Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood
Where all that happens is for good,
Where Roo still plays on sunny days.
Pooh and friends once desperate stood.
The Bear of Little Brain then dwelled
Where honey with a U is spelled
Among the trees and bumble bees
And hero parties oft were held.
With Piglet trembling close beside
He roamed the forest, far and wide,
Where Heffalumps and Tigger jumps
Would make our heroes run and hide.
While in the background Rabbit fussed
And griped and (sotto voce) cussed
As Pooh was stuck and then unstuck
Uncured of his great hunny-lust.
The haycorns grew in sunlit dells
While daffodils and silver bells
On riverside did thick abide
And perfumed with ambrosial smells.
But deep within the river crept
A darker force, its anger kept
In check by him who, visage grim,
His watch maintained while others slept.
Until a game of Pooh-sticks played
Upon a new bridge in the shade.
When Eeyore won, his guard undone
Released the thing from where it stayed.
The cloud that crossed the sun that noon
Was not a bear on a balloon.
The darkness spread, and with it, dread
That reckoning was coming soon.
The grass grew withered, turning grey.
The river whipped up icy spray
And in the trees the honey bees
Mysteriously slipped away.
As ruin of their home they faced
Our heroes in their centre placed
Small frightened Roo, and Piglet too
While breath grew short and pulses raced.
And at the shore they made their stand
Between the water and the land
As eye met eye they knew they’d die
And with their blood stain red the sand.
Upon the bridge brave Rabbit hopped
The shadows rose and overtopped
The parapet. Old Long-ears met
And stopped the dark, then lifeless dropped.
Then for his dead friend Tigger howled
And in response, the forest growled
Thence came a beast, like Death released
And Rabbit’s lifeless corpse befouled.
The tiger bounced then, gold and red
And from him darkness briefly fled
But the black struck swiftly back
And left him broken, beaten, dead.
Above the heroes rose a bird
By Tigger’s death to courage spurred.
No longer meek, with claw and beak
Old Owl fought (without a word!)
Then Christopher Robin turned
And saw the river once more churned
With foul mud and Rabbit’s blood
As revenant, their friend returned.
At that their blood froze in their veins.
Abandoning their meagre gains
They huddled in, while with a grin
The zombie rodent sought their brains.
And as they stood in trembling row
And watched the beast they used to know
He reached right through and seized on Roo.
And though they fought he’d not let go.
He pulled his tiny captive through
Their hopeless clutches and withdrew
His prey, held tight, soon ceased to fight
And then, “Oh, bother!” exclaimed Pooh.
And at that sound the noises ceased
As friend and foe and eldrich beast
Turned in awe, and wond’ring, saw
The Might of Pooh at last released.
A gentle humming sound he made
And through the grass began to wade
And all he touched unclenched, unclutched
As he spread peace throughout the glade.
With Kanga weeping in his wake
His way to Rabbit did he make.
The foul hare, with yellow stare
In unclean voice then harshly spake.
“You rob me of my prey, then, Pooh?
Three friends for one I’ll trade to you
If I can choose the one you lose
I’ll end it now, bear. What say you?”
The rabbit’s eyes then opened wide
And met with Eeyore by Pooh’s side.
His voice was grim. “I choose him
And will not lightly be denied.”
Pooh turned and peered then at his friend
“I want this Unpleasantness to End
But what to do? I can’t lose you.”
“It’s OK,” said Eeyore. “I’ll mend.”
“Oh, not from this,” the monster smiled
And Eeyore’s fur with slime defiled.
As Rabbit healed there stood revealed
A tangled shadow, dark and wild.
It caught up Eeyore in its night
And he succumbed without a fight
While at his side his friends all cried
And darkness howled in grim delight.
Then in the sunlight played small Roo
While from the beach bounced Tigger too.
And Rabbit, dazed, in horror gazed
At hands still smeared with foul goo.
The donkey lay upon the hill
While darkness worked its foul will.
The friends he saved watched him, enslaved
And vigil kept as he lay still.
First he grew sqamous, then rugose
His skin drew tight and wrapped him close
Instead of hair grew tendrils bare
In writhing, twisting, twining rows.
But then he moved, and raised his head.
“I see that I’m not really dead.
I should have guessed I’d get no rest.
How typical,” the donkey said.
In time the rot seemed to reverse.
And Eeyore lived despite the curse.
“These psuedopods and Elder Gods
Are not so bad. It could be worse.”