Thursday, August 21, 2014


I was re-reading Winnie-the-Pooh and House on Pooh Corner.  I found it interesting that the penultimate chapter in the first book is Piglet's rescue from the flood, and the two chapter before the final in the second book are both stories where Piglet does the rescuing.  It made me take a closer look at the heroism of Piglet.

 The first time Piglet comes to the rescue -climbing through Owl's letter box to get help when the house falls over- Pooh talks him into it by promising to write a song about him afterwards.  Piglet wants to be brave -that's foreshadowed in chapter three of House at Pooh Corner when Piglet highjacks Pooh's story about heroically answering back to a heffalump but gets completely flustered as soon as he thinks an actual huffalump is talking to him- and he admires Pooh's courage.  Piglet is very aware that he is vulnerable because he is `a very small animal.'  After Owl's house blows down his smallness becomes a strength instead of a weakness.  He is the only one who can escape for help.

The second rescue -sacrificing his house so Owl won't be homeless and also to save Eeyore from embarrassment- is driven at least partly by Piglet's defining traits of his loyalty as a friend and his role as a peacemaker.  In The House at Pooh Corner when Rabbit is trying to find out where Christopher Robin goes in the morning, Piglet is the one who thinks to cheer Eeyore with violets and then use them as a distraction when Eeyore takes offense at Rabbit.  In the Woozle hunt in the first book, Piglet shows his loyalty.  He may be the first to try to call off the hunt when he realizes that he and Pooh are outnumbered, but he doesn't leave until Christopher Robin appears and he knows Pooh will be protected.

Piglet does not appear heroic in most of the stories; he is mostly small, and friendly, someone who tries to avoid confrontations.  But the groundwork for his heroism is there from the start.  It just needed the right circumstances to shine. 

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