Originally posted by almond_cakes at The REAL Winnie (the Pooh) Bear, 1914
I just now posted photos of Christopher Robin Milne with his teddy bear, Winnie the Pooh. Now, I'll share the back story as to how Christopher Robin's bear, originally named "Edward", became "Winnie the Pooh".
Here is Captain Harry D. Colebourn, who was a young Canadian veterinarian on his way to train and fight in Europe during World War I. He happened upon a baby black bear that he bought off a trapper at a train depot in Canada. He paid $20 for the bear, which in today's economy would $483.46!! Colebourn named the bear Winnie, short for his home town of Winnipeg. He took the bear with across the ocean to England, and Winnie quickly became the mascot of his unit. But when the time came to ship out to France for combat, Colebourn left his beloved pet in the capable hands of the London Zoo. Later, A. A. Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, visited the London Zoo, and Christopher Robin took an immediate shine to Winnie, developing an unusually strong bond with the animal and even playing with her in her enclosure. The boy imagined all sorts of adventures for Winnie, which became the basis for the now-famous stories written by Milne.
Captain Colebourn wanted to take Winnie back home with him after the war, but it lasted longer than anyone imagined, and Colebourn saw that Winnie was very happy in her zoo home, and so left her there. She lived in captivity for 20 years, a long life for a black bear. The zookeeper Ernest Scales wrote that Winnie was “the only bear they ever trusted entirely,” letting children, like Christopher Robin, go right inside her enclosure to play with her and even ride on her back.
I NEVER knew of this story before- so interesting! Look below the cut for more photos of Winnie, even one of Christopher Robin visiting her at the zoo:( Read more...Collapse )