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Winnie-the-Pooh celebrates 90th Birthday

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Photo Credit: CBCbooks

Photo Credit: CBCbooks

Photo Credit: CBCbooks

Megan Robinson, Staff Writer

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On Oct. 14 Winnie-the-Pooh, the lovable bear that many of us grew up with, turned 90.

Many people do not know the origin of Winnie-the-Pooh, but it is an interesting story.

The son of A.A. Milne, author of Winnie-the-Pooh, was the real-life Christopher Robin. Winnie-the-Pooh was inspired by two bears: a real bear at the London Zoo named Winnie and a small stuffed bear from a Harrods department store in London, according to 90.9 WBUR-FM, Boston’s NPR news station and the home of nationally syndicated programs.

Christopher Robin had several stuffed animals in his nursery: the bear who became Winnie-the-Pooh, a baby pig, a tiger with a spiraled tail, a kangaroo and a donkey. Milne was inspired while watching his son play with these animals.

A Canadian veterinarian found a bear cub on his way to join the second Canadian Infantry Brigade. He named the bear Winnie, after his native homeland of Winnipeg, according to the Penguin Random House Company, the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world.

The bear became a regiment mascot and trained with his caretaker and the army. But when it was time to deploy to France, Winnie stayed at the London Zoo where Christopher Robin first visited her. Christopher Robin was even allowed on occasion to feed Winnie because she was so tame.

“Honey was my favorite part of Winnie-the-Pooh. I would ask my mother for honey and it looked nothing like Winnie-the-Pooh’s honey which would upset me,” Amber Barber, junior psychology major, said.

Unlike the Winnie-the-Pooh of book and movie fame, this Winnie did not like honey, but preferred condensed milk.

“I wanted to try honey when I was little, but it never looked as yummy as it did on Winnie-the-Pooh,” Brittany Fences, sophomore political science major, said.

Milne was an English playwright and a children’s poet laureate, but the success of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories grew to undermine the reception of the non-juvenile work Milne wrote later, according to the BBC.

Milne and the real-life Christopher Robin often resented the creation of Winnie-the-Pooh and referred to it as “Pooh-dom.”

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Winnie-the-Pooh celebrates 90th Birthday