When Harry Met Winnie

Dear Reader:

Isn’t life exciting when we learn something new on an ordinary day? And this ” new” just makes your day! This happened to me yesterday.

I was taking a picture of a very popular Winnie the Pooh nursery wallpaper ad to end another post idea I had in mine… when suddenly Google shot out the story of Harry and Winnie… yes… our Winnie the Pooh! ” Harry? What happened to Christopher?” I had to solve the mystery!

White River train station in Ontario… Harry Colebourn will soon be joining fellow Canadians to fight in WWI. But outside the station a little bear cub is being sold-Harry falls immediately in love… he pays twenty dollars for the cub and names it after his hometown-Winnipeg-where he grew up! He then gives the cub a nickname ” Winnie” -after all the cub is a “she.” As the train leaves the station… the cub goes too!

Winnie becomes the mascot for the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade! She is adored by the brigade!

Unfortunately orders come for the brigade to be sent to the front lines of fighting in France. Winnie can not go. However arrangements are made for Winnie to go on loan to the London Zoo until Harry’s tenure is over. Though Harry survives he makes the painful decision after the war to let Winnie stay. She is the most popular attraction at the zoo and loved by all … but especially children.

Because Winnie had been tamed by Harry and his comrades she lets children ride on her back! And… top secret… Winnie doesn’t care much for honey but prefers corn syrup and condensed milk.

As time goes by there are two ( almost daily) frequent visitors to the zoo to see Winnie — Christopher Robin and his father.. AA Milne.

Christopher and Winnie

Christopher named his stuffed toy bear after Winnie and later combined it with the name of a friend’s pet swan named Pooh-now called Winnie the Pooh.

By now Christopher’s father had started the first book in the series of Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and ” friends.” ( the friends were the names of other stuffed animals Christopher played with …Tigger” entering the gang in the second childrens’ book.)

Christopher, father and Winnie the Pooh

So until tomorrow… We never know when an idea will take seed and grow into the most beautiful life surprise of all!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Aunt Kaitlyn joined her niece Lily in Boston for her college orientation… I know they had fun just being together!
Little Big Red is out blooming ” Dad”

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to When Harry Met Winnie

  1. Carol poole says:

    Who knew? Thanks for taking us all the way back to the beginning. I love these serendipitous little facts that just add so much to the story. Have you seen the sweet movie “Christopher Robin”?

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