In which Tigger comes to the forest and has breakfast
This is a rather exciting chapter, for we are about to meet the very last character to be introduced. However, let's not bounce ahead of ourselves here (that may have been a small clue - or you may just have read the chapter title, so I won't bother being too mysterious). We'll just start at the very beginning.
Like all the best beginnings, this one starts with Pooh, who has woken up with a start in the middle of the night. He has been woken up by a noise, so he gets up just to check on his honey, and all is fine, so he goes back to bed again. But there's the noise again, so Pooh asks the noise if it is Piglet or Christopher Robin or Eeyore, but there is no answer, so Pooh tries to get back to sleep.
But there it is again! It's a kind of Worraworraworraworraworra noise, which doesn't sound like something Piglet or Christopher Robin or Eeyore would say, but Pooh is sleepy so that probably explains his confusion. And now he has heard the noise again he realises that it is not a usual noise, and in fact it is something he has never heard in the forest before, which must mean that there is a Strange Animal outside his house!
So Pooh rather bravely gets up and opens his front door so that he can tell the Strange Animal to pipe down please. And the Strange Animal is sitting right there, so Pooh says "Hallo!", and the animal says "Hallo!" back. Pooh is so startled that all he can think of to say is "Hallo!" again, and then the animal says "Hallo!" again too, and then Pooh is still rather stunned, so he says "Hallo!" for a third time, and the animal says "Hallo!" back for a third time, while wondering how long they are going to "Hallo!" for.
Pooh decides that a fourth "Hallo!" would not advance the conversation any further, so instead he says "Who is it?", which is what we are really wanting to know. Unfortunately the Strange Animal just says "Me", which doesn't help us very much, but then Pooh tells him to come here, and he does, and then Pooh can see him in the candlelight. And he is a Tigger!
Pooh has never seen a Tigger before, so he wisely checks that Christopher Robin knows about him and approves, which he does, according to Tigger. Even with Christopher Robin's approval though it's still the middle of the night, so Pooh asks Tigger to come back for some breakfast honey tomorrow morning, and asks Tigger if he likes honey. Tigger says Tiggers like everything, so that is fine, and Pooh offers his floor for Tigger to sleep on (rather generously, seeing as how he has only known Tigger for a very short while), and goes back to bed.
In the morning Pooh wakes up to find Tigger sitting in front of the mirror and being very excited at the fact that he has found someone who is just like him, because he thought that he was the only one! I guess that suggests that Tigger has not met any other Tiggers before, just like Pooh, although we are not sure how Tigger could exist without a mummy and daddy Tigger, but nevermind. Pooh is just explaining how a mirror works when Tigger gets distracted.
- "Excuse me a moment, but there's something climbing up your table," and with one loud Worraworraworraworraworra he jumped at the end of the tablecloth, pulled it to the ground, wrapped himself up in it three times, rolled to the other end of the room, and, after a terrible struggle, got his head into the daylight again, and said cheerfully: "Have I won?"
Pooh tells Tigger that he has been fighting a tablecloth, and helpfully unravels him. Pooh explains what tablecloths are for, but Tigger says that it had tried to bite him, although Pooh is unconvinced.
When the tablecloth is back in its rightful place Pooh takes out some honey and puts it on the table ready for breakfast. Tigger tries the honey, and considers it very carefully, but then decides that Tiggers don't like honey. Pooh tries to sound Sad and Regretful but is secretly relieved, because of course if Tigger had liked the honey then that would have meant less honey for Pooh.
Tigger had said that Tiggers liked everything, but he now decides that Tiggers like everything except honey, so Pooh tells him that they will go round to Piglet's house, where he can try eating haycorns. Tigger is pleased to hear this, for he feels that haycorns are just what Tiggers like best.
So, once Pooh has finished his honey, they set off to visit Piglet and try some haycorns. On the way Pooh explains that Piglet is a Very Small Animal and therefore Tigger should try to restrain himself and not bounce too much. We are not quite sure how Pooh knows that Tiggers are bouncy, as apart from the incident with the tablecloth there has not really been any bouncing behaviour to speak of, although as they are walking Tigger is bouncing on Pooh's shadow, so perhaps that has been the big giveaway.
Tigger insists that he won't be bouncy after breakfast, because once Tiggers have eaten some haycorns they become Quite and Refined. So hopefully Piglet will be safe.
- "Hallo, Pooh", said Piglet.
- "Hallo, Piglet. This is Tigger."
- "Oh, is it?" said Piglet, and he edged round to the other side of the table. "I thought Tiggers were smaller than that."
- "Not the big ones," said Tigger.
Piglet is a little scared, but he manages to remember his manners when Pooh says that Tigger would like some haycorns, and he offers Tigger his bowl of haycorns and tells him to help himself, and then goes and stands quite close to Pooh for Protection.
