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A Story About Pooh and the Christmas Spirit

Mohan is a family physician, film and TV aficionado, a keen bibliophile and an eclectic scribbler.

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet build a Snowman

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet build a Snowman

Snowflakes Heartaches

Snow came to Hundred Acre Wood early that winter. The bare tree branches that had started missing the leaves since autumn sought some consolation in the temporary comfort of snowflakes. The flakes were mischievous. They descended down from the sky in a dazzling dance, landing softly with a lot of promise. But they either disappeared when touched or merged into one big slushy pile, daring us to find each one.

Out among the slushy snowpiles a slow moving grey bundle shivered. A baleful cry was heard in the midst of the hushed whispers of snowfall. It was muffled but recognisable. 'Eeyore' came the noise. And in case we didn't hear it the first time, it came again: 'Eeyore'.

Eeyore's tail wobbled and flicked some snow off his grey body. He sighed a deep sigh and watched as his sigh drifted away from him as a little fluffy cloud.

"I am so unhappy," he said. "Even my sighs don't want to be near me."

Eeyore looked around him. The ground was a dazzling white carpet of snow; the tree branches not only carried little balls of snow but also glistened with icy crystals like a chandelier lit from within. The snowfall eased for the moment and the last few snowflakes glided down in their own languorous pace. What may be a magical winter scene was just a cold, freezing, merciless and miserable sight for Eeyore.

For you see, misery, like beauty, can also be in the eye of the beholder.

"I am so unhappy," he said, "Even my sighs don't want to be near me".

"I am so unhappy," he said, "Even my sighs don't want to be near me".

Although charity should be dispensed freely to the needy, it often has the habit of reaching those who manage to just look needy.

perspectives-pooh-the-charitable-spirit

Wishes Skirmishes

Eeyore had not prepared for winter. Every year, it came as a shock to him. When he woke up and found the world an icy white, he knew he was in for a bit of trouble. He had no shelter. His favorite food, the thistle plant, was buried under the icy blanket. Every year, he had managed to get in the cosy warmth of someone else's house. The others were also kind enough to share their food with him on and off.

He complained often though, for there was never enough room for two in most of the shelters and the food wasn't always to his liking.

Eeyore sighed again, watching another puff of wispy white breath dance in front of him. "It's time to go and see who is ready to help me. They should know what I need by now. I do hope they are prepared"

He trudged along the snowy path, leaving smudgy footprints. On the way, he found a pile of sticks that would do nicely to build a house. He found a spiky stem of a thistle plant poking through the snowdrift. "Well, one can't expect me to pull that out of the snow in this freezing weather. No. Not at all. Poor me is hungry and I'm sure my friends will feed me."

Luck appeared in the form of the yellow bear ahead of him. He heard a familiar rhythm, "Rump, pump -a-rumpty- tum" and stopped in his track.

He lowered his head and put a big frown on his face. His eyes sagged a little in a forlorn manner. Eeyore knew he needed to let the misery play on his face to make sure charity will come his way.

Although charity should be dispensed freely to the needy, it often has the habit of reaching those who manage to just look needy.

He cleared his throat, planted his front legs wide and lowered his head even more than usual, and waited.

Pooh approached with a bounce in his step and a song on his lips. "Rumpty tumpty rum-pa-pum. Hello Eeyore! Grand day, ain't it. A day for snowball fights and sledging."

"Ohhhh... I wouldn't know Pooh. I wouldn't know. I haven't eaten all day and I'm so cold."

"Oh my! That is not good news. Why don't you go and eat something."

Eeyore blinked. " I.. I was hoping, I could come and share your honey."

It was Pooh's turn to blink. He scratched his chin-chinny chin and for additional boost to his very little brain he rubbed his head twice too. "Well, I suppose you could visit my house and I 'll see what I can do about your food"

Eeyore nodded. " It's not quite my favorite food, honey. But it should do. I'll come by later."

He watched as Pooh walked away, still scratching his chin and less of a bounce in his step.

" I.. I was hoping, I could come and share your honey."

" I.. I was hoping, I could come and share your honey."

Helter Shelter

Eeyore continued along the path until he saw a little figure leaning on a tree and humming a tune. Eeyore felt annoyed. Here he was, cold and hungry, when everyone else seems to be singing and humming. It seemed downright rude. How dare they be happy when he was at his miserable worst! How dare they!

