COTCHFORD FARM – Visitors to the estate of deceased “Winnie the Pooh”’ author A.A. Milne received an unprecedented surprise on a routine historical tour of the author’s study.
“One of the visitors grabbed a tome from the bookshelf. We don’t normally allow that, but a whole slew of handwritten manuscript pages fell out, and it looked like an unpublished Pooh story. It had illustrations and all,” said tour guide Eustice Biddle who witnessed the discovery.
Experts examined the pages and confirmed the pages were the genuine article: from the pen of A.A. Milne himself. However, literary critics advise that we should not expect to see the manuscript published anytime soon. Children’s fiction specialist Alistair Figgis stated, “This manuscript is… definitely not for children.”
Figgis noted that each chapter heading contains a note of warning from the author, as if Milne was trying to avoid traumatizing any children. A bouncing image of Tigger precedes each tale warning readers of exactly how graphic to expect every entry to be. For instance, when Christopher Robin encounters a strange man offering candy and a ride in his motor car, a fretting Tigger is drawn in warning children that “this story contains graphic imagery and may not be suitable for some tiggers.”
In subsequent stories, when Eyeore the Donkey must be talked down from an extremely depressive and suicidal episode, Tigger is drawn in asking readers, “Hey tiggers! Do you get depressed and overwhelmed sometimes? I do, but giving up is never the answer! Try calling the hotlines below if you want to talk to a proooooo-fessional!”
The chapters conclude when the titular Pooh gets stuck in his doorway, yet again, but is so deeply embarrassed he develops bulimia and begins to avoid eating in front of his friends. Tigger appears on the chapter header, bouncing on his coiled tail: “The wonderful thing about eating, is eating’s a wonderful thing. You need to eat to survive, tiggers. If you’ve suffered from body dysmorphia, you may want to skip this chapter!”
Disney Studios has passed on optioning this story collection for film and product development rights.