Study Guide

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh The House at Pooh Corner: Chapter 4

By A. A. Milne

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The House at Pooh Corner: Chapter 4

In Which It Is Shown That Tiggers Don't Climb Trees.

  • A word to describe Pooh? Distractible comes to mind.
  • This story starts with Pooh on his way to visit Eeyore, when he decides to visit Owl instead.
  • On his way to Owl's he begins to think about Kanga and Roo and Tigger, and he gets all confused about who to visit first.
  • So he sings a song.
  • He so enjoys sitting in the warm sun singing, that he is close to choosing to just stay there, until he remembers Rabbit.
  • Rabbit feeds him, so he decides to go see Rabbit.
  • But then again, what if Rabbit is out?
  • Or what if he gets stuck in Rabbit's door again?
  • P.S. Remember that time Pooh got stuck in Rabbit's door? That was hilarious.
  • All the while he's thinking these tricky thoughts, he's walking and walking until suddenly he finds himself back at his own front door.
  • Just in time for a Time-for-a-Little-Something snack, following which he tromps off to Piglet's house, which is what he really meant to do in the first place.
  • He sings another song along the way. This one doesn't rhyme, or have much meter, and Milne (the author) actually steps outside the story for a moment to admit that it doesn't seem like a very good song written down as it is.
  • But, if you'd heard it sung through a paw wiping a honey-covered mouth—the way it was intended—it really was quite a good tune. At least according to Pooh.
  • Back to the story and to Piglet, who's busy digging a hole to plant an acorn.
  • Piglet explains the transformation from seed to plant, and Pooh extrapolates: if he plants a honeycomb, then it will grow into a tree with a beehive. Hooray!
  • But maybe not, they begin to wonder.
  • After a few more minutes of almost sensible gardening talk, they decide to go see Kanga and Roo and Tigger.
  • Piglet's still a bit nervous about Tigger, but he goes along anyway.
  • The story switches over to the Kanga household, where the mother has sent her two boys out into the world to play and to leave her alone to be "motherly." In Milne's (the writer's) world, this means cleaning without interruption. Hey, it was 1928. Times have changed.
  • Roo asks tons of questions to Tigger about the abilities of Tiggers: can they fly? Can they jump like kangaroos? Can they swim? Can they climb trees?
  • Tigger boisterously answers yes to all the above.
  • The two friends happen to be at the tallest tree in the forest, and to prove himself, Tigger picks Roo up on his back and starts to climb.
  • But remember how back in Chapter 2 he said Tiggers like eating everything, and it turned out he really didn't? And remember how this chapter is entitled "[...] Tiggers Don't Climb Trees?"
  • Well, you can see where this is going.
  • As they get more than forty feet up, Tigger grabs hold of a weak branch.
  • It breaks, and he just manages to grab another and pull them to safety.
  • So there they are, sitting high up in a tree, with a less-than-expert Tigger as a guide.
  • Luckily, Roo thinks this is all a game, but Tigger is clearly a bit frustrated and worried.
  • A singing Pooh and a listening Piglet wander by and spy something up in the tree.
  • At first, they think it's a jaguar (spelled Jagular), but soon learn better.
  • Roo and Tigger are calling for help. Roo is excited that they will live in a tree forever and ever, and Tigger is suspiciously quiet about the whole scenario.
  • Pooh admits that he could climb the tree and even carry Roo down, but Tigger's just too big.
  • So they must think of something else...and while they think they must thoughtfully eat the lunch that Roo and Tigger left behind.
  • Before they finish snacking, Christopher Robin (the character) and Eeyore stomp by through the bushes.
  • They appeal to CR for help, but Piglet is the first to offer an idea—a good old fashioned animal pyramid, reaching all the way up the tree.
  • However, as the proposed base of the pyramid, Eeyore puts the kibosh on that plan.
  • CR chimes in next—they should use his tunic (a kind of poncho or cloak that people used to wear to stay warm in the old days) as a kind of landing pad. Each will hold a corner, like you see firefighters do in old TV shows, and Roo and Tigger will jump down easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy.
  • Roo, of course, is thrilled about the idea. He loves death-defying stunts. Remember when he "swam?" Classic.
  • He leaps off, takes a few extra bounces on the tunic for good measure, then plants his feet firmly on the ground.
  • Tigger, on the other hand, feels some trepidation—a fancy word for "he's shaking in his boots"...if he had boots.
  • He clings onto the branch until he can't cling no more...he falls!
  • And lands straight on top of Eeyore.
  • In the end, everyone is okay, even Eeyore, though the donkey is not at all surprised that the accident happened to him. Typical.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh The House at Pooh Corner: Chapter 4 Study Group

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