The house at Pooh Corner
In which Rabbit has a busy day,
and we learn what Christopher Robin does in the mornings
IT was going to be one of Rabbit's busy days. As soon as he
woke up he felt important, as if everything depended upon him.
It was just the day for Organizing Something, or for Writing a
Notice Signed Rabbit, or for Seeing What Everybody Else Thought
About It. It was a perfect morning for hurrying round to Pooh,
and saying, "Very well, then, I'll tell Piglet," and then going
to Piglet, and saying, "Pooh thinks--but perhaps I'd better see
Owl first." It was a Captainish sort of day, when everybody
said, "Yes, Rabbit " and "No, Rabbit," and waited until he had
He came out of his house and sniffed the warm spring
morning as he wondered what he would do. Kanga's house was
nearest, and at Kanga's
house was Roo, who said "Yes, Rabbit " and "No, Rabbit"
almost better than anybody else in the Forest; but there was
another animal there nowadays, the strange and Bouncy Tigger;
and he was the sort of Tigger who was always in front when you
were showing him the way anywhere,
and was generally out of sight when at last you came to the
place and said proudly "Here we are!"
"No, not Kanga's," said Rabbit thoughtfully to himself,
as he curled his whiskers in the sun, and to make quite sure
that he wasn't going there, he turned to the left and trotted
off in the other direction, which was the way to Christopher
"After all," said Rabbit to himself, "Christopher Robin
depends on Me. He's fond of Pooh and Piglet and Eeyore, and so
am I, but they haven't any Brain. Not to notice. And he
respects Owl, because you can't help respecting anybody who can
spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling
isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply
doesn't count. And Kanga is too busy looking after Roo, and Roo
is too young and Tigger is too bouncy to be any help, so
there's really nobody but Me, when you come to look at it. I'll
go and see if there's anything he wants doing, and then I'll do
it for him. It's just the day for doing things."
He trotted along happily, and by-and-by he crossed the
stream and came to the place where his friends-and-relations
lived. There seemed to be even more of them about than usual
this morning, and having nodded to a hedgehog or two, with whom
he was too busy to shake hands, and having said, "Good morning,
good morning," importantly to some of the others, and "Ah,
there you are," kindly, to the smaller ones, he waved a paw at
them over his shoulder, and was gone leaving such an air of
excitement and I-don't-know-what behind him, that several
members of the Beetle family, including Henry Rush, made their
way at once to the Hundred Acre Wood and began climbing trees,
in the hope of getting to the top before it happened, whatever
it was, so that they might see it properly. Rabbit hurried on
by the edge of the Hundred Acre Wood, feeling more important
every minute, and soon he came to the tree where Christopher
Robin lived. He knocked at the door, and he called out once or
twice, and then he walked back a little way and put his paw up
to keep the sun out, and called to the top of the tree, and
then he turned all round and shouted "Hallo!" and "I say!"
"It's Rabbit!"--but nothing happened. Then he stopped and
listened, and everything stopped and listened with him, and the
Forest was very lone and still and peaceful in the sunshine,
until suddenly a hundred miles above him a lark began to sing.
"Bother!" said Rabbit. "He's gone out." He went back to
the green front door, just to make sure, and he was turning
away, feeling that his morning had got all spoilt, when he saw
a piece of paper on the ground. And there was a pin in it, as
if it had fallen off the door.
"Ha!" said Rabbit, feeling quite happy again. "Another
This is what it said:
"Ha!" said Rabbit again. "I must tell the others." And
he hurried off importantly.
The nearest house was Owl's, and to Owl's House in the
Hundred Acre wood he made his way. He came to Owl's door, and
he knocked and he rang, and he rang and he knocked, and at last
Owl's head came out and said "Go away, I'm thinking--oh, it's
you?" which was how he always began.
"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The
others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this
Forest--and when I say thinking I mean thinking--you and I must
"Yes," said Owl. "I was."
Owl took Christopher Robin's notice from Rabbit and
looked at it nervously. He could spell his own name WOL, and he
could spell Tuesday so that you knew it wasn't Wednesday, and
he could read quite comfortably when you weren't looking over
his shoulder and saying "Well?" all the time, and he could----
"Well?" said Rabbit.
"Yes," said Owl, looking Wise and Thoughtful.
"I see what you mean. Undoubtedly."
"Exactly," said Owl. "Precisely." And he added, after a
little thought, "If you had not come to me, I should have come
"Why?" asked Rabbit.
"For that very reason," said Owl, hoping that something
helpful would happen soon.
"Yesterday morning," said Rabbit solemnly, "I went to
see Christopher Robin. He was out. Pinned on his door was a
"The same notice?"
