The fourth knock and still no answer.
“Strange”, thought Winnie the Pooh. Piglet had finished remodeling his Beech Tree house, just south of Pooh Bear’s home. The two best friends made plans to meet here for lunch.
Pooh knocked on the wooden door again. He noticed honey that stained the yellow fur of his knuckles and licked it off, then continued to knock.
“Piglet, are you home?” His voice quivered. “Piglet…?” The name trailed off in a high pitch whisper. Bear began to panic. Thoughts of his little pink friend stuck under a piece of firewood, or suffering from a rash of some sort frightened Pooh Bear. He jiggled the brass doorknob, but it was locked.
What if Piglet were kidnapped by a large-mouth banshee or grumpy, green skinned troll, and they forced him to search the forest beyond Hundred Acre Wood for grasshoppers and butterflies? The images gave Pooh shivers.
“Oh bother, think, think, think,” Pooh said aloud. He coiled back his leg and kicked in the door, cotton muscles working like never before. The door slammed open. Pooh was immediately struck with the warmth from a burning fireplace that crackled against the wall. He crept through the living room and nudged the edge of wooden table, nearly knocking over a lit lantern. The crackle mixed with that of a bubbling sound. In the kitchen, Haycorns boiled over in a pot and beside it a jar of honey cooled. Pooh’s button eyes widened and he headed for the honey. He picked up the jar and licked his snout, then froze, remembering his friend. He put the jar down and turned off the stove.
Pooh Bear called up to the bedroom. “Piglet, it’s me, Pooh, bear of a little brain, are you up there?”
Pooh began to climb the curved steps, wood creaking underfoot. A picture hung on the wall of the staircase. It was of Pooh sitting on grass eating honey, the golden, sweet food spilt on his red shirt. Beside him Eeyore’s grey donkey bulk was slumped on the grass, one ear flopped over a sullen eye. To Pooh’s other side was Tigger in mid bounce, his toothless mouth a wide smile. On his shoulders sat little Piglet in his signature pink and black striped shirt; his pink ears flapped back, mouth joyfully agape. Behind them, rich green hills met a blue sky at the horizon.
Pooh continued up into the bedroom. Piglet’s foot-long bed sat in the corner underneath a window, and on the bed was a stuffed bear, one that resembled Winnie the Pooh. Above, the ceiling curled to a close, the tree ending in a point. The fresh smell of carved wood and sap filled the air. This was Piglet's newly renovated bedroom. But there was still no sign of Piglet.
Pooh went back downstairs. He surveyed the living room once more, putting out the fireplace and lantern, and turned to leave when he spotted a shaft of light that came from the back of the tree house, beneath the steps. Pooh cautiously walked towards it, tiptoeing on toeless feet. The door was slightly open and Pooh slowly opened it further.
The bathtub was empty, aside from a lone yellow duck. Beside the bathtub was the sink. The toilet sat in the corner, and light reflected something at its porcelain base. Pooh noticed the pull chain broken at midpoint. The handle lay in a puddle of water on the floor. On the surface of the toilet bowl floated an issue of “A Lovely Bakery” magazine.
“Oh d-d-dear”, Pooh stuttered the words as if they were Piglets own. He put his paw against his mouth in shock. Piglet had accidentally flushed himself down the toilet while performing the “magical number 2”. He imagined his little pig friend, yanking on the chain. It then snapped. Piglet must have plunged back into the basin and thrashed in the swirling water till it took him away. What was there more to say than goodbye? Piglet would often joke about traveling into the vortex of water in his bathroom. Although the small pig was often afraid, he had a brave heart, and decided that his bathroom should be fit for those larger than him, for his guests, that they should be comfortable at least when during potty time. Pooh then left the house. He closed the door behind him, sobbing, wiping his eyes of tears while holding the cooled jar of honey under his arm. He looked up at the sun and saw Piglet’s pink image in the bright yellow bulb in the sky.
He spoke to the heavens, voice like a weathered, old man's. “Even though you were number 2 to everyone else, you’ll always be number 1 to me.”