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In Which Piglet Has a Question, and Looks For Answers

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Now normally, Eeyore kept to himself in the thistly place on the edge of the forest, and that was just how he liked it. Although he didn’t mind going out on occasion, or sometimes letting others in, most of the time he was content to spend his time pondering things, such as whether he should eat This Thistle Now, or That Thistle Later.

However, it seemed today was a Visiting Day, as just this morning Pooh had wandered by, having heard from Christopher Robin about a new kind of honey called thistle honey. Eeyore had pointed him to one of the smaller patches that he was less fond of, and Pooh had plucked some thistles to go with his honey and see how well that tasted.

And after that, Piglet had come along, although he was not looking for thistles, in his case. Eeyore knew that, because he’d asked.

“Are you also here for my thistles?” he asked, head hanging low. “I suppose there’s really nothing I can do to stop you from taking them, so you might as well go ahead.”

“Oh, no, that’s not what I’m here for,” said Piglet, who had never even thought about taking any of Eeyore’s thistles but was now wondering what exactly they tasted like. “Actually, I’m here to ask you-how did you know it was your birthday?”

“I counted,” said Eeyore. “I counted the days since my last birthday, and once I reached three hundred and sixty-five I knew it was my birthday again. It was very bothersome to keep track of all these days, but I knew otherwise everyone else would forget.”

“Oh, I’m sorry about that…” said Piglet.

“It’s fine,” sighed Eeyore. “I expected it, anyways.”

“Well, that wasn’t really my question,” admitted Piglet. “How-how did you know the first day to start counting from?” He looked down, kicking at the dirt. “I was thinking, I want a birthday party too, but I didn’t know which day was my birthday at all.”

“Well, there’s only so many days,” said Eeyore, lowering his head to nibble at a thistle. “I’m sure you’ll find your birthday eventually, Piglet. I’m afraid I can’t help you figure that out.”

“Oh, okay then…I guess I’ll go find some other people to ask,” said Piglet.

“You do that, little Piglet,” said Eeyore. “I’ll go back to looking for the tastiest thistle. Such a bother that Pooh took one with him…”

Next, Piglet happened upon Tigger, Roo, and Kanga, who were having a Picnic together. Or, at least, Kanga had prepared a Blanket and a Basket, and Tigger and Roo were bouncing around the hills around the blanket, competing to see which of them could bounce the highest. For a while, Piglet simply watched, nervous and not wanting to interrupt the fun they seemed to be having.

At last, though, Kanga noticed him. “Oh, Piglet, dear!” she exclaimed. “Did you want to join us for our picnic? Come, there’s plenty for everyone.”

“Oh no, I’m not,” he squeaked, shaking his head. “I just have a little problem that I’m trying to solve.”

“Why, what sort of problem?” asked Kanga. “Maybe we can help!”

“Well…do you know when your birthday is?” asked Piglet. “Because I’m trying to figure that out.”

Tigger tilted his head to the side. “A birthday!” he exclaimed. “Why, is it your birthday, Piglet? Then we ought to have a party, shouldn’t we?” He started bouncing with even more enthusiasm at the idea. “Kanga! You should make all the food! Owl can do the banners! We can all bring gifts!”

“Yes!” cheered Roo. “A party! Mom, let’s have a party for Piglet!”

“Wait!” cried Piglet. “I-I don’t know if it’s my birthday. You can’t have a birthday party if you don’t know your birthday. That can’t be how it works.”

“Well, I don’t know my birthday, but Mom does! Right?” asked Roo, bouncing across the blanket to his mother’s side. “You know when my birthday is, right Mom?”

“Of course, dear,” said Kanga.

“And when’s your birthday, Momma?” he continued.

“Oh-oh, well, that’s not important,” said Kanga, shaking her head. In truth, she didn’t quite know the answer to that question. But she wasn’t quite ready to admit that just yet. She turned towards Piglet.

“Do you have anyone you could ask about your birthday?” she suggested gently. “I’m sure there’s someone!”

Piglet didn’t want to be rude and explain that he’d thought she would be Someone, so he just nodded. He supposed that there was someone else he could go to with questions-someone who Everyone went to with questions.

Now Piglet knew that Owl knew plenty of things, like how to actually spell “Birthday,” so perhaps he would be better able to explain. It was easy to find his house-all he had to do was walk the way he used to walk home, letting his feet carry him on the familiar path until he reached the familiar house.

Of course, Owl was very eager for visitors, and invited Piglet in. However, he ended up explaining quite a lot about the History of Parties, and How to Bake a Cake, and Leap Years that made you have less birthdays than everyone else, and nothing at all about Piglet’s actual question. Eventually, he went off to consult his books, and after sitting and waiting in an uncomfortable chair for a very long time, Piglet said goodbye to Owl, who may or may not have noticed, and headed towards home.

