CHAPTER 2 In Which Wahanie Goes Visiting and Becomes Immobile
ULL OF WAHA!, known to his friends as Wahanie-the-Bull,
or Bool for short, was stumbling through the prairie one day,
humming proudly to himself. He had made up a little hum
that very morning, as he was doing his Fighting Exercises in
front of the tent he woke up in: Tra-la-la, tra-la-la, as he swung
his ax up as high as he could, and then Tra-la-la, tra-la--oh,
help!--la, as he barely missed his toes. After breakfast he had
said it over and over to himself until he had learnt it off by
heart, and now he was humming it right through, properly.
It went like this:
Well, he was humming this hum to himself, and staggering
around gaily, not caring what everybody else was doing, or
what it felt like, being somebody else, when suddenly he
came to a dusty tent, and in the tent he tore a large hole.
"Wa!" said Bool. (Beer-tum-tiddle-um-tum.) "If I know
anything about anything, that tent means Rabid," he said,
"and Rabid means Company," he said, "and Company means
Food and Listening-to-Me-Humming and such like. Beer-tum-
So he steadied himself, put his head into the hole, and
"Is anybody at home?"
There was a sudden scuffling noise from inside the tent,
and then silence.
"What I said was, 'Is anybody at home?' " called out Bool
"No!" said a voice; and then added, "You needn't shout so
loud. I heard you quite well the first time."
"Bother!" said Bool. "Isn't there anybody here at all?"
Wahanie-the-Bull took his head out of the hole, and thought
for a little, and he thought to himself, "There must be somebody
there, because somebody must have said 'Nobody.' " So he put
his head back in the hole, and said:
"Hallo, Rabid, isn't that you?"
"No," said Rabid, in a different sort of voice this time.
"But isn't that Rabid's voice?"
"I don't think so," said Rabid. "It isn't meant to be."
"Ha!" said Pooh.
He took his head out of the hole, and had another think, and
then he put it back, and said:
"Well, could you very kindly tell me where Rabid is?"
"He has ridden off to see his friend Wahanie Bool, who is a
great friend of his."
"But this is Me!" said Bool, very much surprised.
"What sort of Me?"
"Are you sure?" said Rabid, still more surprised.
"Quite, quite sure," said Bool.
"Oh, well, then, come in."
So Bool pushed and pushed and pushed his way through the
hole, and at last he got in.
"You were quite right," said Rabid, looking at him all over. "It
is you. Glad to see you."
"Who did you think it was?"
"Well, I wasn't sure. You know how it is in the Prairie. One
can't have anybody coming into one's tent. One has to be
careful. What about a mouthful of something?"
Bool always liked a little something at hand-before-noon, and
he was very glad to see Rabid gathering the knives and drink
horns from the floor; and when Rabid said, "Beer or fermented
milk with your pemmikan?" he was so excited that he said,
"Both," and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, "But don't
bother about the pemmikan, please." And for a long time after
that he said nothing . . . until at last, humming to himself in a
rather slurred voice, he got up, punched Rabid lovingly with his
fist, and said that he must be going on.
"Must you?" said Rabid politely
"Well," said Bool, "I could stay a little longer if it--if you----" and
he tried very hard to leer in the direction of the storage pit.
"As a matter of fact," said Rabid, "I was going out myself
"Oh well, then, I'll be going on. Good-bye."
"Well, good-bye, if you're sure you won't have any more."
"Is there any more?" asked Bool quickly.
Rabid opened the storage sacks, and said, "No, there wasn't."
"I thought not," said Pooh, nodding to himself. "Well, good-bye.
I must be going on."
So he started to crawl toward the hole. He pulled with his
hands, and pushed with his feet, and in a little while his nose
was out in the open again . . . and then his ears . . . and then
his hands . . . and then his shoulders . . . and then----
"Oh, help!" said Bool. "I'd better stand up."
"Oh, bother!" said Wahanie. "I shall have to go on."
