"Oh, bother," Winnie the Pooh said to himself -- for there was no one else around to hear him, to respond, so he had to say it to himself. He waited to see if he had anything to say in reply, but after a moment he knew he had nothing.
"Oh, bother," he said again, and this time he didn't think it would be impolite not to wait for a response, for if he hadn't said anything the first time, then he probably wouldn't say anything the second. Pooh cross one paw on front of the other and tapped himself on the forehead to think. He tapped his paw several times on the side of his head, wondering if maybe it would jostle some thoughts free.
All it seemed to jostle was his head, and after a moment he stopped.
"I shall have to ask Christopher Robin, I suppose," he said after another moment. He simply didn't know what else to do. It was hard for a bear of very little brain to come up with plans normally, and this was a situation that was, he felt certain, far from normal.
He didn't go immediately to Christopher Robin's house, however. Instead he remained seated on the rock he'd chosen as a likely sort of thinking spot. It had been warm from the sunshine and flat, so that when he sat down he felt quite comfortable -- but not too comfortable, because he thought maybe having a nap wouldn't help him figure out what to do. It hadn't worked exactly, except he had thought of one thing to do, which was to go ask Christopher Robin. But as that had been the first thing he'd thought of, back at his own home in his own living room, he didn't know whether he could attribute the plan to the thinking spot rock or not.
As he stood up from the rock, another thought occurred to him: he could go home and just ignore it. He could pretend everything was normal and he could go about his usual business without any sort of attention to the problem. That sounded good, and when he said it out loud to himself to see if he had any objections, he didn't hear any.
Relieved, Winnie the Pooh walked home from the thinking spot rock, grateful that the spot had worked after all.
The very next day Pooh thought perhaps he ought to go see Christopher Robin after all. He looked around his house in dismay.
"Even if I clean up in here, it will simply happen again and I shall have to spend every morning cleaning up and I won't have any time at all for breakfast."
That seemed to clinch it, and Pooh gathered himself and began the short walk to Christopher Robin's house.
He waited patiently while Christopher Robin came to the door, and when Christopher Robin saw him, he smiled. "Hello, Pooh Bear. I was just thinking of visiting you today."
"Oh, that would be ever so lovely, Christopher Robin. When did you think you might visit?"
"I was going to come this afternoon," he said. "But as you're here, we could have our visit now."
"Oh, I would like that very much," Pooh said. "Although if you were to come to my house this afternoon, I would like that as well, equally as much. Only--"
"Only what, Pooh Bear?"
"Only I have a sort of a problem, you see, and I came to you to ask if you had any ideas what to do about it. And as it's a problem at my house, if you were to come visit -- oh dear. You might not enjoy your visit at all."
"What's wrong with your house?" Christopher Robin asked. "Is it flooded?"
"No, no. It isn't flooded."
"Are you out of honey?"
"No, I"m not out of honey." Pooh had checked the honey pots that very morning, and tasted the honey from each one. Possibly more of them were empty now than had been before, but there had definitely been a bit of honey left in them, for a snack. "I have plenty of honey for you when you come to visit," Pooh said.
"Has your home been invaded by bees?" Christopher Robin asked. "Or walrisauruses?"
"No, not bees or walrisauruses." Pooh hesitated, then said, "Not by either of those." He wasn't precisely sure what a walrisaurus was, but he hadn't seen one in his house that morning, or yesterday, or even last week so he was fairly sure his house hadn't been invaded by them. Whatever they were.
Christopher Robin crouched down, hands on his knees, head down by Pooh's. "Come on, silly old bear, tell me."
"I hate to disturb you about it," Pooh said. "But I haven't any idea what to do." He took a deep breath, then said it all at once. "Piglet has been turned into a werewolf."
Christopher Robin blinked at him. "A werewolf?" Pooh nodded. Christopher Robin tilted his head. "How do you know he's a werewolf? Maybe he's just wearing a winter coat?"
"But it's spring," Pooh pointed out. "And he has claws. And he's tearing up my living room and I don't know how to change him back." Pooh pressed his paws together, afraid that Christopher Robin might say he hadn't any idea what to do.
