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Title: Now we are six

Author: A. A. Milne

Illustrator: Ernest H. Shepard

Release date: April 9, 2023 [eBook #70516]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc, 1927

Credits: Greg Weeks, Mary Meehan and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK NOW WE ARE SIX ***

NOW WE ARE SIX

BY A.A. MILNE WITH
DECORATIONS BY ERNEST H. SHEPARD

NEW YORK E. P. DUTTON & CO., INC.

NOW WE ARE SIX, COPYRIGHT, 1927,
BY E. P. DUTTON & CO., INC.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PRINTED IN U.S.A.

First PrintingSept., 1927
Tenth Printing Sept., 1927
Twentieth Printing Sept., 1927
Thirtieth Printing Sept., 1927
Thirty-third Printing Sept., 1927
Thirty-fifth Printing Nov., 1927
Fortieth Printing Nov., 1927
Forty-fifth Printing Nov., 1927
Fiftieth Printing Nov., 1927
Fifty-fifth Printing Dec., 1927
Sixtieth Printing Dec., 1927
Sixty-fifth Printing Dec., 1927
Seventieth Printing Dec., 1927
Seventy-fourth Printing Dec., 1928
Seventy-eighth Printing Sept., 1929
Eightieth Printing May, 1930
Eighty-fourth Printing May, 1931
Eighty-sixth Printing July, 1932
Eighty-ninth Printing July, 1933
New Edition Aug., 1935
Ninety-first Printing Aug., 1935
Ninety-fourth Printing Aug., 1935

TO
ANNE DARLINGTON
NOW SHE IS SEVEN
AND
BECAUSE SHE IS
SO
SPESHAL


NOW WE ARE SIX


INTRODUCTION

When you are reciting poetry, which is a thing we never do, you find sometimes, just as you are beginning, that Uncle John is still telling Aunt Rose that if he can't find his spectacles he won't be able to hear properly, and does she know where they are; and by the time everybody has stopped looking for them, you are at the last verse, and in another minute they will be saying, "Thank-you, thank-you," without really knowing what it was all about. So, next time, you are more careful; and, just before you begin you say, "Er-h'r'm!" very loudly, which means, "Now then, here we are"; and everybody stops talking and looks at you: which is what you want. So then you get in the way of saying it whenever you are asked to recite ... and sometimes it is just as well, and sometimes it isn't.... And by and by you find yourself saying it without thinking. Well, this bit which I am writing now, called Introduction, is really the er-h'r'm of the book, and I have put it in, partly so as not to take you by surprise, and partly because I can't do without it now. There are some very clever writers who say that it is quite easy not to have an er-h'r'm, but I don't agree with them. I think it is much easier not to have all the rest of the book.

What I want to explain in the Introduction is this. We have been nearly three years writing this book. We began it when we were very young ... and now we are six. So, of course, bits of it seem rather baby-ish to us, almost as if they had slipped out of some other book by mistake. On page whatever-it-is there is a thing which is simply three-ish, and when we read it to ourselves just now we said, "Well, well, well," and turned over rather quickly. So we want you to know that the name of the book doesn't mean that this is us being six all the time, but that it is about as far as we've got at present, and we half think of stopping there.

A. A. M.

P.S.—Pooh wants us to say that he thought it was a different book; and he hopes you won't mind, but he walked through it one day, looking for his friend Piglet, and sat down on some of the pages by mistake.


CONTENTS

SOLITUDE
KING JOHN'S CHRISTMAS
BUSY
SNEEZLES
BINKER
CHERRY STONES
THE KNIGHT WHOSE ARMOUR DIDN'T SQUEAK
BUTTERCUP DAYS
THE CHARCOAL-BURNER
US TWO
THE OLD SAILOR
THE ENGINEER
JOURNEY'S END
FURRY BEAR
FORGIVEN
THE EMPEROR'S RHYME
KNIGHT-IN-ARMOUR
COME OUT WITH ME
DOWN BY THE POND
THE LITTLE BLACK HEN
THE FRIEND
THE GOOD LITTLE GIRL
A THOUGHT
KING HILARY AND THE BEGGERMAN
SWING SONG
EXPLAINED
TWICE TIMES
THE MORNING WALK
CRADLE SONG
WAITING AT THE WINDOW
PINKLE PURR
WIND ON THE HILL
FORGOTTEN
IN THE DARK
THE END

NOW WE ARE SIX


 

SOLITUDE

I have a house where I go
When there's too many people,
I have a house where I go
Where no one can be;
I have a house where I go,
Where nobody ever says "No";
Where no one says anything—so
There is no one but me.

 

KING JOHN'S CHRISTMAS

King John was not a good man—
He had his little ways.
And sometimes no one spoke to him
For days and days and days.
And men who came across him,
When walking in the town,
Gave him a supercilious stare,
Or passed with noses in the air—
And bad King John stood dumbly there,
Blushing beneath his crown.
King John was not a good man,
And no good friends had he.
He stayed in every afternoon...
But no one came to tea.
And, round about December,
The cards upon his shelf
Which wished him lots of Christmas cheer,
And fortune in the coming year,
Were never from his near and dear,
But only from himself.
King John was not a good man,
Yet had his hopes and fears.
They'd given him no present now
For years and years and years.
But every year at Christmas,
While minstrels stood about,
Collecting tribute from the young
For all the songs they might have sung,
He stole away upstairs and hung
A hopeful stocking out.
King John was not a good man,
He lived his life aloof;
Alone he thought a message out
While climbing up the roof.
He wrote it down and propped it
Against the chimney stack:
"TO ALL AND SUNDRY—NEAR AND FAR—
F. CHRISTMAS IN PARTICULAR."
And signed it not "Johannes R."
But very humbly, "JACK."
"I want some crackers,
And I want some candy;
I think a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I don't mind oranges,
I do like nuts!
And I SHOULD like a pocket-knife
That really cuts.
And, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,
Bring me a big, red india-rubber ball!"
King John was not a good man—
He wrote this message out,
And gat him to his room again,
Descending by the spout.
And all that night he lay there,
A prey to hopes and fears.
"I think that's him a-coming now,"
(Anxiety bedewed his brow.)
"He'll bring one present, anyhow—
The first I've had for years."
"Forget about the crackers,
And forget about the candy;
I'm sure a box of chocolates
Would never come in handy;
I don't like oranges,
I don't want nuts,
And I HAVE got a pocket-knife
That almost cuts.
But, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,
Bring me a big, red india-rubber ball!"
King John was not a good man—
Next morning when the sun
Rose up to tell a waiting world
That Christmas had begun,
And people seized their stockings,
And opened them with glee,
And crackers, toys and games appeared,
And lips with sticky sweets were smeared,
King John said grimly: "As I feared,
Nothing again for me!"
"I did want crackers,
And I did want candy;
I know a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I do love oranges,
I did want nuts.
I haven't got a pocket-knife—
Not one that cuts.
And, oh! if Father Christmas had loved me at all,
He would have brought a big, red india-rubber ball!"
King John stood by the window,
And frowned to see below
The happy bands of boys and girls
All playing in the snow.
A while he stood there watching,
And envying them all...
When through the window big and red
There hurtled by his royal head,
And bounced and fell upon the bed,
An india-rubber ball!
AND OH, FATHER CHRISTMAS,
MY BLESSINGS ON YOU FALL
FOR BRINGING HIM
A BIG, RED,
INDIA-RUBBER
BALL!

 

BUSY

I think I am a Muffin Man. I haven't got a bell,
I haven't got the muffin things that muffin people sell.
Perhaps I am a Postman. No, I think I am a Tram.
I'm feeling rather funny and I don't know what I am—
BUT
Round about
And round about
And round about I go—
All round the table,
The table in the nursery—
Round about
And round about
And round about I go;
I think I am a Traveller escaping from a Bear;
I think I am an Elephant,
Behind another Elephant
Behind another Elephant who isn't really there....
SO
Round about
And round about
And round about and round about
And round about
And round about
I go.
I think I am a Ticket Man who's selling tickets—please,
I think I am a Doctor who is visiting a Sneeze;
Perhaps I'm just a Nanny who is walking with a pram
I'm feeling rather funny and I don't know what I am—
BUT
Round about
And round about
And round about I go—
All around the table,
The table in the nursery—
Round about
And round about
And round about I go;
I think I am a Puppy, so I'm hanging out my tongue;
I think I am a Camel who
Is looking for a Camel who
Is looking for a Camel who is looking for its Young....
SO
Round about
And round about
And round about and round about
And round about
And round about
I go.

 

SNEEZLES

Christopher Robin
Had wheezles
And sneezles,
They bundled him
Into
His bed.
They gave him what goes
With a cold in the nose,
And some more for a cold
In the head.
They wondered
If wheezles
Could turn
Into measles,
If sneezles
Would turn
Into mumps;
They examined his chest
For a rash,
And the rest
Of his body for swellings and lumps.
They sent for some doctors
In sneezles
And wheezles
To tell them what ought
To be done.
All sorts and conditions
Of famous physicians
Came hurrying round
At a run.
They all made a note
Of the state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles
Came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezle
Came first.
They said, "If you teazle
A sneezle
Or wheezle,
A measle
May easily grow.
But humour or pleazle
The wheezle
Or sneezle,
The measle
Will certainly go."
They expounded the reazles
For sneezles
And wheezles,
The manner of measles
When new.
They said "If he freezles
In draughts and in breezles,
Then PHTHEEZLES
May even ensue."
*   *   *
Christopher Robin
Got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look in his eye
Seemed to say to the sky,
"Now, how to amuse them to-day?"

