Winnie-the-Pooh | Study Guide

A.A. Milne

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Winnie-the-Pooh | Chapter 2 : In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets Into a Tight Place | Summary



Walking through the forest and humming his new hum, Winnie-the-Pooh wonders how it feels to be someone else. He comes upon a sandy bank and sees a large hole. Pooh, realizing that hole means Rabbit, decides to visit his friend, thinking, "Company means Food and Listening-to-Me Humming and such like." Although Rabbit first denies being home, he relents and invites Pooh in. Pooh eats all of Rabbit's honey and condensed milk, although he does decline Rabbit's offer of bread. When Pooh tries to leave, it is apparent he has eaten so much he gets stuck in the hole Rabbit uses for a door.

Rabbit, judging Winnie-the-Pooh rather harshly, goes out the back and fetches Christopher Robin, who puts Pooh on a strict diet. Although the bear can't eat, Christopher Robin promises to read to him. Pooh asks, "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" Pooh fasts, Christopher Robin reads such books, and Rabbit hangs his wash on Pooh's legs. After a week, Pooh is noticeably slimmer. Christopher Robin, Rabbit, and all of Rabbit's friends and relations join to pull, and Winnie-the-Pooh pops out of the hole like a cork, sending them all tumbling.


Again Winnie-the-Pooh shows the linearity of his thoughts; holes mean Rabbit, Rabbit means company, and company means food and humming. Food, particularly honey, is very important to Pooh, who cannot be swayed from his routine. Like many children, he must eat at the appointed time, or he becomes confused and unhappy. And Pooh has a large appetite, and appointed times often mean any times, in addition to the usual 11 o'clock.

Rabbit is introduced in this tale and shows himself the type of rabbit that would raise an eyebrow at the reader, if rabbits had eyebrows. He has an inborn sense of superiority and, while clever, is so convinced of his cleverness he appears a busybody and know-it-all. Hanging his wash on Pooh's legs is an admirable use of space but is rather cold and self-serving. He calls Winnie-the-Pooh "old fellow," as if he were an English aristocrat. This is Milne's self-mocking and sly reference to adulthood.

Milne plays with language and capitalization again in this story. With the capitalization of the adjective Wedged, the word becomes much more powerful and in this case, much more plaintive. For the silent reader, it can be noted and appreciated. For the person reading aloud, it straightforwardly signals emphasis.

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