Hand in hand we come
Christopher Robin and I
To lay this book in your lap.
Say you're surprised?
Say it's just what you wanted?
Because it's yours—
because we love you.
If you happen to have read another book about Christopher Robin, you may
remember that he once had a swan (or the swan had Christopher Robin, I don't
know which) and that he used to call this swan Pooh. That was a long time ago,
and when we said good-bye, we took the name with us, as we didn't think the
swan would want it any more. Well, when Edward Bear said that he would like
an exciting name all to himself, Christopher Robin said at once, without stopping
to think, that he was Winnie-the-Pooh. And he was. So, as I have explained the
Pooh part, I will now explain the rest of it.
You can't be in London for long without going to the Zoo. There are some
people who begin the Zoo at the beginning, called WAYIN, and walk as quickly
as they can past every cage until they get to the one called WAYOUT, but the
nicest people go straight to the animal they love the most, and stay there.
So when Christopher Robin goes to the Zoo, he goes to where the Polar Bears
are, and he whispers something to the third keeper from the left, and doors
are unlocked, and we wander through dark passages and up steep stairs, until
at last we come to the special cage, and the cage is opened, and out trots something
brown and furry, and with a happy cry of “Oh, Bear!” Christopher Robin rushes
into its arms. Now this bear's name is Winnie, which shows what a good name
for bears it is, but the funny thing is that we can't remember whether Winnie
is called after Pooh, or Pooh after Winnie. We did know once, but we have forgotten...
I had written as far as this when Piglet looked up and said in his squeaky
voice, “What about Me?” “My dear Piglet,” I said, “the whole book is about you.”
“So it is about Pooh,” he squeaked. You see what it is. He is jealous because
he thinks Pooh is having a Grand Introduction all to himself. Pooh is the favourite,
of course, there's no denying it, but Piglet comes in for a good many things
which Pooh misses; because you can't take Pooh to school without everybody knowing
it, but Piglet is so small that he slips into a pocket, where it is very comforting
to feel him when you are not quite sure whether twice seven is twelve or twenty-two.
Sometimes he slips out and has a good look in the ink-pot, and in this way he
has got more education than Pooh, but Pooh doesn't mind. Some have brains, and
some haven't, he says, and there it is.
And now all the others are saying, “What about Us?” So perhaps the best thing
to do is to stop writing Introductions and get on with the book.
A. A. M.
IN WHICH WE ARE INTRODUCED TO
WINNIE-THE-POOH AND SOME BEES, AND THE STORIES BEGIN
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.
And then he feels that perhaps there isn't. Anyhow, here he is at the bottom,
and ready to be introduced to you. Winnie-the-Pooh.
When I first heard his name, I said, just as you are going to say, “But I
thought he was a boy?”
“So did I,” said Christopher Robin.
“Then you can't call him Winnie?”
“But you said—”
“He's Winnie-ther-Pooh. Don't you know what 'ther' means?”
“Ah, yes, now I do,” I said quickly; and I hope you do too, because it is
all the explanation you are going to get.
Sometimes Winnie-the-Pooh likes a game of some sort when he comes downstairs,
and sometimes he likes to sit quietly in front of the fire and listen to a story.
“What about a story?” said Christopher Robin.
“What about a story?” I said.
“Could you very sweetly tell Winnie-the-Pooh one?”
“I suppose I could,” I said. “What sort of stories does he like?”
“About himself. Because he's that sort of Bear.”
“Oh, I see.”
“So could you very sweetly?”
“I'll try,” I said.
So I tried.
Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh
lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders.
(“What does 'under the name' mean?” asked Christopher Robin. “It means he
had the name over the door in gold letters, and lived under it.”
“Winnie-the-Pooh wasn't quite sure,” said Christopher Robin.
“Now I am,” said a growly voice.
“Then I will go on,” said I.)
One day when he was out walking, he came to an open place in the middle of
the forest, and in the middle of this place was a large oak-tree, and, from
the top of the tree, there came a loud buzzing-noise.
Winnie-the-Pooh sat down at the foot of the tree, put his head between his
paws and began to think.
First of all he said to himself: “That buzzing-noise means something. You
don't get a buzzing-noise like that, just buzzing and buzzing, without its meaning
something. If there's a buzzing-noise, somebody's making a buzzing-noise, and
the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you're
Then he thought another long time, and said: “And the only reason for being
a bee that I know of is making honey.”
And then he got up, and said: “And the only reason for making honey is so
as I can eat it.” So he began to climb the tree
He climbed and he climbed and he climbed and as he climbed he sang a little
song to himself. It went like this:
Isn't it funny
How a bear likes honey?
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
I wonder why he does?
Then he climbed a little further.. . and a little further... and then just
a little further. By that time he had thought of another song.
It's a very funny thought that, if Bears were Bees,
They'd build their nests at the bottom of trees.
And that being so (if the Bees were Bears),
We shouldn't have to climb up all these stairs.
He was getting rather tired by this time, so that is why he sang a Complaining
Song. He was nearly there now, and if he just s t o o d o n t h a t branch...
“Oh, help!” said Pooh, as he dropped ten feet on the branch below him.
“If only I hadn't—“ he said, as he bounced twenty feet on to the next branch.
“You see, what I meant to do,” he explained, as he turned head-over-heels,
and crashed on to another branch thirty feet below, “what I meant to do—”
“Of course, it was rather—“ he admitted, as he slithered very quickly through
the next six branches.
“It all comes, I suppose,” he decided, as he said good-bye to the last branch,
spun round three times, and flew gracefully into a gorse-bush, “it all comes
of liking honey so much. Oh, help!”
He crawled out of the gorse-bush, brushed the prickles from his nose, and
began to think again. And the first person he thought of was Christopher Robin.
