chapter ten

In which Christopher Robin gives a Pooh party, and we say goodbye

We have come to the very end of this book, but before we go there is just time for one more story. We start this chapter with Christopher Robin whistling for Owl, who flies over to Christopher Robin's house to see what is what.

Christopher Robin tells Owl that he is going to be having a party, and a special party at that, dedicated to celebrating the remarkable achievements of one Pooh Bear, who showed an uncharacteristic amount of Brain in the last chapter by inventing two boats out of things that were lying around, and so saving Piglet from the floods.

Christopher Robin asks Owl to let all of the animals in the forest know about the party, and so Owl flies off to do just that. The first person he tells, quite fittingly, is the star guest himself, Pooh. Pooh wants to know if there will be little cakes with pink icing sugar at the party, but Owl is rather too grand to talk about such trifles (or indeed cakes), so he just repeats what Christopher Robin had said and flies off to find Eeyore.

Pooh is naturally very excited to find out that there is going to be a party in his honour, although he is a little anxious in case the other animals just think that it is a usual sort of party, rather than a Poohish sort of party, and what if they don't even know that he invented all those ships and saved Piglet practically single-handedly?

Well, that would be unfortunate, so Pooh decides to make up a song to commemorate his good works, and it is called The Anxious Pooh Song, anxious because of the worry that the others have Forgotten, and it tells the whole story of Pooh's exploits.

Meanwhile, Owl has found Eeyore in his Gloomy Place.

"Eeyore," said Owl, "Christopher Robin is giving a party."
"Very interesting," said Eeyore. "I suppose they will be sending me down the odd bits which got trodden on. Kind and Thoughtful. Not at all, don't mention it."

Owl tells Eeyore that he is actually invited to the party, but Eeyore doesn't believe him at first and thinks he is referring to Piglet ("the little fellow with the excited ears"). Owl insists that he really is inviting Eeyore, but Eeyore still isn't convinced, and thinks that Christopher Robin most likely wanted to invite everyone except Eeyore.

Owl is a little hot under the collar by now, and absolutely, categorically states that everyone is invited, including Eeyore, and Eeyore finally accepts the invitation, although he still thinks that there has been some kind of mistake, and it will rain anyway.

And on to the party! Christopher Robin has set out a long table for all of them to sit at, with Christopher Robin at one end of the table and Pooh in pride of place at the other. All the animals are there, Owl and Eeyore and Piglet and Rabbit and Kanga and Roo.

And all Rabbit's friends-and-relations spread themselves about on the grass, and waited hopefully in case anybody spoke to them, or dropped anything, or asked them the time.

For little Roo this is the very first party he has ever been to in his life, so he is a little whirlwind of excitement, saying hello to everyone in sight and bouncing up and down.

Kanga said to Roo, "Drink up your milk first, dear, and talk afterwards." So Roo, who was drinking his milk, tried to say that he could do both at once...and had to be patted on the back and dried for quite a long time afterwards.

The animals all have a good long munch of the party food, and then Christopher Robin gets up to make a speech. All of the animals fall silent at this point...

...except Roo who was just finishing a loud attack of hiccups and trying to look as if it was one of Rabbit's relations.

And Christopher Robin starts his speech. He begins by saying that the party is a special party in honour of a special guest who did something special, which they all know about, and that he has a present for this special person.

Unfortunately Christopher Robin can't find the present just at that moment, and Eeyore rather seizes the initiative, for he stands up and starts making a speech himself - as if he were the guest of honour! He makes a great long speech, addressing his friends (including oddments) and saying that he is pleased to see them at his party (or at least he is pleased so far), and that what he did was really nothing and any one of them would have done the same (well, except Rabbit and Owl and Kanga. And Pooh. And Piglet and Roo on account of their size. But anyone else).

Eeyore is blithering on and on about his wonderful achievements and trying to appear modest at the same time by saying that he is not looking for any reward and that he did what he did (what did he do?!) because he feels that people should help each other. Roo is hiccupping to accompany the speech.

"What's Eeyore talking about?" Piglet whispered to Pooh.
"I don't know," said Pooh rather dolefully.
"I thought this was your party."
"I thought it was once. But I suppose it isn't."
"I'd sooner it was yours than Eeyore's," said Piglet.
"So would I," said Pooh.

Eeyore gets a bit annoyed at all of the whispering and hiccupping and interruptions, and comes over all stern. Luckily though, Christopher Robin finally manages to find the present he has been searching for, and asks the animals to pass it along to Pooh. Eeyore is taken aback to find out that the present is for Pooh rather than for him.

"I might have known," said Eeyore. "After all, one can't complain. I have my friends. Somebody spoke to me only yesterday. And was it last week or the week before that Rabbit bumped into me and said 'Bother!'. The Social Round. Always something going on."

The animals aren't paying any attention to Eeyore though, because Pooh's present is much more exciting. Pooh opens up the present as quickly as possible while trying to leave the string intact, because he might need a bit of string sometime, it could be Useful.

And what is the present? Well, Pooh is so thrilled by it that he almost falls over - it is a pencil case, with lots of different pencils (some marked 'B' for Bear, and others marked 'HB' for Helping Bear!), and a knife to sharpen things with, and a rubber to make mistakes disappear, and a ruler, and coloured pencils of all different colours, and all of these things come in a beautiful case that shuts with a click!

Pooh says thank you for his lovely present, while all the other animals are still gasping in wonderment (well, except for Eeyore). And once the party is over and they have all said Thank you for having me, Pooh and Piglet walk home together through the forest.

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.

On to book two

Winnie the Pooh and friends are Trademarks of Disney. Quotes are taken from Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne.