Life Lessons from Winnie-the-Pooh & Friends

pooh and madeline

The Complete Tales of Winnie Pooh

By: A.A. Milne

Grade: A

I completely forgot when I was patting myself on the back about reading Pride and Prejudice last month that I had also read the Complete Works of Beatrix Potter. So go me two classics! Now four!

Honestly the Beatrix Potter and A Madeline Treasury were really cute, great illustrations and I’m glad I read them but definitely not my thing. Growing up I always had a closer affinity for not just Pooh but the whole gang in the Hundred Acre Woods.

Also I just think there’s more meat to his stories. Pooh is a brainless bear yes (they say it in the stories Pooh knows it) and Eeyore is somehow more of a grump than I remember and I started this off as something of a snob.

Oh, it’s just a children’s story.

But by the end I was tearing up and impressed by how many things still carry over into adulthood. How Pooh, quiet the poet at times, can be so damned deep that I know eventually I’ll read these stories again.

It was a bit snobbish of me really to not expect to find anything there.

the thousand acre woods

I was reading through and one quote just leapt out at me concerning my anxiety of all things.

“Supposing a tree fell down Pooh when we were underneath it?” The always anxious Piglet.

“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

The first part is just me in a nutshell and the second part… should be. Supposing I crash the car? Supposing that you don’t. You haven’t yet. Supposing I get sick? Supposing you don’t. Supposing something horrible happens on this trip? Supposing that maybe nothing at all happens of heavens forbid something wonderful happens!

Maybe I need Pooh in my head.

Of course a tree actually did fall down not long after that but they were in it and not under it so it should count for the better. Like that old saying you’ve survived all the days of your life so far…

Pooh also has the heart of a poet composing little songs through the stories and good on him because unlike some people (me) he actually finishes. Oh, his don’t make sense but he’s got follow through.

“Because poetry and hums aren’t things you get, they’re things which get you, all you can do is to go where they can find you.”

Maybe Pooh is telling me here that you can’t force these things that to some extent you have to let them come naturally but be open for them. Not unlike taking in the beauty of life or something especially if you find words to be beautiful which as book people we probably all do.

Then that ending? For some reason I was really shocked it was so bittersweet. I mean I shouldn’t be these days. I’ve seen Inside Out- I’ve teared up just watching the Bing Bong clips. When the animals said good-bye because Christopher Robin was going away. When he asked Pooh if he could come back would Pooh still be there? Of course. Would Pooh still be Pooh even if Christopher Robin wasn’t the same?

Because we all have to grow up and leave the woods in the end. We might never look back never think on some times again but it’s much more hopeful to think we’ll return to our friends.

Recommend: Yes for the Pooh collection. Yes to all actually- though I do think that Madeline and Beatrix Potter were a little too young for me 🙂

FYI- the picture editions of Winnie and Madeline are Barnes and Noble classics. I found them under a table piled amongst a ton of other editions.