Most of us grew up loving Winnie the Pooh and the rest of the animals in the Hundred Acre Wood, but in spite of all the time we spent obsessing over Christopher Robin’s animal pals, we missed something huge: Winnie the Pooh is actually a girl. Okay, so in the cartoons, Pooh is referred to as a he, but the bear on which Winnie was originally based? She was very much a girl. According to The Huffington Post, a new children’s book called Finding Winnie dives into the famous honey-loving bear’s history (or herstory, if you prefer). As Finding Winnie points out, the character Winnie the Pooh was named after an actual black bear who lived in the London Zoo. She was named Winnie after the city of Winnipeg, because Pooh bear is also Canadian (who knew?).
Credit: lindsaymattick / Instagram
Finding Winnie was written by Lindsay Mattick, the great-granddaughter of Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, who actually bought Winnie (the real Winnie, that is) as a cub during World War I for just $20. When Colebourn had to go to France with his unit, the bear was left with the London zoo (which was probably better for Winnie anyway). This is all ties into the fictional Winnie because, at the London zoo, the bear was visited frequently by a young boy named Christopher Robin, who eventually named his own teddy bear after her. And Christopher Robin’s father? Just a guy by the name of A.A. Milne. NBD.
Main image credit: Disney