The wind steadily rose and the rain grew harder and at 1.56 am it was sufficient to disturb a deep sleep. In the darkness of the early hours, all sort of thoughts go through the mind. Imagined sleights and unwitting mistakes are magnified as the circadian rhythms decline. Oddly the gale blowing outside is a comfort. The voice of Alan Bennett floats into the consciousness. No-one captures Winnie the Pooh as well as Bennett. What would Bennett’s voice have said of such a night?
It would have been the voice of Owl, “It was on just such a blusterous day as this that my Uncle Robert-“.
The recall of Bennett’s storytelling brings a smile – it was blusterous weather that led Piglet to do a very noble thing. Owl’s house has blown down and they are searching for new accommodation:
“So, in a little while, they came to the house which Eeyore had found, and just before they came to it, Piglet was nudging Pooh, and Pooh was nudging Piglet, and they were saying, “It is!” and “It can’t be!” and “It’s really!” to each other.
“There!” said Eeyore proudly, stopping them outside Piglet’s house. “And the name on it, and everything!”
“Oh!” cried Christopher Robin, wondering whether to laugh or what.
“Just the house for Owl. Don’t you think so, little Piglet?”
And then Piglet did a Noble Thing, and he did it in a sort of dream, while he was thinking of all the wonderful words Pooh had hummed about him.
“Yes, it’s just the house for Owl,” he said grandly.
“And I hope he’ll be very happy in it.” And then he gulped twice, because he had been very happy in it himself.
“What do you think, Christopher Robin?” asked Eeyore a little anxiously, feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
Christopher Robin had a question to ask first, and he was wondering how to ask it.
“Well,” he said at last, “it’s a very nice house, and if your own house is blown down, you must go somewhere else, mustn’t you, Piglet? What would you do, if your house was blown down?”
Before Piglet could think, Pooh answered for him.
“He’d come and live with me,” said Pooh, “wouldn’t you, Piglet?”
Piglet squeezed his paw.
“Thank you, Pooh,” he said, “I should love to.”
There are books on Pooh and philosophy, perhaps someone has written on Pooh and politics. Deep within the heart of that Bear of very little brain there is a gentle radicalism that could more readily subvert the consumerist individualism of the 21st Century than could countless speeches.