 

BINKER

Binker—what I call him—is a secret of my own,
And Binker is the reason why I never feel alone.
Playing in the nursery, sitting on the stair,
Whatever I am busy at, Binker will be there.
Oh, Daddy is clever, he's a clever sort of man,
And Mummy is the best since the world began,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan—
But they can't
See
Binker.
Binker's always talking, 'cos I'm teaching him to speak:
He sometimes likes to do it in a funny sort of squeak,
And he sometimes likes to do it in a hoodling sort of roar ...
And I have to do it for him 'cos his throat is rather sore.
Oh, Daddy is clever, he's a clever sort of man,
And Mummy knows all that anybody can,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan—
But they don't
Know
Binker.
Binker's brave as lions when we're running in the park;
Binker's brave as tigers when we're lying in the dark;
Binker's brave as elephants. He never, never cries ...
Except (like other people) when the soap gets in his eyes.
Oh, Daddy is Daddy, he's a Daddy sort of man,
And Mummy is as Mummy as anybody can,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan ...
But they're not
Like
Binker.
Binker isn't greedy, but he does like things to eat,
So I have to say to people when they're giving me a sweet,
"Oh, Binker wants a chocolate, so could you give me two?"
And then I eat it for him, 'cos his teeth are rather new.
Well, I'm very fond of Daddy, but he hasn't time to play,
And I'm very fond of Mummy, but she sometimes goes away,
And I'm often cross with Nanny when she wants to brush my hair ...
But Binker's always Binker, and is certain to be there.

 

CHERRY STONES

Tinker, Tailor,
Soldier, Sailor,
Rich Man, Poor Man,
Ploughboy, Thief
And what about a Cowboy,
Policeman, Jailer,
Engine-driver,
Or Pirate Chief?
What about a Postman—or a Keeper at the Zoo?
What about the Circus Man who lets the people through?
And the man who takes the pennies for the roundabouts and swings,
Or the man who plays the organ, and the other man who sings?
What about a Conjuror with rabbits in his pockets?
What about a Rocket Man who's always making rockets?
Oh, there's such a lot of things to do and such a lot to be
That there's always lots of cherries on my little cherry tree!

 

THE KNIGHT WHOSE ARMOUR DIDN'T SQUEAK

Of all the Knights in Appledore
The wisest was Sir Thomas Tom.
He multiplied as far as four,
And knew what nine was taken from
To make eleven. He could write
A letter to another Knight.
No other Knight in all the land
Could do the things which he could do.
Not only did he understand
The way to polish swords, but knew
What remedy a Knight should seek
Whose armour had begun to squeak.
And, if he didn't fight too much,
It wasn't that he did not care
For blips and buffetings and such,
But felt that it was hardly fair
To risk, by frequent injuries,
A brain as delicate as his.
His castle (Castle Tom) was set
Conveniently on a hill;
And daily, when it wasn't wet,
He paced the battlements until
Some smaller Knight who couldn't swim
Should reach the moat and challenge him.
Or sometimes, feeling full of fight,
He hurried out to scour the plain;
And, seeing some approaching Knight,
He either hurried home again,
Or hid; and, when the foe was past,
Blew a triumphant trumpet-blast.
One day when good Sir Thomas Tom
Was resting in a handy ditch,
The noises he was hiding from,
Though very much the noises which
He'd always hidden from before,
Seemed somehow less.... Or was it more?
The trotting horse, the trumpet's blast,
The whistling sword, the armour's squeak,
These, and especially the last,
Had clattered by him all the week.
Was this the same, or was it not?
Something was different. But what?
Sir Thomas raised a cautious ear
And listened as Sir Hugh went by,
And suddenly he seemed to hear
(Or not to hear) the reason why
This stranger made a nicer sound
Than other Knights who lived around.
Sir Thomas watched the way he went—
His rage was such he couldn't speak,
For years they'd called him down in Kent
The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak!
Yet here and now he looked upon
Another Knight whose squeak had gone.
He rushed to where his horse was tied;
He spurred it to a rapid trot.
The only fear he felt inside
About his enemy was not
"How sharp his sword?" "How stout his heart?"
But "Has he got too long a start?"
Sir Hugh was singing, hand on hip,
When something sudden came along,
And caught him a terrific blip
Right in the middle of his song.
"A thunderstorm!" he thought. "Of course!"
And toppled gently off his horse.
Then said the good Sir Thomas Tom,
Dismounting with a friendly air,
"Allow me to extract you from
The heavy armour that you wear.
At times like these the bravest Knight
May find his armour much too tight."
A hundred yards or so beyond
The scene of brave Sir Hugh's defeat
Sir Thomas found a useful pond,
And, careful not to wet his feet,
He brought the armour to the brink,
And flung it in ... and watched it sink.
So ever after, more and more,
The men of Kent would proudly speak
Of Thomas Tom of Appledore,
"The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak"
Whilst Hugh, the Knight who gave him best,
Squeaks just as badly as the rest.

 

BUTTERCUP DAYS

Where is Anne?
Head above the buttercups,
Walking by the stream,
Down among the buttercups.
Where is Anne?
Walking with her man,
Lost in a dream,
Lost among the buttercups.
What has she got in that little brown head?
Wonderful thoughts which can never be said.
What has she got in that firm little fist of hers?
Somebody's thumb, and it feels like Christopher's.
Where is Anne?
Close to her man.
Brown head, gold head,
In and out the buttercups.

