Winnie-the-Pooh invites us into a magical world of kindness, play, and imagination. For me, the stories represent the ideal of humanity – a place where all different people are valued and included. Plus, I adore the unconventional capitalizations, run-on sentences, and general quirkiness of A.A. Milne’s writing. Don’t you? When I was growing up, Winnie-the-Pooh was a banned book in my house! Fortunately, now it’s one of my most beloved books ever.
Although it’s difficult to choose just a handful of favorite quotes from the story, I’ve done my best. I share these with a caveat. These passages are quoted exactly from the text of Milne’s two narrative books, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. (Milne also wrote two books of poetry in the Winnie-the-Pooh series.) The caveat is that much of what you see on the Internet is not actually quoted directly from A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books — it is either paraphrased or from another source.
Now, let’s venture into the Hundred Acre Wood with these favorite quotes.
“After all, one can’t complain. I have my friends.” —Eeyore
“I wish Pooh were here. It’s so much more friendly with two.” —Piglet
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh.
“What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting to-day?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
“It’s the same thing,” he said.
And the dream began to sing itself over in his head until it became a sort of song.
Christopher Robin was sitting outside his door, putting on his Big Boots. As soon as he saw the Big Boots, Pooh knew that an Adventure was going to happen, and he brushed the honey off his nose with the back of his paw, and spruced himself up as well as he could, so as to look Ready for Anything.
“It’s a little Anxious,” he said to himself, “to be a Very Small Animal Entirely Surrounded by Water. Christopher Robin and Pooh could escape by Climbing Trees, and Kanga could escape by Jumping, and Rabbit could escape by Burrowing, and Owl could escape by Flying, and Eeyore could escape by–by Making a Loud Noise Until Rescued, and here am I, surrounded by water and I can’t do anything.”
“They’re funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you’re having them.” —Eeyore
“It is the best way to write poetry, letting things come.”—Pooh
…when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh!” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
“Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.”
Pooh thought for a little.
“How old shall I be then?”
Pooh nodded. “I promise,” he said.
“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”
“…what I like doing best is Nothing.”
“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.
“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do, Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do it.”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.
“This is a nothing sort of thing that we’re doing now.”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh again.”
“I like talking to Rabbit. He talks about sensible things. He doesn’t use long, difficult words, like Owl. He uses short, easy words, like ‘What about lunch?’ and ‘Help yourself, Pooh.’ I suppose really, I ought to go and see Rabbit.” —Pooh
“And I know it seems easy,” said Piglet to himself, “but it isn’t everyone who could do it.”
Because Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.
But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.