‘Owl?’ said Pooh. ‘What’s a biography?’
‘A biography,’ replied Owl, ‘is an Important Book. Such as an Interested Person might read. Anyone who is interested in the real-life toys which inspired you and Piglet and the others, for instance, might be tempted to read The Life and Times of Winnie the Pooh by Shirley Harrison.’
‘Is that the one you said was published by Remember When at nineteen pounds ninety-nine?’ asked Pooh.
‘The very same,’ answered Owl. Then he fixed Pooh with a Meaningful Stare. ‘But — and I say this with regret — it is a temptation they should probably resist.’
Pooh looked sad. ‘Really?’
Owl nodded. ‘It is touching that our adventures still inspire people. And the book does, I believe, proffer the occasional smackerel of interest. Winnie ille Pu being the only Latin book ever to feature on the New York Times bestseller list, for example. But most of its contents are, unfortunately, already well known. Teddy bears getting their name from Theodore Roosevelt, A. A. Milne buying his son the toys from Harrods and —’ Owl lowered his voice for this last bit, the better to protect Pooh’s feelings — ‘the real Christopher Robin growing to resent his association with you.’
But Owl needn’t have worried. Already Pooh, a Bear of Very Little Brain, was more concerned with finding Something For Tea. And besides, people would always have the stories themselves.