Winnie the Pooh Is an American

Letter From England

Winnie the Pooh and his friends Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, and Eeyore live happily in a comfortable bullet-proof home in the New York Public Library and have done so for many years. They have never expressed any desire to return to the Hundred Acre Wood or Pooh-stick bridge or the North Pole, the scenes of their famous adventures. Like many other famous British emigrants, from Paul Jones to Charlie Chaplin to Andrew Carnegie to Bob Hope, they have become patriotic American citizens. Yet in a sense they didn't need to, for Pooh, Piglet, and Rabbit at least were already truly American. Tigger was Indian, and Kanga and Roo, Australians. Only Eeyore is truly British —perhaps he alone should be sent back to England to quell the Britishers' agitation for the animals' return. He never quite fit in with the others and always sought to stay in sad, wet, morose places—like Britain itself Pooh, by contrast, is entirely at home in New York and now proudly uses his truly American name of Pooh all the time. He has discarded the fluvial upper-class name of Sanders, under which he was forced to live in snobbish old England.

Pooh and Piglet are American figures battling in the wilderness against natural calamity. Piglet's heroism in escaping from Owl's house to get help after it had been felled by a hurricane was truly American, as was Pooh's rescue of Piglet from the floods by riding the rapids on a fragile,...

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