Monday, February 5, 2007

Wisdom(?) from Bear and Company

"Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known." - Winnie the Pooh

This morning I was reminded of Winnie the Pooh, and of all the things I love about that little bear and his archetypal compatriots, while walking the dog with my fiancee.

Winnie the Pooh and his friends are often useful to me in my daily life. On inevitable windy days, it is always fun to quote Piglet, who says, "It's a Windsday Pooh!" Some days it's just easier to compare myself to Eeyore, rather than go through the bother of explaining my grumpiness - the Eeyore reference can say it all. And every now and then my tendency to adopt Rabbit-like behaviors come out as well, both the good parts and the not-so-good parts.

However, on this particular morning, my fiancee raised my ire a bit when he deigned to desecrate the sacred religion of Pooh. What did he do? He added a new, and highly unusual character to the existing pantheon...Mrs. Orangutan.

Yes, Mrs. Orangutan (which he pronounces orang-oo-tang for the effect).

"Why wouldn't there be an orangutan in the Hundred Acre Woods?" he queried. "There's two kangaroos, a bouncing tiger, a talking bear, a sweatered piglet, a bespeckled owl, a lisping gopher, a busy-body rabbit, a blue donkey, and a precocious little boy. Why not an orangutan?"

I argued, loyal Pooh-lovers. I protested that there couldn't possibly be an orangutan in the Hundred Acre Woods. Unfortunately, my ultimate retort came out to, "Because!" not a good answer, especially in the world of make-believe. In the world of the Hundred Acre Woods, the particular logic would not necessarily preclude an orangutan. There are two kangaroos and a bouncing tiger, after all, both of which are quite exotic and non-native to English woods.

However, I have since realized that the particular animal is not so much a problem, as the social category of that particular animal. The Hundred Acre Woods does not need another mother figure - it already has Kanga. My fiance's insistence on Mrs. Orangutan, however, connotes maternal images in my head, a connotation not devoid of merit, as seen here. I'm afraid to say that either Mrs. Orangutan or Kanga could remain in the Hundred Acre Woods, but not both. So, there's the answer, and it's much better than "Because!"*

And now I leave you with a little less silliness. I hope a hum or poem finds you today:

"Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you." - Winnie the Pooh

*I credit my extensive sociological training for this particularly grand insight. Maybe I can use it to publish a paper... Then again, maybe not.

No comments: