Winnie The Pooh And The Po-Hum

By Granville Kirkup

One fine sunny day, Pooh and Piglet were walking along the winding path through Rangemore Wood, a good thing to do on a sunny day.  Pooh was trying hard not to think of lunch time, or honey.  “Do you think it’s nearly tea time?”, he asked.

“We only just had lunch”, replied Piglet, “and you asked me whether it was nearly lunch time since it was just after breakfast time.”

“Oh dear”, said Pooh, “perhaps I should think of something else to take my mind off food?  What other things are good to do?  I know!  I’ll make up a po-hum.”

“I’ve never heard of a po-hum”, said Piglet.

Pooh walked over to a tree, looked up into the branches, walked around the tree, looked up at the sky for a while, then came back to Piglet, humming softly to himself.

“That’s it”, said Pooh brightly, “I’ve finished my po-hum.  Would you like to hear it?

“Very much”, said Piglet, and sat down on the grass to listen.  Pooh paced backwards and forwards just in front of him, looking important.

“Mmmhmm hmm mmm hmm mmm, hmm hmm mmm hmm mmm”, said Pooh in a sort of sing-song voice.

“Is that a po-hum?”, asked Piglet.  “What does it mean?  Does it have any words”

“Of course it has words!”, said Pooh, “It’s about you!”

“I didn’t hear any words about me”, complained Piglet.

“No, well I was humming at the time, but I was thinking the words”, explained Pooh.

“Couldn’t you say the words instead of humming them?”, asked Piglet.

“No, if I did that it would be a po-em.  This is a po-hum!”, explained Pooh.

Piglet scratched his ear.  “Well, perhaps you could hum and say the words at the same time?”

“Hmahumm through the mmm hmm wood.  Mmm hmm hmmm, very good!”, said Pooh.  He gave a little bow at the end, to show that he was finished.

“Where were the words about me?”, asked Piglet.

“I hummed over that part”, explained Pooh.  He walked around some more, humming the po-hum to himself.  He thought that it was a very good po-hum.

“Perhaps I could do the humming part and you could say all of the words?”, suggested Piglet, “Then I could hear the part about me.”

So Pooh sat on the grass beside Piglet and carefully taught him the humming part.  This took quite a while, because Piglet had never hummed a po-hum before, and sometimes said ‘mmm’ when he should say ‘hmm’.  Finally he got it just right and Pooh stood up again to say the words.

“Walking through the Rangemore Wood.  Me and Piglet, very good!”  Pooh bowed again to show that he was finished.

Piglet liked the po-hum very much and they had to say the whole thing over again with Piglet humming this time.  Then one more time without the humming so that Piglet could hear the part about him.  When they had finished all of that they lay down on the grass beside the tree for a little rest.

“You know Piglet”, said Pooh, “I think that po-hums are my favourite thing, after tea and honey.”

“My favorite po-hums are the ones about me!”, replied Piglet.

So together they walked out of Rangemore Wood and home towards tea time, humming their favourite po-hum as they went.  They both agreed that thinking of a new po-hum is a Good Thing To Do on a sunny day.