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The Battle Hymn of the Tigger Mother

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One morning Pooh was awakened by a bouncing sound outside his house. He heard a stern voice shouting "Bounce! Bounce!" over and over the way a drill instructor might shout it. Pooh had never heard a drill instructor before so that is what it sounded like to him.

He decided he ought to go outside to investigate. On the way to the door he stopped at his larder and lifted down a pot of honey to take with him. If his investigation took a very long while, he could at least be sure that he wouldn't miss his breakfast.

Outside he found Tigger bouncing furiously and the Tigger Mother shouting at Tigger to bounce more and more, and telling him "That's not good enough!" and calling him "lazy" and "pathetic" and "garbage" and other names.

"Hallo, Tigger," said Pooh. But Tigger was too exhausted and too afraid to stop bouncing to return Pooh's greeting. "Hallo, Tigger Mother," said Pooh.

"Tigger has no time to waste with friends," said the Tigger Mother. "He's practicing his bouncing."

"Bouncing is what Tigger's do best," gasped Tigger.

"You are not the best!" said the Tigger Mother. "You will keep bouncing until you are the best. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is required for excellence."

"It looks like fine bouncing to me," said Pooh.

"Let me see you bounce," the Tigger Mother said. "If you bounce better than Tigger, I'll make him practice three extra hours."

"I don't have time for bouncing," said Pooh. "I have to pack because I'm going to visit my friend Rabbit for a few days."

"You are not allowed to have sleepovers!" said the Tigger Mother.

Pooh could not recall such a rule or who might have made it, but it seemed to him that since Rabbit's house is below ground, it was really more of a sleepunder.

The Tigger Mother looked closely at the label on Pooh's honey pot. "How do you spell 'honey?'" she asked Pooh.

"H-U-N-N-Y," Pooh replied, reading it carefully from the pot.

"Wrong!" the Tigger Mother shouted. She bent down, got in Pooh's face and said, "You are a bear of very little brain!"

"Yes," said Pooh.

The Tigger Mother straightened. "I said that to motivate you."

"But it's true," said Pooh. "Everyone says so."

"Start bouncing!" the Tigger Mother ordered.

"Oh dear," said Pooh. "How long must I bounce?"

"Until you learn to spell perfectly," said the Tigger Mother. "Until you are the best speller in the Hundred Acre Wood. Until you stop being a disgrace."

"Bother," said Pooh.

"Bounce, you worthless loser," said the Tigger Mother, "or I'll tie a bag of hungry woozles to your face."

So Pooh bounced, and not having much experience bouncing, he banged his head on a tree branch and disturbed a hive of angry bees and landed heavily in a gorse-bush and experienced many other whimsical yet painful complications which we will not enumerate here. But the Tigger Mother was insensitive to his discomfort and ordered him to keep bouncing.

Now Piglet happened along and was surprised to find Pooh and Tigger bouncing furiously to the point of exhaustion, and was even more surprised when the Tigger Mother ordered him to start bouncing too.

"I'm not here for bouncing," said Piglet. "I'm here to see if Pooh wants to play Pooh Sticks."

"No playdates!" shouted the Tigger Mother. "No games! And no complaining about no games! Now bounce!"

"I don't think I can bounce," said Piglet, "for I am a Very Small Animal. I'd rather play Pooh Sticks."

"You may not choose your own extracurricular activities!" screamed the Tigger Mother. "Now bounce, or I'll burn your stuffed animals."

"G-g-gracious!" cried Piglet. "I am a stuffed animal!"

"You are lazy and stupid," the Tigger Mother said. "I will show you the proper way to bounce to get you started. Things are hardest at the beginning," And picking him up in her paws, she slammed that pigskin to the ground like Ahmad Bradshaw in the end zone. Poor Piglet didn't bounce at all, but just lay splayed where she spiked him.

"Nothing is fun until you're good at it," the Tigger Mother explained to the motionless Piglet. "You must practice endlessly. Once you start to excel at something, you will win praise, admiration and satisfaction. Then it will become fun." But Piglet just let out a little moan and his eyes turned into tiny Xs.

The Tigger mother knew that the proper response to Piglet's substandard performance was to excoriate, punish and shame him, which she intended to do if he ever regained consciousness.

Time passed and the other residents of the Hundred Acre Wood came by. Owl and Rabbit brought a homemade birthday card they had made for the Tigger Mother, but the greeting read: hipy papy bthuthdth thuthda bthuthdy, so she said it wasn't good enough and ripped it up and threw it in their faces and called them worthless and made them start bouncing.

When Eeyore arrived, the Tigger Mother said, "Hey fatty, you're as big as a heffalump -- lose some weight," and made him start bouncing too.

Christopher Robin marched by beating his drum, but the Tigger Mother berated him because he wasn't playing a piano or violin, the only instruments anyone in her orbit was allowed to play. "I can't march with a piano or violin," Christopher Robin said. The Tigger Mother told him he was a pathetic weakling who wasn't trying hard enough, and if he just practiced practiced practiced he could march with a piano and that he'd better become the best piano marcher in the Hundred Acre Wood or else she'd give his drum to the Salvation Army. And she made him start bouncing.

Finally Kanga came along to see why everyone was bouncing outside of Pooh's house, for she lived not far from Pooh in the Western part of the Hundred Acre Wood.

"You Western parents coddle your children," the Tigger Mother said when she saw Roo riding in Kanga's pocket. "You worry about their self-esteem. You praise them for mediocre performance, afraid of hurting their feelings and bruising their egos. That is why your Roo will never excel at bouncing like my Tigger."

"Well, I don't know about bouncing," said Kanga, "but my Roo is excellent at hopping."

"Hopping?" snorted the Tigger Mother.

"We'll show you, dear" Kanga said. Roo climbed out of Kanga's pocket and, using their powerful hind legs, they both began to hop.

Now when it comes to hopping and bouncing, it is very difficult to tell the difference between the two. When the Tigger Mother saw Kanga and Roo hopping higher and faster than Tigger could bounce, she had a meltdown and tore her fur and screamed and wailed and threw herself prostrate on the ground, weeping and carrying on because she and her progeny had fallen short of perfection and she was unable to process the experience.

Everyone took this as a cue to stop bouncing and fell to the ground gasping with exhaustion. Kanga put her arm around the Tigger Mother and dried her tears and said "There, there, dear" in an effort to boost her self-esteem and sooth her hurt feelings and bruised ego. Then she invited everyone back to her house, where she gave the Tigger Mother a much-needed dose of Roo's strengthening medicine.