"A different one. But the meaning was the same. It's
"Amazing," said Owl, looking at the notice again, and
getting, just for a moment, a curious sort of feeling that
something had happened to Christopher Robin's back. "What did
"The best thing," said Owl wisely.
"Well?" said Rabbit again, as Owl knew he was going to.
"Exactly," said Owl.
For a little while he couldn't think of anything more;
and then, all of a sudden, he had an idea.
"Tell me, Rabbit," he said, "the exact words of the
first notice. This is very important. Everything depends on
this. The exact words of the first notice."
"It was just the same as that one really."
Owl looked at him, and wondered whether to push him off
the tree; but, feeling that he could always do it afterwards,
he tried once more to find out what they were talking about.
"The exact words, please" he said, as if Rabbit hadn't
"It just said, 'Gone out. Backson.' Same as this, only
this says 'Bisy Backson' too."
Owl gave a great sigh of relief.
"Ah!" said Owl. "Now we know where we are."
"Yes, but where's Christopher Robin?" said Rabbit.
"That's the point."
Owl looked at the notice again. To one of his education
the reading of it was easy. "Gone out, Backson. Bisy,
Backson"-- just the sort of thing you'd expect to see on a
"It is quite clear what has happened, my dear Rabbit,"
he said. "Christopher Robin has gone out somewhere with
Backson. He and Backson are busy together. Have you seen a
Backson anywhere about in the Forest lately?"
"I don't know," said Rabbit. "That's what I came to ask
you. What are they like?"
"Well," said Owl, "the Spotted or Herbaceous Backson is
"At least," he said, "it's really more of a----"
"Of course," he said, "it depends on the----"
"Well," said Owl, "the fact is," he said, "I don't know
what they're like," said Owl frankly.
"Thank you," said Rabbit. And he hurried off to see
Before he had gone very far he heard a noise. So he
stopped and listened. This was the noise.
NOISE, BY POOH
Oh, the butterflies are flying,
Now the winter days are dying,
And the primroses are trying
To be seen.
And the turtle-doves are cooing,
And the woods arc up and doing,
For the violets are blue-ing
In the green.
Oh, the honey-bees are gumming
On their little wings, and humming
That the summer, which is coming,
Will be fun.
And the cows are almost cooing,
And the turtle-doves are mooing,
Which is why a Pooh is poohing
In the sun.
For the spring is really springing;
You can see a skylark singing,
And the blue-bells, which are ringing,
Can be heard.
And the cuckoo isn't cooing,
But he's cucking and he's ooing,
And a Pooh is simply poohing
Like a bird.
"Hallo, Pooh," said Rabbit.
"Hallo, Rabbit," said Pooh dreamily.
"Did you make that song up?"
"Well, I sort of made it up," said Pooh. "It isn't
Brain," he went on humbly, "because You Know Why, Rabbit; but
it comes to me sometimes."
"Ah!" said Rabbit, who never let things come to him,
but always went and fetched them. "Well, the point is, have you
seen a Spotted or
Herbaceous Backson in the Forest, at all?"
"No," said Pooh. "Not a--no," said Pooh. "I saw Tigger
"That's no good."
"No," said Pooh. I thought it wasn't."
"Have you seen Piglet?"
"Yes," said Pooh. "I suppose that isn't any good
either?" he asked meekly.
"Well, it depends if he saw anything."
"He saw me," said Pooh.
Rabbit sat down on the ground next to Pooh and, feeling
much less important like that, stood up again.
"What it all comes to is this," he said. "What does
Christopher Robin do in the morning nowadays?"
"What sort of thing?"
"Well, can you tell me anything you've seen him do in
the morning? These last few days."
"Yes," said Pooh. "We had breakfast together yesterday.
By the Pine Trees. I'd made up a little basket, just a little,
fair-sized basket, an ordinary biggish sort of basket, full
"Yes, yes," said Rabbit, "but I mean later than that.
Have you seen him between eleven and twelve?"
"Well," said Pooh, "at eleven o'clock--at eleven
o'clock--well, at eleven o'clock, you see, I generally get home
about then. Because I have One or Two Things to Do."
"Quarter past eleven, then?"
"Well--" said Pooh.
"Yes," said Pooh. "At half past--or perhaps later--I
might see him."
And now that he did think of it, he began to remember
that he hadn't seen Christopher Robin about so much lately. Not
in the mornings. Afternoons, yes; evenings, yes; before
breakfast, yes; just after breakfast, yes. And then, perhaps,
"See you again, Pooh," and off he'd go.
"That's just it," said Rabbit. "Where?"
"Perhaps he's looking for something."
"What?" asked Rabbit.
"That's just what I was going to say," said Pooh. And
then he added, "Perhaps he's looking for a-- for a--"
"A Spotted or Herbaceous Backson?"
