Now we are six, p.1
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           A. A. Milne
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Now We Are Six


  NOW WE ARE SIX

  Now We Are Six

  A. A. MILNE

  DECORATIONS BY Ernest H. Shepard

  Dutton Children’s Books

  AN IMPRINT OF PENGUIN GROUP [USA] INC.

  Dutton Children’s Books

  A DIVISION OF PENGUIN YOUNG READERS GROUP

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, 10014, USA.

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M4P 2Y3 Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa • Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  This presentation copyright © 2009 by The Trustees of the Pooh Properties

  Coloring of the illustrations copyright © 1992 by Dutton Children’s Books

  Now We Are Six copyright © 1927 by E. P. Dutton

  Copyright renewal, 1955, by A.A. Milne

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, or broadcast.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

  CIP DATA AVAILABLE.

  Published in the United States by Dutton Children’s Books,

  a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

  345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

  www.penguin.com/youngreaders

  ISBN: 1-101-15896-4

  to

  ANNE DARLINGTON

  now she is seven

  and

  because she is

  so

  SPESHAL

  Introduction

  WHEN YOU ARE reciting poetry, which is a thing we never do, you find sometimes, just as you are beginning, that Uncle John is still telling Aunt Rose that if he can’t find his spectacles he won’t be able to hear properly, and does she know where they are; and by the time everybody has stopped looking for them, you are at the last verse, and in another minute they will be saying, “Thank-you, thank-you,” without really knowing what it was all about. So, next time, you are more careful; and, just before you begin you say, “Er-h’r’m!” very loudly, which means, “Now then, here we are” and everybody stops talking and looks at you: which is what you want. So then you get in the way of saying it whenever you are asked to recite…and sometimes it is just as well, and sometimes it isn’t…. And by and by you find yourself saying it without thinking. Well, this bit which I am writing now, called Introduction, is really the er-h’r’m of the book, and I have put it in, partly so as not to take you by surprise, and partly because I can’t do without it now. There are some very clever writers who say that it is quite easy not to have an er-h’r’m but I don’t agree with them. I think it is much easier not to have all the rest of the book.

  What I want to explain in the Introduction is this. We have been nearly three years writing this book. We began it when we were very young…and now we are six. So, of course, bits of it seem rather babyish to us, almost as if they had slipped out of some other book by mistake. On page whatever-it-is there is a thing which is simply three-ish, and when we read it to ourselves just now we said, “Well, well, well,” and turned over rather quickly. So we want you to know that the name of the book doesn’t mean that this is us being six all the time, but that it is about as far as we’ve got at present, and we half think of stopping there.

  A.A. M.

  P.S. Pooh wants us to say that he thought it was a different book; and he hopes you won’t mind, but he walked through it one day, looking for his friend Piglet, and sat down on some of the pages by mistake.

  Contents

  Solitude

  King John’s Christmas

  Busy

  Sneezles

  Binker

  Cherry Stones

  The Knight Whose Armour Didn’t Squeak

  Buttercup Days

  The Charcoal-Burner

  Us Two

  The Old Sailor

  The Engineer

  Journey’s End

  Furry Bear

  Forgiven

  The Emperor’s Rhyme

  Knight-in-Armour

  Come Out with Me

  Down by the Pond

  The Little Black Hen

  The Friend

  The Good Little Girl

  A Thought

  King Hilary and the Beggarman

  Swing Song

  Explained

  Twice Times

  The Morning Walk

  Cradle Song

  Waiting at the Window

  Pinkle Purr

  Wind on the Hill

  Forgotten

  In the Dark

  The End

  NOW WE ARE SIX

  Solitude

  I have a house where I go

  When there’s too many people,

  I have a house where I go

  Where no one can be;

  I have a house where I go,

  Where nobody ever says “No”

  Where no one says anything—so

  There is no one but me.

  King John’s Christmas

  King John was not a good man—

  He had his little ways.

  And sometimes no one spoke to him

  For days and days and days.

  And men who came across him,

  When walking in the town,

  Gave him a supercilious stare,

  Or passed with noses in the air—

  And bad King John stood dumbly there,

  Blushing beneath his crown.

  King John was not a good man,

  And no good friends had he.

  He stayed in every afternoon…

  But no one came to tea.

  And, round about December,

  The cards upon his shelf

  Which wished him lots of Christmas cheer,

  And fortune in the coming year,

  Were never from his near and dear,

  But only from himself.

  King John was not a good man,

  Yet had his hopes and fears.

  They’d given him no present now

  For years and years and years.

  But every year at Christmas,

  While minstrels stood about,

  Collecting tribute from the young

  For all the songs they might have sung,

  He stole away upstairs and hung

  A hopeful stocking out.

  King John was not a good man,

  He lived his life aloof;

  Alone he thought a message out

  While climbing up the roof.

  He wrote
it down and propped it

  Against the chimney stack:

  “TO ALL AND SUNDRY—NEAR AND FAR—

  F. CHRISTMAS IN PARTICULAR.”

  And signed it not “Johannes R.”

  But very humbly, “JACK.”

  “I want some crackers,

  And I want some candy;

  I think a box of chocolates

  Would come in handy;

  I don’t mind oranges,

  I do like nuts!

  And I SHOULD like a pocket-knife

  That really cuts.

  And, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,

  Bring me a big, red, india-rubber ball!”

  King John was not a good man—

  He wrote this message out,

  And gat him to his room again,

  Descending by the spout.

  And all that night he lay there,

  A prey to hopes and fears.

  “I think that’s him a-coming now.”

  (Anxiety bedewed his brow.)

  “He’ll bring one present, anyhow—

  The first I’ve had for years.”