 

THE CHARCOAL-BURNER

The charcoal-burner has tales to tell.
He lives in the Forest,
Alone in the Forest;
He sits in the Forest,
Alone in the Forest.
And the sun comes slanting between the trees,
And rabbits come up, and they give him good-morning,
And rabbits come up and say, "Beautiful morning"....
And the moon swings clear of the tall black trees,
And owls fly over and wish him good-night,
Quietly over to wish him good-night....
And he sits and thinks of the things they know,
He and the Forest, alone together—
The springs that come and the summers that go,
Autumn dew on bracken and heather,
The drip of the Forest beneath the snow....
All the things they have seen,
All the things they have heard:
An April sky swept clean and the song of a bird....
Oh, the charcoal-burner has tales to tell!
And he lives in the Forest and knows us well.

 

US TWO

Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
"Where are you going to-day?" says Pooh:
"Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.
Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.
"What's twice eleven?" I said to Pooh.
("Twice what?" said Pooh to Me.)
"I think it ought to be twenty-two."
"Just what I think myself," said Pooh.
"It wasn't an easy sum to do,
But that's what it is," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what it is," said Pooh.
"Let's look for dragons," I said to Pooh.
"Yes, let's," said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few—
"Yes, those are dragons all right," said Pooh.
"As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That's what they are," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what they are," said Pooh.
"Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh.
"That's right," said Pooh to Me.
"I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted "Shoo!
Silly old dragons!"—and off they flew.
"I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said he,
"I'm never afraid with you."
So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together," says Pooh, says he.
"That's how it is," says Pooh.

 

THE OLD SAILOR

There was once an old sailor my grandfather knew
Who had so many things which he wanted to do
That, whenever he thought it was time to begin,
He couldn't because of the state he was in.
He was shipwrecked, and lived on an island for weeks,
And he wanted a hat, and he wanted some breeks;
And he wanted some nets, or a line and some hooks
For the turtles and things which you read of in books.
And, thinking of this, he remembered a thing
Which he wanted (for water) and that was a spring;
And he thought that to talk to he'd look for, and keep
(If he found it) a goat, or some chickens and sheep.
Then, because of the weather, he wanted a hut
With a door (to come in by) which opened and shut
(With a jerk, which was useful if snakes were about),
And a very strong lock to keep savages out.
He began on the fish-hooks, and when he'd begun
He decided he couldn't because of the sun.
So he knew what he ought to begin with, and that
Was to find, or to make, a large sun-stopping hat.
He was making the hat with some leaves from a tree,
When he thought, "I'm as hot as a body can be,
And I've nothing to take for my terrible thirst;
So I'll look for a spring, and I'll look for it first."
Then he thought as he started, "Oh, dear and oh, dear!
I'll be lonely to-morrow with nobody here!"
So he made in his note-book a couple of notes:
"I must first find some chickens" and "No, I mean goats."
He had just seen a goat (which he knew by the shape)
When he thought, "But I must have a boat for escape.
But a boat means a sail, which means needles and thread;
So I'd better sit down and make needles instead."
He began on a needle, but thought as he worked,
That, if this was an island where savages lurked,
Sitting safe in his hut he'd have nothing to fear,
Whereas now they might suddenly breathe in his ear!
So he thought of his hut ... and he thought of his boat,
And his hat and his breeks, and his chickens and goat,
And the hooks (for his food) and the spring (for his thirst)....
But he never could think which he ought to do first.
And so in the end he did nothing at all,
But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl.
And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved—
He did nothing but basking until he was saved!

 

THE ENGINEER

Let it rain!
Who cares?
I've a train
Upstairs,
With a brake
Which I make
From a string
Sort of thing,
Which works
In jerks,
'Cos it drops
In the spring,
Which stops
With the string,
And the wheels
All stick
So quick
That it feels
Like a thing
That you make
With a brake,
Not string....
So that's what I make,
When the day's all wet.
It's a good sort of brake
But it hasn't worked yet.

 

JOURNEY'S END

Christopher, Christopher, where are you going, Christopher Robin?
"Just up to the top of the hill,
Upping and upping until
I am right on the top of the hill,"
Said Christopher Robin.
Christopher, Christopher, why are you going, Christopher Robin?
There's nothing to see, so when
You've got to the top, what then?
"Just down to the bottom again,"
Said Christopher Robin.

 

FURRY BEAR

If I were a bear,
And a big bear too,
I shouldn't much care
If it froze or snew;
I shouldn't much mind
If it snowed or friz—
I'd be all fur-lined
With a coat like his!
For I'd have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
And brown fur knickers and a big fur cap.
I'd have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws,
And brown fur mittens on my big brown paws.
With a big brown furry-down up to my head,
I'd sleep all the winter in a big fur bed.

