Posts Tagged ‘A.A. Milne’

Winter trifles

Monday, December 13th, 2010

It is a cold day in Winnipeg, a real freeze-your-face-off day, and while walking to a nearby café to meet some friends for a late breakfast I remembered this little poem:

Oh, the cold of Canada nobody knows,
The fire burns our shoes without warming our toes;
Oh, dear, what shall we do?
Our blankets are thin, and our noses are blue—
Our noses are blue, and our blankets are thin,
It’s at zero without and we’re freezing within!

(Chorus)—Oh, dear, what shall we do?

—John Dunbar Moodie

Clearly, this was written before the days of central heating! Few of us now can complain of being so miserably cold indoors, whatever it’s like outside.

(John Dunbar Moodie, by the way, was the husband of Susanna Moodie, and this poem is quoted in her book, Roughing It In The Bush.)

And of course the “nobody knows” in the first line reminds me of this, from The House at Pooh Corner:

The more it
SNOWS-tiddely-pom,
The more it
GOES-tiddley-pom
The more it
GOES-tiddley-pom
On
Snowing.

And nobody
KNOWS-tiddely-pom,
How cold my
TOES-tiddely-pom
How cold my
TOES-tiddely-pom
Are
Growing.

To which Piglet eventually responds: “Pooh,… it isn’t the toes so much as the ears.”

But for me, it’s always the toes.