What lessons can we learn from the story 'In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets into a Tight Place' (taken from Winnie-the-Pooh) by A.A Milne?

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mathsworkmusic eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story 'In which Pooh goes visiting and gets into a tight place' is a story by A.A. Milne about his lovable character Winne-the-Pooh and all his friends in 100 acre wood.

The story begins with Pooh ambling along in the wood humming and wondering what to do. It is relaxing to read about Pooh and his friends as they have no pressures in their lives and just have adventures with each other. These adventures make interesting stories though and we can learn things from them as the author Milne intends.

Pooh comes across his friend Rabbit's house, or rather burrow or hole. Rabbit is quite a stressed and fussy character compared to Pooh, but is nevertheless his friend as Pooh is so lovable, and is happy to entertain him. It just so happens to be 'elevenses' time, so Rabbit offers Pooh "honey or condensed milk" with his bread. Pooh excitedly says 'both' as he is rather greedy, but is aware this sound greedy so adds "but don't bother about the bread please". This actually emphasises his greed more as bread is more healthy and filling than honey and milk, particularly honey. Having no bread leaves more room for the very sweet and rich honey and condensed milk. Honey is a regular feature in stories about Pooh as honey is his favorite food (being a bear!) and he is well known for being fond of his food.

Now Pooh has already had difficulty in getting into Rabbit's house: "he pushed and pushed his way through the hole". Rabbit is quite a nervous character so doesn't foresee the danger of Pooh not being able to leave through the same tight hole, and Pooh lives in the moment (not being overly intelligent) so also doesn't foresee the danger. The result is that he gets stuck. His relaxed attitude and Rabbit's nervous disposition lead them into this fix.

Luckily Rabbit has a back door and goes off to get Pooh's best friend Christopher Robin who simply says "silly old bear". Pooh displays his lovable character by expressing worry that Rabbit "might never be able to use his front door again". He is embarrassed about his predicament and is probably also worried for himself in that he may never get out of the hole.

Interestingly, Christopher Robin doesn't actually try to pull Pooh out. He says that they might try and push him back in, which isn't well received by Pooh or Rabbit. He then says that "we shall have to wait for you to get thin again". It seems that he is mildly punishing Rabbit and Pooh for being silly and getting themselves into a mess. Rabbit uses Pooh to hang is washing on inside the burrow, and Christopher Robin amuses Pooh at the other end by reading to him, to take his mind off being stuck and being hungry. In the end they pull him out and he is grateful, but Christopher Robin suspects he hasn't learnt from his lesson as he says to himself again "silly old bear".

mathsworkmusic eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Message that AA Milne would like us to take on board:

Live for the moment and enjoy the company of friends, but try to foresee consequences of your actions, in particular over-indulgence and greed (which Pooh may be guilty of) and clouded judgment due to obsessions such as safety and properly entertaining guests (which Rabbit may be guilty of). Try to gently show friends the error of their ways without being too nasty, as Christopher Robin does.