 

FORGIVEN

I found a little beetle, so that Beetle was his name,
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the day....
And Nanny let my beetle out—
Yes, Nanny let my beetle out—
She went and let my beetle out—
And Beetle ran away.
She said she didn't mean it, and I never said she did,
She said she wanted matches and she just took off the lid,
She said that she was sorry, but it's difficult to catch
An excited sort of beetle you've mistaken for a match.
She said that she was sorry, and I really mustn't mind,
As there's lots and lots of beetles which she's certain we could find,
If we looked about the garden for the holes where beetles hid—
And we'd get another match-box and write BEETLE on the lid.
We went to all the places which a beetle might be near,
And we made the sort of noises which a beetle likes to hear,
And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort of shout:
"A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming out!"
It was Alexander Beetle I'm as certain as can be
And he had a sort of look as if he thought it must be ME,
And he had a sort of look as if he thought he ought to say:
"I'm very very sorry that I tried to run away."
And Nanny's very sorry too for you-know-what-she-did,
And she's writing ALEXANDER very blackly on the lid.
So Nan and Me are friends, because it's difficult to catch
An excited Alexander you've mistaken for a match.

 

THE EMPEROR'S RHYME

The King of Peru
(Who was Emperor too)
Had a sort of a rhyme
Which was useful to know,
If he felt very shy
When a stranger came by,
Or they asked him the time
When his watch didn't go;
Or supposing he fell
(By mistake) down a well,
Or he tumbled when skating
And sat on his hat,
Or perhaps wasn't told,
Till his porridge was cold,
That his breakfast was waiting—
Or something like that;
Oh, whenever the Emperor
Got in to a temper, or
Felt himself sulky or sad,
He would murmur and murmur,
Until he felt firmer,
This curious rhyme which he had:
Eight eights are sixty-four,
Multiply by seven.
When it's done,
Carry one
And take away eleven,
Nine nines are eighty-one
Multiply by three.
If it's more,
Carry four,
And then it's time for tea.
So whenever the Queen
Took his armour to clean,
And she didn't remember
To use any starch;
Or his birthday (in May)
Was a horrible day,
Being wet as November
And windy as March;
Or, if sitting in state
With the Wise and the Great,
He just happened to hiccup
While signing his name,
Or the Queen gave a cough,
When his crown tumbled off
As he bent down to pick up
A pen for the same;
Oh, whenever the Emperor
Got into a temper, or
Felt himself awkward and shy,
He would whisper and whisper,
Until he felt crisper,
This odd little rhyme to the sky:
Eight eights are eighty-one;
Multiply by seven.
If it's more,
Carry four,
And take away eleven.
Nine nines are sixty-four;
Multiply by three.
When it's done,
Carry one,
And then it's time for tea.

 

KNIGHT-IN-ARMOUR

Whenever I'm a shining Knight,
I buckle on my armour tight;
And then I look about for things,
Like Rushings-Out, and Rescuings,
And Savings from the Dragon's Lair,
And fighting all the Dragons there.
And sometimes when our fights begin,
I think I'll let the Dragons win....
And then I think perhaps I won't,
Because they're Dragons, and I don't.

 

COME OUT WITH ME

There's sun on the river and sun on the hill....
You can hear the sea if you stand quite still!
There's eight new puppies at Roundabout Farm—
And I saw an old sailor with only one arm!
But every one says, "Run along!"
(Run along, run along!)
All of them say "Run along! I'm busy as can be."
Every one says, "Run along,
There's a little darling!"
If I'm a little darling, why don't they run with me?
There's wind on the river and wind on the hill....
There's a dark dead water-wheel under the mill!
I saw a fly which had just been drowned—
And I know where a rabbit goes into the ground!
But every one says, "Run along!"
(Run along, run along!)
All of them say "Yes, dear," and never notice me.
Every one says, "Run along,
There's a little darling!"
If I'm a little darling, why won't they come and see?

 

DOWN BY THE POND

I'm fishing.
Don't talk, anybody, don't come near!
Can't you see that the fish might hear?
He thinks I'm playing with a piece of string;
He thinks I'm another sort of funny sort of thing,
But he doesn't know I'm fishing—
He doesn't know I'm fishing.
That's what I'm doing—
Fishing.
No, I'm not, I'm newting.
Don't cough, anybody, don't come by!
Any small noise makes a newt feel shy.
He thinks I'm a bush, or a new sort of tree;
He thinks it's somebody, but doesn't think it's Me,
And he doesn't know I'm newting—
No, he doesn't know I'm newting.
That's what I'm doing—
Newting.

