Once a Week
Alan Alexander Milne
Novels
8:56 h
Level 6
Alan Alexander Milne was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work. Once a Week is a 1914 collection of sketches and humorous short stories that Milne wrote for Punch Magazine at the start of his career.

Once a Week

by
Alan Alexander Milne


The Heir

I.
He Introduces Himself

“In less refined circles than ours,” I said to Myra, “your behaviour would be described as swank. Really, to judge from the airs you put on, you might be the child’s mother.”

“He’s jealous because he’s not an aunt himself. Isn’t he, ducksey darling?”

“I do wish you wouldn’t keep dragging the baby into the conversation; we can make it go quite well as a duologue. As to being jealous — why, it’s absurd. True, I’m not an aunt, but in a very short time I shall be an uncle by marriage, which sounds to me much superior. That is,” I added, “if you’re still equal to it.”

Myra blew me a kiss over the cradle.

“Another thing you’ve forgotten,” I went on, “is that I’m down for a place as a godfather. Archie tells me that it isn’t settled yet, but that there’s a good deal of talk about it in the clubs. Who’s the other going to be? Not Thomas, I suppose? That would be making the thing rather a farce.”

“Hasn’t Dahlia broken it to you?” said Myra anxiously.

“Simpson?” I asked, in an awed whisper.

Myra nodded. “And, of course, Thomas,” she said.

“Heavens! Not three of us? What a jolly crowd we shall be. Thomas can play our best ball. We might — ”

“But of course there are only going to be two godfathers,” she said, and leant over the cradle again.

I held up my three end fingers. “Thomas,” I said, pointing to the smallest, “me,” I explained, pointing to the next, “and Simpson, the tall gentleman in glasses. One, two, three.”

“Oh, baby,” sighed Myra, “what a very slow uncle by marriage you’re going to have!”

I stood and gazed at my three fingers for some time.

“I’ve got it,” I said at last, and I pulled down the middle one. “The rumour in the clubs was unauthorized. I don’t get a place after all.”