Hails Mr. Alan Alexander Milne,
I would really love to be on a first name basis with you. Alexander. Alan. It would be a fitting honor for someone that I literally grew up on. I’ve loved the 100 Acre Wood since I was a foot tall and lived in my own imaginary woods between the brick alleys of my neighborhood.
Did you know that I was almost named after Christopher Robin? (Although the name would still be odd today, I would proudly wear it.) While the stories certainly resounded more around the inhabitants of the 100 Acre Wood than Christopher himself, he did represent the numinous event that produced their need—and not without a minor “Tut, tut it looks like rain!” and that little red umbrella.
Perhaps I should get myself one.
You’re one of my literary heroes to this day. Enlightening me with moral stories that didn’t make grand patronizing gestures to me as if I didn’t understand the world; that actually presented dilemmas that I found frustrating, and giving me a reason to like the disliked neighbor—Rabbit.
(To be fair, aside from Christopher, my favorite has always been Eyore—perhaps I’d been goth way back then as well. Give me an Eyore patch and perhaps a backpack and I’ll be happy as a lark under a branch in a rainstorm.)
Who are we as writers if not the replay of our favorite moments from our own lives and those of our literary progenitors and you have many progeny today, Mr. Milne. I may not write children’s books that I so lavishly grew up on, but you are never far from my thoughts even as I yank ghosts and goblins from the collective unconscious of the human race and parade them through gaslit streets.
Don’t wait up for me.
I’m already a fan.