 

THE LITTLE BLACK HEN

Berryman and Baxter,
Prettiboy and Penn
And old Farmer Middleton
Are five big men....
And all of them were after
The Little Black Hen.
She ran quickly,
They ran fast;
Baxter was first, and
Berryman was last.
I sat and watched
By the old plum-tree....
She squawked through the hedge
And she came to me.
The Little Black Hen
Said "Oh, it's you!"
I said "Thank you,
How do you do?
And please will you tell me,
Little Black Hen,
What did they want,
Those five big men?"
The Little Black Hen
She said to me:
"They want me to lay them
An egg for tea.
If they were Emperors,
If they were Kings,
I'm much too busy
To lay them things."
"I'm not a King
And I haven't a crown;
I climb up trees,
And I tumble down.
I can shut one eye,
I can count to ten,
So lay me an egg, please,
Little Black Hen."
The Little Black Hen said,
"What will you pay,
If I lay you an egg
For Easter Day?"
"I'll give you a Please
And a How-do-you-do,
I'll show you the Bear
Who lives in the Zoo,
I'll show you the nettle-place
On my leg,
If you'll lay me a great big
Eastery egg."
The Little Black Hen
Said "I don't care
For a How-do-you-do
Or a Big-brown-bear,
But I'll lay you a beautiful
Eastery egg,
If you'll show me the nettle-place
On your leg."
I showed her the place
Where I had my sting.
She touched it gently
With one black wing.
"Nettles don't hurt
If you count to ten.
And now for the egg,"
Said the Little Black Hen.
When I wake up
On Easter Day,
I shall see my egg
She's promised to lay.
If I were Emperors,
If I were Kings,
It couldn't be fuller
Of wonderful things.
Berryman and Baxter,
Prettiboy and Penn,
And old Farmer Middleton
Are five big men.
All of them are wanting
An egg for their tea,
But the Little Black Hen is much too busy,
The Little Black Hen is much too busy,
The Little Black Hen in MUCH too busy....
She's laying my egg for me!

 

THE FRIEND

There are lots and lots of people who are always asking things,
Like Dates and Pounds-and-ounces and the names of funny Kings,
And the answer's either Sixpence or A Hundred Inches Long,
And I know they'll think me silly if I get the answer wrong.
So Pooh and I go whispering, and Pooh looks very bright,
And says, "Well, I say sixpence, but I don't suppose I'm right,"
And then it doesn't matter what the answer ought to be,
'Cos if he's right, I'm Right, and if he's wrong, it isn't Me.

 

THE GOOD LITTLE GIRL

It's funny how often they say to me, "Jane?
"Have you been a good girl?"
"Have you been a good girl?"
And when they have said it, they say it again,
"Have you been a good girl?"
"Have you been a good girl?"
I go to a party, I go out to tea,
I go to an aunt for a week at the sea,
I come back from school or from playing a game;
Wherever I come from, it's always the same:
"Well?
Have you been a good girl, Jane?"
It's always the end of the loveliest day:
"Have you been a good girl?"
"Have you been a good girl?"
I went to the Zoo, and they waited to say:
"Have you been a good girl?"
"Have you been a good girl?"
Well, what did they think that I went there to do?
And why should I want to be bad at the Zoo?
And should I be likely to say if I had?
So that's why it's funny of Mummy and Dad,
This asking and asking, in case I was bad,
"Well?
Have you been a good girl, Jane?"

 

A THOUGHT

If I were John and John were Me,
Then he'd be six and I'd be three.
If John were Me and I were John,
I shouldn't have these trousers on.

 

KING HILARY AND THE BEGGERMAN

Of Hilary the Great and Good
They tell a tale at Christmas time
I've often thought the story would
Be prettier but just as good
If almost anybody should
Translate it into rime.
So I have done the best I can
For lack of some more learned man.
Good King Hilary
Said to his Chancellor
(Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor):
"Run to the wicket-gate
Quickly, quickly,
Run to the wicket gate
And see who is knocking.
It may be a rich man,
Sea-borne from Araby,
Bringing me peacocks,
Emeralds and ivory;
It may be a poor man,
Travel-worn and weary,
Bringing me oranges
To put in my stocking."
Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor,
Laughed both loud and free:[1]
"I've served Your Majesty, man to man,
Since first Your Majesty's reign began,
And I've often walked, but I never, never ran,
Never, never, never," quoth he.
[1] Haw! Haw! Haw!
Good King Hilary
Said to his Chancellor
(Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor):
"Walk to the wicket-gate
Quickly, quickly,
Walk to the wicket-gate
And see who is knocking.
It may be a captain,
Hawk-nosed, bearded,
Bringing me gold-dust,
Spices, and sandalwood:
It may be a scullion,
Care-free, whistling,
Bringing me sugar-plums
To put in my stocking."
Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor,
Laughed both loud and free:
"I've served in the Palace since I was four,
And I'll serve in the Palace a-many years more,
And I've opened a window, but never a door,
Never, never, never," quoth he.
Good King Hilary
Said to his Chancellor
(Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor):
"Open the window
Quickly, quickly,
Open the window
And see who is knocking.
It may be a waiting-maid,
Apple-cheeked, dimpled,
Sent by her mistress
To bring me greeting;
It may be children,
Anxious, whispering,
Bringing me cobnuts,
To put in my stocking."
Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor,
Laughed both loud and free:
"I'll serve Your Majesty till I die—
As Lord Chancellor, not as spy
To peep from lattices; no, not I,
Never, never, never," quoth he.
Good King Hilary
Looked at his Chancellor
(Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor):
He said no word
To his stiff-set Chancellor,
But ran to the wicket-gate
To see who was knocking.
He found no rich man
Trading from Araby;
He found no captain,
Blue-eyed, weather-tanned;
He found no waiting-maid
Sent by her mistress;
But only a beggarman
With one red stocking.
Good King Hilary
Looked at the beggarman,
And laughed him three times three;
And he turned that beggarman round about:
"Your thews are strong, and your arm is stout;
Come, throw me a Lord High Chancellor out,
And take his place," quoth he.
Of Hilary the Good and Great
Old wives at Christmas time relate
This tale, which points, at any rate,
Two morals on the way.
The first: "Whatever Fortune brings,
Don't be afraid of doing things."
(Especially, of course, for Kings.)
It also seems to say
(But not so wisely): "He who begs
With one red stocking on his legs
Will be, as sure as eggs are eggs,
A Chancellor some day."

