Study Guide

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh The House at Pooh Corner: Chapter 3

By A. A. Milne

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The House at Pooh Corner: Chapter 3

In Which A Search Is Organized, and Piglet Nearly Meets the Heffalump Again

  • Pooh is sitting in his house counting honey pots when Rabbit stops by.
  • Rabbit is out and about looking for Small, one of his many "friends-and-relations."
  • Pooh, as little-brained as he is, still recognizes that this announcement doesn't help much. Rabbit has so many friends-and-relations that no one actually knows them individually.
  • You know what they say about rabbits.
  • But Small has been missing for a "while" and Rabbit has promised Christopher Robin (the character) that he'd search for him.
  • Rabbit does his best to get Pooh organized into a search party. Pooh is to go to Six Pine Trees and make his way toward Owl's house, where the whole group will reconvene in an hour.
  • Unfortunately, Pooh still doesn't know exactly who he's looking for, so he won't know if he finds him. He's especially worried about another instance like the one with Too Late Now, another friend-and-relation with a foreboding and morbidly suggestive name.
  • So to solve the problem, Pooh decides to go in search of Piglet instead.
  • Pooh actually organizes an ordered list of things to look for.
  • Pooh embarks on his search and quickly loses his way again, this time into a deep hole in forest. Astute readers may recall a certain bear and a certain piglet digging a Very Deep Pit a few stories back. Same pit? Hmm...
  • When Pooh lands he hears an "Ow!" but it's not his own Ow. It's something else's Ow.
  • After some confusion he realizes that he's fallen on Piglet, the very animal he was looking for! Small world.
  • The friends consider how they got into this situation. They remember that they'd once dug a trap for Heffalumps, so the only logical possibility is that the Heffalumps have dug a trap for them. It's just like an Edgar Allan Poe story, only fluffy.
  • They think some more, which we now know is a dangerous activity for animals with cotton stuffing for brains. A lot of speculation happens when these two minds meet.
  • We'll try to cover it in a few breaths. The Heffalump will come, and notice Pooh because he's bigger. It'll say "Ho-ho!" and Pooh will respond by humming to himself and the Heffalump will say "Ho-ho!" again. But Pooh will keep humming so the Heffalump will get upset because Pooh will have ruined his surprise and the Heffalump will ask "what's this?" and Pooh will explain it's a Heffalump trap which is tricky and clever and Piglet loves the plan but is mad because he didn't thinkofitfirst!
  • Phew.
  • Piglet imagines himself in the role of sly Heffalump trickster. Milne (the author) writes out Piglet's vision in the format of theatrical dialogue. Piglet even adds a few bits to the original Pooh plan. It's really quite something.
  • Meanwhile, the other animals are still searching for Small, which, it turns out is a nickname for Very Small Beetle. And yes, he's actually a beetle.
  • The story of his disappearance goes like this (best read with bad Bogart voice): he was hangin' 'round with CR (the character), when he had a hankering for some exercise. He says "see ya later bub" to the big man and takes a stroll around a gorse bush. Time goes by, and Small never comes back. CR just keeps waitin'. He's wond'rin' what happened to the bugger when — wait... Bug-ger. Ha! Ahh, we didn't even do that on purpose. That was awesome....Okay, we're not cool enough to do Bogart. But you get the drift.
  • Anyway, the search is on, but CR keeps thinking of Pooh.
  • He decides to go in search of the bear instead of the beetle, and soon enough stumbles upon the Very Deep Pit.
  • When he sees his friends, CR exclaims "Ho-ho!"
  • Which nearly makes Piglet pitch a fit because he knows very well that Heffalumps make that noise.
  • Piglet recovers a bit and bravely begins to hum to himself as per the Pooh plan. He's taking charge. He's being the hero!
  • Only he doesn't look around because he's too scared so he goes on thinking it's a Heffalump instead of his friend CR.
  • CR hums right back, which throws Piglet off his game. That's not what the Heffalump was supposed to do.
  • CR speaks to him, but Piglet gets even more frazzled because now the Heffalump is really tricky.
  • His new, jumbled version of the Pooh script is a bit off the mark, and quite funny, if you ask us.
  • Pooh, who was sleeping through this whole fiasco, wakes up and sees CR standing above them. He reacts appropriately, that is, happily.
  • Piglet is feeling quite red in the face, but quickly saves face when he spots something crawling on Pooh's back.
  • It's Small. He was there all along.
  • All the animals thank Piglet and return to their normal lives. All except Eeyore. Somehow they forget to tell him the search is off until two days later.
  • Typical.

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