The Red Book by A.A. Milne


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A look at what might have happened if someone other than Tolkien had discovered The Red Book:  

Excerpts from The Red Book of Westmarch
As Translated by A.A. Milne

1. In which Bilbo the Hobbit Has an Adventure and Finds a Ring
Bilbo the Hobbit (who is properly called Bilbo ther Hobbit, says Christopher Gandalf, but not even Christopher Gandalf knows why) was standing in front of his smial where he lived under the name of Baggins.
Bilbo the Hobbit was just thinking it was time for A Little Something, when Christopher Gandalf came along the path.
"Hullo," said Christopher Gandalf.  "I am going to have an Adventure, and you are coming along."
"But I am not very fond of Adventures," said Hobbit.
"Well, that may be so," said Christopher Gandalf. "But you are having one anyway.  He took Hobbit's hand and pulled him down the path.  Bump, bump, bump, went Bilbo the Hobbit down the path behind Christopher Gandalf.
"Oh, bother," said Hobbit.  "It seems I am going to have an Adventure whether I want one or not."
After Hobbit had gone bump, bump, bump, down the path for what seemed like a very long time, along came some Dwarves who also lived in the Middle-acre World.  They were friends of Christopher Gandalf, but their names were so hard to remember that Christopher Gandalf just called them each "Dwarf."
"This is Bilbo ther Hobbit," said Christopher Gandalf to the Dwarves. "He is coming with us on our Adventure."
"But I am not very fond of Adventures," said Bilbo the Hobbit, "and it is far past time for a Little Something."
Christopher Gandalf said, "You are a Hobbit of Very Little Brain, and don't know what's good for you."
Hobbit sighed.  "Yes, that is true," he said.  So he continued down the path, bump, bump, bump, behind Christopher Gandalf.
After a very long uncomfortable time, Christopher Gandalf dropped Bilbo the Hobbit's hand.  Hobbit was no longer being pulled, bump, bump, bump.  But he was alone and did not know where Christopher Gandalf and the Dwarves had gotten to.
"Oh, bother," said Hobbit.  (Then Hobbit said some other things, but since you children wouldn't understand them, we won't repeat them here.)
Bilbo the Hobbit walked along, trying to hum a little tune to make his stomach forget how empty it was.  He stubbed his furry toe against Something Hard.  He picked up the Something Hard. It was a Ring, so Hobbit put it on his finger, because, of course, that is what one does with a Ring.
After walking along some more, Hobbit heard Christopher Gandalf's voice.  "Well," said Christopher Gandalf, "we have lost Hobbit and will have to go back and look for him."
Hobbit saw Christopher Gandalf and the Dwarves and waved to them.  "Hullo! Hullo!" called Hobbit.
But Christopher Gandalf said, "I hear Hobbit, but I don't see him."
Bilbo the Hobbit said to himself, "You may be a Hobbit of Very Little Brain, but I think you have found a Ring that makes you invisible." He took the Ring off of his finger and called, "Hullo!" again.
Christopher Gandalf jumped up and clapped his hands.  "Silly old Hobbit," he said.  "Now we have had enough of an Adventure and can go home."
All the long way back, Bilbo the Hobbit went bump, bump, bump, down the path behind Christopher Gandalf.  But he also hummed a little tune as he thought about his new Ring, of which he was very, very fond indeed.

************

2.  In which Eefro Has a Birthday and Gets a Very Special Present
"Happy birthday, Eefro," said Christopher Gandalf.  "What a very nice party you had."
Eefro sighed.  "You are the only person who remembered my birthday," he said.  "Everyone else only remembered that it was Bilbo the Hobbit's birthday."
"Oh, I am sure that isn't true," said Christopher Gandalf.
"Not that it matters," said Eefro. "I know my birthday isn't important to anyone.  It's Hobbit who has birthday parties and gets birthday presents.  That's all right.  I don't want to be a bother.  I see Hobbit has gone off and left me all the cleaning up to do.  I don't mind.  That's just how things are."
"But Hobbit left you a present," said Christopher Gandalf.
Eefro perked up his ears.  "A present?" he asked. "For me?"
"Oh, yes," said Christopher Gandalf.  "He left you his Ring that makes him invisible."
"Hobbit gave me his Useful Ring," said Eefro, and scampered around the room a bit in spite of himself.
Christopher Gandalf looked uncomfortable.  "It isn't really a Useful Ring," he said.  "In fact, I am afraid it is a Very Bad Thing and will probably have to be Gotten Rid Of."
"Hobbit said it was a Useful Ring," said Eefro.
Christopher Gandalf said, "He thought it was a Useful Ring, but he is a Hobbit of Very Little Brain."
"Yes, that is true," said Eefro.  "Silly old Hobbit."  Eefro's ears drooped again and he sighed.  "That's just what would happen, isn't it?" he said.  "I finally get a birthday present and all I can do is throw it away.  I'm not complaining, you understand.  I've never had a birthday present before, so it won't really make any difference to me."
Christopher Gandalf looked even more uncomfortable.  "Oh, you mustn't throw it away," he said.  "You have to keep it until I find out what kind of Very Bad Thing it is.  But you mustn't put it on your finger (even though, of course, that is what one usually does with a Ring), because if you put it on your finger it might turn you into a Very Bad Thing."
Eefro shook his head and said, "But Bilbo the Hobbit put it on his finger, and he did not become a Very Bad Thing."
"That is true," said Christopher Gandalf, "but that is only because he is a Hobbit of Very Little Brain."
"I could be a Hobbit of Very Little Brain, if I tried," said Eefro.  He closed his eyes and tried very hard to have Very Little Brain.
"I am afraid it doesn't work like that," said Christopher Gandalf.  "No, you will have to keep this Very Bad Thing and not use it."
Eefro sighed a deep sigh.  "Of course," he said.  "I understand.  I always get the short end of the stick, so to speak.  But that's all right.  I'm used to it.  What will happen when you find out what kind of Very Bad Thing it is?  Not that it matters, you understand.  I would just like to know."
Christopher Gandalf looked even more uncomfortable than he had the first time he had looked even more uncomfortable.  "Then you will probably have to Get Rid Of it yourself," he said.  "And that would mean having a Very Bad Adventure, indeed."
"Oh, ----," said Eefro.

************
Other stories in the Book:
3.  In which Eefro and Samlet Visit Owlrond and Make Some New Friends
4.  In which Eefro and Samlet Have a Very Bad Adventure without their Friends and Samlet Sees a Hefalump
5.  In which Eefro and Samlet's Friends Have Adventures of Their Own, but Since We're Only Interested in Eefro We Won't Bother with Those
6.  In which the Very Bad Thing Is Gotten Rid Of, and Everyone is Very, Very Happy (Except Eefro, of Course)
______________
More (real) Pooh:
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In Latin!

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