Things like Birthday parties seldom happen all at once in exactly the way we imagine they are going to happen and this one was no different. Everyone arrived in a confused jumble, not knowing quite what to do when they got there. There were hellos and excuse me’s and “oh how lovely”s exchanged as well as a few “well then”s. 

Over the whole messy affair, the tree stood quietly watching and patiently waiting. She was a marvelous old tree (and still is if you care to know). She wasn’t the widest in the forest, nor the tallest, the stateliest nor the greenest. She was humble, frank and full of peace that only a lot of love: born, grown and lost, can bring. 

Winnie the Pooh had an empty pot for the tree and Piglet brought a balloon. Owl brought a book. Eeyor brought a ribbon. Rabbit brought a sign that said “keep off the grass except for the giving of hugs”. Kanga and Roo brought water in clay water pitchers they made themselves. Kangas was much smoother than Roos, but you could tell that Roo had tried just as hard to make his look as best he could and the tree liked it just as much.  The bees brought flowers.  Tigger brought himself, naturally. Other animals had come as well. There were some horses and (whatever Dan needs to make the circle work in final illustration) 

“Piglet, what’s that?” Pooh was peering down at the ground. 

 “I’ve heard it called a pine’s cone.” 

” What does a pine do with a cone? “

 “I think a cone is a baby pine, Pooh.” They both looked out across the forest floor, which was littered with pine’s cones.

“Oh my, piglet, there are ever so many. ” 

“I had only seven brothers and sisters,” said Piglet, ” and that was an awful whole lot.”

“Why ever does she drop her babies on the ground?”

“Propagation!” declared Owl somberly.

“Propagation!” agreed Rabbit cheerily.

“They need to be on the ground to grow up.” explained Kanga.

“B – But. . . ,” Piglet was worried, “ there are too many to all grow up. Doesn’t she care?” 

“She cares about each one, Piglet.” said Kanga, “That is what makes her so strong.”