“Yo, Chris,” Winnie the Pooh sauntered in to the hollowed-out tree he called his crib and gestured carelessly at Christopher Robin. “Pass me some of that sweet stuff.”
Christopher Robin put down the tax forms he had been scrutinizing. “Real talk, Pooh,” he said. “This honey is wrecking your life. You’re stuck here in a tree in middle-of-nowhere Hundred Acre Wood. You’re tripping all the time. Face it, you’re a mess—when was the last time you even put on pants?”
Pooh towered menacingly, as only a portly teddy bear can. “Think, think, think,” he hissed, “about what I could do to you with my bear hands.”
“G-give him the honey, Christopher!” Piglet squealed, quivering in fear, or perhaps from the large amount of pills he had ingested moments before. “Remember that time with the heffalumps?”
They all remembered that time with the heffalumps.
“Oh, bother!” Pooh slammed his paws on the table, kicked over his little stool, violently overturned his table for good measure, and stormed out of the tree. He’d get his honey somehow.
Pooh found himself at Mr. Sanders’ Howse of Iniquity, the most happening club in the Hundred Acre Wood and an establishment run by none other than his old drinking buddy and occasional bail bond agent, Tigger. As Pooh entered the bar, Tigger caught sight of him and flattened several woodland creatures in his excitement.
“Pooh!” he exclaimed, spraying Pooh with spittle. High as a kite, as always. “Hold on a sec,” he said, catching sight of a disturbance in the roiling, seamy crowd. “Duty calls.”
He launched himself across the room with his powerful tail and cuffed Owl and Rabbit, who were grappling with each other over which of them had the more creative name. They were promptly ejected, and Tigger bounced back to Pooh’s side.
“Dude,” Pooh said admiringly.
“Aw, this is nothing,” said Tigger. “Being a bouncer is what Tigger does best.”
Later, they smoked joints of thistle by the light of the moon. “So, you’re looking for a fix, huh?” Tigger eyed Pooh’s drawn face knowingly.
“Yeah, dude. Christopher Robin is cutting me off.” Pooh buried his face in his stubby paws. “God, it’s been so long since I’ve had any honey.”
Tigger blew out a smoke ring pensively. “Well, I know a guy…”
They were now in the heart of the Wood, walking through a network of underground tunnels. The walls were scored with claw marks, and Pooh and Tigger took care not to step on the sticks of dynamite that lay strewn on the ground. A single tooth lay in a corner.
“These were Gopher’s tunnels.” Tigger’s voice was hushed. “You know, before he got…removed.” Tigger and Pooh shared a look filled with significance.
They stepped into a cavern and were greeted by a dense cloud of smoke.
“Where is he?” Tigger muttered.
“Thanks for noticing me,” a voice droned hopelessly from the corner, and the lumpy form of Eeyore shuffled into view.
“Yo, Eeyore.” Pooh knew Eeyore had been around the block a few times, but he didn’t know it had gotten this bad. Eeyore’s tail had left him for good a few years back, and he’d never been the same since.
“Nobody ever comes to visit Eeyore. What could you possibly want with little old me, other than my stash of over 500 varieties of extremely potent poppies?”
Pooh cleared his throat. “Hey, uh, Eeyore, you got any honey in that stash of yours?”
Eeyore’s heavy-lidded eyes took on a mocking cast. “Why,” he drawled, “so you can knock down my house on another trip again? No wonder you don’t wear pants anymore—I doubt you could find any that fit you.”
“Now, Pooh,” Tigger began, but Pooh paid him no heed. In a flash, he had Eeyore choking in a vise-like grip, and was left with a piece of ass in his paw. Flinging the donkey aside, Pooh ran.
He ran away from the smoke, away from the dolorous donkey, stubby legs pounding the ground in frustration and defeat. He ran until his body could take the lack of honey no more, and he collapsed to the forest floor in a gasping, sobbing mess.
Through the spasms of withdrawal, Pooh suddenly smelled something that sent a rumbly through his tumbly. “Hunny!” he rasped. He flailed about, looking for the source. There! There, glinting by the light of the moon, was a pool of honey inside the hollow of a majestic oak.
He started for the tree, then froze. Accompanying the seductive scent was a low hum—quiescent, but extremely volatile. There were bees afoot. Pooh cursed under his breath, but the smell of honey was a goad that urged him on. He was too far gone now.
He scaled the tree with an agility completely unexpected in something so rotund. Then again, he was a stuffed teddy bear with a body-wracking addiction to honey, so why not?
Breathing raggedly, Pooh stared into his fate. He hesitated only for a moment before plunging his paw into the hollow’s golden depths that teemed with writhing, striped bodies. Honey. Raw, unprocessed honey, straight from the hive. Pooh had never stooped so low. He felt the stings of thousands of angry bees, and heard their laughter roaring in his ears. It was all right. He had his honey. His eyes filled with tears. He hated honey.