A Bear of Very Little Brain (The World According to Pooh)

The other day, in the course of an argument, somebody called me a person with a small brain.

Even while I took offence, I recalled a line from my childhood bible, Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne:

“For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain and long words Bother me.”


I’m all with the Bear of Very Little Brain on this one: long words bother me too. Especially when used by people who don’t know what they mean.

The World According to Pooh

Embed from Getty Images

Subsequently I went to look at the books. I had to burrow them out from the pile on the overloaded bookshelves of Young Friend of the Elephants. Passing through the hands of two children didn’t do the volumes any favours but they are still serviceable (that’s to say the sellotape still holds).

I passed a very agreeable hour leafing through Winnie-The-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. It’s amazing what you can find when you read them with an adult mind.

For example…

Life truths:

“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”

(The House at Pooh Corner)

Useful advice:

“You just stay here in this one corner of the Forest waiting for the others to come to you. Why don’t you go to them sometimes?”

(The House at Pooh Corner)

Sometimes you think it’s practically Zen:

“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?”
“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

(The House at Pooh Corner)

And it’s always entertaining:

“What I said was, ‘Is anybody at home?'” called out Pooh very loudly.
“No!” said a voice; and then added, “You needn’t shout so loud. I heard you quite well the first time.”


You could live your entire life by these two books, and not regret it. (In fact, I think I will.)

Pooh’s Disclaimer

By the way, at least half the quotes you find on the internet attributed to Pooh are not from the books by A. A. Milne. Generally, the more sententious they sound, the more likely they are from a s**t script by Disney. Go back to the source; you won’t regret it.

P.S. If you combine Winnie-the-Pooh with Eastern philosophy, you get The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. For a different take.


12 thoughts on “A Bear of Very Little Brain (The World According to Pooh)

  1. I hope you replied, “Takes one to know one.” Or, “It’s not size that matters.” In any case, I was brought up loving Winnie the Pooh based entirely on excerpts from the Disney film and the merchandise. I only read it at as adult and it is indeed wonderful. Another great British philosoper who is underrated is Paddington Bear, though I understand there is a new film version. I’ve often tried to introduce the books to Dutch children as well as my own when they were younger, but they only know the cartoon versions of both bears and consider them babyish, which they are not at all. As you say, the older you are, the more you get out of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid I merely terminated the conversation without a cutting reply. 🙂 I was never good with that sort of thing.

      Regarding Pooh, communism spared me the Walt Disney version and I only knew the book. I saw two of the films with my eldest – one was serialised on Hungarian TV and it was following the story reasonably closely as far as I can recall but the other had nothing to do with anything Milne ever wrote. I think this second one was called Pooh’s Grand Adventure or some such thing although I couldn’t swear to it any more. An American friend gave us the video tape – before the time of DVDs, this. 🙂

      Winnie-The-Pooh is incrediblly popular in Hungary, partly because the translation, extremely high-class and stylish, was done by a well-known humorous writer/journalist in the 1930s.

      There’s also a pop song by a 1960-70s band, and whenever it’s still performed, adult audiences will sing this children’s song through from the first word to the last with gusto. It’s amazing, really, when you hear a stadium full of adults doing this. 🙂 (There’s a very bad quality video on You Tube with the man who wrote the song performing it.)

      Winnie-the-Pooh is a cult in Hungary, it’s the only word to describe it. 🙂


  2. Awww, I am so sorry your “conversation” deteriorated into insults. That is most unpleasant. I hope by now apologies have been made and restoration has occurred either between each other/within yourselves or both. That is stunning that you thought of Pooh in that moment! I admire that and I am happy you have your books as mental arsenal! Thank you for taking time to share greetings with me on the Forum Page! I enjoyed Perusing your blog as a result! Light and Love, Shona

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Shona. 🙂 And yes, I’m still on talking terms with the person in question. 🙂

      Regarding the forum, I’m trying to organise a blog party for Bloggers World at the moment (date 23 Oct), so please come along and bring your friends! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How is it that I never followed your blog before? It seems we have much in commn – books, bathtubs, Spanish (I take it that Spanish is one of the languages you studied), Pooh – Wow! I admit to loving Winnie-the-Pooh in any form – Disney or Milne, book or film. Or, um, in stuffed animals. As a matter of fact, the gift my late husband bought me on our honeymoon (in Walt Disney World) finally made it back to our bed after a year of banishment – Pooh and Tigger! (Steve used to say I was a tigger-always bouncing when I got excited!) I’ll have to post a photo of them soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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