What I can do, though, Pooh, is that I can make sure that you know that I am here. And that I will always be here, to listen; and to support you; and for you to know that you are heard.
Johannesburg, South Africa (20 February 2021) – Piglet offered Winnie-The-Pooh advice on dealing with COVID anxiety, and it might be something we could all hear right now.
Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts and Winnie-The-Pooh – or Pooh Bear as he is affectionately known – is one of those much-loved characters that stay in our hearts long after we grow out of reading A.A. Milne’s series of books.
The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also included a poem about the bear in the children’s verse book When We Were Very Young (1924) and many more in Now We Are Six (1927). All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard. The Pooh stories have been translated into many languages, including Alexander Lenard’s Latin translation, Winnie ille Pu, which was first published in 1958, and, in 1960, became the only Latin book ever to have been featured on The New York Times Best Seller list.
In 1961, Walt Disney Productions licensed certain film and other rights of Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories from the estate of A. A. Milne and the licensing agent Stephen Slesinger, Inc., and adapted the Pooh stories, using the unhyphenated name “Winnie the Pooh”, into a series of features that would eventually become one of its most successful franchises. In popular film adaptations, Pooh has been voiced by actors Sterling Holloway, Hal Smith, and Jim Cummings in English, and Yevgeny Leonov in Russian.
But its Pooh’s newest stories – written by people on social media – that is catching our attention and open up our imagination all over again!
Just like South Africans have taken to making their own Nando’s adverts (which many people believe are real), some social media users use Pooh Bear as a basis for new stories… to help us through incredibly tough times.
Read the latest one below:
“Piglet?” said Pooh.
“Yes?” said Piglet.
“I’m scared,” said Pooh.
For a moment, there was silence.
“Would you like to talk about it?” asked Piglet, when Pooh didn’t appear to be saying anything further.
“I’m just so scared,” blurted out Pooh.
“So anxious. Because I don’t feel like things are getting any better. If anything, I feel like they might be getting worse. People are angry, because they’re so scared, and they’re turning on one another, and there seems to be no clear plan out of here, and I worry about my friends and the people I love, and I wish SO much that I could give them all a hug, and oh, Piglet! I am so scared, and I cannot tell you how much I wish it wasn’t so.”
Piglet was thoughtful, as he looked out at the blue of the skies, peeping between the branches of the trees in the Hundred Acre Wood, and listened to his friend.
“I’m here,” he said, simply. “I hear you, Pooh. And I’m here.”
For a moment, Pooh was perplexed.
“But… aren’t you going to tell me not to be so silly? That I should stop getting myself into a state and pull myself together? That it’s hard for everyone right now?”
“No,” said Piglet, quite decisively. “No, I am very much not going to do any of those things.”
“But-” said Pooh.
“I can’t change the world right now,” continued Piglet. “And I am not going to patronise you with platitudes about how everything will be okay, because I don’t know that.
“What I can do, though, Pooh, is that I can make sure that you know that I am here. And that I will always be here, to listen; and to support you; and for you to know that you are heard.
“I can’t make those Anxious Feelings go away, not really.
“But I can promise you that, all the time I have breath left in my body…you won’t ever need to feel those Anxious Feelings alone.”
And it was a strange thing, because even as Piglet said that, Pooh could feel some of those Anxious Feelings start to loosen their grip on him; could feel one or two of them start to slither away into the forest, cowed by his friend, who sat there stolidly next to him.
Pooh thought he had never been more grateful to have Piglet in his life.