"Oh, hello there, Eeyore. Lost your tail again?" Piglet shouted from his perch.

Eeyore groaned. "No, It's this darn snow. I've tucked it between by legs for a bit of warmth.." he hesitated and thought he saw an opportunity to let Piglet know that a bit of help wouldn't go amiss here." If only I could have some shelter, I could warm up better. Pooh has been kind and said he would help me with some food, now all I need is some shelter to eat it under and get warm."

He lowered his head and uttered a 'brrrrr' for added effect.

Piglet smoothed his ears down with his tiny paws. "Oh well. Let me see what I can do about that, Eeyore. Let me see."

"It's this darn snow"

"It's this darn snow"

Eeyore looked around as he felt his poem should be clapped. Instead it was the cold wind that flapped his ears and slapped his cheek.

Jingle Single

Eeyore found a tree stump to rest his weary bottom. Asking for help is a tiring business. He needed a breath before he could go and collect his charity.

He squiggled his bottom and tucked his tail around. The snowflakes started dancing again and a chill wind blew and ruffled his crest. He remembered proudly how he had written a poem called 'POEM' some time ago. He felt it was time to write another and decided to call it 'POEM TOO'.

I need help, I need help

In this cold, cold december

As I always forget

I mean my friends can't remember

(to rhyme with december)

to help me early

Maybe, Just maybe

I mean my tail goes curly

( to rhyme with early)

They'll always be waybe-

(to rhyme with maybe)

-hind the times

Let's hope they change

Get their time in range

Help poor Eeyore

Not less, but more.

( I haven't found any rhymes for times, oh - I have!)

— EOR

Eeyore looked around as he felt his poem should be clapped. Instead it was the cold wind that flapped his ears and slapped his cheek.

He sat there for some time, thinking some more sad thoughts about how helpless he was and how no one seemed to be in a hurry to get him some help. Instead they wanted him to wait and then actually to go to them to get what he needed.

"Its an unfair world. But I get by"

He stood up and wandered towards Pooh's house.

"Maybe, Just Maybe"

"Maybe, Just Maybe"

No one ever knows what 'harrumph' really means. It does, however, sound right as a voice of indignation. Harrumph!

Musical Lackadaisical

But Eeyore's trip to collect his charity ended in more misery. He braved the chill wind to walk to Pooh's house and kept ringing the bell. Pooh didn't answer. When he looked through the window, he found Pooh busy at his dining table battling with a pot of honey.

Pooh had his tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth, his paw deep into the honey pot and a look of concentration on his face. The littler the brains the harder you have to scrunch your face to concentrate on the task at hand.

Eeyore was exhausted just waiting for Pooh. He decided to stroll along to see how Piglet was getting along. Surely Piglet would at least remember the promise he made to Eeyore. To his astonishment, he found Piglet near a snowman, busy adjusting the stick arms. What more, Piglet was singing to himself too.

Eeyore watched from a distance, his eyes widening in astonishment.

"Despeak- Despik- Despicable..." he stuttered in sheer indignation. "One would think greed and nonchalance have taken over the world. Rather than help a friend in need they are busy stuffing their faces or playing. Harrumph!"

No one ever knows what 'harrumph' really means. It does, however, sound right as a voice of indignation. Harrumph!

To make matters worse, Pooh wandered up to join Piglet near the Snowman and they both started laughing and joking. The sound of their merriment floated along the icy draft and hurt Eeyore's ears.

Eeyore shook with anger. Little did he realise that as he was shaking, his tail flew off and landed on the snowdrift. He trotted off, stomping deep prints onto the ground.

"Harrumph!"

"Harrumph!"

Parity Charity

Eeyore went for a wander to shake off his frustration.

"This is terrible. Terrible indeed. Even my usually reliable friends have chosen to abandon me. where's the charitable spirit? Just where is it?" he grumbled.

It was some time before his anger turned to frustration and frustration turned to more melancholy. He became a dark grey cloud of despair that shuffled along the snow piles. He decided perhaps he should leave Hundred Acre Wood to find another place where maybe charity was still alive and well.

As he turned around to walk towards his favorite tree stump, he stopped in his tracks.