  “Forget about the crackers,

  And forget about the candy;

  I’m sure a box of chocolates

  Would never come in handy;

  I don’t like oranges,

  I don’t want nuts,

  And I HAVE got a pocket-knife

  That almost cuts.

  But, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,

  Bring me a big, red, india-rubber ball!”

  King John was not a good man—

  Next morning when the sun

  Rose up to tell a waiting world

  That Christmas had begun,

  And people seized their stockings,

  And opened them with glee,

  And crackers, toys and games appeared,

  And lips with sticky sweets were smeared,

  King John said grimly: “As I feared,

  Nothing again for me!”

  “I did want crackers,

  And I did want candy;

  I know a box of chocolates

  Would come in handy;

  I do love oranges,

  I did want nuts.

  I haven’t got a pocket-knife—

  Not one that cuts.

  And, oh! if Father Christmas had loved me at all,

  He would have brought a big, red, india-rubber ball!”

  King John stood by the window,

  And frowned to see below

  The happy bands of boys and girls

  All playing in the snow.

  A while he stood there watching,

  And envying them all…

  When through the window big and red

  There hurtled by his royal head,

  And bounced and fell upon the bed,

  An india-rubber ball!

  AND, OH, FATHER CHRISTMAS,

  MY BLESSINGS ON YOU FALL

  FOR BRINGING HIM

  A BIG, RED,

  INDIA-RUBBER

  BALL!

  Busy

  I think I am a Muffin Man. I haven’t got a bell,

  I haven’t got the muffin things that muffin people sell.

  Perhaps I am a Postman. No, I think I am a Tram.

  I’m feeling rather funny and I don’t know what I am—

  BUT

  Round about

  And round about

  And round about I go—

  All around the table,

  The table in the nursery—

  Round about

  And round about

  And round about I go;

  I think I am a Traveller escaping from a Bear;

  I think I am an Elephant,

  Behind another Elephant

  Behind another Elephant who isn’t really there….

  SO

  Round about

  And round about

  And round about and round about

  And round about

  And round about

  I go.

  I think I am a Ticket Man who’s selling tickets—please,

  I think I am a Doctor who is visiting a Sneeze;

  Perhaps I’m just a Nanny who is walking with a pram

  I’m feeling rather funny and I don’t know what I am—

  BUT

  Round about

  And round about

  And round about I go—

  All around the table,

  The table in the nursery—

  Round about

  And round about

  And round about I go:

  I think I am a Puppy, so I’m hanging out my tongue;

  I think I am a Camel who

  Is looking for a Camel who

  Is looking for a Camel who is looking for its Young….

  SO

  Round about

  And round about

  And round about and round about

  And round about

  And round about

  I go.

  Sneezles

  Christopher Robin

  Had wheezles

  And sneezles,

  They bundled him

  Into

  His bed.

  They gave him what goes

  With a cold in the nose,

  And some more for a cold

  In the head.

  They wondered

  If wheezles

  Could turn

  Into measles,

  If sneezles

  Would turn

  Into mumps;

  They examined his chest

  For a rash,

  And the rest

  Of his body for swellings and lumps.

  They sent for some doctors

  In sneezles

  And wheezles

  To tell them what ought

  To be done.

  All sorts of conditions

  Of famous physicians

  Came hurrying round

  At a run.

  They all made a note

  Of the state of his throat,

  They asked if he suffered from thirst;

  They asked if the sneezles

  Came after the wheezles,

  Or if the first sneezle

  Came first.

  They said, “If you teazle

  A sneezle

  Or wheezle,

  A measle

  May easily grow.

  But humour or pleazle

  The wheezle

  Or sneezle,

  The measle

  Will certainly go.”

  They expounded the reazles

  For sneezles

  And wheezles,

  The manner of measles

  When new.

  They said, “If he freezles

  In draughts and in breezles,

  Then PHTHEEZLES

  May even ensue.”

  Christopher Robin

  Got up in the morning,

  The sneezles had vanished away.

  And the look in his eye

  Seemed to say to the sky,

  “Now, how to amuse them today?”

  Binker

  Binker—what I call him—is a secret of my own,

  And Binker is the reason why I never feel alone.

  Playing in the nursery, sitting on the stair,

  Whatever I am busy at, Binker will be there.

  Oh, Daddy is clever, he’s a clever sort of man,

  And Mummy is the best since the world began,

  And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan—

  But they can’t

  See

  Binker.

  Binker’s always talking, ’cos I’m teaching him to speak:

  He sometimes likes to do it in a funny sort of squeak,

  And he sometimes likes to do it in a hoodling sort of roar…

  And I have to do it for him ’cos his throat is rather sore.

  Oh, Daddy is clever, he’s a clever sort of man,

  A
nd Mummy knows all that anybody can,

  And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan—

  But they don’t

  Know

  Binker.

  Binker’s brave as lions when we’re running in the park;

  Binker’s brave as tigers when we’re lying in the dark;

  Binker’s brave as elephants. He never, never cries…

  Except (like other people) when the soap gets in his eyes.

  Oh, Daddy is Daddy, he’s a Daddy sort of man,

  And Mummy is as Mummy as anybody can,

  And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan…

  But they’re not

  Like

  Binker.

  Binker isn’t greedy, but he does like things to eat,

  So I have to say to people when they’re giving me a sweet,

  “Oh, Binker wants a chocolate, so could you give me two?”

  And then I eat it for him, ’cos his teeth are rather new.

  Well, I’m very fond of Daddy, but he hasn’t time to play,

  And I’m very fond of Mummy, but she sometimes goes away,

  And I’m often cross with Nanny when she wants to brush my hair…

  But Binker’s always Binker, and is certain to be there.

 
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