Tigger has a good old munch on the haycorns, and then tries to speak through the haycorns, but can't, and then goes outside very briefly, and then comes back inside with an empty mouth and states authoritatively that Tiggers do not like haycorns. Pooh reminds him that it was not very long ago that he had decided that Tiggers like everything except honey, but Tigger has now amended that to say that Tiggers like everything except honey and haycorns.
Piglet is secretly relieved that his haycorn supply will not have to be shared, and he helpfully suggests that perhaps Tiggers like thistles instead. Tigger says that thistles are indeed what Tiggers like best, and although more Suspicious Animals might be having doubts about Tigger's judgement at this point, Pooh and Piglet put their trust in him and decide to take him over to see Eeyore and his thistles.
So off they go to the other side of the forest, and Pooh introduces Eeyore to Tigger. Tigger smiles widely at Eeyore, but Eeyore, being Eeyore, is not hugely impressed.
- Eeyore walked all round Tigger one way, and then turned and walked round him the other way.
- "What did you say it was?" he asked.
- "Ah!" said Eeyore.
- "He's just come," explained Piglet.
- "Ah!" said Eeyore again.
- He thought for a long time and then said: "When is he going?"
Now, that isn't really a very friendly attitude towards a newcomer, and unfortunately it reminds us of the animals' attitude to Kanga and Roo when they first arrived. However, this time it is really only Eeyore who is being his usual gloomy self, whereas Pooh and Piglet have been remarkably friendly (if a little scared), and we can forgive Eeyore as he is generally grumpy with everyone.
Indeed, Piglet helpfully explains to Tigger that he shouldn't take Eeyore's attitude personally, because he is always like that, although Eeyore says that in fact he is feeling rather cheerful this morning, although I am not sure how we would have known that if he hadn't mentioned it specifically.
Tigger reminds the animals that he still hasn't had breakfast, which reminds Pooh what they have come for - thistles. Eeyore is a little offended that they have come to see his thistles rather than him, but all the same he leads Tigger over to a patch of thistles, which he says he was keeping for his birthday, although I am not sure that we quite believe him. And he offers the thistles to Tigger.
Tigger seems a little unsure and anxious, but he goes ahead and has a good munch on the thistles, and then says "Ow!" and puts his paw in his mouth. He complains that the thistles are too hot, which must mean that he has found them rather more prickly and thistly than he was expecting, and then runs round in circles for a while with his tongue out.
What this means is that they have another food item to add to the list of breakfasts that Tiggers don't eat - honey, haycorns, and thistles. The animals have run out of ideas at this point, so Pooh decides to ask for help from the usual quarter - Christopher Robin will know what to do. Eeyore says that Christopher Robin is with Kanga.
- "Could you ask your friend to do his exercises somewhere else? I shall be having lunch directly, and don't want it bounced on just before I begin. A trifling matter, and fussy of me, but we all have our little ways."
Pooh nods solemnly, apparently in full agreement with Eeyore that lunches are not for bouncing, and leads Tigger away so they can go and find Christopher Robin and Kanga.
On the way Pooh composes a poem about poor Tigger and the fact that they are having a difficult time finding him something to eat. Pooh recites his poem to Piglet, who says that he likes it very much, except for the lines that go: "But whatever his weight in pounds, shillings, and ounces, He always seems bigger because of his bounces". Piglet thinks that the shillings don't quite fit in there, but Pooh explains that they wanted to come after the pounds, and that you should just let things come when you write poetry, and Piglet says that he didn't realise that.
By this time they have arrived at Kanga's house. Christopher Robin greets them, and Tigger says that he has found a pooh and a piglet but he hasn't been able to find any breakfast. Pooh asks Christopher Robin if he knows what Tiggers like to eat, and Christopher Robin says that he thought Tigger knew that. Tigger says that he does know and that he likes everything except honey and haycorns and thistles, and although we have heard this before from Tigger and so do not completely believe him, Christopher Robin hasn't heard it before, so he just says that Kanga can give him some of her food.
They go inside Kanga's house and tell Kanga what they are looking for, and Kanga says that Tigger should have a look in her cupboard for something that he would like. Pooh gallantly offers to look too, and he happens to come across some condensed milk, which he is sure that Tigger wouldn't like anyway, so he helpfully takes it into a corner and has a nibble.
Tigger has a good root around in the cupboard, but he keeps finding things that Tiggers don't like. He actually goes through every last item in the cupboard and rules all of them out, and then doesn't know what to do next.
The others are all looking at Roo, who is having his Extract of Malt, which is his Strengthening Medicine. Roo isn't very enthusiastic about this, but Kanga says that he has promised to take it. Before Roo can swallow it, however, Tigger comes over and swipes it from the spoon!
Roo is exceedingly excited by this turn of events, and so is Tigger, because he finds that he really likes the Extract of Malt - he has found out what Tiggers like to eat!
And so Tigger goes to live with Kanga so that he can have Extract of Malt for every meal of the day (even though Piglet thinks that he has quite enough strength already...) and everyone is happy again.