Winnie the Pooh

Wednesday January 18th is Winnie the Pooh day, also known as A.A. Milne’s birthday.  The man behind the stories of a boy and his favorite bear would have been 135 years old if he were alive today.

a_a_milne

A.A. Milne

Photo credit Wikimedia commons

People may or may not know that Milne was inspired to write the stories because of his real-life son Christopher Robin and his toy bear Winnie-the-pooh.  Christopher had originally named his bear Edward, but was so fond of the bear Winnipeg at the London zoo that he renamed his toy Winnie-the-pooh.

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A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-pooh.

Photo credit Wikimedia commons

The real-life Winnie-the-pooh, or Winnipeg as she was known, was a Canadian black bear that had been purchased as a cub by a Canadian soldier named Captain Harry Colebourn.  Colebourn then smuggled Winnipeg into Britain while training during WWI.  Upon receiving his marching orders for France, the soldier gave the bear to the London zoo for safe keeping.  Winnipeg was so loved by everyone at the zoo that after returning from war, Colebourn decided to let her stay and live out the remainder of her life there.

 

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Photo Credits: therealwinnie.ryerson.ca  lookatthesegems.com  huffingtonpost.com  Wikimedia commons

For more information on the story of the real Winnie-the-Pooh, check out the book Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick.

About the Author

Mallory Kroschel is a Information Commons Specialist at Metropolitan State University Library.

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