The first bear I loved in childhood was good, steady, hungry, slow-witted Pooh. Until recently, I had never read A.A. Milne's classic tales of the Hundred Acre Wood, but instead knew Pooh and his friends through Disney's 1968 The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. I really and truly loved that movie. (Surprisingly, Disney didn't stray too far from Milne's stories.) A couple of months ago, I saw the following quote from Winnie-The-Pooh on the wall in a restaurant, and I fell in love all over again:
"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.
How completely perfect is that?!
The second beloved bear of my youth was sweet little Corduroy. Corduroy first searched for his lost button in 1968. His story is short, simple, and charming. It is a story of love and acceptance, things with which we can all identify.
Finally, we come to the most beloved bear of my youth, Paddington. The bear from darkest Peru had lots of adventures, and I reveled in them all. I can remember my first visit to/through Paddington Station when we lived in London. Though I was entering the jaded teenage years, I was completely thrilled at being in the very place Paddington was found by the Bond Family. One of Paddington's most notable qualities is his complete devotion to marmalade. (Perhaps inspired by Pooh's devotion to honey?) I can totally identify. Did you know that there is a World Marmalade Festival? If only...
Thanks for indulging my little relapse into childhood. I think it's so important to periodically revisit the simple pleasures of youth. After all, it simply doesn't do to be too grown-up!