Start of a 2,000 word article
INTO ENCHANTED PLACES, WITH WINNIE THE
The sun is hot and
I wonder to myself a lot: Now is
it true, or is it not. That what
is which and which is what....."
Lines written by a Bear of Very
Little Brain in Winnie the Pooh.
On this particular Monday, standing at the
edge of the forest, basket of goodies in
hand, she looked rather like Red Riding
Hood off to visit her grandmother's house.
But when she asked us in a decidedly
Poohish voice whether we wanted milk or
fizzy drinks with our Pooh picnic I knew I
was in the right story after all, and this
was Maire McQueeney ready to escort us
into the enchanted places of Christopher
Robin and friends. By the time she is
through we, like Pooh, "sometimes wonder
if it's true, that who is what and what is
That Maire appears to be from Pooh's
magical other-world enhances our walk no
end. Along the way she gathers mushrooms
to take home for tea, pretty things -
bright red with white spots which, she
assures, us are edible. They go into her
basket along with the stuffed bears,
Winnie the Pooh books and maps.
There are six of us, Pooh fans all,
gathered to explore the forest that was
Christopher Robin's childhood playground.
Ashdown Forest and surrounding countryside
is enough to spark the imagination of even
the dullest writer of children's stories.
But Alan Alexander Milne was not dull. He
saw his child's nursery toys as
animal/people who accompanied their young
owner on his daily adventures. Then in a
brilliant move he chose E.H. Shepard to
illustrate his stories so endearingly they
continue to captivate readers in 31
countries some 70 years later.
Article ends with Travelers' Tips and If You Go Information