"I can't do either!" said Bool. "Oh, help and bother!"
Now, by this time Rabid wanted to go for a ride too, and finding
the hole full, he opened the tent flap and went out by the
entrance, and came round to Wahanie, and looked at him.
"Hallo, are you sleeping?" he asked.
"N-no," said Wahanie carelessly. "Just resting and thinking
and humming to myself."
"Here, give us a hand."
Wahanie Bull stretched out a hand, and Rabid pulled and
pulled and pulled....
"Wa!" cried Bool. "You're hurting!"
"The fact is," said Rabid, "you're drunk."
"It all comes," said Wahanie crossly, "of not having four legs."
"It all comes," said Rabid sternly, "of drinking too much. I
thought at the time," said Rabid, "only I didn't like to say
anything," said Rabid, "that one of us was drinking too much,"
said Rabid, "and I knew it wasn't me," he said. "Well, well, I shall
go and fetch Chaos-Hater Robon."
Chaos-Hater Robon lived at the other end of the camp, and
when he came back with Rabid, and saw the front half of
Wahanie, he said, "Silly old Bull," in such a loving voice that
everybody felt quite hopeful again.
"I was just beginning to think," said Bull, drooling slightly,
"that Rabid might never be able to mend his tent hole again.
And I should hate that," he said.
"So should I," said Rabid.
"Mend his tent hole again?" said Chaos-Hater Robon. "Of
course he'll mend his tent hole again."
"Good," said Rabid.
"If we can't stand you up, Bool, we might push you back."
Rabid scratched his beard thoughtfully, and pointed out that,
when once Wahanie was pushed back, he was back, and of
course nobody was more glad to see Bool than he was, still there
it was, some lived in tents and some lived under the stars, and----
"You mean I'd never get out?" said Wahanie.
"I mean," said Rabid, "that having got so drunk, it seems a pity
to waste it."
Chaos-Hater Robon nodded.
"Then there's only one thing to be done," he said. "We shall
have to wait for you to get sober again."
"How long does getting sober take?" asked Wahanie anxiously.
"About a week, I should think."
"But I can't stay here for a week!"
"You can stay here all right, silly old Bull. It's getting you
moving which is so difficult."
"We'll tell you stories," said Rabid cheerfully. "And I hope there
won't be a sand storm," he added. "And I say, old fellow, you're
taking up a good deal of room in my tent-the kids won't mind
straddling your legs as Riding Beasts, and chasing your butt as
a chaos monster. Because, I mean, there they are-doing
nothing-and it would be very convenient for the kids to play
"A week!" said Wahanie gloomily. "What about meals?"
"I'm afraid no meals," said Chaos-Hater Robon, "because of
getting sober quicker. But we will tell you stories."
Bull began to sigh, and then found he couldn't because he
was so heavily pressed to the ground; and a tear rolled down his
eye, as he said:
"Then would you tell an Eiritha Story, such as would help and
comfort a Drunken Bull in Great Immobility?"
So for a week Chaos-Hater Robon told that sort of story at the
North end of Wahanie, and the kids hunted chaos on the South
end, whipping Wahanie's legs to go faster and throwing stick-
spears at his butt . . . and in between Bull felt himself getting
soberer and soberer. And at the end of the week Chaos-Hater
Robon said, "Now!"
So he took hold of Wahanie's arms and Rabid took hold of
Chaos-Hater Robon, and all Rabid's friends and relations took
hold of Rabid, and they all pulled together....
And for a long time Wahanie only said "Wa!" . . .
And "Ha!" . . .
And then, all of a sudden, he said "Pop!" just as if a bladder
And Chaos-Hater Robon and Rabid and all Rabid's friends and
relations went head-over-heels backwards . . . and on the top of
them came Wahanie-the-Bull--standing!
So, with a nod of thanks to his friends, he went on with his
walk through the prairie, humming proudly to himself. But,
Chaos-Hater Robon looked after him lovingly, and said to
himself, "Silly old Storm Bull!"
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