Images of Winnie-the-Pooh are being blocked on Chinese social media because too many people are using the classic character to mock President Xi Jinping.

But the honey-loving bear has political clout. In fact, the real Winnie inspired author A.A. Milne to write books about Pooh, who had a role in World War I.

The “tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff” is derived from a young bear cub bought for $20 by Lt. Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian with the Canadian cavalry regiment.

“Colebourn named the bear Winnipeg, ‘Winnie’ for short, after his home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba,” notes Wikipedia.

“Winnie accompanied him to Valcartier and all the way to England, becoming the mascot of the CAVC and a pet to the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade Headquarters.”

Winnie didn’t see action in the Great War, however, having been left at the London Zoo, where she died in May 1934.

“Among her fans was A.A. Milne’s son Christopher Robin, who consequently changed the name of his own teddy bear from ‘Edward Bear’ to ‘Winnie the Pooh.’”

China, by the way, was originally neutral in WWI but eventually declared war on Germany, so the Americans helped save China as well as Europe.

Other coverage and commentary:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.