For there in front of him was a nice,warm house built from sticks. The inside looked dark and cosy, well away from the blinding white of the snow. He brightened up a bit. He shuffled inside and found a honeypot leaning against the corner. As he neared and sniffed it, he realised it was full of his favorite thistle plant, with a faint lingering smell of honey.

"Oh my." he gasped, " I've been a fool. My friends do care after all."

"Oh my!"

"Oh my!"

"Sometimes it is better to give people what they actually need than what they think they need" said Piglet, wrapping his scarf close around his neck.

Sleigh Play

He heard a jingly noise outside and poked his head into the cold. There was a bear in a red suit and a piglet in a scarf walking towards his home pulling a little sleigh.( Oh yes, it was cosy enough to call it his home)

"Ah there you are, Pooh and Piglet. I was mad at you... but now I forgive you."

"Why thank you, Eeyore. Hope you like your presents." said Pooh.

"Well. I do. I really do. This is better than I expected."

"Sometimes it is better to give people what they need than what they think they need" said Piglet, wrapping his scarf close around his neck.

Eeyore gulped. Piglet was right. He would've liked a shared honeypot and a shared shelter, but it is good to have them of his own.

"What more," said Pooh, "you can keep the pot and collect thistle in it to save for a snowy day. I spent all day cleaning it but it still smells of honey."

Eeyore realised he has been unfair to his friend when he spied him through the window.

"And we felt you needed the sticks more than our snowman. So we dismantled his arms to help build your house. We have left instructions inside the house if you need to build it again and we are always happy to give you a hand - or trotters - or paws"

Eeyore's face felt warm, even though it was poking outside into the cold.

"So that's what you were both doing!"

Pooh and Piglet looked at each other. "Why yes! what did you think?"

"No..Nothing." Eeyore knew now he can prepare for winter all on his own.

And maybe, just maybe even be ready to help others in need.

Eeyore looked at the red sleigh. "That looks lovely. How come you aren't riding it?"

Pooh and Piglet sighed. "Sleighs need reindeer. But we haven't got one in Hundred Acre Wood. We tried Kanga but she kept hopping and we kept going topsy turvy into the snow. Rabbit is too weak. Tigger is too bouncy and dangerous."

Eeyore came fully out of his house. "You know what. I think you may have just got yourself a reindeer."

"Where, where?" said Pooh as he looked around.

Eeyore walked up to the sleigh and stood in front of it. "I'm right here." he said, beaming widely.

Pooh and Piglet let out squeals of delight. Actually the squeal was from Piglet. Pooh's was more of a low, happy rumble.

Pooh climbed up first and adjusted the reins onto Eeyore. Piglet reached into the sleigh and got something out.

"Look what we found on our way here. Your tail!" He pinned it onto Eeyore's bottom.

Eeyore wriggled it in delight. "Thank you!"

"And just for authin- authan- authenticity, we have some reindeer antlers you can wear."

Eeyore let out a loud and thunderous noise "Eeyoooooree!"

Only this time it wasn't soulful or baleful but rather joyful. He set out in a leap and Pooh and Piglet went "Whooopeee!" as their sleigh accelerated through the snow.

"Whooopeee!"

"Whooopeee!"

A Hundred Laughter Wood

The snow stayed in Hundred Acre Wood that winter for a while. As the trees watched silently in their white hats and white gloves, the sound of laughter and merriment often pierced through the day along with the jingling of sleigh bells.

Where there was laughter and joy, jingling and tingling, there is always a song.

Often, if you listen closely, you could hear a squeal, a rumble and a Eeyore through the song.

You know you want to. So come and sing along.

The Winter Song

Ringle tingle ringle

Time to get out and mingle

Out in the snow

Where ice flowers grow

Our speeding sleigh bells jingle

*

Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore

We speed with no -er- Feeyore

Faster through drift

As snowflakes shift

You can hear us coming Neeyore

*

Join our happy singing

Celebrate what we're bringing

What better prize

Than the glee in our eyes

And laughter that is ringing...

*

Ringle tingle ringle

Ringle tingle ringle...

*

Merry Christmas!

All the illustrations were drawn and painted on the iPad 'Paper' app using my finger!

Pooh created by A A Milne and originally illustrated by EH Shepard.

This story by Mohan Kumar.

© 2012 Mohan Kumar

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