The other night, my daughter asked me to tell her a story. I made her do the heavy lifting. Here, after some editing, is the first part of what we came up with.
In Which a Visitor comes to the Hundred Acre Wood to teach Winnie-the-Pooh about Geode Catching
Quite a long time ago – it may have been last Sunday or perhaps even Saturday – there was a little girl named Evelyn. And once day, Evelyn decided to go on a Scooter Walk. So she got her scooter, which she had named “Red Zoomer” on account of it was very fast, and also red, and she set off for the Hundred Acre Wood. By and by, Evelyn came to a house in the forest with the name “Sanders” written over the door in large gold letters. Now, of course, Evelyn could read very well, so long as she limited herself to sight words like “is” and “as” and “the”. But “Sanders” was a different matter entirely. But she gave the matter a little think, and it occurred to her that she certainly couldn’t read the name “Sanders”, and she couldn’t read the name written over the door, so, logically, that meant that the name over the door must be “Sanders”, which meant that Winnie-the-Pooh lived under it. And so it was.
Evelyn had always wanted to meet Winnie-the-Pooh, of course. Her brother Dylan had once told her all about the dangers of entering a bear’s house uninvited, so she knocked firmly on the door.
Winnie-the-Pooh had just finished his mid-morning snack, and had been preparing for his late-morning snack when he heard the knocking. As it was quite an unusual time for a visitor, he called out, in a cautious voice, “Who’s there? Are you a friend?”
“Someone’s friend in particular, or just generally sociable?” Evelyn answered. Because she always tried to be a friend, but on odd occasions she had been know to bite someone, particularly if they wouldn’t share the crayons. But never hard enough to leave marks.
“Are you a friend of Pooh Bear?” asked Pooh, though he was starting to develop his own suspicions.
“You’ll have to ask him,” Evelyn called back. “We haven’t met yet.”
Pooh rested his head against his paw and thought about this. And for a bear of very little brain, this was a difficult question. Now, the way Pooh saw it, it was generally best for someone to be a friend, because friends tended to say very friendly things like, “Would you care for a small smackerel of honey?” So he nodded to himself and called out, “Then I suppose you had better be,” and flung open the door.
“I’m Evelyn,” Evelyn said, by way of introduction. “And this is my scooter, Red Zoomer.”
“Ah,” said Pooh. “You must be my very good friend Evelyn.” He leaned in conspiratorially and whispered, “Is Red Zoomer a friend as well?”
“Oh yes,” said Evelyn, “Red Zoomer is a very good friend who hardly ever topples over and drops me on my face.”
“Well that’s all right then,” said Winnie-the-Pooh. “What brings you to the Hundred Acre Wood today?” asked Bear. “I don’t suppose you came to invite someone to lunch?”
Evelyn laughed. “Actually, I came here to go on an Expotition. I know you are very famous for your Expotition to find the North Pole, and thought you would like to go with me.”
Winnie-the-Pooh was always pleased when someone remembered his discovery of the North Pole, and so he almost agreed immediately, but it occurred to him first to ask, “Will this Expotition be searching for any of the fiercer animals, such as Jagulars or Woozles?” Because while Pooh was quite obviously the bravest bear in the Hundred Acre Wood, he shuddered to think what one of the fiercer animals might do to his new friend Evelyn. To say nothing of Red Zoomer.
Once again, Evelyn just laughed, “Silly old bear. This Expotition is to find Treasure.” And she said it just like that, with a capital letter and everything. She quite likely would have said it in italics as well, but being a very small child, she couldn’t stretch her fingers far enough to press control-I.
“I see,” Pooh thought. “Would this treasure happen to be of the edible sort?”
“Possibly,” Evelyn said. “You never can tell with geocaches.”
Bear considered this. “Begging your pardon,” he asked, “But what exactly is a Geode Catch?”
“It’s a treasure,” Evelyn said, carelessly. “You follow a map to find it.”
“And how quickly does the map move? Will we have to run?”
Evelyn showed Pooh her phone. Or rather, the phone she had borrowed from her daddy. “This is a map,” she explained. “The X shows us where the treasure is.”
