Winnie the Pooh Saga 100 Years Old Today

English: Harry Colebourne and Winnie

Harry Colebourne and Winnie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many among us fondly recall the wonderful stories of  the “silly old bear,” Winnie the Pooh?  These stories were either read to us as children or we read them to our own children.  In the UK, Winnie the Pooh is the #1 fictional character among British children; in Canada, Winnie is the #2 favorite character, behind Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables.  Do you know where the inspiration for the beloved bear came from.  Here is an excerpt from the Manitoba edition of MSN Canada online.

One hundred years ago today a Canadian soldier adopted a black bear cub and named it after his adopted hometown of Winnipeg, launching the saga of Winnie the Pooh.

Lt. Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian and soldier with the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, came across the orphaned female bear cub on Aug. 24, 1914.

“It’s such a fascinating story to me that something from such a different, ancient time and far away is so directly connected to this city of ours,” said Mary Anne Appleby, a Winnipeg author who penned the 2011 biography Winnie the Bear.

As the story goes, when Colebourn’s troop train stopped in White River, Ont., he met a hunter who had shot and killed the bear cub’s mother, without whom the cub was almost certain to die.

Colebourn offered the hunter $20 for the cub, whom he named Winnipeg Bear to commemorate the city where he had lived before the war. The name was soon shortened to Winnie.

Winnie accompanied Colebourn to England, where the cub played with Canadian soldiers during their off-hours in their encampment on the Salisbury Plains.

Colebourn later donated Winnie to the London Zoo, where the bear inspired the creation of A.A. Milne‘s famous children’s book character. Winnie died at the zoo in 1934.  (To read more of this article, go to MSN Canada news for Manitoba.)

 

Original Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwi...

Original Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwise from bottom left: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear (aka Winnie-the-Pooh), Eeyore, and Piglet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A.A. Milne

Cover of A.A. Milne, author of the Winnie the Pooh stories, with the original Christopher Robin. (Photo credit:  www.last.fm/music/A.A. Milne – Fair use)

 

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About Sandra Bell Kirchman

My passion is for fiction, especially fantasy fiction. I have been writing nearly all my life, since the age of 7 when I produced a 5-page novel called "Angus the Ant" - self-illustrated. Since then, I have written and published a fantasy novel called "Witchcanery," which has won several awards and has met with some acclaim from readers around the world. I've also edited and published an anthology for the writers at my site FantasyFic.com, called "Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories." Both books are available on Kindle; the latter is also available on Nook. Both books are sold as hard copies at most major online outlets. One of my later ventures was horror stories; surprisingly, since horror stories scare me, I find I have a special affinity for them, especially in flash fiction format (under 1000 or less words). Currently, I am working on two WIPs, one a sequel to "Witchcanery," which several readers have made me promise to write; the other an apocalyptic novel called "The Road to the End of the World." There are several examples of this latter novel in my blog "Fantasyfic," formerly known as "Wizards and Ogres and Elves - Oh My!" Fantasyfic is on hold temporarily, while I work almost exclusively on Puppy Dog Tales. My other blogs keep me hopping. One is a roundup of news and some fun pieces from around the world. It is listed under the name of "News, Views, and Gurus." The current blog is my pet favorite, if you'll pardon the expression. I'm an avid pet parent and animal lover. My three little Shih-Tzus are the joys of my life...and so is my husband, but I don't write about him. Anyhow, my blog "Puppy Dog Tales" is a work of love, featuring my doggies and other pets around the world. I'm a devoted advocate of animal rights and especially backing the cause of animal rescue shelters. My wonderful husband and I live in a very small town in southeastern Saskatchewan on the south side in a rustic, cedar-sided home. Our property is almost a whole acre, and is gracious and pretty (which is not easy to be in one package). All five of us are happy here.

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