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In Which Eeyore Loses His Tail Again, Or At Least Plans To

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It was a bright, sunny day when Eeyore decided to lose his tail again. Now, on the whole, Eeyore was not fond of bright, sunny days. People tended to come up to you and say such things as "Nice day, isn't it?" and "Lovely day for a picnic" and which was fine and he was used to it, but they always seemed to choose the time when he was working his way round a very deep thought and then he'd lose the thread and have to start all over again. Unless they decided to DO Something and insisted he come along and be sociable, which was even worse. No, Eeyore was not fond of sunny days, but they happened and you couldn't stop them so he had learned to cope.

Step one was to give his friends something to do. If he didn't, they'd come up with something on their own, which usually involved him finding himself in a pit as Heffalump bait or being bounced into the river because Tigger got bored or someone moving his house and not putting it back properly. Tigger got bored very easily, he'd noticed, and Tigger always bounced most when he was bored. A bored Tigger was a very dangerous thing, indeed.

Step two was to resign himself to being dragged along for the ride. It wasn't that they couldn't have adventures without him, but they were so very set on doing things Together. Eeyore admitted reluctantly that this was not a bad thing. Sometimes you got caught up in thinking about the absolute uselessness of it all and it helped to have friends to remind you that there were such things as chocolate cake and thistles in the world. But sometimes you just wanted to have a good wallow in dark thoughts without someone trying to cheer you up. His friends were all so very cheerful, especially on sunny days. When one wasn't in the mood, it was very tiring and made one very grumpy and snappish.

Step three was to resolve not to grumble too much about everything, but Eeyore had never been good at step three. They were all so upbeat even when he was at his gloomiest and sometimes he just felt the need to grumble as an antidote. It came of too many sweet things, he'd decided, even though Piglet mostly ate haycorns. Eeyore didn't think he grumbled to annoy them, but things bothered him less when he said them out loud. He'd never admit that bit out loud, though. There were limits.

Step four was the result, a something to do on a sunny day that wasn't too bothersome. At least, that was the theory. Eeyore was just stubborn enough to believe that someday he'd get it exactly right, and while it wouldn't be his perfect day, there wouldn't be too much to grumble about, and that was good enough for him.

So he had a plan that might work to make this sunny day not too tiresome and he'd had his eye on the perfect place to lose his tail - a gorse bush, not too near Kanga's house, just the right height to catch his tail and pull it off, but not too near the usual pathways to be seen right away. All he needed to do was to decide who should figure out that he'd lost his tail again.

Roo and Tigger wouldn't understand that it was Serious Business and get distracted. Piglet would just run around nervously in circles and do nothing at least until he decided a Heffalump was stalking him again. Rabbit was a possibility, though Rabbit was apt to Organize Things, which just made Eeyore cranky and want to be contrary just for the sake of being contrary. Kanga would probably say "poor Eeyore" and try to tuck him into bed with some Extract of Malt, which did not appeal to Eeyore in the slightest. Owl would try to tell him a long rambling story about his Great-Uncle Walt who had lost a feather in some potentially interesting way, that either turned out to be boring or was made boring by Owl's telling of it. That left Pooh, as Christopher Robin was still away being edumacated. Eeyore missed Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin was Sensible.

Eeyore knew from the start that it would be Pooh, but he still went over all the options in his mind two or three times. It didn't do to make a hasty decision about such things. Just look at Tigger, who had mastered the art of hasty decisions. Pooh would be the one to come to tell him that they were planning a picnic or a trip to the North Pole or a Heffalump hunt anyway, and maybe Piglet would be with him. Piglet usually was.

They'd come over to his corner and he'd be all sad and gloomy, and waggling his hindquarters as if he couldn't quite understand why his tail wasn't swinging the way it normally did, and when they had got the pleasantries out of the way and finally noticed that his tail was not where it was supposed to be, he could be all gloomy and say things like "I was sort of attached to it." and "It's probably better this way, it used to tickle my back legs horribly." and "That's the way it is, and one shouldn't expect anything different." Sometimes the old standards were best. Then they'd try to console him by telling him what a handsome tail it was and how they would find it and bring it back to him and it could be their Quest for the day. They'd run off to tell everyone else and he'd have peace for a little while (unless they got distracted, in which case it would be for a very long while, which was much preferred, but he didn't want to count on it). Finally, everyone would be searching for the tail over every inch of the Forest, and he'd let them search for a little while (or maybe a long while). At least until he started getting hungry, he decided. Food would be a good end to the day.

Maybe they'd find it, and maybe they wouldn't but he'd have some thinking time while they were looking and eventually, if they didn't find it, he could sort of hint in the general direction of Kanga's. He might even have to hint several times before they found it. Once it was firmly attached to him again (probably by Rabbit, because Rabbit understood Tools), there would be a picnic in celebration and he'd make sure that no one sat on the best patch of thistles and maybe there would even be chocolate cake. He did like chocolate cake after a long day of thinking. Maybe Pooh would even make up a hum about his tail. His tail deserved a hum after what Eeyore planned to do to it.

Lost deep in thought, Eeyore thought he heard someone humming, but he was focused on the idea of his perfect day and didn't bother to look up. It got closer and there was Pooh, with Piglet in tow as usual, and he hadn't even noticed. Too late, he thought. His tail was still firmly attached and Pooh had that look in his eyes that said that plans for the day had already been made. Plans that were not his Perfect Day Plans. He'd have to save this one for the next sunny day and hope that whatever they'd come up with wouldn't be too annoying.