Thursday, October 1, 2009

I saw this this morning on my embarq news page:

"LONDON (AP) — When we left them, Christopher Robin was going away, and Things were going to be Different. Now, more than eight decades later, a rumor is sweeping the Hundred Acre Wood. According to Owl, who heard it from Rabbit, who heard it from Piglet, the adventures are about to resume. It falls to the bear to pass on the news to Eeyore. "It's Christopher Robin," said Winnie-the-Pooh. "He's coming back."
The drama (and for the Hundred Acre Wood, where life is lived gently, this qualifies) unfurls in the first authorized sequel to A.A. Milne's classic children's tales. Called "Return to the Hundred Acre Wood," the book by author David Benedictus goes on sale Oct. 5 and picks up where Milne's "The House at Pooh Corner," first published in 1928, left off."

Wow. This is big news to me, and I don’t know whether to feel offended that someone would try to "steal" Pooh and make a buck off of him, or excited that another installment of my favorite children's book EVER is coming out.

What I REALLY feel like doing is yelling "Why didn’t anyone tell ME they were looking for someone to write more Pooh books??"

You see, I'm English, not that you can tell by speaking to me. We moved to the USA when I was four and so it is understandable that my British roots may be well hidden. However I did grow up in an English household, even when that household was located in the American midwest. And so I grew up on Pooh. NOT Disney Pooh, but REAL Pooh. Real Pooh, read to me by my Mum in an (authentic, mind) English accent. Not to mention all of A.A.Milne's poetry as well. (John's got great big Wellington boots on, John's got a great big waterproof hat.....well, okay, just believe me. I could go on…)

Naturally I abhore Disney Pooh. Naturally I read REAL Pooh to my own children. I have the Gund Classic Pooh stuffed animals. I even read the Pooh books as a child to my own tattered beloved stuffed rabbit, aptly named Bunny. Yes, I still have Bunny today…you can ask him.

Okay so not only do I have the credentials of a true fan, but I have actually been burning to publish a Pooh story since I was 9. This is my first memory of wanting to publish a story. I didn’t actually WRITE this specific story, but when you are 9, details like that are not especially important. My Mum wrote this story. “In Which”--- all Pooh chapters start with “In Which” – “In Which Piglet gets the Chicken Pox.”

I was 9. Miserable in bed with chicken pox. Couldn’t sleep. So my Mum made up a Pooh story on the fly in the middle of the night, and told me the above story at my bedside in the dark. I was captivated. Inspired. Amazed. Completely forgot about my itchy pox – I had suddenly realized that not only could you READ great stories, you could WRITE them too! I was on a mission to get my Mum’s story published. Why not? It was sweet, used the same tone and rhythm, and would fit right in with the Pooh stories I had grown up on.

Imagine my disappointment when I learned about copyrights and licensing and plagiarism.

All these years my Mum and I have been sitting on the perfect Winnie-the-Pooh sequel, believing it to be impossible to ever publish, and now along comes someone who has permission to publish a sequel. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL US????

By the way, my Mum’s story really is a very good Pooh story, even through my more knowledgeable adult eyes…just ask Bunny.


Michelle said...

Of course your mum's story is good. She's a writer, she's British, and she's a historian, which means she's all about getting the details accurate! Did she ever write it down?

Amy Tate said...

Do it anyway! Especially if you've had the idea for that long.

Sarah said...

I loved this, Alison! Great, great piece of your childhood.

I grew up with Disney's Winnie the Pooh- sang the Tigger song incessantly. But I that didn't keep me from loving "real" Pooh later on.

Alison said...

We never wrote it down. I'll have to do that. Here's the synopsis.

Tigger and Roo are bouncing around inside Kanga's house too much so Kanga sends them outside with a basket to pick berries. Piglet meets them on the way back as he is going to visit Kanga. When he gets there, Kanga sees him covered in red spots and pops him straight into bed with a big spoonful of cod liver oil. Owl is called and declares that Piglet has the chicken pox. Roo thinks it is very exciting and wishes HE had the chicken pox. Everyone goes to visit sick Piglet who is feeling very scared about being sick and overwhelmed with the visitors. Pooh holds his hand to make hm feel better. Sniffs his hand. Licks a red spot. Discovers that Piglet is covered in red spots of berry juice and not chicken pox. Tigger admits to bouncing a bit and perhaps bounced once or twice into the basket of berries while walking with Piglet, perhaps splatterign poor Piglet in berry juice. Christopher Robin arrives and sees Pooh licking off Piglet's chicken pox from his arm while Kanga readies him a bath. Piglet does not want to take a bath. Roo is very excited and wishes that HE could get covered in berry juice and have a bath.

Something like that....
Pretty good, Mum, considering it was the middle of the night with a sick child!