Piglet Meets a Heffalump

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Dutton Children's Books, Oct 31, 1990 - Juvenile Fiction - 28 pages
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Generations of children have grown up on Winnie the Pooh's adventures with his forest friends. These sparkling audio adaptations of A.A. Milne's beloved stories-now available on CD-feature an all-star cast of readers, including Oscar winner Judi Dench. Three cheers for that silly old bear! & In Piglet meets a Heffalump, Eeyore has a birthday and gets two presents, Kanga and Baby Roo come to the Forest, Piglet has a bath, and Christopher Robin leads an expedition to the North Pole.

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We start the chapter with Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet all together, passing the time of day and having a munch. Christopher Robin immediately introduces the theme of this chapter by telling the others that he has seen a Heffalump today! Pooh asks what the Heffalump was doing, and Christopher Robin says that it hadn't been doing much, and that he didn't think the Heffalump had seen him back.
"I saw one once," said Piglet. "At least, I think I did," he said. "Only perhaps it wasn't."
"So did I," said Pooh, wondering what a Heffalump was like.
"You don't often see them," said Christopher Robin carelessly.
"Not now," said Piglet.
"Not at this time of the year," said Pooh.
It's time for Pooh and Piglet to head home, so off they go along the path just outside the Hundred Acre Wood. They are having a little chat with each other about various inconsequential things, but when they come to the Six Pine Trees Pooh reveals that he has actually been formulating a very daring plan. And it is this - he is going to catch a Heffalump.
Well, as you can imagine Piglet is extremely impressed by this plan, although he is a little disappointed that he didn't think of it first. Pooh explains that he will catch the Heffalump by using a Cunning Trap, and that he will need Piglet's help, which cheers Piglet up no end.
The two animals sit down together and start to work out the specifics of the plan. Pooh suggests that they dig a Very Deep Pit, so the Heffalump would fall into it as he was walking along. Piglet is not sure why the Heffalump would fall in, and Pooh explains that the Heffalump would probably be humming and looking up at the sky to see if it might rain, and then before he knew it he would be half-way down the pit, which would be as good as being all the way down for their purposes.
Piglet is not entirely convinced by this strategy, as he has spotted a flaw in the plan - if it was raining to start off with, then the Heffalump wouldn't be looking up at the sky wondering if it was going to rain, as he would know it was raining already.
Pooh has not really considered this argument, but he quickly counters by saying that if it was already raining the Heffalump would be looking at the sky hoping that the rain would stop, and then before he knew it...
And Piglet agrees that, now that Pooh has covered that side of the debate, he is satisfied that their plan can work. But Pooh has a query...
Where should they dig the Very Deep Pit?
Piglet said that the best place would be somewhere where a Heffalump was, just before he fell into it, only about a foot further on.
But, again, there is a flaw in this logic, and this time it is Pooh who brings attention to it - the Heffalump would see them digging the pit, and have time to escape. Piglet says that that wouldn't be true if he was looking at the sky, but Pooh says he could easily Suspect if he looked down.
They are a little discouraged at this point, and Pooh is beginning to realise that they may have found out why Heffalumps hardly ever get caught. They stand up for a little while, remove some gorse prickles from themselves, sit down again, and try to think of another plan.
Pooh decides that a bit of lateral thinking is in order, and so he asks Piglet how he would go about catching Pooh if he felt like it. Piglet says that he would make a trap, and he would put a jar of honey into the trap, and this would attract Pooh and lead him into the trap...
And they've got it! Bait is the answer! Pooh gets a little distracted by thoughts of all that honey, and so Piglet has to bring him back to the conversation by asking him what the Heffalump equivalent of honey is. Piglet thinks that it might be acorns, although Pooh thinks honey would still be the best thing, and they are arguing about that when Piglet realises that if they are going to use acorns then he'll have to give up some of his own acorns, whereas if they use honey then that will


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About the author (1990)

A prolific writer, A. A. Milne published 35 plays, 6 novels, 3 books of verse, 3 collections of short stories, and several works of nonfiction, including sketches for Punch magazine, of which he was the assistant editor. Nevertheless, his fame rests on four books for children: two of whimsical stories about the stuffed animals in his son's bedroom (Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner) and two of verse (When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six). All are considered classics and have been included among the Children's Literature Association's Touchstone books as the best in children's literature, on the Lewis Carroll Shelf list, and on the Choice magazine list of books for the academic library. He also wrote Toad of Toad Hall, a play based on Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, and Once upon a Time: A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups, both of which are sometimes included in volumes with the four classic works. Milne had a son, Christopher Robin, who served as the model for the little boy in his children's books.

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