Pooh Bear took a few more licks of honey along the path. Each little lick brought back one memory to the next.
"... And after I wished Kanga and Roo a Happy Windsday. . . I was bounced by Tigger! He and Roo went to their bouncing grounds to play. . . and. . . asked me to play Pooh Sticks with them at the bridge."
"Hmm..." Marina tapped on her cheek. "Maybe that's what you forgot. A play date with your friends."
"You know. . ." Pooh smiled, "I think you're right. That must be it. A game of Pooh Sticks with Tigger and Roo after lunch. Oh, now I remember!"
Goofy smiled, "That's great, Pooh! A-hyuck! Mind if we join ya in the game?"
"That would be wonderful, Goofy," Pooh smiled. "Oh, look! There's Piglet's house."
He hurried up the path that was leading to an enormous oak tree. The trunk had a front door, a few windows, and there was even a balcony on the second floor. On the front lawn, there was a mailbox and a sign that was missing a large piece leaving the words "Trespassers Will".
"Piglet! Oh, Piglet!" Pooh called out.
Marina elbowed Goofy, "You know I'm growing so fond of this place more than I did as a child. This is too cute."
"A-hyuck, this house looks cozy," Goofy rubbed he head. "It looks like it might be taller inside."
"Bump still bothering you?"
"Oh, it's nut'in. You know it happens all the time."
Pooh knocked on the front door, "Piglet. Piglet? We're going to play Pooh Sticks today and I'd thought you'd like to come."
But there was no answer.
He tried again, "Piglet? It's me! Are you home?"
Still no answer.
Marina was peeking inside the window telling him, "Well, it's awfully quiet inside. I don't see any movement."
"Maybe we just missed him," Goofy shrugged. He patted on Pooh's shoulder, "Don't worry, Pooh. We'll run into him shortly. I'm sure of it."
"I hope so," Pooh nodded. He looked at his little honey pot that had a little bit left inside. "Oh, maybe my honey pot here will tell him that we were here when he gets back."
"That might work," said Goofy.
Pooh placed the honey pot down next to the door and placed his paw in Marina's hand, "Well, let's continue to Rabbit's house. I'm sure he'll invite us for lunch." He giggled, "Every day when I visit him, he would always say, 'Hello, Pooh Bear. How 'bout lunch?'"
Marina started walking with him, "I'd love to meet him. I just can't wait to meet all your friends. Meeting Tigger sounds like a lot of fun."
"Ah-yuck," Goofy chuckled as he followed. "His Bouncing Grounds sound like a fun place to visit."
As the three of them were shortly coming to a fork in the road, a faint sound was heard within the rustling of the wind through the trees.
Goofy's keen hearing was the only one to hear it. He lifted his ear, "Uh... did you hear that?"
"Hear what, Goof?" Marina looked over her shoulder.
"That noise. It sounded like somethin' howling a 'halluuuuu'. Seemed pretty far away though."
"I didn't hear anything," she shrugged.
Goofy turned around and was walking backwards behind Marina and Pooh. He was trying to listen for the sound again, but he wasn't realizing that he was falling behind right as Marina and Pooh came to the fork in the road. Sure enough, Marina and Pooh took the path to the left and Goofy was walking backwards on the path to the right.
At least fifty paces later, Goofy heard it again.
"There it is again," said Goofy. "You must've heard it that time."
But when Marina or Pooh didn't answer, he finally turned around realizing he was alone on the path.
"Marina? Pooh Bear? Hel-LOOooo?!"
But there was no answer.
Roo swung down from the branch of a tree, flipped in the air, bounced on a tight canvas like a trampoline, went higher into the air, and landed on a bull's eye. He found that he barely missed the center.
"Oh, rats. Too close!"
"My turn!" Donald called from the branch. He took the rope, swung down, leaped in the air, and bounced on the canvas. However, when he went higher into the air, the very center of the bull's eye collapse into a hole in the ground. A gopher's head popped out of the hole finding the first thing to see besides the light of the sun was a duck falling towards him.
