New books from deceased or aged authors are as common now as insulting comments by Donald Trump. Fresh on the heels of new releases by the late Theodor Geisel and Harper, comes rumor of another exciting literary discovery, this time from the estate of A.A. Milne, author of the beloved children’s series, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Word of a new manuscript’s existence has set off a firestorm of debate. Literary experts and others with too much time on their hands believe that Edward Bear: Despot of the Wood (its believed title) will be a stand-alone addition to Milne’s collection, much like the new Dr. Seuss book, What Pet Should I Get. Others claim it will be more akin to Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, likely a rough draft of a later, more impressive work.
In leaked excerpts cited below, the Edward Bear character surprisingly refers to himself simply as “The Pooh,” and comes across as a tad rough around the edges. Experts now speculate that Milne’s original intension was for these stories to scare the bejesus out of his only child; encouraging him to stay the hell away from the dangerous woods.
Excerpt from Chapter II:
IN WHICH Pooh Takes Protection Honey From Rabbit
“ . . . Rum-tum-tum-tiddle-um. Here I am at Rabbit’s house. Is anybody at home?”
“No!” said Rabbit.
“Bother. There must be somebody here,” said The Pooh, who wasn’t one to take “No” lightly. The Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o’clock so he forced his way through the hole and got in.
Rabbit was duly terrified of the tyrannical Pooh because of his weekly demands for honey in exchange for not harming Rabbit’s many relations. So he shook nervously as he set out plates and mugs for The Pooh.
“Honey or condensed milk?” Rabbit asked.
The Pooh appeared to be having a thoughtful moment, then took a deep breath and bellowed, “Honey! Always honey. Why do you waste my time? Honey!”
After taking his fill of honey and exacting a promise of a delivery of additional pots later in the week, Pooh began his climb back out of the hole. He pulled with his front paws and pushed with his back. Soon The Pooh became stuck.
Rabbit ran to the outside of the hole to help pull The Pooh, but it was no use. About this time, The Pooh’s loyal henchman Piglet arrived. The Pooh launched into an angry tirade about the poor construction of Rabbit’s hole, made unseemly character aspersions about Rabbit’s relations, then ordered his man Piglet to fetch the girly-haired neighbor lad, Christopher Robin, straight away.
“But P-p-pooh, what if he won’t come?” Piglet asked.
“P-p-Piglet,” The Pooh mocked, “I may be a bear of very little brain, but my claws can shred you into bits of breakfast bacon, and will, if you dare question me again. Now, go get that twit of a boy. And bring me some trousers as well. Why didn’t anyone tell me I wasn’t wearing any bloody trousers?”
Excerpt from Chapter IV:
IN WHICH Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Assaults Him With Nails
. . . it was on particularly sunny day that Eeyore happened by Pooh Corner where Piglet and The Pooh were resting while their captive human boy Christopher Robin cooled them with a fan made of twigs.
“Good morning Eeyore,” Christopher Robin said.
“That pretty mouth of yours is meant for one thing and it’s not talking,” The Pooh reprimanded.
“If it is a good morning,” Eeyore said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
“W-w-what’s the matter, Eeyore?,” asked Piglet.
“It’s pathetic, “ said Eeyore. “One day soon an evil Fascist will take over Germany, invade Poland, war will be declared and a blitzkrieg of bombs will probably rain down upon us. Nobody cares. Pathetic. That’s what it is”
“Oh Eeyore, you’re always so gloomy.” The Pooh said, and laughed at his strange friend with the ridiculous imagination.
“Would you mind returning my bell rope knocker so that I may have a tail once again?” Eeyore asked.
“Certainly,” The Pooh said. Then The Pooh removed the rope knocker from his door and nailed it into the backside of his dear friend Eeyore.
Eeyore screamed in agony.
“Oh, would you prefer it over here instead?” Pooh asked as he hammered the tail into Eeyore’s chest. “Or over here?” Pooh asked as he hammered the tail once again into Eeyore’s bum.
Eeyore screamed repeatedly and bucked his hind legs and ran into the wood, and The Pooh and Piglet enjoyed a hearty laugh at their good friend’s misfortune.
Excerpt from Chapter IX
IN WHICH The Pooh’s Stash is Entirely Surrounded by Water
Never had the 100-Acre Wood seen so much rain. While Piglet was anxious to be such a small thing entirely surrounded by water, The Pooh was focused on the safety of his numerous honey pots.
The Pooh commanded all the animals of the forest to carry his pots to high ground and maintain a twenty-four hour watch until the crisis had passed. It was on this longest of longest of nights that Owl began telling a lengthy nonsensical tale about an aunt giving birth to a seagull’s egg by mistake.
The Pooh suddenly interrupted, “Piglet, my dear friend. Do you happen to have a slingshot? Perhaps the one we took from that boy with the funny smock and unfortunate hair?”
Piglet did indeed have the slingshot and handed it to The Pooh. By this time Owl was fully engaged in the telling of his never-ending story. So The Pooh took aim with his slingshot and fired. The unsuspecting bird let out a blood-curling screech and fell to his death below.
“But The P-p-pooh,” Piglet said, “who will watch the honey pots now? Owl was our best nighttime sentry.”
“Oh, Bother,” Pooh sighed.