Vespers Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed, Droops on the little hands little gold head. Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares! Christopher Robin is saying his prayers. God bless Mummy. I know that's right. Wasn't it fun in the bath tonight? The cold's so cold, and the hot's so hot. Oh! God bless Daddy - I quite forgot. If I open my fingers a little bit more, I can see Nanny's dressing-gown on the door. It's a beautiful blue, but it hasn't a hood. Oh! God bless Nanny and make her good. Mine has a hood, and I lie in bed, And pull the hood right over my head, And I shut my eyes, and I curl up small, And nobody knows that I'm there at all. Oh! Thank you, God, for a lovely day. And what was the other I had to say? I said "Bless Daddy, " so what can it be? Oh! Now I remember. God bless Me. Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed. Droops on the little hands little gold head. Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares! Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.
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Nowhere can I think so happily as in a train. I am not inspired; nothing so uncomfortable as that. I am never seized with a sudden idea for a masterpiece, nor form a sudden plan for some new enterprise. My thoughts are just pleasantly reflective. I think of all the good deeds I have done, and (when these give out) of all the good deeds I am going to do. I look out of the window and say lazily to myself, 'How jolly to live there'; and a little farther on, 'How jolly not to live there.' I see a cow, and I wonder what it is like to be a cow, and I wonder whether the cow wonders what it is to be like me; and perhaps, by this time, we have passed on to a sheep, and I wonder if it is more fun being a sheep. My mind wanders on in a way which would annoy Pelman a good deal, but it wanders on quite happily, and the 'clankety-clank' of the train adds a very soothing accompaniment. So soothing, indeed, that at any moment I can close my eyes and pass into a pleasant state of sleep.
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Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hand, called out "Pooh!" "Yes?" said Pooh. "When I'm-when-Pooh!" "Yes, Christopher Robin?" "I'm not going to do Nothing any more." "Never again?" "Well, not so much. They don't let you." Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again. "Yes, Christopher Robin?" said Pooh helpfully. "Pooh, when I'm-you know-when I'm not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?" "Just me?" "Yes, Pooh." "Will you be here too?" "Yes Pooh, I will be really. I promise I will be Pooh." "That's good, " said Pooh. "Pooh, promise you won't forget about me, ever. Not even when I'm a hundred." Pooh thought for a little. "How old shall I be then?" "Ninety-nine." Pooh nodded. "I promise, " he said. Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt Pooh's paw. "Pooh, " said Christopher Robin earnestly, "if I-if I'm not quite-" he stopped and tried again- "Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won't you?" "Understand what?" "Oh, nothing." He laughed and jumped to his feet. "Come on!" "Where?" said Pooh. "Anywhere." said Christopher Robin. So, they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.
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Are you prepared to be the complete Watson?" he asked. "Watson?" "Do-you-follow-me-Watson; that one. Are you prepared to have quite obvious things explained to you, to ask futile questions, to give me chances of scoring off you, to make brilliant discoveries of your own two or three days after I have made them myself all that kind of thing? Because it all helps." "My dear Tony, " said Bill delightedly, "need you ask?" Antony said nothing, and Bill went on happily to himself, "I perceive from the strawberry-mark on your shirt-front that you had strawberries for dessert. Holmes, you astonish me. Tut, tut, you know my methods. Where is the tobacco? The tobacco is in the Persian slipper. Can I leave my practice for a week? I can.
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Do you remember, " he said, "one of Holmes's little scores over Watson about the number of steps up to the Baker Street lodging? Poor old Watson had been up and down them a thousand times, but he had never thought of counting them, whereas Holmes had counted them as a matter of course, and knew that there were seventeen. And that was supposed to be the difference between observation and non-observation. Watson was crushed again, and Holmes appeared to him more amazing than ever. Now, it always seemed to me that in that matter Holmes was the ass, and Watson the sensible person. What on earth is the point of keeping in your head an unnecessary fact like that? If you really want to know at any time the number of steps to your lodging, you can ring up your landlady and ask her.
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In the language of the day it is customary to describe a certain sort of book as 'escapist' literature. As I understand it, the adjective implies, a little condescendingly, that the life therein depicted cannot be identified with the real life which the critic knows so well in W.C.1: and may even have the disastrous effect on the reader of taking him happily for a few hours out of his own real life in N.W.8. Why this should be a matter for regret I do not know; nor why realism in a novel is so much admired when realism in a picture is condemned as mere photography; nor, I might add, why drink and fornication should seem to bring the realist closer to real life than, say, golf and gardening.
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Lines and Squares Whenever I walk in a London street, I'm ever so careful to watch my feet; And I keep in the squares, And the masses of bears, Who wait at the corners all ready to eat The sillies who tread on the lines of the street, Go back to their lairs, And I say to them, "Bears, Just look how I'm walking in all of the squares!" And the little bears growl to each other, "He's mine, As soon as he's silly and steps on a line." And some of the bigger bears try to pretend That they came round the corner to look for a friend; And they try to pretend that nobody cares Whether you walk on the lines or squares. But only the sillies believe their talk; It's ever so portant how you walk. And it's ever so jolly to call out, "Bears, Just watch me walking in all the squares!
