From the beloved creator of Winnie-the-Pooh comes an irresistible collection of short stories guaranteed to delight readers of all ages.
Drawing from a collection of stories originally published in 1921 and chosen exclusively by the author himself, The Sunny Side gathers the best short works by the inimitable A. A. Milne. Written for the satire magazine Punch, these brief stories and essays perfectly capture Milne's sly humor, beguiling social insight, and scathing wit. From "Odd Verses" to "War Sketches," "Summer Days" to "Men of Letters," Milne takes his readers from the stiff British drawing room to the irreverent joy of a boy's day at the beach. Ideal for curling up with in the hammock or stretching out by the fire, these tales shine brightly any day of the year.
Complete with a series of whimsical illustrations, The Sunny Side offers the perfect chance to rediscover this forgotten classic by one of our most cherished authors.
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About the Author
Alan Alexander Milne (1882-1956) was a playwright, an essayist, a novelist, and a short-story writer. He is best known as the creator of a series of children's books about a teddy bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. Milne was also a longtime contributor and assistant editor at the British humor magazine Punch.
Hometown:Cotchford Farm, Sussex, England
Date of Birth:January 18, 1882
Date of Death:January 31, 1956
Place of Birth:Hampstead, London
Place of Death:Cotchford Farm, Sussex, England
Education:Trinity College, Cambridge University (mathematics), 1903
Read an Excerpt
The Sunny Side
Short Stories and Poems for Proper Grown-Ups
Oranges and Lemons
I. The Invitation
"Dear Myra," wrote Simpson at the beginning of the year—"I have an important suggestion to make to you both, and I am coming round tomorrow night after dinner about nine o'clock. As time is so short I have asked Dahlia and Archie to meet me there, and if by any chance you have gone out we shall wait till you come back.
"P.S.—I have asked Thomas too."
"Well?" said Myra eagerly, as I gave her back the letter.
In deep thought I buttered a piece of toast.
"We could stop Thomas," I said. "We might ring up the Admiralty and ask them to give him something to do this evening. I don't know about Archie. Is he—"
"Oh, what do you think it is? Aren't you excited?" She sighed and added, "Of course I know what Samuel is."
"Yes. Probably he wants us all to go to the Zoo together... or he's discovered a new way of putting, or—I say, I didn't know Archie and Dahlia were in town."
"They aren't. But I expect Samuel telegraphed to them to meet him under the clock at Charing Cross disguised, when they would hear of something to their advantage. Oh, I wonder what it is. It must be something real this time."
Since the day when Simpson woke me up at six o'clock in the morning to show me his stance-for-a-full-wooden-club shot, I have distrusted his enthusiasms; but Myra loves him as a mother; and I—I couldn't do without him; and when a man like that invites a whole crowd of people to come toyour flat just about the time when you are wondering what has happened to the sardines on toast—well, it isn't polite to put the chain on the door and explain through the letter-box that you have gone away for a week.
"We'd better have dinner a bit earlier to be on the safe side," I said, as Myra gave me a parting brush down in the hall. "If any further developments occur in the course of the day, ring me up at the office. By the way, Simpson doesn't seem to have invited Peter. I wonder why not. He's nearly two, and he ought to be in it. Myra, I'm sure I'm tidy now."
"Pipe, tobacco, matches, keys, money?"
"Everything," I said. "Bless you. Goodbye."
"Good-bye," said Myra lingeringly. "What do you think he meant by 'as time is so short'?"
"I don't know. At least," I added, looking at my watch, "I do know I shall be horribly late. Goodbye."
I fled down the stairs into the street, waved to Myra at the window... and then came cautiously up again for my pipe. Life is very difficult on the mornings when you are in a hurry.
At dinner that night Myra could hardly eat for excitement.
"You'll be sorry afterwards," I warned her, "when it turns out to be nothing more than that he has had his hair cut."
"But even if it is, I don't see why I shouldn't be excited at seeing my only brother again—not to mention sister-in-law."
"Then let's move," I said. "They'll be here directly."
Archie and Dahlia came first. We besieged them with questions as soon as they appeared.
"Haven't an idea," said Archie, "I wanted to bring a revolver in case it was anything really desperate, but Dahlia wouldn't let me."
"It would have been useful too," I said, "if it turned out to be something merely futile."
"You're not going to hurt my Samuel, however futile it is," said Myra. "Dahlia, how's Peter, and will you have some coffee?"
"Peter's lovely. You've had coffee, haven't you, Archie?"
"Better have some more," I suggested, "in case Simpson is merely soporific. We anticipate a slumbering audience, and Samuel explaining a new kind of googlie he's invented."
Entered Thomas lazily.
"Hallo," he said in his slow voice. "What's it all about?"
"It's a raid on the Begum's palace," explained Archie rapidly. "Dahlia decoys the Chief Mucilage; you, Thomas, drive the submarine; Myra has charge of the clockwork mouse, and we others hang about and sing. To say more at this stage would be to bring about a European conflict."
"Coffee, Thomas?" said Myra.
"I bet he's having us on," said Thomas gloomily, as he stirred his coffee.
There was a hurricane in the hall. Chairs were swept over; coats and hats fell to the ground; a high voice offered continuous apologies—and Simpson came in.
"Hallo, Myra!" he said eagerly. "Hallo, old chap! Hallo, Dahlia! Hallo, Archie! Hallo, Thomas, old boy!" He fixed his spectacles firmly on his nose and beamed round the room.
"We're all here—thanking you very much for inviting us," I said. "Have a cigar—if you've brought any with you."
Fortunately he had brought several with him.
"Now then, I'll give any of you three guesses what it's all about."
"No, you don't. We're all waiting, and you can begin your apology right away."
Simpson took a deep breath and began.
"I've been lent a villa," he said.
There was a moment's silence... and then Archie got up.
"Good-bye," he said to Myra, holding out his hand. "Thanks for a very jolly evening. Come along Dahlia."
"But I say, old chap," protested Simpson.
"I'm sorry, Simpson, but the fact that you're moving from the Temple to Cricklewood, or wherever it is, and that somebody else is paying the thirty pounds a year, is jolly interesting, but it wasn't good enough to drag us up from the country to tell us about it. You could have written. However, thank you for the cigar."
"My dear fellow, it isn't Cricklewood. It's the Riviera!"
Archie sat down again.
"Samuel!" cried Myra. "How she must love you!"
"I should never lend Simpson a villa of mine," I said. "He'd only lose it."
"They're some very old friends who live there, and they're going away for a month, and the servants are staying on, and they suggested that if I was going abroad again this year—"The Sunny Side
Short Stories and Poems for Proper Grown-Ups. Copyright © by A.A. Milne. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Table of Contents
Oranges and Lemons 13
Men of Letters 57
Summer Days 109
Home Notes 181
A Few Guests 243
And Others 273
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A volume of short stories and poems by the author of Winnie-the-Pooh. The stories are clever and charming, exactly the way you would expect a polite gentleman of good breeding to write. They are comforting in that nothing upsetting happens and even the small difficulties turn out all right in the end. My favorites were the stories about the Great War, in which the author writes about his experiences on the Western Front, and a story about friendly competition at golf. However, all of the stories were enjoyable and sweet.