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Fifth Ingrowing Toenail

Remembering Eeyore

Living in a world of shades of grey tending towards black, Eeyore remains one of the more colourful characters of world literature. Grouchy, graceless and ungrateful he lives under shadows of perpetual persecution. And facing imagined wrongs he soldiers on, grumbling.
Over the years, whenever i came into contact with Milne's world, i always had the feeling of growing up, not the kind you do as an adolescent but rather the important one, the Christopher Robin kind, when the child discovers worlds so much greater than he ever had imagined.
While i had come to love Eeyore by reading the books, he took on a new dimension when i listened to the stories on records. His voice which up to then had been disembodied, became substantial to me: slow, monotone, joyless, and very like the voice of the murdered Israeli prime minister Yitzhaq Rabin. And that's how Rabin came to be known as Eeyore in my family. True, Rabin may have been the life of any party he attended, but this was hardly the persona he showed to the public. His wit and repartee may have been a byword among his friends, but none of this came to the knowledge of the many headed.
And like Pooh's Eeyore, the prime minister Eeyore often exasperated me, with his lack of grace, his stubborness, his snide remarks. But then the incredible happened: the grumpy caterpillar turned into a (still grumpy) butterfly - the man who had fought the Palestinians began to talk to them. And just as incredible: the Palestinians began to talk to the Israelis.
The outcome was the Oslo accord, a document so full of holes, that in comparison a Swiss cheese was as impenetrable as the Berlin wall. Yet with a little goodwill it could be made to work.

But little of that goodwill has survived Rabin's murder, and little of the hope. And i miss Eeyore.


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