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The world has changed in the hundred years since A. A. Milne introduced us to Winnie-the-Pooh and his pals, but that doesn’t mean our lovable friends haven’t adapted to life in the twenty-first century. This heartwarming, laugh-out-loud parody—by frequent McSweeney’s contributor Jennie Egerdie—takes us along for some marvelous misadventures as the gang grapples with modern life’s headaches and pesky predicaments. Today, we’re happy to offer an excerpt from Oh, Bother.

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Session 1

Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, in a sensibly furnished den, Eeyore shared feelings of inadequacy with his therapist, Dr. Festinker.

“Everyone in the Hundred Acre Wood has a home,” he complained, “and I live in a wobbly tent of sticks.”

“I’m sorry,” said Dr. Festinker. “That must feel terrible.”

Eeyore shook his head from side to side. “Not much use feeling bad about it,” sighed Eeyore. “Feeling bad doesn’t build me a house.”

“Maybe not,” agreed Dr. Festinker. “But ignoring your feelings will only lead to resentment and make it harder for you to make the changes you desire in your life.”

Eeyore stared at his skunk therapist. He took in her deep, sympathetic gaze as well as her strong, pungent scent. (This was the reason behind her very reasonable rates: a sliding scale based on each patient’s tolerance of the odor.)

Eeyore let out a long, slow sigh. “Can’t help noticing you’re right.”

“Have you told your friends how you feel about your home?” asked Dr. Festinker.

“No,” said Eeyore.

“What do you think would happen if you asked for their help in finding you a home like theirs?” encouraged the skunk.

“I think they would help me,” admitted Eeyore glumly.

Dr. Festinker smiled.

“Not that they think of me as a friend,” added Eeyore. “They only keep me around so they have someone to blame when it rains.”

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Session 17

Eeyore was remembering a trauma.

“And then,” said Eeyore, “my tail went missing.”

“That sounds very hard,” said his therapist.

“It was,” said Eeyore gloomily. “Have you ever lost a tail?”

“Can’t say that I have,” said Dr. Festinker.

“That’s what I thought,” said Eeyore, gazing sadly at his therapist. “Losing a tail is terrible. But it got worse. My tail was at Owl’s house being used… as a bell-pull.”

Eeyore let out a long, sad sigh.

“My tail…” He moaned, slowly shaking his head. “A doorbell!”

“I’m sorry that happened to you,” said Dr. Festinker.

“Owl didn’t even notice it was my tail,” said Eeyore with a great deal of self-pity. “He would have noticed if it were Pooh’s tail. Pooh’s the best bear in all the world. And what am I? A grey, gloomy donkey, with a droopy tail that keeps getting lost.”

“Eeyore, you have many strengths,” said Dr. Festinker kindly. “But what if, since losing your tail bothers you, you left your tail at home?”

“Can’t,” answered Eeyore.

There was a long silence.

Dr. Festinker politely counted to ten in her head.

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Session 114

Eeyore was making a gratitude list, naming things that made him happy.

“I like the little Piglet. He’s my favorite size,” said Eeyore. “I like Pooh Bear’s kindness. I like that Rabbit always has snacks, and Kanga’s warmth, and that Tigger is so bouncy. And I like that Owl sends out a newsletter to the whole wood for free.”

“Eeyore!” exclaimed Dr. Festinker. “Look at all this positivity! You’ve made so much progress!”

“I think so, too,” agreed Eeyore. “I’ve been feeling sunnier as of late.”

“That’s wonderful,” beamed the skunk.

Eeyore smiled and looked out the window at the fine autumn morning in the forest. The sun dappled between green and bronze oak leaves, greeting the donkey with waving branches in the cool, fresh winds.

“Oh, no,” sighed Eeyore. “Looks like rain.”

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Illustrations by Ellie Hajdu.

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From the book Oh, Bother by Jennie Egerdie. Reprinted by permission of Running Press, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Copyright © 2024 by Jennie Egerdie.