HISTORY LESSON – 11

Pooh_Shepard_1926

Winnie-the-Pooh was first published in 1926. Of course, he was quite old already – A.A. Milne took ages to get round to writing about him.

I have always hoped, as no doubt you have, that I was related to Mr Sanders.

I have undertaken some extensive and thorough research and have some really wonderful news.

No doubt you are all very familiar with the epic poem Beowulf. Here is a brief summary to refresh your memory.
180px-Beowulf_challenged_by_the_coastguard_by_E_Paul

The main protagonist , Beowulf , a hero  of the G e a t s , comes  to the aid of H r o  g a r , the king of the D a n e s , whose great hall , H e o r o t , is plagued by the monster G r e n d e l . B e o w u l f kills both G r e n d e l and G r e n d e l’s mother , the latter with a magical sword .

Later in his life , B e o w u l f is himself  king of the G e a t s , and finds his realm terrorized by a dragon whose treasure had been stolen from his hoard in a burial mound . He attacks the dragon with the help of his t h e g n s , but they do not succeed . B e o w u l f decides to follow the dragon into its lair , at E a r n a n Ê s , but only his young S w e d i s h relative W i g l a f d a r e s join him . B e o w u l f finally slays the dragon , but is mortally wounded . He is buried in a tumulus by the sea .

180px-Beowulf_and_the_dragon

I have recently delved deep into the poem. Please take careful note of the highlighted passage.

This heard in his home Hygelac’s thane,
great among Geats, of Grendel’s doings.
He was the mightiest man of valor
in that same day of this our life,
stalwart and stately. A stout wave-walker
he bade make ready. Yon battle-king, said he,
far o’er the swan-road he fain would seek,
the noble monarch who needed men!
The prince’s journey by prudent folk
was little blamed, though they loved him dear;
they whetted the hero, and hailed good omens.
And now the bold one from bands of Geats
comrades chose, the keenest of warriors
e’er he could find; with fourteen men
the sea-wood he sought, and, sailor proved,
led them on to the land’s confines.
Time had now flown; afloat was the ship,
boat under bluff. On board they climbed,
warriors ready; waves were churning
sea with sand; the sailors bore
on the breast of the bark their bright array,
their mail and weapons: each clutched their bears teddy:
the Pooh of Beowulf the grandest of all
:
the men pushed off,
on its willing way, the well-braced craft.
Then moved o’er the waters by might of the wind
that bark like a bird with breast of foam,
till in season due, on the second day,
the curved prow such course had run
that sailors now could see the land,
sea-cliffs shining, steep high hills,
headlands broad. Their haven was found,
their journey ended.

This poem possibly dates back as far the 8th century. Extrapolating defined mathematical principles, this means that each and everyone of us is, in fact, related to Winnie-the-Pooh. Good and reassuring news indeed!
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