Winnie the Pooh and the Heffalump

James Stewart with music by Norman Leyden
RCA Victor Y-438
Total Time: 14:05

Winnie-the-Pooh, also called Pooh Bear, is a fictional anthropomorphic bear created by A. A. Milne. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also included a poem about the bear in the children’s verse book When We Were Very Young (1924) and many more in Now We Are Six (1927). All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard.

The hyphens in the character’s name were later dropped when The Walt Disney Company adapted the Pooh stories into a series of Disney features that became one of its most successful franchises.

The Pooh stories have been translated into many languages, including Alexander Lenard’s Latin translation, Winnie ille Pu, which was first published in 1958, and, in 1960, became the only Latin book ever to have been featured on the New York Times Best Seller List.

In popular film adaptations, Pooh Bear has been voiced by actors Sterling Holloway, Hal Smith and Jim Cummings in English, Yevgeny Leonov in Russian, and Shun Yashiro and Sukekiyo Kameyama in Japanese.

A Heffalump is a type of fictional elephant in the Winnie the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne. Heffalumps are mentioned, but never appear, in Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) and later featured in the animated The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988–1991) and Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005). Physically, they resemble elephants; Shepard’s illustration shows an Indian Elephant.

In the fifth chapter of Winnie-the-Pooh, Pooh and Piglet attempt bravely to capture a heffalump in a trap. However, no heffalumps are ever caught in their trap, and indeed they never meet a heffalump in the course of the books. The sole actual appearance of heffalumps in the books come as Pooh tries to put himself to sleep: “[H]e tried counting Heffalumps [but] every Heffalump that he counted was making straight for a pot of Pooh’s honey … [and] when the five hundred and eighty-seventh Heffalumps were licking their jaws, and saying to themselves, ‘Very good honey this, I don’t know when I’ve tasted better’, Pooh could bear it no longer.” We learn nothing more about the nature of the beasts in the writings.

In the third chapter of The House at Pooh Corner, Pooh and Piglet fall into a similar trap (it’s implied it was the same one) and think that it was made by a Heffalump to catch them. Pooh and Piglet rehearse the conversation they’ll have when the Heffalump comes, but Pooh falls asleep and when Piglet hears a voice, he panics and says the wrong thing. He is mortified when the voice turns out to be that of Christopher Robin.

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