I was listening to the latest podcast from The Readers, and being reminded that Thomas doesn’t like Winnie the Pooh. Now, of course, he’s crazy. I choose to believe he’s having a temporary mental block or something, because we all know what a wonderful, unparalleled gem of a book it is (well, paralleled only by The House at Pooh Corner), and Thomas is a great guy. To understand is to forgive, and all that. But, as A.A. Milne once wrote of The Wind in the Willows, ‘When you sit down to it, don’t be so ridiculous as to suppose that you are sitting in judgment on my taste, or on the art of Kenneth Grahame A.A. Milne. You are merely sitting in judgment on yourself.’
Ok, tongue in cheek, but it did lead me to a fun discussion with some friends – if you had to, how would you rank the characters in your esteem?
It was hard. I love them all. But I do not love them all equally. From first to last, here is the order I came up with (which might change tomorrow, but would always have the same two at the top):
Eeyore, Pooh, Roo, Piglet, Tigger, Owl, Kanga, Rabbit, Christopher Robin
Take your time over a decision as important as this. And if you’ve not read the books yet, or – Heaven forfend – have only watched the Disney adaptations, then familiarise yourself with A.A. Milne’s words and E.H. Shepard’s perfect illustrations. Unless you are experiencing Thomas’s temporary glitch, then you’ll love them all.