A little consideration

“Thanks for noticing me,” the catchphrase used by Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore is described by author A.A. Milne as an, “old grey donkey.” He is remembered by most Pooh fans as the gloomy, sad character, with the bow on his tail, the tail that he keeps losing. He is overall a grey donkey with the little brightness of the pink bow, maybe to symbolize the occasional hint of joy that we see in him. One can’t help but feel sorry for the little guy, but despite that, many lead their lives daily passing by those that most resemble Eeyore in their moods. They take no notice of those who seem to suffer from the same depression, or if they do take notice they choose to ignore it.

We are first introduced to Eeyore in the book, Winnie the Pooh. He is first found to be standing all by himself in a corner of the forest, thinking sad thoughts. He is known to think such thoughts from time to time such as, “Why, Wherefore, and Inasmuch as which?” Upon a greeting from Pooh, we realize that Eeyore is gloomy because he had lost his tail. We hear one of Eeyore’s famous lines, “Not very how,” in reply to Pooh’s greeting. Pooh then goes on a search for Eeyore’s tail and finds it at Owl’s. Eeyore is then so excited about the return of his tail that he is supposed to have frolicked in the forest, swishing his tail back and forth. This can be a very surprising part in the story, as most of the time Eeyore does not express such joy. It puts a smile on even the hardest of hearts to know that Eeyore is so happy over the return of his tail.

Eeyore comes off as a pessimist, and also seems to have many sad things happen to him. Once these sad things occur, he is known to reply with remarks such as, “It’s just what would happen.”  It’s as though he expects these things to happen, commonly being heard to say things like, “if it is a good morning, which I doubt” “probably lose it again” “it’ll probably rain.” He’s not usually surprised when bad things do happen, “I might of known” “we can’t all” “as usual” “that’s all there is to it.”

Despite his gloominess his friends care about him. They don’t make an attempt to change him. When Pooh first introduces Tigger to Eeyore, he explains Tigger’s behavior to Eeyore and then Eeyore’s behavior to Tigger. He doesn’t make any excuses for either, just the brief introduction, just matter of fact. No one ever talks condescending to Eeyore. They all try to include him and understand him. They attempt to help him, and he also helps his friends. He is a very loyal donkey. He is giving as well. We see that when he is first introduced to Tigger and realizes that Tigger hasn’t eaten. Though he is saving his patch of thistles for his birthday, he doesn’t mind to share them with Tigger.

Sometimes I think Eeyore was just misunderstood. I wonder what made him appear so gloomy. Maybe it wasn’t gloomy for him to reply after Rabbit’s, “That’s right, Eeyore. Drop in on any of us at any time, when you feel like it.” “Thank you, Rabbit. Andif anybody says in a Loud Voice ‘Bother, it’s Eeyore,’ I can drop out again.” Maybe Eeyore had experienced negativity so much so before, that now he is more of a realist.

I’m not so sure that Eeyore wasn’t hopeful. There were many times through out his parts in the stories that he seemed interested and excited that he might be included in something. Just his simple, “thanks for noticing me” shows that he wanted to be included, he wanted others to notice. Such as in his sweet reply, “I might have known,” said Eeyore. “After all, one can’t complain. I have my friends. Somebody spoke to me only yesterday. And was it last week or the week before that Rabbit bumped into me and said ‘Bother!’ The Social Round. Always something going on.” We also see this when he mentions his birthday as he does from time to time. Of course when we first meet him we see that he is disappointed that no one remembered. Later we hear him talking about the thistles he’s saved for his birthday.

Most people’s perception of Eeyore is that he is eternally gloomy, but that really isn’t his perception of himself. As we see in The House at Pooh Corner,

“Pooh explained to Eeyore that Tigger was a great friend of Christopher Robin’s, who had come to stay in the Forest, and Piglet explained  to  Tigger  that  he mustn’t mind what Eeyore said because he was always  gloomy;  and  Eeyore  explained  to Piglet  that,  on  the  contrary,  he  was feeling particularly cheerful this morning.” Eeyore doesn’t expect too much of himself so therefore remains quiet most of the time.

We see that Eeyore doesn’t expect much from anything really. “Eeyore doesn’t expect much from his friends and always expects the worse whenever they come to help him. Here is where his friends come in handy; they dismiss his gloomy thoughts, which cause him to feel grateful to them.” Maybe Eeyore is gloomy, maybe he doesn’t have a lot of positive thoughts, but he is kindhearted and loyal to his friends and they are loyal as well. It’s amazing what we can learn from a children’s story. It is well known that Eeyore has a depressive nature and he is always gloomy, but he is also a compassionate animal. This is shown when Eeyore is able to grow a plant which Rabbit, a much respected gardener is unable to grow. Eeyore achieves this by giving the plant some of his love.

Eeyore is actually kind of surprising and funny. It’s almost as though he realizes things are going to go wrong in life. And instead of responding with worry and sadness, he just takes it all in. I am not quite sure what to make of him. Is he depressed? Or does he take it all in stride? Being alive for 35  years and being in an abusive marriage, I have seen things. I know this life gives us more than we think we can handle at times. I wonder what Eeyore went through to make him respond this way. He doesn’t pretend. He doesn’t fake happiness, but at times he shows it. He doesn’t pretend to be into something that he isn’t. He shows us just how observant he is in his many quirky, witty, and well-timed replies. As when he loses his tail, “It’s not much of a tail, but I’m sort of attached to it.” Deadpan. Literally funny. Or when Pooh comes trampling through and wrecks his house, “Thanks for noticing me.” Why not see the silver lining? When he has a good idea, “Might take a day or two, but I’ll find a new one.” And then he walks off as though that’s exactly what he’s going to do- go and find something that is abstract.

Eeyore is usually one of the core group of animals, along with Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit and Tigger. Of these five, he is the most reluctant to go along with their plans or adventures, but does not oppose them because he believes it to be futile to try. There’s so much we can learn from this one little guy:

“We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.” Eeyore says. “Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose. Eeyore replies, “Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.” I think a good thing that Eeyore teaches us is that we are all different. We weren’t all meant to be outgoing, loud, excitable people. Some of us are to be quiet, and that’s ok. I think Eeyore’s friends teach us that that is ok, that everyone is different and we are to be accepting of them even if we don’t understand. As Eeyore notes, “A tail isn’t a tail to them, it’s just a little bit extra at the back.” Not everyone is going to understand us. There will be those that no matter how much we explain, they just won’t be willing to understand our point of view. And that’s ok. Sometimes the people who aren’t understanding are the ones who need the most gentleness and understanding. “It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily. “So it is.” “And freezing.” “Is it?” “Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.” He likes that silver lining, see? He isn’t all hum glum. He puts a positive spin, that even though it’s cold out and everyone is freezing, Hey, there hasn’t been an earthquake. What can we be thankful for? “They’re funny things, accidents. You never have them till you’re having them.” Yes, another life lesson. Live life! Go! Try something new! Don’t be scared! Don’t hold back! Sometimes mistakes will happen, but you can’t live in fear that they will happen. And you never know they are happening until that moment anyways. Don’t second guess everything you do. You may lose your tail along the way, but with good friends, you will be sure to find it. Surround yourself with those good friends, and be one yourself. It’s really all that will get us through those times where our house gets knocked down, we run out of thistles, we get bounced into the river, or when we lose our tail. “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference. Or so the say.”