The Courage Files: Ode to Piglet

(Reposting an old article)

Who would have thought that little Piglet in Winne the Pooh would be a symbol of courage?

Benjamin Hoff wrote two beautiful books about the A.A. Milne characters. The first was called “The Tao of Pooh”. It takes Winne the Pooh and compares him to the “uncarved block” in Taoist philisophy. Pooh just is. He meets life with simplicity and a straightforward attitude. As a result he is able to be sponteneous and is essentially happy. A teacher for all of us!

‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’ ‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’ ‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully.’It’s the same thing,’ he said.

In the story of Winne the Pooh, we get to know Piglet as a jittery, ‘Very Small Animal’. He seems quite insignificant compared to the other characters — an endearing frightened little thing. In his second book, “The Te of Piglet” Benjamin Hoff shows us how Piglet is actually the one who manages to go beyond his fears and limitations. Instead of regretting his smallness, he manages to apply it for others. He thus becomes a very different ‘Very Small Animal’.

“Poem from Pooh to Piglet”

Animal so shy and small, dreaming you were bold and tall. You hesitate, all sensitive, waiting for a chance to live.

Time is swift, it races by. Opportunities are born and die. Still you wait and will not try; a bird with wings who dares not rise and fly.

But that ‘you’ you want to be, is not You and will never be. No one else will ever do the special things that wait inside of you.

You can be a guiding star, if you make the most of who you are. And the sensitivity, that you are now ashamed to see, can be developed even more, so you can find the key to hidden doors to places no ones been before.

And the pride you’ll feel inside, is not the kind that makes you fall. It’s the kind of pride that recognises, the biggness found in being small.

I first read this poem in 1993. It touched my heart and has lived inside me ever since.

The poem has a profound message in it. In Benjamin Hoff’s words: “ ‘Te’ means virtue and in the way of Piglet, the first thing we need to do is to recognize and trust our own inner nature, and not lose sight of it. In each of us there is something “Special” and that we need to keep!”

Courage is loud, bold and boisterous. It is also silent, shaky, and hyper-sensitive.

Many people do not quite realise what it is that they bring to the world and spend years trying to be something that doesnt touch on what they really are. It is as though they are blind to what everyone else can see about them. We must make sure that we recognise and own our core gifts that we are born with. This must be prioritised in our life.

The poem also describes a courage that often comes disguised by shaky knees and a lot of dithering. When you are wondering whether to make a brave move, absorb the wise words of Pooh and let your spirit be moved. Find in yourself the Te of Piglet.

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One thought on “The Courage Files: Ode to Piglet

  1. K Bustamante says:

    This is a wonderful poem and helps people to be more tao.
    I love it too! I might just post it in our staff room…

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