Study Guide

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Winnie-the-Pooh: Chapter 3

By A. A. Milne

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Winnie-the-Pooh: Chapter 3

In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle

  • We are introduced to Piglet, who lives in a big beech tree house in the middle of the forest.
  • Outside his house is a sign that says "TRESPASSERS W." Unfortunately, he doesn't know what it means, and reports that it was his grandfather's name.
  • This is all just to introduce Piglet's character, though. The actual story starts here:
  • Piglet is clearing snow from the front of his house when he sees Pooh walking around in circles. Why circles? Why Piglet's house? Well, there's sure to be an explanation.
  • Piglet interrupts Pooh's wandering to ask what he's up to.
  • Pooh explains that he's tracking something. He doesn't know what and can't tell Piglet anymore until he actually catches up with it.
  • Suddenly Piglet spots tracks on the ground in front of Pooh—paw prints.This is all very exciting. (But you know where this is going don't you? Pooh has been walking in circles...who, oh who, could those paw prints belong to?)
  • Piglet worries that they belong to something called a Woozle.
  • Pooh responds as any animal with stuffing for brains would: "sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't" (Winnie-the-Pooh. Chapter 3.14).
  • Pooh continues in his circle with Piglet following.
  • They come to a sudden halt as Pooh now observes two sets of tracks in the snow, both exactly the same. A second Woozle perhaps?
  • Pooh asks Piglet to stay with him, in case the animals turn out to be hostile.
  • Together they follow the tracks around and around a small bunch of trees.
  • Piglet passes the time by telling Pooh abut his grandfather, Trespassers W, and Pooh concludes that maybe they're tracking grandfathers instead of Woozles, and if so, he would like to take one home to keep.
  • But wait!
  • Now there seem to be three sets of tracks, but this new one is different. Smaller. A Wizzle?
  • They continue, and as they make their way farther along the circle,the number of tracks keeps multiplying.
  • Soon, the tracks look all muddled as if there's a whole team of creatures wandering through the snow.
  • Piglet suddenly remembers a very important task that can't wait one second longer and tries to convince Pooh to let him go home.
  • Just then, they hear something from the branches above them. It's Christopher Robin. (The character, of course.)
  • Piglet runs off, since Pooh will be safe with CR.
  • CR laughs at Pooh, and explains what he saw from his perch high up in a tree. Pooh went around the trees by himself twice (two tracks), then Piglet followed (the third set of tracks), and they were just starting to go around again (fourth and fifth sets) when Piglet, shall we say, chickened out.
  • Pooh slowly realizes something. He fits his own paw into the prints he's been tracking, and boom—epiphany!
  • Milne never actually states directly what's been going on, but he counts on children figuring it out quickly—quicker than Pooh at least. You did too, didn't you?
  • Well, CR and Pooh have a good chuckle, and Pooh goes home for lunch.

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