But Christopher Robin stood up, and patted Winnie the Pooh on the head. "Stay right here while I go get something." He turned and went into his house, and after a few minutes he came back out with a bright blue handkerchief wrapped tightly around something. Pooh wanted to know what it was, but Christopher Robin was already walking quickly down the path towards Pooh's house and he had to hurry to keep up.
As they approached Pooh's door, they could hear Piglet inside. There was crashing and banging and Pooh Bear hoped that that particular crash wasn't one of his pots of honey. There was also a very loud growling. Pooh rubbed his tummy, just in case it had been him.
Christopher Robin pushed open Pooh's door and poked his head inside. "Hullo! Piglet? Are you at home?"
"No, he isn't," Pooh said. "He's at my house."
Christopher Robin looked back at him, then nodded, and stuck his head back inside. "Hullo, Piglet! Are you at Pooh's house?"
There was a sort of growling noise -- a very small growling noise, Pooh had to admit, but it was not a Piglet sort of growl. Christopher Robin pushed the door open and stepped inside. Pooh hurried after him, peeking about at the living room. His furniture was all turned over, blankets and curtains were torn, and pillows had been thoroughly de-stuffed. Plates and cups and silverware were scattered all over the floor, but, thankfully, the shelves with the pots of honey looked undisturbed.
Piglet was too short to reach them, Pooh was glad to see.
He turned as the small sort of growl got louder, and he saw Piglet rush out from under Pooh's bed and grab onto Christopher Robin's ankle.
"Oh, bother!" Pooh exclaimed. "Owl said something about not biting him," he added, only just remembering the advice he'd gotten the day before.
"I'll be careful," Christopher Robin said, and he reached down and grabbed Piglet by the back of his neck and lifted him into the air.
Piglet wriggled and slashed out with his arms, his normal Piglet hands ending in fur-covered claws. His normal-Piglet head was covered all over in pink fur, and his mouth which almost never used to have big, sharp teeth in it had big, sharp teeth in it. Pooh could see marks on his table legs were Piglet had chewed and bitten them. He hoped Piglet hadn't gotten splinters in his mouth, and reminded himself to ask Christopher Robin to check. Perhaps afterwards, when the fangs were gone and Piglet's mouth was safe to look into.
Christopher Robin didn't seem at all concerned about the small pink werewolf Piglet had become; he simply held Piglet out and lifted up the blue handkerchief. He shook it, hard, then shoved it into Piglet's face.
Piglet growled, then yelled, then he shook all over, shouting and sneezing. Pink fur exploded into the air, and Pooh watched as it drifted downwards onto his floor. "Oh, bother," he said, thinking that he'd only just swept this morning, and now here he would have to do it again.
"There you are, Piglet," Christopher Robin said, and Pooh looked up to see that indeed Piglet was there, and he was Piglet again.
"Oh, thank you, Christopher Robin," Piglet said.
"Tut, tut, Piglet. I'm just glad I had some wolfbane left over from last time," Christopher Robin said, shaking his head slowly.
"Oh, I am, too," Piglet said.
"I am, too," Pooh said, then he looked back down at his floor. "Er, Piglet, do you think you could stay for a bit and help me sweep?"
"We'll all help," Christopher Robin said. "Then we can have lunch, and then it will be afternoon and I will come over to visit. Pooh can tell me how Piglet got turned into a werewolf."
"Oh, it really isn't much of a story," Piglet said, and he hurried around, picking up armfuls of fur and pillow-stuffing.
"That's what you said last time," Christopher Robin said. "But I think you should tell me, this time. Perhaps I can help you think of a way to keep it from happening again."
Piglet paused and looked guiltily over at Pooh. Pooh frowned, then looked up at Christopher Robin. "It's my fault," he said. "I try not to bite him, but when he starts shouting my name I just can't help myself."
"Silly old bear," Christopher Robin said, and he patted Pooh on the arm. "Why didn't you use the protection I gave you?"
Pooh frowned, and thought, and tried to remember why. "Rabbit said dental dams were for girls," he said finally. "So I thought I'd better not, since both Piglet and I are boys."
"Silly old bear," Christopher Robin said again, shaking his head. Pooh thought maybe he had to agree.