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And out floated Eeyore. "Eeyore!" cried everybody. Looking very calm, very dignified, with his legs in the air, came Eeyore from beneath the bridge. "It's Eeyore!" cried Roo, terribly excited. "Is that so?" said Eeyore, getting caught up by a little eddy, and turning slowly round three times. "I wondered." "I didn't know you were playing, " said Roo. "I'm not, " said Eeyore. "Eeyore, what are you doing there?" said Rabbit. "I'll give you three guesses, Rabbit. Digging holes in the ground? Wrong. Leaping from branch to branch of a young oak-tree? Wrong. Waiting for somebody to help me out of the river? Right. Give Rabbit time, and he'll always get the answer." "But, Eeyore, " said Pooh in distress, "what can we-I mean, how shall we-do you think if we-" "Yes, " said Eeyore. "One of those would be just the thing. Thank you, Pooh.
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Christopher Robin was home by this time, because it was the afternoon, and he was so glad to see them that they stayed there until very nearly tea-time, and then they had a Very Nearly tea, which is one you forget about afterwards, and hurried on to Pooh Corner, so as to see Eeyore before it was too late to have a Proper Tea with Owl.
That's right. You'll like Owl. He flew past a day or two ago and noticed me. He didn't actually say anything, mind you, but he knew it was me. Very friendly of him. Encouraging." Pooh and Piglet shuffled about a little and said, "Well, good-bye, Eeyore" as lingeringly as they could, but they had a long way to go, and wanted to be getting on. "Good-bye, " said Eeyore. "Mind you don't get blown away, little Piglet. You'd be missed. People would say `Where's little Piglet been blown to?' - really wanting to know. Well, good-bye. And thank you for happening to pass me.
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Good morning, Eeyore, " said Pooh. "Good morning, Pooh Bear, " said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning, which I doubt, " said he. "Why, what's the matter?" "Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it." "Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose. "Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.
Pooh hasn't much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right. There's Owl. Owl hasn't exactly got Brain, but he Knows Things. He would know the Right Thing to Do when Surrounded by Water. There's Rabbit. He hasn't Learnt in Books, but he can always Think of a Clever Plan. There's Kanga. She isn't Clever, Kanga isn't, but she would be so anxious about Roo that she would do a Good Thing to Do without thinking about it. And then there's Eeyore. And Eeyore is so miserable anyhow that he wouldn't mind about this.
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One of the difficulties of thinking clearly about anything is that it is almost impossible not to form our ideas in words which have some previous association for us; with the result that our thought is already shaped along certain lines before we have begun to follow it out. Again, a word may have various meanings, and our use of it in one sense may deceive our readers (or even ourselves) into supposing that we were using it in some other sense.
Piglet said that Tigger was very Bouncy, and that if they could think of a way of unbouncing him, it would be a Very Good Idea. "Just what I feel, " said Rabbit. "What do you say, Pooh?" Pooh opened his eyes with a jerk and said, "Extremely." "Extremely what?" asked Rabbit. "What you were saying, " said Pooh. "Undoubtably.
"But what I like doing best is Nothing." "How do you do Nothing?" asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time. "Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, What are you going to do Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and you go and do it." "Oh, I see, " said Pooh. "This is a nothing sort of thing that we're doing right now." "Oh, I see, " said Pooh again. "It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear and not bothering." "Oh!" said Pooh.
Well, I've got an idea, " said Rabbit, "and here it is. We take Tigger for a long explore, somewhere where he's never been, and we lose him there, and next morning we find him again, and-mark my words-he'll be a different Tigger altogether." "Why?" said Pooh. "Because he'll be a Humble Tigger. Because he'll be a Sad Tigger, a Melancholy Tigger, a Small and Sorry Tigger, an Oh-Rabbit-I-am-glad-to-see-you Tigger. That's why." "Will he be glad to see me and Piglet, too?" "Of course." "That's good, " said Pooh. "I should hate him to go on being Sad, " said Piglet doubtfully. "Tiggers never go on being Sad, " explained Rabbit.
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She also considered very seriously what she would look like in a little cottage in the middle of the forest, dressed in a melancholy gray and holding communion only with the birds and trees; a life of retirement away from the vain world; a life into which no man came. It had its attractions, but she decided that gray did not suit her.
Hallo, Pooh, ' said Rabbit. 'Hallo, Rabbit, ' said Pooh dreamily. 'Did you make that song up?' 'Well, I sort of made it up, ' said Pooh. 'It isn't Brain, ' he went on humbly, 'because You Know Why, Rabbit; but it comes to me sometimes.' 'Ah!' said Rabbit, who never let things come to him, but always went and fetched them.