Winnie the Pooh and his pals invented one of the greatest and most satisfying sporting competitions known to man. Pooh Sticks.
Of late I seem to have frequently, and fortunately, found myself in idyllic countryside settings complete with quaint bridge and sufficiently flowing stream (the sight of stagnant water to a hopeful Pooh Stick-er is beyond tragic measure), with only one activity in mind. Choosing the correct size and weight stick for the ‘match’ ahead is a skill in itself, whilst the throwing in of said stick, too, requires much attention. Throw it even slightly off target and one can find oneself victim to troublesome rocks or, dare I mention, straggly reeds. Of course, placing all of one’s trust in a gnarled, often (and sometimes amusingly) misshapen twig can feel alien and scary, but equally, it can provide a small, natural thrill, only, to my mind, ever found through nature’s simplicity.
I am not afraid to admit that I have suffered some heavy Pooh Stick defeats in my time, but this never deters me from trying again. The excitement of running across a bridge with fellow competitors, each desperate to catch a glimpse of their stick victoriously leading the way, is eternal.
With some research, I am pleased to discover I am not alone in this passion. In March 2011 a 9 year girl old won the World Pooh sticks Championships. It makes me ashamed that at the age of 22 I have achieved so little by comparison. At least I now have something to aim towards I suppose.
My lasting wish is that Eeyore could share in some of this enthusiasm. Lucky enough to live in the homeland of Pooh Sticks, I will never comprehend what he has to be so sad about.