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My Mother & Winnie-the-Pooh MAG
So Eeyore stood there, gazing sadly at the ground, and Winnie-the-Pooh walked all around him once.
“Why, what’s happened to your tail?" he said in surprise.
“What has happened to it?’’ said Eeyore.
“It isn’t there!"
“Are you sure?"
“Well, either a tail is there or it isn’t there. You can’t make a mistake about it. And yours isn’t there!"
Pooh and Eeyore were speculating about what had happened to the donkey’s tail when a high-pitched scream pierced the air. The awful moaning outside my bedroom window sounded like a crazed banshee. I felt my mother’s chest convulse as she took a sharp breath.
I suddenly became aware of the pouring rain, the vicious lightning and thunder, and the shrieking winds. The screech of the tornado siren continued to rise and fall slowly, never completing the first scream before beginning its cycle again. With each horrifying note, I was filled with more fear, the almost hypnotic terror that only a young child can experience when faced with the dreaded unknown.
My father swung open the bedroom door and burst into the room. “There’s a tornado warning," he said, his face tight and pinched. “Hurry, everyone needs to get into the bathroom. It’s the only room in the house without any windows. Bring anything you need because we might be there for a while."
Still clutching my Winnie-the-Pooh book, I followed my mother around our house and helped gather necessary supplies. As my family piled into the bathroom and sat on the floor, the lights flickered and went out. I whimpered softly. The tiles on the floor felt like ice against my legs, but the air in the room was hot and musty. It seemed like the walls were closing in and I could not breathe.
My father quickly clicked on one of the flashlights, and I slowly inspected the faces of my family. I watched my father’s jaw clench repeatedly. The weather service predicted that the tornado would not touch down, but he worried just the same. My mother flashed us a reassuring smile as she covered me and my sister with blankets. My 12-year-old sister crossed her eyes and stuck out her tongue in my direction.
Winnie-the-Pooh and Eeyore and all their friends had disappeared. I was back in reality. I was a very small, almost insignificant kid scared out of my mind. I had lost any courage I had mustered. I could see the lightning when I closed my eyes. I could hear the thunder when I covered my ears. The wails of the tornado siren echoed in my head. I did the only thing a very small kid could do in that situation. I clutched the blanket tightly, curled myself into a little ball and started to sob.
With a soft click of her tongue, my mom pulled me into her sturdy arms and held me tightly, much like a mother hen protecting her chicks. I inhaled the smell of her cotton nightgown and, for some reason, felt less afraid. My mother began to read, and the pleasant hum of her voice filled my head, overpowering the terrifying wind and rain.
Pooh felt that he ought to say something helpful about it, but didn’t quite know what. So he decided to do something helpful instead.
“Eeyore," he said solemnly, “I, Winnie-the-Pooh, will find your tail for you."
The storm continued far into the night, but I began to focus more on the rise and fall of my mother’s voice than on the shrill notes of the sirens. I was pulled back into the story, and into the next story, and into the next. Then, I fell into a deep sleep.
Whenever a storm enters my life, whether physical or emotional, I reach for my Winnie-the-Pooh book. Whenever I feel lonely or afraid, the familiar stories comfort me like an old friend. I identify most with Eeyore and the story of his lost tail. It may bring a tear to my eye, but it continues to remind me that my mother will always be there for me. I always recall that she and a little imagination helped me conquer one of my greatest fears and taught me a valuable lesson. Courage was my lost tail, and thanks to my mother and Winnie-the-Pooh, I found it.