels that he must take action, and so he writes out a notice to let everyone know that there is going to be a meeting at Pooh Corner so the animals can pass a Rissolution. He reads the notice out to all the inhabitants of the forest, and they all say they will come, even Eeyore, who expresses surprise that he is invited at all, but Rabbit says not to mind Eeyore, so they don't.
Once the animals have gathered together they all sit down, and Rabbit stands up. He says that he has asked Eeyore to propose a Rissolution, and then says "Now then, Eeyore". Eeyore stands up and asks not to be "Now thenned", and then proceeds to make a speech has has prepared earlier.
The thrust of Eeyore's speech is that he is announcing a Surprise Poem...
- "Hitherto, all the Poetry in the Forest has been written by Pooh, a Bear with a Pleasing Manner but a Positively Startling Lack of Brain. The Poem which I am now about to read to you was written by Eeyore, or Myself, in a Quiet Moment. If somebody will take Roo's bull's eye away from him, and wake up Owl, we shall all be able to enjoy it. I call it - POEM."
And so Eeyore reads out his Poem, and it is a Goodbye poem for Christopher Robin, with all the animals sending their love to him, and very good it is too, even if one or two of the rhymes are a bit on the Wobbly side.
Once he has finished reading Eeyore lets everyone know that now would be a good time to clap, and everyone claps, and Eeyore thanks them for their unexpected and gratifying appreciation.
Pooh graciously says that Eeyore's poem is much better than Pooh's own poetry, and Eeyore says that it was meant to be better. Rabbit says they should all sign the poem and then give it to Christopher Robin before he goes wherever it is that he is going, and that will be their Rissolution.
All the animals sign the poem, so that it reads PooH, WOL, PIGLET, EOR, RABBIT, KANGA, BLOT and SMUDGE, and then they set off for Christopher Robin's house.
Christopher Robin answers the door and says hello, and all the animals say hello back a little sadly, because they know they are saying Goodbye. After a little bit of silence Eeyore is nudged to the front, and he stammers and stutters and makes a bit of a mess of saying Goodbye.
- He turned around angrily on the others and said "Everybody crowds round so in this Forest. There's no Space. I never saw a more Spreading lot of animals in my life, and in all the wrong places."
Then Eeyore says that Christopher Robin clearly wants to be alone, and heads off home. The other animals slowly start to shuffle after him, and by the time Christopher Robin has finished reading POEM, only Pooh is left.
Christopher Robin says "Come on" to Pooh, and they head outside. After they have walked for a while, Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he likes doing best, and Pooh has a think about this for a while to try to decide whether he likes Eating Honey best, or whether he prefers the moment just before you begin to Eat Honey, although he doesn't know what that's called.
But then he thinks that being with Christopher Robin is very friendly, and being with Piglet is also grand, and so in the end he says that what he likes best is for him and Piglet to go and see Christopher Robin and having a little something and it being a hummy sort of day with the birds singing.
Christopher Robin says that he likes that too, but his favourite thing of all is to do Nothing. Pooh ponders that for a bit, and then asks Christopher Robin how you actually do Nothing. Christopher Robin explains that Nothing is what happens when people ask you what you're going to do, and you say "Oh, nothing", and then you go and do it, and Pooh says "Oh, I see". And Christopher Robin further explains that it just means walking along and listening to things you can't hear, and not bothering.
So Christopher Robin and Pooh carry on walking, and they walk up to an enchanted place on top of the Forest called Galleons Leap, where there are 60-something trees all in a circle. Christopher Robin knows that it is enchanted because nobody has ever been able to work out whether there are 63 trees in all or 64, not even when they tied a piece of string around each tree as they counted it. In this enchanted place you can see the whole world spread out around you.
Christopher Robin starts to tell Pooh about all kinds of things, Kings and Queens and Factors and islands and Europe and how you make a Suction Pump (if you want to) and how Knights are Knighted and things that come from Brazil. Pooh leans back against one of the trees and listens with his paws folded in front of him, and thinks how good it would be to have proper Brain that could tell you things, instead of Fluff.
When Christopher Robin has finished telling Pooh about all of these exciting things, Pooh asks him about the Afternoons part, and whether it is very grand to be an Afternoon, and after a few moments of confusion Christopher Robin explains that a Knight (rather than an Afternoon) is not as grand as a King, but grander than Factors.
Pooh wants to know if a bear could be a Knight, which of course he could be, so Christopher Robin knights Pooh with a stick and says "Rise, Sir Pooh de Bear". Pooh thanks him and sits down again, and goes off into a bit of a dream for a while.
Suddenly Christopher Robin interrupts Pooh's musings, and tells Pooh that he's not going to be doing Nothing anymore, or at least not so much, because he won't be allowed.
Christopher Robin says to Pooh that when he...you know, when he's not allowed to do Nothing anymore, he would like Pooh to come up to the enchanted place sometimes. Pooh says "Just me?", and Christopher Robin says yes, and Pooh asks Christopher Robin if he will be there with him, and Christopher Robin says that he will really.
Christopher Robin then asks Pooh to promise to never, not ever forget about him, not even when he is one hundred (and Pooh is 99). Pooh promises to never forget. Christopher Robin looks out at the world, and asks Pooh to understand, whatever happens, and Pooh asks what it is he needs to understand, and Christopher Robin says nevermind, and then Come on!, and Pooh says where to, and Christopher Robin says "Anywhere".
- So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.