 

SWING SONG

Here I go up in my swing
Ever so high.
I am the King of the fields, and the King
Of the town.
I am the King of the earth, and the King
Of the sky.
Here I go up in my swing....
Now I go down.

 

EXPLAINED

Elizabeth Ann
Said to her Nan:
"Please will you tell me how God began?
Somebody must have made Him. So
Who could it be, 'cos I want to know?"
And Nurse said, "Well!"
And Ann said, "Well?
I know you know, and I wish you'd tell."
And Nurse took pins from her mouth, and said,
"Now then, darling, it's time for bed."
Elizabeth Ann
Had a wonderful plan:
She would run round the world till she found a man
Who knew exactly how God began.
She got up early, she dressed, and ran
Trying to find an Important Man.
She ran to London and knocked at the door
Of the Lord High Doodelum's coach-and-four.
"Please, sir (if there's anyone in),
However-and-ever did God begin?"
The Lord High Doodelum lay in bed,
But out of the window, large and red,
Came the Lord High Coachman's face instead.
And the Lord High Coachman laughed and said:
"Well, what put that in your quaint little head?"
Elizabeth Ann went home again
And took from the ottoman Jennifer Jane.
"Jenniferjane," said Elizabeth Ann,
"Tell me at once how God began."
And Jane, who didn't much care for speaking,
Replied in her usual way by squeaking.
What did it mean? Well, to be quite candid,
I don't know, but Elizabeth Ann did.
Elizabeth Ann said softly, "Oh!
Thank you, Jennifer. Now I know."

 

TWICE TIMES

There were Two little Bears who lived in a Wood,
And one of them was Bad and the other was Good.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times One—
But Bad Bear left all his buttons undone.
They lived in a Tree when the weather was hot,
And one of them was Good, and the other was Not.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Two—
But Bad Bear's thingummies were worn right through.
They lived in a Cave when the weather was cold,
And they Did, and they Didn't Do, what they were told.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Three—
But Bad Bear never had his hand-ker-chee.
They lived in the Wood with a Kind Old Aunt,
And one said "Yes'm," and the other said "Shan't!"
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Four—
But Bad Bear's knicketies were terrible tore.
And then quite suddenly (just like Us)
One got Better and the other got Wuss.
Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Three—
But Bad Bear coughed in his hand-ker-chee!
Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Two—
But Bad Bear's thingummies looked like new.
Good Bear muddled his Twice Times One—
But Bad Bear never left his buttons undone.
There may be a Moral, though some say not;
I think there's a moral, though I don't know what.
But if one gets better, as the other gets wuss,
These Two Little Bears are just like Us.
For Christopher remembers up to Twice Times Ten....
But I keep forgetting where I've put my pen.[2]
[2] So I have had to write this one in pencil.

 

THE MORNING WALK

When Anne and I go out a walk,
We hold each other's hand and talk
Of all the things we mean to do
When Anne and I are forty-two.
And when we've thought about a thing,
Like bowling hoops or bicycling,
Or falling down on Anne's balloon,
We do it in the afternoon.

 

CRADLE SONG

O Timothy Tim
Has ten pink toes,
And ten pink toes
Has Timothy Tim.
They go with him
Wherever he goes,
And wherever he goes
They go with him.
O Timothy Tim
Has two blue eyes,
And two blue eyes
Has Timothy Tim.
They cry with him
Whenever he cries,
And whenever he cries,
They cry with him.
O Timothy Tim
Has one red head,
And one red head
Has Timothy Tim.
It sleeps with him
In Timothy's bed.
Sleep well, red head
Of Timothy Tim.

 

WAITING AT THE WINDOW

These are my two drops of rain
Waiting on the window-pane.
I am waiting here to see
Which the winning one will be.
Both of them have different names.
One is John and one is James.
All the best and all the worst
Comes from which of them is first.
James has just begun to ooze.
He's the one I want to lose.
John is waiting to begin.
He's the one I want to win.
James is going slowly on.
Something sort of sticks to John.
John is moving off at last.
James is going pretty fast.
John is rushing down the pane.
James is going slow again.
James has met a sort of smear.
John is getting very near.
Is he going fast enough?
(James has found a piece of fluff.)
John has hurried quickly by.
(James was talking to a fly.)
John is there, and John has won!
Look! I told you! Here's the sun!