"Yes," said Pooh. "One of those. In case it isn't."
Rabbit looked at him severely.
"I don't think you're helping," he said.
"No," said Pooh. "I do try," he added humbly.
Rabbit thanked him for trying, and said that he would
now go and see Eeyore, and Pooh could walk with him if he
liked. But Pooh, who felt another verse of his song coming on
him, said he would wait for Piglet, good-bye, Rabbit; so Rabbit
But, as it happened, it was Rabbit who saw Piglet
first. Piglet had got up early that morning to pick himself a
bunch of violets; and when he had picked them and put them in a
pot in the middle of his house, it suddenly came over him that
nobody had ever picked Eeyore a bunch of violets, and the more
he thought of this, the more he thought how sad it was to be an
Animal who had never had a bunch of violets picked for him. So
he hurried out again, saying to himself, "Eeyore, Violets" and
then "Violets, Eeyore," in case he forgot, because it was that
sort of day, and he picked a large bunch and trotted along,
smelling them, and feeling very happy, until he came to the
place where Eeyore was.
"Oh, Eeyore," began Piglet a little nervously, because
Eeyore was busy.
Eeyore put out a paw and waved him away.
"To-morrow," said Eeyore. "Or the next day." Piglet
came a little closer to see what it was. Eeyore had three
sticks on the ground, and was looking at them. Two of the
sticks were touching at one end, but not at the other, and the
third stick was laid across them. Piglet thought that perhaps
it was a Trap of some kind.
"Oh, Eeyore," he began again, "I just--"
"Is that little Piglet?" said Eeyore, still looking
hard at his sticks.
"Yes, Eeyore, and I--"
"Do you know what this is?"
"No," said Piglet.
"It's an A."
"Oh," said Piglet.
"Not O--A," said Eeyore severely. "Can't you hear, or
do you think you have more education than Christopher Robin?"
"Yes," said Piglet. "No," said Piglet very quickly. And
he came closer still.
"Christopher Robin said it was an A, and an A it
is--until somebody treads on it," Eeyore added sternly.
Piglet jumped backwards hurriedly, and smelt at his
"Do you know what A means, little Piglet?"
"No, Eeyore, I don't."
"It means Learning, it means Education, it means all
the things that you and Pooh haven't got. That's what A means."
"Oh," said Piglet again. "I mean, does it?" he
"I'm telling you. People come and go in this Forest,
and they say, 'It's only Eeyore, so it doesn't count.' They
walk to and fro saying 'Ha ha!' But do they know anything about
A? They don't. It's just three sticks to them. But to the
Educated--mark this, little Piglet--to the Educated, not
meaning Poohs and Piglets, it's a great and glorious A. Not,"
he added, "just something that anybody can come and breathe
Piglet stepped back nervously, and looked round for
"Here's Rabbit," he said gladly. "Hallo, Rabbit."
Rabbit came up importantly, nodded to Piglet, and said,
"Ah, Eeyore," in the voice of one who would be saying "Good-bye
" in about two more minutes.
"There's just one thing I wanted to ask you, Eeyore.
What happens to Christopher Robin in the mornings nowadays?"
"What's this that I'm looking at?" said Eeyore, still
looking at it.
"Three sticks," said Rabbit promptly.
"You see?" said Eeyore to Piglet. He turned to Rabbit.
"I will now answer your question," he said solemnly.
"Thank you," said Rabbit.
"What does Christopher Robin do in the mornings? He
learns. He becomes Educated. He instigorates--I think that is
the word he mentioned, but I may be referring to something
else--he instigorates Knowledge. In my small way I also, if I
have the word right, am--am doing what he does. That, for
"An A," said Rabbit, "but not a very good one. Well, I
must get back and tell the others."
Eeyore looked at his sticks and then he looked at
"What did Rabbit say it was?" he asked.
"An A," said Piglet.
"Did you tell him?"
"No, Eeyore, I didn't. I expect he just knew."
"He knew? You mean this A thing is a thing Rabbit
"Yes, Eeyore. He's clever, Rabbit is."
"Clever!" said Eeyore scornfully, putting a foot
heavily on his three sticks. "Education!" said Eeyore bitterly,
jumping on his six sticks. "What is Learning?" asked Eeyore as
he kicked his twelve sticks into the air. "A thing Rabbit
"I think--" began Piglet nervously.
"Don't," said Eeyore.
"I think Violets are rather nice," said Piglet. And he
laid his bunch in front of Eeyore and scampered off.
Next morning the notice on Christopher Robins door
Which is why all the animals in the Forest-- except, of
course, the Spotted and Herbaceous Backson--now know what
Christopher Robin does in the mornings.
The house at Pooh Corner