“So we look for the X?” asked Bear.
“We look for the spot,” Evelyn said. “The X shows us where the spot is.”
“Will the X be joining us here, or will we meet it along the way?”
“Silly old bear,” Evelyn said. “Come on. You should bring some treasure too.”
Now, Pooh was confused. More confused. “I thought we were finding treasure at the spot.”
“Yes, but if we take the treasure, we should leave something else for the next person to find,” Evelyn said.
So Pooh reluctantly collected one of his smaller honeypots, and then Pooh Bear and Evelyn and Red Zoomer set out to follow the map to find the spot. Evelyn made a grand production of directing the Expotition this way and that, past the six pine trees, then south toward the little spinney where Pooh had once failed to catch a Woozle, and over the river, stopping only long enough for a single game of Pooh Sticks. And as they walked, Pooh thought of a little hum about their Expotition:
Bear and Girl set out one day,
They went for a walk in a usual way,
What did they seek? A Geode Catch.
Where will they find it? A wooded patch.
Over and under and around and through,
Went Girl and Bear. Oh, and Red Zoomer too.
At long last, Evelyn and Pooh came to a shady spot, not far from the North Pole. “Aha!” Evelyn declared. “This is the spot.”
“I don’t see a spot,” said Pooh. “I don’t even see an X.”
Evelyn pointed to the map. “The map says that we must search.” And so they did. Evelyn immediately started looking underneath leaves and up trees and between blades of grass. Pooh walked around in circles several times, and then searched inside his footprints. But after several minutes, he had found neither spot nor X, and so he sat down beside a fallen log to have a think. And as the ground was rather uneven, he set his small honeypot in a knot-hole in the log to hold it steady.
“Now,” said Winnie-the-Pooh, “I always think better when I have had a small something.” So he reached for his honeypot inside the knot-hole on the log. To his very great surprise, however, what he found was an entirely different jar.
He studied it carefully. “There is something very unusual about this knot-hole,” he said. After a moment of panic, he looked again, and found his own honeypot still safely tucked in the hole beside the other jar. “Perhaps,” he thought, “This is the sort of knot-hole that often contains two honey jars.” And so he opened the new jar. “Oh bother,” he said. “No honey.”
“Pooh!” Evelyn exclaimed, “You’ve found the treasure!”
“Have I?” asked Pooh. “I thought it was a jar.”
“It is a jar,” Evelyn said. “The treasure is inside.” She showed Pooh how inside the jar was a tiny book and a collection of small baubles. Pooh found that among the things inside was a very nice pencil eraser. Pooh, of course, had very little use for a pencil eraser, but this one happened to have his own face printed on it.
“What a lovely eraser,” Pooh said. “It looks almost like it was made for me.”
“Maybe it was,” Evelyn said. “Maybe someone put it there hoping you would be the one to find it. You can have it if you like,” she said, “If you have something to leave in its place.”
To Pooh’s very great relief, it was plainly obvious that even the smallest of honeypots would not fit inside the jar. But as it happened, the previous day, Pooh had found a very pretty stone by the edge of the stream, and as luck would have it, he was carrying it with him that day. Evelyn agreed that a pretty stone would be a suitable sort of thing to leave as a treasure. So Pooh deposited his stone in the jar, and in return, he took the eraser. Then Evelyn showed him how they were supposed to write their names in the little book to let everyone know they had found the treasure. First, she wrote her name, “EƲ3LŲN”. Then she helped Pooh write his name. Evelyn did not know how to spell “Pooh”, and Pooh himself only had a very general notion of it, so they wrote “P.B.” for Pooh Bear, and left it at that. After, they closed up the jar and tucked it back inside the knot hole.
“Did you have a good Expotition, Pooh?” Evelyn asked.
“Oh yes,” answered Bear. “I so wish my friends could learn all about Geode Catching as well.”
“Well maybe they will,” Evelyn said. “Now, I’m getting kind of hungry. Let’s go have a small smackerel.”
And so they did.
This post first appeared on A Mind Occasionally Voyaging | Welcome To The WORL, please read the originial post: here