It was a rather breezy day in the Hundred Acre Woods, but the sun was shining just then and that made things pleasant. Eeyore was playing with Piglet, as usual; being Christopher Robin's second-favourite and favourite friends respectively, they tried to be together so that he would always know where to find them. Eeyore was feeling quite chipper that day and had offered Piglet a ride, which both of them were enjoying. But the two best friends paused when one of them heard a noisy thing approaching from up the path they were riding on.
"Oh!" Piglet cried. "That's Christopher Robin's footsteps!"
"To be sure!" Eeyore replied. "I'd know them anywhere! Oh Christopher Robin, come and play!"
Well in fact it was Christopher Robin coming down the path, but he was walking a little oddly and not as quickly as usual. When he'd caught up with his friends they could see why. The poor boy's clothes were quite unusual.
"Why Christopher Robin," said Eeyore, "I believe you are wearing a dress."
"I am, I suppose," the boy replied. "I have to be in my best dress today and it's this one. Father is taking me to the zoo, but he's going to meet his particular friend Mr. Shepard there and wants me to look respectable. Oh bother! I'm sure having to wear this silly thing will entirely spoil my birthday!"
"Birthday!" said Eeyore. "Why, I'd forgotten it was today! Happy Birthday!"
"Happy Birthday, Christopher Robin!" Piglet added. "How old are you today?"
"I'm six. I'd feel better about this silly dress if I had you in my pocket, Piglet. Is that all right?"
Piglet, (who was really quite shy), said that he would be all right as long as Christopher Robin was with him. Then Eeyore asked if he might come, too as he'd hoped to meet a wild zedrba one day. His ears dropped a bit when Christopher Robin frowned.
"Father says I can only take what fits in a pocket, so it's Piglet or nothing, I'm afraid."
Then Piglet promised Eeyore that he'd look especially at the zedrba and tell him all about it when he got home. Christopher Robin gave Eeyore a special hug and hurried back to where he lived. Eeyore went and visited with Kanga, (who got a bit lonely all by herself), and mentioned Christopher Robin's birthday to Owl as he went.
The morning became the afternoon and the afternoon became the evening. The wind picked up a bit, then went down a bit more and the sun got even warmer before it got cooler again. The Hundred Acre Woods got to be quite sultry and had just decided to become clammy. Eeyore and Kanga were getting ready to go inside when Christopher Robin found them. He set Piglet down first. They could all see that he was holding something behind his back.
"Eeyore! Eeyore!" Piglet cried. "It was a very un... un... uncertain day! It was stuffy and noisy and just wait until you see who..."
"Piglet!" Christopher Robin cried. "I wanted to tell!"
"Oh, I'm sorry," Piglet replied. "I was so excited that I nearly forgot," he added. ("The zedrbas were all stripety and rather smelly," he murmured to Eeyore.)
"That's all right," Christopher Robin said. "We have new friends," he added, "and I'd like you to make them feel welcome."
Then he brought out his right hand. In it was a bear. He was a rather silly looking bear with a rather silly looking smile. But what struck Eeyore dumb was the way Christopher Robin was holding that silly, old bear, because he was holding him the way he usually held Eeyore!
"This is Winnie," Christopher Robin went on.
At this, Winnie sneezed with a pooh sound. He looked up at Christopher Robin and said, "Pardon me!"
"Winnie the Pooh," the boy continued. "He's my second-best friend! Please don't fret Piglet, you'll always be my favourite."
Eeyore, his mouth hanging open a little, looked at Kanga and Kanga looked back, her head tilted a little in puzzlement. But Christopher Robin hadn't finished.
"I know you get a little lonely Kanga," he said, holding out his other hand. "So I got a friend for you... oh, he's not as big as you after all. Nevermind though, he's just big enough to be your baby roo! Here you go! Now you won't be lonely," and he put a little roo in Kanga's arms.
Kanga held the joey close and petted his ears and Baby Roo cooed back at her. "Thank you, Christpher Robin!" Kanga cried. "It's the nicest somebody else's birthday present I've ever had!"
Just then Owl flew down the path with a piece of paper in his talons, which he gave to Christpher Robin. It had Hi Brfdi on it, which Owl explained was Happy Birthday. Christopher Robin thanked him, then took Piglet's paw in one hand and Pooh's paw in the other and lead them up the path to have some cake. Kanga put Baby Roo in her pouch and hopped after them with Owl flying beside as slowly as he could so as to keep up.
Eeyore staid behind, his mouth half open, feeling more like a toy than he had since he'd come to the Hundred Acre Woods. "Oh Christopher Robin! How could you?" he murmured, in a much gloomier voice than was usual for him. He noticed his voice. The river was nearby, so he went and stood on the bank and looked at himself. He looked so awfully sad! "How could you?" he said again. Eeyore watched himself sounding gloomy and knew that he'd never feel chipper again. The water looked cool and deep and somehow final. Perhaps he should jump in, float away like a stick, never have to be alive again. He looked up the path towards Christopher Robin's house and knew he couldn't do that, not yet; he still needed the boy who no longer needed him.
Copyright © 2011 by A.D. Burrows, All Rights Reserved