Ninety-five years ago, in 1926, the world was introduced to a portly little bear named Winnie the Pooh, along with four other Pooh companions — Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and Kanga — and young friend Christopher Robin.
It all started when A.A. Milner bought the five stuffed animals at Harrods, the toney London department store for his son Christopher Robin on his first birthday. The stuffed animals — Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and Kanga — became unforgettable and beloved characters of children stories and poems written by Milner. They are set in the “Hundred Acre Wood,” a takeoff of the Ashford Forrest in Sussex, some 30 miles south of London.
Winnie the Pooh with his young friend Christopher Robin delighted readers from the very first book. And Pooh, often befuddled but with adorable insights, won the hearts of young and old. From the energetic Tigger to the dismal Eeyore, Milner created a charming bunch, both entertaining and inspirational. These simple creatures often reflected a small piece of all of us: humble, silly, wise, cautious, creative and so full of life.
Time flies by, as we all know. Today, Pooh and the gang, the five dolls that were given to Christopher Robin that inspired Milner’s iconic and beloved stories, are senior citizens in their mid-90s, spending their careless, leisurely retirement days at the Children’s Center of the New York Public Library after a much-needed restoration.
And those of us of a certain age (no translation required) know that a bit of paint and some powder, and maybe a nip here and a tuck there, does wonders…