Study Guide

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Winnie-the-Pooh: Chapter 1

By A. A. Milne

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Winnie-the-Pooh: Chapter 1

In Which We are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees, and the Stories Begin

  • Edward Bear is introduced being dragged down the stairs, bumping behind CR.
  • Edward wonders if there is some other way to get down the stairs.
  • But before you know it, he's at the bottom, and we are introduced to... drum roll please...
  • Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • The narrator challenges the idea that "Winnie" can be a boy's name, since the bear is a boy.
  • The dispute is settled with some classic kid logic that essentially boils down to "well, because." Period.
  • CR asks the narrator to tell a story about Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • The tale of Winnie-the-Pooh begins as a story within a story.
  • Pooh lives by himself in a forest.
  • A quick interruption from CR, then the story gets going again.
  • Pooh is out walking when he hears buzzing coming from an old oak tree.
  • Pooh thinks and thinks and determines that the buzzing is coming from bees, and the bees are making honey.
  • Pooh, like many portly, jovial characters, sings to himself as he climbs the tree to claim his sweet sweet honey.
  • His first song is happy, but in a second song he complains about having to climb so high.
  • He should've knocked on wood, because just as he complains, the branch breaks and he falls into a gorse-bush. That's a prickly evergreen for those of you who weren't raised in turn-of-the-century Western Europe.
  • In spite of his many human tendencies, like thinking and talking and feeling, Pooh is unhurt. He is stuffed, after all.
  • Recovering from the fall, Pooh thinks of his friend Christopher Robin. This time CR is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh story, not just the listener. (These layers are tricky for the youngsters.)
  • CR (the listener) interrupts the story again to confirm that yes indeed, he is the very same Christopher Robin who appears in the story.
  • Pooh goes to visit CR (the character) at his house in the forest. Here, the illustration shows us that CR also lives in a tree, presumably by himself.
  • Pooh concocts a plan to use a balloon to get up to steal the honey. He chooses a blue balloon in order to blend into the sky, and rolls around in mud to make himself look like a black cloud. He's a regular master of disguise, this one.
  • Unfortunately, the balloon trick doesn't work so well. Pooh floats up into the sky, but can't quite get near the honey.
  • To make matters worse, the bees come out and swarm around Pooh, who thinks it's a matter of his disguise not being good enough.
  • So Pooh devises another deception. He asks CR to pretend it's going to rain. This will make the bees think he's actually a black rain cloud, right? Right?
  • As a fail safe, Pooh decides to sing a song about being a little cloud, just to prove that he's what he's pretending to be.
  • The bees are not to be deceived, and Pooh decides that they must be the wrong sort of bees, who make the wrong sort of honey.
  • Time to get down. But how?
  • CR takes his toy gun and shoots at the balloon. After a couple of tries—one of which hits Pooh—he nails it and Pooh comes floating gently to the ground.
  • Christopher Robin (the listener) pipes up again and wants to know if that's the end of the story.
  • Indeed it is, but the narrator assures him that there are more stories. More about him and Winnie-the-Pooh. And Piglet and Rabbit. Lots more to look forward to.
  • The narrator mentions a story that comes later—the one about the Heffalump. You know the one, right. No? Keep on reading.
  • CR insists that he knows these stories well, but Pooh doesn't so he likes to hear them again. Lucky for Pooh (and us) the narrator is happy to oblige.
  • With that, CR heads up to take a bath and call it a night, Pooh bumping up the stairs the whole way.
  • Wait! CR (the listener) wants to make sure he (the character) didn't hurt Pooh when he accidentally shot him.
  • Of course he didn't.
  • Phew.
  • Goodnight. 

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Winnie-the-Pooh: Chapter 1 Study Group

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