You might not know that Winnie the Pooh was actually inspired by real stuffed animals. They are still being kept in the New York Public Library.
We’ve already covered the story of how Winnie the Pooh was born quite a few times. Here’s one of the most detailed descriptions right here. In the story we note how A.A. Milne used real stuffed animals as inspiration for quite a few of the most popular characters in the book – Winnie the Pooh, Tiger, Eeyore, Piglet and Kanga.
Most of the toys were in fact owned by Christopher Milne, A.A. Milne’s son and the inspiration for Christopher Robin. A little known fact is that the teddy bear was purchased at Harrods department store in London and given by A. A. Milne to his son Christopher Robin on his first birthday, August 21, 1921. He was called Edward (proper form of Teddy) Bear at the time.
The rest of the toys were received as gifts by Christopher Robin between 1920 and 1928. Winnie-the-Pooh had adventures with Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Rabbit, and Tigger in the Hundred Aker, or Acre, Wood (based on the Ashdown Forest in southern England, located near the Milne family home). Owl and Rabbit were brought to life to join Pooh and pals Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger, by Milne and illustrator Ernest H. Shepard. Owl and Rabbit don’t have real life stuffed animal inspirations.
The original stuffed animals are now kept by the New York Public Library where they are on display and available to see for visitors. Even to this day historians are trying to find out more about the toys, which company made them, how many of them are out there. Little is known though.
Still, this doesn’t stop the fans of Winnie the Pooh from wanting to see the original stuffed animals. If you can’t visit the New York Public Library, you can check them out right here, thanks to an image that has been shared on Wikipedia. Also, don’t forget to remind yourself of the 20 life lessons anyone should know.