by Al Bailey
Pooh turned to Rabbit and said, “Piglet told me that I couldn’t even spell my name right.”
“Can you?”, responded Rabbit.
“Sure”, said Pooh, “it starts with ‘p’ and ends with ‘oo’.”
“I think there’s and ‘h’ in there too”, observed Rabbit.
Pooh looked down and wondered about it for a time, then said, “I guess Piglet’s right. I don’t know how to spell. I can’t find a ‘h’ in my name at all.”
Rabbit looked at Pooh sternly and said in his reciting voice, “The ‘h’ is silent.”
Pooh thought about that for a while and then asked Rabbit, “If the ‘h’ is silent–then why is it there?”
Rabbit responded with his reciting voice again and said, “ ‘Cause that’s the way English is, that’s why.”
“Don’t pay any attention to Rabbit, Pooh”, said Piglet, “he’s just saying what his Dad tells him. Let’s go over to the big tree and ask Owl why.”
When Pooh, Piglet and Rabbit came upon the big tree, Owl was asleep.
They stood in front of the tree for awhile waiting for Owl wake up when rabbit sneezed and Owl turned his head around and stared at them with one eye.
“What kind of a question brings you three here to my tree?”, Owl asked slowly.
“You see”, exclaimed Rabbit, “Owl knows everything.” Piglet pointed at Pooh and said, “Pooh can’t spell his name because part of it is silent.”
Owl looked disdainfully at Piglet, then at Pooh and asked, “you can’t spell?”
Pooh looked at his right foot and said, “I guess not.”
“Yes you can!”, shouted Owl, who had jumped up to his branch to the left of Pooh, where his chalkboard was.
“Watch”, commanded Owl as he wrote in big letters on the board P-O-O-H. “Now that’s your name”, said Owl. “Spell the letters.”
Pooh cleared his throat, and looking up and left to the board said, “P-O-O-H.”
-everyone clapped and cheered –
Pooh looked embarrassed, then asked Owl, “Then how can I spell -er- Rabbit?”
Owl erased the board and wrote R-a-b-b-i-t.
“Oh!”, said Pooh, “I thought it only had one ‘b’.”
Owl said, “You see, lots of people try to see their spelling words on the ground or under the table, but they are all on the board over here”, as he pointed up to the board. “Whenever you learn a new word – if you write it on the board up here, then when you want it, look up and there it will be.”
“Well, thanks Owl”, said Pooh as he began walking home. Just then Pooh had an idea, and turned around exclaiming, “I know why my ‘h’ is silent – because lots of things that you can see are silent but they still belong where they are!”
Everyone went home then and thought about that for a long time.
Note: Al’s story for children has the NLP Spelling Strategy embedded in it. The strategy has been researched by Tom Malloy at the University of Utah and F. Loiselle at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada 1985. Both research project showed a significant change in people’s ability to spell accurately after learning the NLP spelling Strategy. These studies support the NLP Spelling Strategy specifically, and the NLP notion of Eye Accessing Cues, Sensory system use, and Strategies in general. They are reported in: Dilts, R. and Epstein, T., Dynamic Learning, Meta, Capitola, California,1995, and elsewhere in many NLP books.