In his house at R’lyeh Corner dead Pooh lies dreaming

As most modern readers know, A.A. Milne did not write Winnie the Pooh, but translated it from an ancient Sumerian text. Not only was Milne a poor translator, he also took broad liberties with the result. Tragically, the only extant copy of the text, which he worked from in th cramped basement of the British Museum, was destroyed in a flood in 1954. That was thought to be the end of the matter.

In 1986, during routine excavation of a Bronze Age village in Syria, performed primarily as training for Archeology students at the University of Brisbane, several papyrus scrolls were found sealed in pottery jars with lead stoppers. It has taken years for the crumbling scrolls to be recovered, using digital technology, Chromatic Tomography, multi-depth x-rays, and fibre-optic cables originally designed for intestinal surgery, but translation efforts have begun on the first fragments to be captured.

Dr. Isaiah Spencer, of the Museum of Modern Archeology, who is leading the translation project, tells us that the original scrolls were called, “The Pooh-that-is-Winnie: A bear of very little Ka.”

Very little of the manuscript has been assembled, and even less has been translated, but one example passage reads,

The Black Pig of the Woods with a Thousand Young said, “It’s hard to be brave when you’re a Very Small Elder God.”

The Disney Corporation has announced its plans to sue the University of Modern Archeology, and all associated persons and institutions, for copyright violations. Disney owns the international copyrights on Winnie the Pooh, and enforces their ownership very strictly. Lawyer Laurence Lesspig, of the Open Content Defence Fund, maintained that copyright does not extend to artifacts from 3000 years before Christ, but a spokesperson for Disney replied that they would let Congress and the courts decide.