 

PINKLE PURR

Tattoo was the mother of Pinkle Purr,
A little black nothing of feet and fur;
And by-and-by, when his eyes came through,
He saw his mother, the big Tattoo.
And all that he learned he learned from her.
"I'll ask my mother," says Pinkle Purr.
Tattoo was the mother of Pinkle Purr,
A ridiculous kitten with silky fur.
And little black Pinkle grew and grew
Till he got as big as the big Tattoo.
And all that he did he did with her.
"Two friends together," says Pinkle Purr.
Tattoo was the mother of Pinkle Purr,
An adventurous cat in a coat of fur.
And whenever he thought of a thing to do,
He didn't much bother about Tattoo,
For he knows its nothing to do with her,
So "See you later," says Pinkle Purr.
Tattoo is the mother of Pinkle Purr,
An enormous leopard with coal-black fur.
A little brown kitten that's nearly new
Is now playing games with its big Tattoo....
And Pink looks lazily down at her:
"Dear little Tat," says Pinkle Purr.

 

WIND ON THE HILL

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.
It's flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn't keep up with it,
Not if I ran.
But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.
And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.
So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes....
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.

 

FORGOTTEN

Lords of the Nursery
Wait in a row,
Five on the high wall,
And four on the low;
Big Kings and Little Kings,
Brown Bears and Black,
All of them waiting
Till John comes back.
Some think that John boy
Is lost in the wood,
Some say he couldn't be,
Some say he could.
Some think that John boy
Hides on the hill;
Some say he won't come back,
Some say he will.
High was the sun, when
John went away....
Here they've been waiting
All through the day;
Big Bears and Little Bears,
White Kings and Black,
All of them waiting
Till John comes back.
Lords of the Nursery
Looked down the hill,
Some saw the sheep-fold,
Some saw the mill;
Some saw the roofs
Of the little grey town....
And their shadows grew long
As the sun slipt down.
Gold between the poplars
An old moon shows;
Silver up the star-way
The full moon rose;
Silver down the star-way
The old moon crept....
And, one by another,
The grey fields slept.
Lords of the Nursery
Their still watch keep....
They hear from the sheep-fold
The rustle of sheep.
A young bird twitters
And hides its head;
A little wind suddenly
Breathes, and is dead.
Slowly and slowly
Dawns the new day....
What's become of John boy?
No one can say.
Some think that John boy
Is lost on the hill;
Some say he won't come back,
Some say he will.
What's become of John boy?
Nothing at all,
He played with his skipping rope,
He played with his ball.
He ran after butterflies,
Blue ones and red;
He did a hundred happy things—
And then went to bed.

 

IN THE DARK

I've had my supper,
And had my supper,
And HAD my supper and all;
I've heard the story
Of Cinderella,
And how she went to the ball;
I've cleaned my teeth,
And I've said my prayers,
And I've cleaned and said them right;
And they've all of them been
And kissed me lots,
They've all of them said "Good-night."
So—here I am in the dark alone,
There's nobody here to see;
I think to myself,
I play to myself,
And nobody knows what I say to myself;
Here I am in the dark alone,
What is it going to be?
I can think whatever I like to think,
I can play whatever I like to play,
I can laugh whatever I like to laugh,
There's nobody here but me.
I'm talking to a rabbit ...
I'm talking to the sun ...
I think I am a hundred—
I'm one.
I'm lying in a forest ...
I'm lying in a cave ...
I'm talking to a Dragon ...
I'm BRAVE.
I'm lying on my left side ...
I'm lying on my right ...
I'll play a lot to-morrow ...
.......
I'll think a lot to-morrow ...
.......
I'll laugh ...
a lot ...
to-morrow ...
(Heigh-ho!)
Good-night.

 

THE END

When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three,
I was hardly Me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

NEW UNIFORM EDITION

These inimitable and imperishable Milne classics with the Shepard drawings are now available, for the first time, in a new edition, uniform with this volume.

WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG

The most popular book of child-verse of modern times.

NOW WE ARE SIX

A companion volume of verse to When We Were Very Young

WINNIE-THE-POOH

Pooh and Christopher Robin are among the most treasured characters of story-land.

THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER

There just had to be another story about Christopher Robin and his seven friends—Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Tigger, etc.

Published by E. P. DUTTON & CO., INC.


OTHER BOOKS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

By A. A. MILNE

THE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN VERSES

Fully illustrated by E. H. SHEPARD, with 12 plates in color

THE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN STORY BOOK

Illustrated by E. H. SHEPARD

THE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN BIRTHDAY BOOK

Illustrated by E. H. SHEPARD

THE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN READER

Collected by A. A. MILNE from his four books of poetry and prose, including selections recommended by the New York City Board of Education.

SONG-BOOKS FROM THE POEMS OF A. A. MILNE

With Music by H. FRASER-SIMSON and Decorations by E. H. SHEPARD

FOURTEEN SONGS
TEDDY BEAR AND OTHER SONGS
SONGS FROM "NOW WE ARE SIX"
THE KING'S BREAKFAST
MORE "VERY YOUNG" SONGS
THE HUMS OF POOH