Lines and Squares

And the little bears growl to each other, “He’s mine,
As soon as he’s silly and steps on a line.”

From the poem “Lines and Squares,” by A.A. Milne

On a blue sky morning Leola went walking beside the river with her Mummy, her Daddy and her big brother. As they walked Leola’s family couldn’t help noticing that Leola was being ever so careful to watch her feet and keep in the squares. “Would something happen if you stepped on a line?” asked Mummy. “Bears,” Leola replied, smiling her happiest smile. Leola didn’t step on a line all of that week. Not even once.


On a blue sky morning Leola went walking along the river path with her Mummy, her Daddy and her big brother.
As they walked Leola’s family couldn’t help noticing that Leola was being ever so careful to watch her feet and keep in the squares.
“Would something happen if you stepped on a line?” asked Mummy.
“Bears,” Leola replied, smiling her happiest smile.
Leola didn’t step on a line all of that week.
Not even once.

Today we are reading…Lines and Squares,” and other poems from When We Were Very Young,” written by by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. This small treasure of a book was first published in 1924 and includes the first appearance of Winnie-the-Pooh in the poem “Teddy Bear.” I still enjoy the copy I was given for my third birthday.

Do you remember James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree; the three little foxes who didn’t wear stockings, and they didn’t wear sockses; Mary Jane crying with all her might and main; and Halfway Down (I’m not at the bottom, I’m not at the top; So this is the stair where I always stop)? I love them all but “The King’s Breakfast” was my childhood favourite (Don’t forget the butter for the Royal slice of bread). Which one is your favourite?

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About Claire

I have worked as an editor, a criminal defence lawyer and a family violence lawyer in a community legal centre. Now it's all about writing, writing, writing (and my three little people at home). I want to draw on my experience working with survivors of family violence and create sensitive, big hearted fiction that (without preaching) helps to empower women and girls with the tools to reject family violence from their lives.
This entry was posted in 20th Century, A.A. Milne, Children's Classic Books, Claire's favourites, Enjoyed by all ages, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lines and Squares

  1. Bianca says:

    What a lovely blog. I love children’s stories and its going to be the hardest thing to give up as they grow older. I was reading Now we are Six last night..My favourite is ‘Forgiven’ – or Alexander Beetle as I always think of it.

    • Claire says:

      Thanks Bianca. I love ‘Forgiven‘ too… I know how ‘Nanny’ must have felt, it’s so easy to mistake little boys’ ‘treasures’ for little bits of nothing!! I often find stones, feathers and leaves in Oscar’s pockets but I haven’t found a beetle yet! I agree, giving up children’s stories just doesn’t bear thinking about!

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