A narrative from an online issue of the magazine McSweeney’s called Christopher Robin Friend Requests the Residents of the Hundred Acre Wood set me thinking about my own Hundred Acre Wood, the place where childhood and youngness resides.
Followers of Winnie-the-Pooh would know the Hundred Acre Wood is the forest which Owl and Rabbit (Tigger, Kanga and Roo, Piglet and Eeyore) inhabit, and where the boy Christopher Robin often came to visit.
The McSweeney piece by Rachel Klein describes how Pooh and friends gather for a Very Emportent Meeting to discuss what to do about Christopher Robin popping up on Facebook requesting to be their friend after years of silence (he’d grown up and gone away to college and more).
I won’t spoil it by describing what happens further in the McSweeney piece, except that when the link appeared on my Facebook feed, many left comments to say that they did not like how it ended, nor how dear Christopher Robin was portrayed. Plus, I think the portrayal of Mr Robin is very American — the lifestyle hinted at after college — and I like to think Chris, who is British-born, might have done things a lot differently and say, ended up in Asia and adopted a more globalised perspective.
To us, the Hundred Acre Wood as created by A.A. Milne, is in our address book of mythical places, like Narnia, or the Shire, for instance.
Yet, we all have our own Hundred Acre Wood. It is peopled by names from childhood and sun-dappled youth, names which took root in our consciousness at what, from this distance, looks like a very blessed time and so can never age nor wither. A friend request popped up a month ago on my phone screen and because it seemed too good to be true I had to check who our mutual friends were — there was only one — to make sure it was the right person. I had tried searching in the past, but never found what I was looking for.
It’s true that some of us carry the Hundred Acre Wood around with us, it even has virtual properties, but when virtual cuts the real world and become a voice, a face, a life lived in parallel, then, how wonderful life is, now you’re in my world.
What’s your take on the Hundred Acre Wood? Leave a comment!