The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Winnie-the-Pooh: Chapter 6
By A. A. Milne
Advertisement - Guide continues below
Winnie-the-Pooh: Chapter 6
In Which Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents
Scene: Eeyore meditates on his reflection in clear stream. "Pathetic"he thinks to himself. "Nobody Cares." Sad? Yes. Existential conundrum? Possibly. Funny? Could
Pooh arrives and takes the role of concerned friend.
But Eeyore explains his blues vaguely. He doesn't really even know
what he's sad about.
It seems to Pooh that this is a riddle. Instead of trying to
figure it out, he sings a jolly song about riddles, called Cottleston Pie (see "Symbols" for
more on this and the so-called Cottleston Pie Principle).
Finally, Pooh learns what's wrong.
Of course, Eeyore won't just say it directly. Instead he says
sardonically that it's his birthday, "the happiest day of the year" (Winnie-the-Pooh.6.26).
Eeyore caustically points out that he has no presents and no cake.
Everyone has forgotten his birthday.
Unfortunately, Pooh, being a bear of very little brain, doesn't
get that Eeyore is being sarcastic. Instead, he's confused because he doesn't
actually see any presents.
So Eeyore has to tell him so. And now Pooh understands the problem.
Are we all there with him? Good.
Eeyore continues to complain, so Pooh springs into action in
search of a present—any present—and he can find a good one later on. After all,
it's the thingthat
When Pooh returns home, he sees Piglet unsuccessfully reaching for
the knocker on his door.
Being the good friend that he is, Pooh knocks on his own door to
help Piglet out. Good ol' Pooh.
Explaining the whole birthday fiasco to Piglet, he suggests that
Piglet get a gift, too.
Pooh decides to give away a half-full (half-empty for Eeyore) jar
Piglet chooses a leftover balloon from his own party (which we
didn't get to attend—oh, bother.)
So Piglet goes to get his balloon and Pooh wanders back toward
Eeyore with the honey.
Of course, he gets a little tickle in his tummy along the way and
wants a snack. Forgetting all about Eeyore, he praises himself for coming
prepared with a jar of honey and sits down to eat.
It's not until the jar is empty that he remembers Eeyore, and
realizes he just ate his friend's birthday present! Oh! The humanity!
Ever a problem-solver, Pooh decides to just give Eeyore the pot,
and he goes in search of Owl for help to write a personalized message.
Owl uses some invented spelling to write the message, which says "A
very Happy Birthday with love from Pooh," spelled "HIPY PAPY
BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY" (Winnie-the-Pooh.6.88).
Pooh, of course, is none the wiser.
Meanwhile, Piglet fetches his balloon.
But he's so excited to give it to Eeyore that he trips along the
way and it pops.
Piglet picks up the remains of the balloon and heads to visit
He finds the donkey still staring at his reflection in the water.
To Eeyore's surprise, Piglet wishes him a happy birthday. He doesn't
believe it. He makes Piglet repeat it three times.
Eeyore, still in disbelief, accepts the limp sack that was once a
Piglet explains the popping incident, and even gets choked up
thinking of his mistake.
Eeyore asks about what the balloon was like in its former glory.
Red, says his friend, and as big as Piglet himself.
Just then Pooh arrives with his pot.
Eeyore actually shows some joy. Turns out, the popped balloon is
just the right size to put in the pot. Eeyore enjoys this fact so much that he
puts the balloon in, takes it out, puts it in over and over again. Ah, the
childhood joys of doing the same thing again and again and again and again...
Just when Eeyore is as happy as could be, Christopher Robin (the
listener) chimes in.
Didn't he give Eeyore something?
The narrator says he did, it was a—a—
CR (the listener) provides this little detail: he gave Eeyore a
box of paint.
The narrator also tells how CR had made a beautiful cake for