chapter nine

In which Eeyore finds the Wolery and Owl moves into it

Pooh has come to visit Owl at his house...

Pooh had wandered into the Hundred Acre Wood, and was standing in front of what had once been Owl's house. It didn't look at all like a house now, it looked like a tree that had been blown down; and as soon as a house looks like that, it is time you tried to find another one.

Pooh has come to Owl's house because a note had been pushed underneath his door that morning, and the note had said:


and of course Pooh didn't really understand that, but then luckily Rabbit had arrived and explained it to him, and then Rabbit had gone off to tell the others about the search.

Pooh is not terribly enthusiastic about the search for Owl's new house, because he would really rather make up a song about Owl's old house and the Grand Thing that Piglet had done to rescue them. Pooh had promised Piglet that he would make a song up about the rescue, and it had been days since he had made the promise and there was still no song. Piglet hadn't complained, but every time songs or trees or string or storms were mentioned Piglet's nose tip went rather pink and he immediately changed the subject.

So Pooh starts work on his song, and he has soon come up with a very hummable effort, celebrating Piglet's great achievement and containing the line Sing ho! for Piglet (PIGLET) ho! to let Piglet know how important he is to Pooh. Once the song has been completed, Pooh wants to sing it to Piglet, so he goes off to find him.

Meanwhile, Rabbit has gone to tell Eeyore about the search for Owl's new house. Rabbit explains to Eeyore what they are going to do, and Eeyore asks what is wrong with Owl's old house, and Rabbit explains that too. Eeyore complains that he is the last to know about such things, and it has been 17 days come Friday since someone last spoke to him.

Rabbit argues that it can't possibly have been 17 days since someone last spoke to him, and Eeyore says yes, come Friday, and Rabbit says that he himself spoke to Eeyore only a week ago, and Eeyore says yes, but not to talk to, not properly, and Rabbit's tail was a hundred yards up the hill before Eeyore had had time to speak.

Rabbit says yes, but he was in a rush, but Eeyore says that he needs a little give and take in such situations, otherwise it just gets you nowhere, especially "if the other person's tail is only just in sight for the second half of the conversation".

Rabbit counters by saying that Eeyore only has himself to blame, because he never goes to see any of the other animals, he just waits for them to come to him. Eeyore thinks about this for a little while, and it seems that Rabbit has struck a chord. Eeyore decides that he needs to move about more - he needs to come and go.

"That's right, Eeyore. Drop in on any of us at any time, when you feel like it."
"Thank you, Rabbit. And if anybody says in a Loud Voice 'Bother, it's Eeyore,' I can drop out again."

Rabbit heads off to tell the others about the search, and Eeyore promises to look for a new house for Owl. Meanwhile, Pooh has found Piglet, and they are walking along together when Pooh tells Piglet that he has written the song that he promised to write about You Know What.

Piglet's nose turns pink, and then his ears start glowing, and he tries to say something but he can't quite get the words out. And then Pooh says that there are a full seven verses in the song, and Piglet says that you don't often get seven verses in a song, and Pooh says that you actually never get seven verses in a song, it's truly unprecedented.

Piglet asks if the Others know about the song yet, and Pooh says that they don't, and he asks Piglet if he would prefer to hear it before the others do, or to wait until they are all together before Pooh sings it to everyone at once.

Piglet thinks about this for a while, and then he says that he would like to hear the song now, and then to hear it again later with all the others, because then he could say nonchalantly "Oh yes, I've heard this before" and pretend not to listen.

So Pooh sings the song to Piglet, all the way through, and Piglet listens and glows. When Pooh has finished Piglet almost works up the nerve to ask for one of the verses again, the one beginning "Oh gallant Piglet", because that seems to him to be a very good beginning for a verse.

Piglet asks if he really did everything that the poem says he did, and Pooh says that he did, because the poem says he did, and that's how you know. Piglet is not sure about the part of the poem that says he didn't blinch, because he thinks that he did blinch a little bit, maybe just at first. But Pooh says that he didn't blinch on the outside, only on the inside, and that that is very brave for a Very Small Animal, and Piglet is extremely proud and happy to hear that he is brave...

Pooh and Piglet eventually arrive at Owl's old house, where everyone except Eeyore has gathered. The animals are busy taking Owl's belongings out of his old house, and Christopher Robin is telling them what to do once, and then Rabbit is telling them what to do a second time, just in case they missed it the first time.

Kanga tells Owl that he won't want an old dishcloth that she has found, and Owl says that he would like to keep his shawl actually, thank you, Kanga. Kanga gets a bit cross because Roo is playing around and falling into Owl's house, and so she tells Owl that his house is a Disgrace and damp and dirty, and look at that horrid bunch of toadstools. Owl says that Kanga is actually looking at his bath sponge.

"Well!" said Kanga, and Roo fell in quickly, crying "I must see Owl's sponge! Oh, there it is! Oh, Owl! Owl, it isn't a sponge, it's a spudge! Do you know what a spudge is, Owl? It's when your sponge gets all -" and Kanga said, "Roo, dear!" very quickly, because that's not the way to talk to anybody who can spell TUESDAY.

The animals have a break when Pooh and Piglet arrive so that they can listen to Pooh's new song. They all admire Pooh's creativity and tell Pooh that it is a good song, and Piglet says that he thinks it's a good song too.

Pooh asks whether Owl has found a new house yet, and Owl says that he has found a name for his new house, although not the house itself yet. Owl has painted a sign to show the name of his new house, and it says this: THE WOLERY.

Just as Owl has revealed the name for his new house, Eeyore arrives, brushing away Roo and Piglet and then sitting down on THE WOLERY. Eeyore says to Christopher Robin that news has reached him, in his damp corner of the forest that nobody else wants, that Owl is looking for a house, and that he, Eeyore, has found one for him!

The animals all get ready to go with Eeyore to look at Owl's new house, but Eeyore says that he needs some room to breathe and he really only needs Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet, so Rabbit stays behind to be in charge. Owl is disconcerted to find that his new house is now called THE SMEAR and coughs sternly at Eeyore, who takes no notice and walks off.

Eeyore takes the others to the new house that he has found. Just before they arrive, Pooh and Piglet start nudging each other, and then they start saying "It is!" and "It can't be!" and "It is, really!" to each other. And then they arrive, and Eeyore stops just outside Piglet's house and says "There!".

Oh dear. Christopher Robin is trying not to laugh, and Eeyore is very proud of his find, and says that this is the perfect house for Owl, don't  you think so Piglet.

And then Piglet did a Noble Thing...
"Yes, it's just the house for Owl," he said grandly. "And I hope he'll be very happy in it." And then he gulped twice, because he had been very happy in it himself.

Eeyore has begun to think that something has gone a little wrong somewhere, so he asks Christopher Robin what he thinks about it, and Christopher Robin says that, well, you have to go somewhere if your house has blown down, and where would you go, Piglet, if your house was blown down?

Before Piglet could think, Pooh answered for him.
"He'd come and live with me," said Pooh, "wouldn't you, Piglet?"
Piglet squeezed his paw.
"Thank you, Pooh," he said, "I should love to."


An enchanted place

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.