Friday, October 14, 2011

I want to go to the Hundred Acre Wood

This morning, I found myself in the car before 7 a.m. That's a pretty rare occurrence. Did you know that the sun isn't even up by then? It felt like the middle of the night. I would have much preferred to be cozy in my bed still sleeping, but there I was.

When the sweet voice of Garrison Keillor came on NPR for the Writer's Almanac, I was no longer sorry to be driving around at dawn. Thanks to him, I learned that on today's date in 1926, A.A. Milne published Winnie-the-Pooh. I have such a soft spot for that book and the movie. Pooh is my favorite fictional character; I'll admit one of my many terms of endearment for my pup is "Pooh Bear." (And whatever happened to that little Pooh paperweight with the red T-shirt I made in sculpture class in high school? Mom??)

I love the story of how Milne, a British children's storyteller, modeled the story off his own son and his son's stuffed bear. Amazing what a significant piece of children's literature history was inspired by moments he observed in his own home. The original art of Ernest H. Shepard has also left a lasting legacy. As Garrison Keillor shared, the first story of Pooh ran in the Christmas Eve edition of The London Evening News in 1925. I used to kind of want to see the Hundred Acre Wood for myself as much as I used to wish I could transport myself to Oz to meet all of L. Frank Baum's magical creatures.

In a reminiscent kind of mood, I had to reread some Pooh stories. I'll leave you with this lovely line:

"Winnie-the-Pooh sat down at the foot of the tree, put his head between his paws and began to think."

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