Honey Addict: Winnie the Pooh (Part 1)
Like many parents, I love to read to my kids. The bookshelf has prime position in our humble lounge room with a shelf devoted to bee-related reads. Seemingly old-fashioned or quaint, I love stories with a positive message, but of course that message can’t be too fake or too obvious. My favourite books show us something about human nature that is both simple and complex in the same way. Confused? It’s a combination I am not good at describing, but the one my favourite authors seem to master. People are not what that seem; they are more complicated and more basic all at once, and, in my opinion, it is our imperfections that make us interesting.
I also feel that sometimes the “hero”, the conventional type, doesn’t do that much for me. They can be a bit boring, too perfect. It’s a bit like bees really; they might not be big, or muscly, or hero-like, but they are, perhaps, the world’s #1 superhero disguised in miniature yellow fur coats! They work in groups. They help each other out. They enrich the world without even realising it. They are humble heroes and they are my favourite kind.
Okay, so what do children’s books and bee-heroes have in common? Well, today I want us to remember a bee-hero, not a bee, but a lover of them, perhaps even a little greedily at times, because this loveable anti-hero is more in love with honey than bees themselves. Of course, I am talking about no other than Winnie the Pooh. I LOVED him as a kid, and recently, I am loving him all over again. However, this time it’s a little more philosophical. It’s both a very complex and very simple kind of love.
So, an introduction. Winnie the Pooh, or Pooh Bear, or just Pooh, is an anthropomorphic teddy bear created by the English author A. A. Milne. Milne’s collection of tales was published in the 1920s before being translated into many languages and adapted for film. Pooh, in brief, could be described as an overweight, trundling, orange-coloured, kinda-plain-looking bear, who lives in a small house in the fictional Hundred Acre Wood. He has a small band of friends (namely, a depressed donkey, a neurotic piglet, and a hyperactive tiger-cub). However, it’s his main interest, and by this I mean his life’s PASSION, that I can completely relate to, and that is… honey! Pooh Bear occupies his life spending time with his friends and seeking out the golden elixir of bees – his existence is really as simple and perfect as that. Famously quoted as saying “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside”. Hero? without a doubt.