Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

When it comes to bedtime reading, old-fashioned is best

By Peter McCloy - posted Monday, 7 June 2004

Some time ago I was reading Winnie-The-Pooh to my grandson when I realised to my horror that both he and I were nodding off. I wasn't worried about him - this was a bedtime story.

But I was raised on Winnie-The-Pooh. For me, it was not a book I would nod off to.

It was Chapter One, in which we are introduced, and Pooh Bear, having climbed a tree in pursuit - surprise, surprise - of honey, had fallen out of the tree into a gorse-bush. Well that's how it was written:


He leaned just a little bit more and "Snap" went the branch and down fell Pooh. He bounced from branch to branch to branch until he ran out of branches and landed headfirst in a bush.

Something was wrong, this was not how it should have been. Then I noticed that this was the American version, especially for the kiddies. What an insult to the kiddies!

I hurried off to the original, which, of course, has a prominent place in my book shelves. This is how A A Milne describes Pooh's fall:

"Oh, help!" said Pooh, as he dropped ten feet on to the branch below him.

"If only I hadn't -" he said, as he bounced twenty feet on to the next branch.

"You see, what I meant to do," he explained, as he turned head-over-heels, and crashed on to another branch thirty feet below, "what I meant to do -"


"Of course it was rather -" he admitted, as he slithered very quickly through the next six branches.

"It all comes, I suppose," he decided, as he said goodbye to the last branch, spun round three times, and flew gracefully into a gorse-bush, "it all comes of liking honey so much. Oh, help!"

You couldn't fall asleep reading that, could you! The Americans, it seems, in their desire to make everything accessible to everybody, have reduced poor Pooh to a lowest common denominator. It was like a Reader's Digest condensation of Winnie-The-Pooh, and it sent me to sleep. The magic has been removed, and Winnie-The-Pooh simply falls out of a tree.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Peter McCloy is an author and speaker, now retired, who lives on five acres of rock in an ecologically sensible home in the bush. He is working on a 20,000-year plan to develop his property, and occasionally puts pen to paper, especially when sufficiently aroused by politicians. He is a foundation member of the Climate Sceptics. Politically, Peter is a Lennonist - like John, he believes that everything a politician touches turns to sh*t.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Peter McCloy
Related Links
Peter McCloy's home page
Photo of Peter McCloy
Article Tools
Comment Comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy