"A Bird in the Hand" is the second segment of the tenth episode of the third season The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and also the last episode of the show's third season. It originally aired on November 10, 1990.
At Rabbit's house, Rabbit, Tigger, and Piglet are preparing a party for the return of Kessie, the bluebird. He is excited and eager to have her back. When Piglet arranges some flowers, a familiar orange colored trunk swipes them from the window. Piglet shows Rabbit the empty vase and Rabbit tells him to put flowers in the arrangement (and to bring daffodils and daises but no dandelions), while Piglet gets confused with what flower to put in the arrangement, and goes outside to get the flowers, Stan and Heff appear from behind the house. Heff starts eating the flowers, prompting Stan to remind the heffalump that those are not what they're were there for. Heff wonders why they're there and Stan tells him to pipe down when he sees Pooh approaching with a wagon full of honey jars. The honey thieves go back into hiding.
When the bear comes, he is reluctant to give his honey away so Rabbit could make treats for the party. He thinks that they could get more honey, making Pooh get more depressed. Stan and Heff overhear this and Stan starts to think up a plan to steal the honey. Pooh asks Rabbit why does he needs the honey. He replies that the honey is for the welcome home party. Then, Piglet arrives in with the dandelions, accidentally going against Rabbit's wishes. He sneezes, making his house a mess and sends Stan and Heff flying. Rabbit starts to panic and tells Tigger, Piglet, and Pooh what to do (Pooh: Clean up the Honey, Piglet: Getting rid of the dandelions, Tiger; More Balloons). He also tells a grown up Kessie to set the table, only to find out that she's already back. His mood changes from panic to happiness.
Stan realizes that Kessie may be what has been needed for them. They leave as Rabbit and the others were trying to explain that they were making a great welcome back party but they hit some minor bumps. Kessie doesn't mind, however, and is just glad to be back home. She calls Rabbit "Rabbit," instead of "Rabbie." Rabbit is worried as Kessie replies that she's simply too old for "Rabbie." Nevertheless, he's still happy and that he tells her that she'll always be his baby bird. Kessie agrees to stay for a little while.
Meanwhile, in a cave where Stan and Heff reside, the orange heffalump is seen at a chalkboard, making different plans while the gray woozle is sitting on at a table, listening to them. None of them are the right plan. During this, Piglet, Tigger, and Pooh are looking through Rabbit's window. Piglet thinks that Rabbit is happy to have the bluebird back in his life while Tigger and Pooh comment on Kessie "not being Kessie-like." Rabbit is treating Kessie as if she's still the baby bluebird before, while Kessie is trying to tell Rabbit that she's grown up. He puts her in bed for a nap, although Kessie says she's too old for naps. She then considers that in order to convince Rabbit that's she's growing up is to leave home and look out for herself. Cut to the forest, Heff and Stan are walking about in the forest. Heff doesn't remember the plan he came up with. Stan explains it one last time: they kidnap Kessie then ransom her for honey. The heffalump tells him that he's brilliant, forgetting that it was his plan! Heff then questions one detail left out of their plan: How are they going to get the bird in their hands? Suddenly, they find Kessie in front of them, asking if there were any "vacant nests."
Back at Rabbit's home, he comes back and find Kessie gone. Believing that she wants to play hide and seek, Rabbit goes and find her. By sundown, Rabbit is extremely concerned for Kessie. He stumbles across the honey thieves' home, where they've been waiting. The scared Rabbit asks them if they have seen the bluebird. Now, Rabbit is seen in a cage with Kessie and Stan expects him to pay for the ransom. Rabbit refuses to pay a ransom because there's got to be a ransom note. Stan quickly realizes that he had forgotten to do just that.
At night, Stan sneaks into the Hundred Acre Wood with the ransom note (which says, "We have da byrd"). The woozle hammers it into Pooh's door. In the morning, Tigger, Piglet, and Pooh find the note and are not quite sure where the letter is from or what it contains. They decide to ask Rabbit what the note means, unaware of Rabbit's disappearance. When they find that Rabbit and Kessie are gone, the trio venture deep into the forest to find them. Once Pooh, Tigger and Piglet walk by Stan and Heff's cave, they end up getting caught, one by one, and placed in the cage with their two lost friends. The honey thieves expect them to pay up, but Piglet asks the thieves a simple question, "If we're here, who's left to ransom us?" Stan considers this a valid point, but Pooh suggests that they could pay for themselves.
It is later found that Stan and Heff have acquired a great deal of honey, all while Rabbit is lecturing Pooh that if he had stayed quiet, they would have been let go. Even though Rabbit apologizes to Kessie, she insists that Stan and Heff would be taking care of them. When Stan asks why, Kessie retaliates with the fact that if they were not happy, why bother to pay honey for themselves. Even Tigger understands this, according to him. Stan and Heff bring a bed, and this is where Kessie begins to demand for many things: warm milk, a bedtime story, and even some of the honey ransom. This is where Rabbit realizes that she has been acting more like him than he is. When Kessie starts demanding said honey ransom, she insists on enjoying some from a small honey pot at the bottom of the pile. While Heff is hesitant, Stan convinces him to give her exactly what she wants. When Heff takes the pot from the bottom, there is a cut to outside of the cave where the viewer can hear a crash and suddenly see a long trail of honey flowing from the cave. Stan and Heff are stuck within the sticky mess and Tigger asks Rabbit if he thinks they should help them. Stan tells them that if they wanna help, just keep "that bird" away from them.
Rabbit and Kessie leave the cave, where Rabbit lectures Kessie that was a very very dangerous thing to do, yet thanked her for saving them. They come to a mutual agreement that even though Kessie's not a baby anymore she'll always be his baby. As they leave and Tigger and Piglet follow, Pooh remains to "clean up" the mess that erupted in the cave.
|Jim Cummings||Winnie the Pooh; Tigger (uncredited)|
|Ken Sansom||Rabbit and Stan Woozle|
|Chuck McCann||Heff Heffalump|
- This episode works as the sequel for both "Find Her, Keep Her" and "The Great Honey Pot Robbery".
- This episodes marks the last appearance of Stan the Woozle and Heff the Heffalump.