I am writing this post when in walks Edward Bear. He climbs up the sofa, putting a sticky paw on my shoulder and peering over watches me write. I turn to him.
“Hallo,” he replies. “What are you doing?”
“I am starting to write some thoughts and you are in them.”
“Am I?” said Bear.
“You are always in my thoughts, Pooh, ever since I met you long ago.”
“So what thoughts are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking of the time you ate too much at Rabbit’s. You were stuck for a week in his hole. You were sad then because you were stuck and you could not eat. Christopher Robin said he would read to you as you waited to get thin. You asked that he read a Book to Sustain you.”
“I did. It was such a Help and Comfort.”
“That’s a really good idea,” I continued, “to read books. They sustain me all the time.”
And I went on, “And I’m thinking of the time you found Eeyore’s tail and gave it back to him and the time you rescued Piglet in the flood. You are a Very Helpful Bear.”
Pooh looked down. “I try wherever I can,” he said.
I look at him with great fondness.
“I do love you, Bear. Please visit again soon.”
“I will,” said Pooh. And off he stumped out my door.
A visit with Pooh is a special event. He is a connection to my past. I read his stories to my children, stories that were a source of emotional warmth and joy for all of us.
Classic stories show us how to connect. Metaphor connects us between the familiar and the new helping us understand concepts we haven’t thought of before. And understanding, according to the writings of Dorothy Corkille Briggs, is the language of love. Metaphor, the most common figure of speech, is seen with Pooh when he uses an umbrella as a boat to save Piglet in the flood.
In stories, we see the connection when the prince uses Rapunzel’s hair as a ladder; we hear the connection when Horton Hears a Who! and we feel the connection when we read Who Has Seen the Wind?
Next week we’ll see more examples of metaphor.
Blog originally posted in 2012 and refreshed for sharing.