(“Was that me?” said Christopher Robin in an awed voice, hardly daring to
“That was you.”
Christopher Robin said nothing, but his eyes got larger and larger, and his
face got pinker and pinker.)
So Winnie-the-Pooh went round to his friend Christopher Robin, who lived
behind a green door in another part of the Forest.
“Good morning, Christopher Robin,” he said.
“Good morning, Winnie-ther-Pooh,” said you.
“I wonder if you've got such a thing as a balloon about you?”
“Yes, I just said to myself coming along: 'I wonder if Christopher Robin
has such a thing as a balloon about him?' I just said it to myself, thinking
of balloons, and wondering.”
“What do you want a balloon for?” you said.
Winnie-the-Pooh looked round to see that nobody was listening, put his paw
to his mouth, and said in a deep whisper: “Honey!”
“But you don't get honey with balloons!”
“I do,” said Pooh.
Well, it just happened that you had been to a party the day before at the
house of your friend Piglet, and you had balloons at the party. You had had
a big green balloon; and one of Rabbit's relations had had a big blue one, and
had left it behind, being really too young to go to a party at all; and so you
had brought the green one and the blue one home with you.
“Which one would you like?” you asked Pooh. He put his head between his paws
and thought very carefully.
“It's like this,” he said. “When you go after honey with a balloon, the great
thing is not to let the bees know you're coming. Now, if you have a green balloon,
they might think you were only part of the tree, and not notice you, and if
you have a blue balloon, they might think you were only part of the sky, and
not notice you, and the question is: Which is most likely?”
“Wouldn't they notice you underneath the balloon?” you asked.
“They might or they might not,” said Winnie-the-Pooh. “You never can tell
with bees.” He thought for a moment and said: “I shall try to look like a small
black cloud. That will deceive them.”
“Then you had better have the blue balloon,” you said; and so it was decided.
Well, you both went out with the blue balloon, and you took your gun with
you, just in case, as you always did, and Winnie-the-Pooh went to a very muddy
place that he knew of, and rolled and rolled until he was black all over; and
then, when the balloon was blown up as big as big, and you and Pooh were both
holding on to the string, you let go suddenly, and Pooh Bear floated gracefully
up into the sky, and stayed there—level with the top of the tree and about twenty
feet away from it.
“Hooray!” you shouted.
“Isn't that fine?” shouted Winnie-the-Pooh down to you. “What do I look like?”
“You look like a Bear holding on to a balloon,” you said.
“Not,” said Pooh anxiously, “—not like a small black cloud in a blue sky?”
“Not very much.”
“Ah, well, perhaps from up here it looks different. And, as I say, you never
can tell with bees.”
There was no wind to blow him nearer to the tree, so there he stayed. He
could see the honey, he could smell the honey, but he couldn't quite reach the
After a little while he called down to you.
“Christopher Robin!” he said in a loud whisper.
“I think the bees suspect something!”
“What sort of thing?”
“I don't know. But something tells me that they're suspicious!”
“Perhaps they think that you're after their honey?”
“It may be that. You never can tell with bees.”
There was another little silence, and then he called down to you again.
“Have you an umbrella in your house?”
“I think so.”
“I wish you would bring it out here, and walk up and down with it, and look
up at me every now and then, and say 'Tut-tut, it looks like rain. ' I think,
if you did that, it would help the deception which we are practising on these
Well, you laughed to yourself, “Silly old Bear !” but you didn't say it aloud
because you were so fond of him, and you went home for your umbrella.
“Oh, there you are!” called down Winnie-the-Pooh, as soon as you got back
to the tree. “I was beginning to get anxious. I have discovered that the bees
are now definitely Suspicious.”
“Shall I put my umbrella up?” you said.
“Yes, but wait a moment. We must be practical. The important bee to deceive
is the Queen Bee. Can you see which is the Queen Bee from down there?”
“A pity. Well, now, if you walk up and down with your umbrella, saying, 'Tut-tut,
it looks like rain,' I shall do what I can by singing a little Cloud Song, such
as a cloud might sing... Go!”
So, while you walked up and down and wondered if it would rain, Winnie-the-Pooh
sang this song:
How sweet to be a Cloud
Floating in the Blue!
Every little cloud
Always sings aloud.
“How sweet to be a Cloud
Floating in the Blue!”
It makes him very proud
To be a little cloud.
The bees were still buzzing as suspiciously as ever. Some of them, indeed,
left their nests and flew all round the cloud as it began the second verse of
this song, and one bee sat down on the nose of the cloud for a moment, and then
got up again.
“Christopher—ow!—Robin,” called out the cloud.
“I have just been thinking, and I have come to a very important decision.
These are the wrong sort of bees.”
“Quite the wrong sort. So I should think they would make the wrong sort of
honey, shouldn't you?”
“Yes. So I think I shall come down.”
“How?” asked you.
Winnie-the-Pooh hadn't thought about this. If he let go of the string, he
would fall—bump—and he didn't like the idea of that. So he thought for a long
time, and then he said:
“Christopher Robin, you must shoot the balloon with your gun. Have you got
“Of course I have,” you said. “But if I do that, it will spoil the balloon,”
you said. But if you don't” said Pooh, “I shall have to let go, and that would
When he put it like this, you saw how it was, and you aimed very carefully
at the balloon, and fired.
“Ow!” said Pooh.
“Did I miss?” you asked.
“You didn't exactly miss,” said Pooh, “but you missed the balloon.”
“I'm so sorry,” you said, and you fired again, and this time you hit the
balloon and the air came slowly out, and Winnie-the-Pooh floated down to the
But his arms were so stiff from holding on to the string of the balloon all
that time that they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and
whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think—but
I am not sure—that that is why he was always called Pooh.