Welcome to Poohdickery! Writer Don Ferguson and artist Richard Moore did a syndicated Winnie the Pooh comic strip for ten years that was reprinted for decades after they stopped making new strips in the late 1980s. One of the notable aspects of the strip is how Winnie the Pooh and his friends often act a lot less nice than they do in their animated appearances. In this feature, I'll post one of these examples each installment. Click here for an archive of past installments!
Owl is one of the most interesting members of the Winnie the Pooh cast, because he likes to give off the air of being very intelligent but he really isn't any more intelligent than any one of the other animals in the woods. What he is good at, though, is making people BELIEVE that he is intelligent.
If you asked the other animals in the woods who their smartest friend was, they likely would all turn to Owl, even though Rabbit is a good deal more literate than Owl. Once, Winnie the Pooh asked Owl to write "A very happy birthday with love from Pooh," and Owl wrote "HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY." Since Pooh, though, cannot read, as far as he knows, Owl has done a marvelous job.
However, just because everyone respects Owl's intelligence does not mean that they treat him nicely. This is Poohdickery, of course, so there are plenty of strips where the various animals note that Owl just bores the heck out of them. In one of the earliest strips I shared in this feature, Pooh and Piglet both note that Owl's stories always have happy endings - everyone is happy when he is finished!
Of course, in the Disney cartoon adaptations of the Winnie the Pooh stories, Owl's rougher edges are sanded off a bit and he is a good deal more jovial and sweet to his fellow animals that he is in the other Pooh stories. I believe he and Piglet ended up sharing a house after Owl's house was blown away in one story (although, honestly, it is not like there is a great deal of continuity in Winnie the Pooh cartoons, so who knows what their deal is now).
The fact that the comic strip is based on the cartoon, though, just makes the Poohdickery aspect of the strip so much harsher, since the character has been toned down for the cartoon and yet in the comic, the edge is back and THEN some!
Here is the strip...
Dang, Pooh, that is harsh!
That's it for this installment! If you happen to know of a good example of Poohdickery, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!