A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh is a very wise bear. I say this with complete security in my adultness. Pooh or Edward Bear to those in the know, is one of my favorite children's book and cartoon characters.
Despite Pooh's natural simplicity and subtley brilliant insights, he is not alone in bringing enlightenment to the Hundred Acre Wood and the world beyond. He has a different approach to Life than friendly Pooh, but Eeyore brings to us a level of directness and honesty that one seldom finds in any book for children.
The first time I ever read "Bouncy or coffy, it's all the same at the botttom of the river", I knew with certainty that that grim, gray little quadriped with the unreliable tail was definitely not one who would sugar-coat anything. All I could say was "wow" because there was a voice that wasn't shy about the truth. How many people do any of us know who cuts to the heart of any matter with so sharp a knife. Eeyore is nothing short of a bracing slap in the face as a member of the rainbow of personalities found in Christopher Robin's menagerie.
I think Eeyore's unique perspective, while stark, definitely makes a special contribution. Granted, Eeyore would make a dazzling critic ("We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."), but his voice also provides a brilliantly balancing commentary for an audience that encompasses a wide age-range and knows the world isn't all sunshine. As the little donkey said, "Being fine today doesn't mean anything. It may hail a good deal tomorrow--blizzards and whatnot."
At first glance, perpetually depressed Eeyore may seem like a pessimist, but he's actually just terribly pragmatic and sometimes the only one around who's prepared for dealing with the worst. "They're funny things, accidents. You never have them till you're having them." When Life starts hitting the fan, Eeyore handles things better than FEMA. Still, you'll never find Eeyore caught up in "I told you sos" or any other such behavior so lacking in humility. No, he's strictly a "Thanks for noticing me" sort, utterly unassuming. In his quietness, Eeyore seems passive, yet he also possesses a gentle strength inherent to his donkey nature.
There's a great feeling of respect that accompanies the willingness to convey such total honesty. Conversely, I believe such Eeyore-ness is likewise deserving of an equal level of respect.