As Piglet continued along on his way home, still pondering the question of his Birthday and his Party, he heard the sound of a voice going “Mmm-ow! Mmm-ow!” It was the sound that might be made by a Bear nibbling a bit of honey off his paw before being suddenly pricked by something inside the honey. He found Pooh sitting on a rock, slowly sucking a mix of honey and thistle prickles off his paw.

“What are you doing, Pooh?” asked Piglet, setting his hands on the rock to pull himself up to his friend’s side. Pooh held out the jar of honey, and Piglet looked inside, very carefully so that he would not accidentally fall in. Pooh had gotten his head stuck in a honey jar before, and that was bad enough, and Piglet was such a small animal it was likely his whole body would end up stuck in such a case.

“Christopher Robin said something about thistle honey, so I asked Eeyore for some thistles to add to my honey,” explained Pooh. “It doesn’t taste very different, unless you count ‘prickly’ as a taste.”

“Maybe it’s a different kind of thistle that only Christopher Robin knows about,” suggested Piglet. “I was actually talking to Eeyore too, today.”

“Really? What were you talking about?” asked Pooh. “Were you also going to ask him for thistles?”

“He asked me that too, but no,” said Piglet, shaking his head slightly. “I wanted to ask him how he knew when his birthday was.”

“Oh,” said Pooh. “You mean he didn’t just pick a day?”

“…is that how it works?” asked Piglet. “I asked everyone else, and they didn’t know how to explain it all.”

“Well, that’s what I thought,” said Pooh. “But I suppose I’m just a bear of very little brain, after all. So that must not be it.”

“No one else had any answers either, though,” said Piglet. “You’re the only one who actually thought of some kind of answer, even if it’s wrong.”

“Well, I’m sure Owl will have an answer tomorrow once he thinks more about it,” said Pooh. “He is very wise, after all.” He stepped off the rock, and offered a paw for Piglet to hop off as well. “But thinking makes me hungry, and now I’m hungry for honey that’s not prickly. So why don’t we go home?”

“Of course,” said Piglet. “And maybe Owl will have an answer tomorrow.” He reached out to hold Pooh’s paw as they made their way further down the path together.

As they neared Pooh’s house-which was, of course, Piglet’s house too, now, they saw that everyone had gathered there, even Eeyore.

“Christopher Robin!” cried Pooh. “You came to visit!”

“Oh, Pooh, this isn’t just a visit,” said Christopher Robin. He blinked a bit, when he saw all the prickles in Pooh’s paw. “Wait, what happened to your paw, Pooh?” he asked.

“Oh, you told me about thistle honey, so I decided to try and make some myself. But it made my tongue and paws all prickly.”

“Oh, silly old bear,” said Christopher Robin fondly. “Thistle honey isn’t made by putting thistles in honey! It’s made by the bees going to the thistles before going in their beehive.”

“But how do you tell the bees to go to the thistles?” asked Pooh.

Christopher Robin shook his head. “Well, I haven’t learned that yet,” he said. “But I’m sure I will eventually. That’s what I’m going away to learn, after all. Everything!”

“Everything?” asked Piglet, slowly walking forward. “Like-like how to find out when my Birthday is?”

“Oh Piglet,” said Christopher Robin, “what do you think this is?”

Looking up, Piglet saw a banner that read: HIPPAPAY BITRTH DIYAY PIIGELT.

“It says ‘Happy Birthday to Piglet,’” explained Owl.

Looking down, Piglet saw several boxes wrapped up in paper and ribbon.

“I brought those!” explained Christopher Robin. “It’s a good thing Eeyore told me about your birthday so I had time to wrap them.”

“No one wrapped anything for my birthday,” muttered Eeyore. “But good for you, Piglet. You deserve all the wrapped presents.”

“Don’t forget, those were my boxes,” added Rabbit, who was sitting very close and watching to make sure no one ended up Bouncing into the carefully arranged boxes.

Looking across, Piglet saw a cake on a table.

“Oh, I hope it tastes good!” exclaimed Kanga. “I just had time to decorate it today.”

“So…today’s my birthday?” asked Piglet.

“Why not?” said Christopher Robin. “Do you want it to be your birthday?”

Looking at the presents and the cake, Piglet had only one answer.

“I…I do.”

“Then it is!”

“So…Pooh was right?” asked Piglet.

“Well, it seems so. You might be a silly old bear sometimes, Pooh, but sometimes you know just what to say,” said Christopher Robin.

Pooh looked up from the un-prickly jar of honey he was now eating from. “I do?” he asked.

Christopher Robin laughed. “Of course you do,” he said. “And now, I think it’s time for a party, isn’t it?”

And it was a wonderful party, made all the more wonderful not just because of the presents, or the cake, or even all of his friends being there, but because Piglet’s Big Question had finally been answered.