"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest – and when I say thinking I mean thinking – you and I must do it."
"Yes," said Owl. "I was."
Owl took Christopher Robin's notice from Rabbit and looked at it nervously. He could spell his own name WOL, and he could spell Tuesday so that you knew it wasn't Wednesday, and he could read quite comfortably when you weren't looking over his shoulder and saying "Well?" all the time, and he could.
"Well?" said Rabbit.
"Yes," said Owl, looking Wise and Thoughtful.
"I see what you mean. Undoubtedly."
"Exactly," said Owl. "Precisely." And he added, after a little thought, "If you had not come to me, I should have come to you."
"Why?" asked Rabbit.
"For that very reason," said Owl, hoping that something helpful would happen soon.
"Yesterday morning," said Rabbit solemnly, "I went to see Christopher Robin. He was out. Pinned on his door was a notice!"
"The same notice?"
"A different one. But the meaning was the same. It's very odd."
"Amazing," said Owl, looking at the notice again, and getting, just for a moment, a curious sort of feeling that something had happened to Christopher Robin's back. "What did you do?"
"The best thing," said Owl wisely.
"Well?" said Rabbit again, as Owl knew he was going to.
"Exactly," said Owl.
For a little while he couldn't think of anything more; and then, all of a sudden, he had an idea.
"Tell me, Rabbit," he said, "the exact words of the first notice. This is very important. Everything depends on this. The exact words of the first notice."
"It was just the same as that one really."
Owl looked at him, and wondered whether to push him off the tree; but, feeling that he could always do it afterwards, he tried once more to find out what they were talking about.
"The exact words, please" he said, as if Rabbit hadn't spoken.
"It just said, 'Gone out. Backson.' Same as this, only this says 'Bisy Backson' too."
Owl gave a great sigh of relief.
"Ah!" said Owl. "Now we know where we are."
"Yes, but where's Christopher Robin?" said Rabbit. "That's the point."
Owl looked at the notice again. To one of his education the reading of it was easy. "Gone out, Backson. Bisy, Backson" – just the sort of thing you'd expect to see on a notice.
"It is quite clear what has happened, my dear Rabbit," he said. "Christopher Robin has gone out somewhere with Backson. He and Backson are busy together. Have you seen a Backson anywhere about in the Forest lately?"
"I don't know," said Rabbit. "That's what I came to ask you. What are they like?"
"Well," said Owl, "the Spotted or Herbaceous Backson is just a …"
"At least," he said, "it's really more of a …"
"Of course," he said, "it depends on the …"
"Well," said Owl, "the fact is," he said, "I don't know what they're like," said Owl frankly.
"Thank you," said Rabbit. And he hurried off to see Pooh.