Age of Innocence

Winnie-the Pooh

Picture-2011

Image by Ernest H. Shepard, Illustrator

Like many kids growing up in England (and elsewhere), I was fed a regular diet of Winnie-the-Pooh, along with many other children’s stories and fairy-tales. Born shortly after the second world war, the conversations of grown-ups often centred around  some harrowing, but often comical experiences. Sleeping under the snooker table or in purpose-build cages for safety. Or the time that a “doodlebug” (German flying bomb) landed in the neighbours back garden and blew part of the roof off granny’s house along with smashing many windows.

Grandma was a born storyteller and I would listen for hours to the exploits of uncles and cousins who sailed the seven sea, drove cars in excess of 30 mph or had invented a system for canning herrings.

Nothing however was as enjoyable as listening to my mother reading before bedtime the exploits of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin. I think that my favourite place was the 100 acre woods at the top of the world. There was a woods nearby our house filled with pine tree planted in sandy soil. It seamed to fit the story.

There was an openness in those days, almost a loneliness, where the imagination was inseparable from reality. We played outdoor for hours-on-end in the dirt, in the mud, in the trees. We built forts and dens. We damed streams and caught frogs. Being innocent as all children are, we had no concept of the reality that lay in wait for us as adults. In a way, it is a shame that life has the be so “real”.

January 18th is the birthday of AA Milne, the author of the Pooh storybooks. Katherine Brooks, Senior Arts & Culture Editor, The Huffington Post, did a lovely story about him on this date in 2016. -The Warrior

“Today is national Winnie-the-Pooh day, otherwise known as the birthday of English author A.A. Milne. He’s the man who brought our favorite honey-obsessed bear to life in that eponymous book published back in 1926 — Winnie-the-Pooh.

It was Milne’s son — a boy named Christopher Robin — who, with his very own teddy bear named Winnie, inspired the basis of a universe populated by Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga and Roo. Together, the characters, many based on Christopher’s actual toys, lived in a fictional land dubbed the Hundred Acre Wood, filled with woozles and heffalumps and the perfect spots for playing Poohsticks.”

The complete story can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/real-hundred-acre-wood_us_569ce8d6e4b0ce49642513eb