Study Guide

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh The House at Pooh Corner: Chapter 6

By A. A. Milne

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The House at Pooh Corner: Chapter 6

In Which Pooh Invents a New Game and Eeyore Joins In

  • This chapter begins with the stream that runs through the forest. Milne (the writer) introduces it as if it were another character. As it winds along,it "grows up" until by the time it reaches the edge of the forest, it's a full-fledged river, wider, slower.
  • Over this river there's a bridge, and on this bridge there's a railing on which Christopher Robin likes to stand and watch the river meandering by beneath him.
  • That's the setting.
  • Now the action.
  • One day Pooh is gathering pine cones—fir cones, to be exact—trying to make up a poem about fir trees but he just isn't quite getting it.
  • He crosses the bridge and accidentally drops one cone into the water on the upstream side.
  • Oh, bother.
  • But Pooh doesn't let it bother him too much. He lies down and starts watching the water glide beneath him (on the downstream side of the bridge), when suddenly he sees his fir cone gliding by.
  • Funny, it used to be on the other side, now it's on this side. (Don't judge, people. These are small discoveries, but very important ones for a developing brain like Pooh's).
  • He decides to try again, and again and again. He throws two in at once and sees which "wins" by getting under the bridge first.
  • Thus is born the game, "Poohsticks" which quickly becomes a pastime in the forest.
  • One day, Pooh, Piglet, Roo and Rabbit are playing Poohsticks.
  • It's going well, but then the weirdest thing happens. They toss their sticks in the river on one side, and Eeyore floats out the other side!
  • They wonder what Eeyore's doing there, and, untangling a bitterly sarcastic response, we find out that Eeyore has fallen into the river and needs help out.
  • Pooh thinks of a fairly reasonable idea for a bear with very little brain—drop stones into the water on one side of Eeyore to make waves, which will push him to the bank of the river.
  • Pooh gets the biggest stone he can find, drops it over the bridge...
  • A loud splash, a disappeared donkey and a bit of anxious waiting later, Eeyore ends up emerging from the water at the riverbank.
  • Turns out, Eeyore was so scared that Pooh was going to drop the stone right on him, he dove under the water and swam to the edge, something he didn't even know he could do until that moment.
  • Whether or not Pooh's plan was a good one is the topic of a little debate (talk amongst yourselves as well).
  • But Eeyore is out of the river, so problem solved in any case.
  • The donkey explains what happened to him. He was pondering by the river's edge when he was "bounced" and fell into the river.
  • Ten guesses who "bounced" him.
  • Sure enough, the bouncer himself comes springing along at that very moment.
  • Rabbit begins to admonish (a good word for "give a talking to") Tigger.
  • Tigger starts to defend himself too, explaining that he was merely standing behind Eeyore when— [insert absurdly onomatopoeic coughing noise here].
  • The cough makes Piglet jump out of his boots, which makes a case for Tigger just innocently startling Eeyore by coughing, causing the donkey to jump and slip into the river.
  • Eeyore still claims mischief, so they look to Christopher Robin (the character) for guidance.
  • Christopher Robin listens to the two sides which basically come down to this: Tigger is bouncy. Can you really blame him if his bouncing causes some slight harm once in a while? (Talk amongst yourselves again).
  • The argument gets heated and they turn again to CR for judgment.
  • The ruling: they should all play Poohsticks together, which they do, and good feelings triumph.
  • The story ends with just CR, Pooh and Piglet sitting on the bridge together (the other animals having gone their separate ways on good terms). The three friends watch the river, and contemplate how everyone is "all right, really" (House.6.120) in the end.
  • Life is good.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh The House at Pooh Corner: Chapter 6 Study Group

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