Happy birthday for Winnie the Pooh


October 18, 2001|By Tricia Bishop

This past Sunday, Winnie the Pooh -- the fictional yellow bear who's inspired such philosophical texts as The Tao of Pooh, Pooh and the Philosophers and Postmodern Pooh -- turned 75. The Havre de Grace Branch Library is celebrating with a belated birthday bash Monday, featuring games, stories and treats.

Now most of us know a thing or two about Pooh: He eats "hunny" by the fistful; he hangs out with a miniature pig, a bouncing tiger and a donkey; and he possesses a rather irrational fear of imaginary "Woozles," "Heffalumps" and "Jagulars." But do you know how he came to be?

Long before there was a Pooh, author A.A. Milne took his 5-year-old son, Christopher Robin, to the London Zoo, where a rescued and tamed black bear called Winnipeg -- Winnie for short -- made quite an impression on the boy.

Christopher later named one of his stuffed animals after the bear. Eventually, bedtime stories that Milne made up about Winnie made their way into print, and Winnie the Pooh was born. The "Pooh" part came from a poem Milne wrote about Christopher Robin and a swan, which often elicited an exasperated "Pooh!" from Christopher.

The library's party is 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 120 N. Union Ave., 410-939-6700.

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