"WAAAAK!!!" Donald tried to stop his fall, but made no progress. He landed tail feathers first on top of the hole hammering the gopher back into the ground. "What in the devil wath that?"
Roo laughed, "That was Gopher."
Donald was pushed out of the hole from the gopher. The spoke aggressively with a whistle in every 's' through his buck teeth, "SSssay!! What'ssss the big idea?"
Donald shouted, "Well, what's the big idea of diggin' a hole there?! You ruined our target practice!"
"Don't sssit there quacking at me. Ansswer my question in plain English, Sssonny!"
Donald's feathers turned red, "Doggone, stubborn, little--"
"This is my new friend Donald Duck," said Roo. "Donald, this is Gopher."
Gopher looked around, "Oh, I guesss I made a wrong turn again. I wasss heading for the sssoutheassst sssside of the wood. Well, back to the ol' tunnelsss. Oh, Roo, and tell that Tigger to ssstop that bouncccin' around my mailbox. Dagnabbit, the whole upper tunnel of my houssse is collapsssed."
And he disappeared into the hole. Donald and Roo watched as a mound was moving across the ground.
Marina and Pooh finally noticed that they were not hearing the flip flopping of Goofy's large shoes. She turned around, "Goofy? Goofy?!"
"Oh, dear," Pooh scratched his ear. "You think that sound he heard took him away?"
"Most likely he just dawdled and not realize it," Marina crossed her arms. "That big goof. He never changes. He's so clumsy."
"Should we go look for him?"
"He'll be okay. We'll look for him after we meet up with your friend, Rabbit. How much further is it?"
"Just around the bend," Pooh pointed behind him.
Both of them turned and continued down the path. They came around a corner and into a large clearing. Straight ahead was a large vegetable garden where one of the main crop was carrot. Across the garden was a large oak tree growing on a sand hill complete with a door and a few windows.
Marina folded her hands, "Pooh, your neighborhood gets more adorable by the moment. Now I really can't wait to meet your friend--"
"Rabbit!" Pooh cut her off.
A yellow rabbit about Pooh's height was in the corn patch trying to build a scarecrow. He turned around, "Pooh? Is that you? Well, where have you been?"
"Just thinking about.... some things," Pooh came over to him. "Luckily Marina and her friends came over to help me."
"Who's Marina?" Rabbit asked.
"That would be me," Marina smiled as she approached the patch. "Hello, there Rabbit. Pleased to meet you. I'm Marina Seadrift."
Rabbit came up to her and shook hands with her, "It's a pleasure, my dear. What brings you to the Hundred Acre Woods?"
She looked around his garden, "Well, my two friends and I were sent here to help out on a few things here and there. . . but from the looks of it, things look okay around your place."
"Not exactly," Rabbit frowned. "My last scarecrow was blown away from a strange breeze that came up this morning. Those pesky crows will be eating up my corn again."
"Oh, I can help you with that," Marina smiled. "I helped make a scarecrow for our garden back home.....even though it kinda looks a little more like a clown. Heh... I guess using some of Daisy's old make-up was the worst touch on it."
Rabbit laughed, "Well, I could use just a little help with this one. I want it to look much taller than my last one."
"I'm your helper."
Pooh said, "Oh, and forgive to pry, Rabbit, but if you don't mind, if it weren't too much to ask, might I--"
"--borrow a small smackeral of honey," Rabbit finished him off with a sigh. "I have some in the cupboard. Help yourself Pooh Bear."
"Why thank you, Rabbit," Pooh made his way up to the house.
"Yeeeah. Don't mention it," Rabbit moaned.
Marina giggled, "I take it that it gets a little tiresome for Pooh to ask for more honey?"
"Oh, he's a dear friend indeed, but every other day of borrowing honey... oh, dear."
She placed a hand on his shoulder, "I know just how you feel, Rabbit. Donald and Goofy are like brothers to me, but every day of Donald's temper and Goofy's clumsiness. . . oh, brother."
"Oh, shucks," Goofy continued along the path he took. "Where'd she go? Marina?! Ma-REEEEE-naaaa!!"
"Oh dear!!" a small cry was heard up the path. "Don't call the others if there's more of you!"
Goofy looked and saw a very small pink piglet stuffed with fluff standing on the path shivering like rattle. He approached the little nervous creature and knelt down to looked closer.
"Huh? What others, little guy?"
The piglet covered his eyes, "Oh, d-d-d-dear! Don't hurt me Mr. Woozle! I didn't mean it that way!"
"Uh. . . woozle? Where?"
"Isn't that what you are?"
"I don't think so," Goofy tilted his head. "Hey, are you Pooh's friend, Piglet?"
"Well... y-y-yes. Yes, I am," Piglet uncovered his eyes.
"A-hyuck! We were just at your house looking for you. It's good to see you're doing well. The name's Goofy!"
With his forefinger, Goofy shook hands with him.
"It's a pleasure to meet you. I-I-I'm sorry for thinking you were a Woozle. I thought that call you were making was the call of a Woozle."
Goofy laughed, "Oh, I was just callin' my friend Marina. I just got separated from her and Pooh."
"Oh, dear. Maybe I can help you find them. I-I-I was looking for Pooh anyways. . . but I can't find him anywhere."
"Wull, don't worry anymore, little feller. I was just with him and he's fine. He and Marina are on their way to--uh.... Rabbit's house for lunch and, uh. . . to play a game of, uh. . . uh. . . Pooh Sticks!"
"Really? Oh, w-we play that at the bridge. I know where that is. L-Let's hurry."
Donald and Roo hopped down the path as happy as bouncing crickets.
"So where are we going?" Donald asked.
Roo answered, "Over to the bridge. My home is further down from it, but I wanna show you the bridge so we can play Pooh Sticks."
When the small bridge crossing a stream was spotted ahead, Donald asked, "What kind of game is that?"
"It's easy! I'll show you!" Roo quickly swiped up some twigs off the ground from his bounce and raced Donald to the bridge.
Marina straightened the hat and coat on the tall scarecrow, "There! That should do it."
"Very nice, Marina," Rabbit smiled. "Now for the finishing touch." He handed her a black marker.
"Ah, yes. I think a good yet scary face will keep the crows out."
While she was drawing a face on the burlap face, Pooh was coming back out of Rabbit's house finishing a pot of honey. He licked his paw and said, "Thank you again for lunch, Rabbit. That sure helped out the rumbly in my tumbly."
"No trouble at all," Rabbit sighed.
"There," Marina finished the face. "Angular eyes and a hissing smile. I may not be Rembrandt but I'm sure it'll do."
"I know it'll do. I thank you ever so much for your help, Marina."
"You're very welcome, Rabbit," she dusted her palms.
"Hello down there!" a voice called from above.
Everyone looked up and saw a large brown owl coming down to the ground.
"Oh, hello, Owl," Pooh waved as the owl landed.
"Good day to you, Pooh Bear. I'm glad to see you're well. And a lovely day to you, Rabbit. Well, I say... that's a grand looking new scarecrow you have. Though, I must tell you, I spotted your old one in the river. At least. . . I think it was a scarecrow. There was some greyish being slowly floating down the stream. Of course, my eyes aren't what they used to be. In fact, I think I heard it calling out to me." Owl finally noticed Marina, "Oh, I beg your pardon ma'am. Have we met?"
"No, sir," she answered. "It's nice to meet you though. My name's Marina. You must be Owl."
"Pleased to meet you, Marina."
"Wait, Owl!" said Rabbit. "Did you just say the scarecrow called out to you and was a greyish color?"
"Yes, I did," Owl flapped his wings and came off the ground. "Now, if you excuse me, it's tea time for me. It was an honor to meet you, Marina. Everyone have a nice day."
"Good bye, Owl," Pooh waved.
"Nice to have met you," Marina called. "Fly safely."
As he was flying away, Rabbit spoke a little frantically, "Oh, dear. Oh, me, oh, my. Don't you know what this means? Someone grey was in the river calling out to Owl. We've got to get to the bridge."
"Oh good," Pooh grinned. "We can all play Pooh Sticks together."