So Owl wrote... and this is what he wrote:On the 14 October, 1926, the publishing firm of Methuen & Co., published a new book by A A Milne featuring a Bear of Very Little Brain named ––– yes, of course! Winnie-the-Pooh.
HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY.
Pooh looked on admiringly.
"I'm just saying 'A Happy Birthday'," said Owl carelessly.
"It's a nice long one," said Pooh, very much impressed by it.
"Well, actually, of course, I'm saying 'A Very Happy Birthday with love from Pooh.' Naturally it takes a good deal of pencil to say a long thing like that."
"Oh, I see," said Pooh.
So, today is Pooh Bear's 89th birthday! Who would have believed a diet of Hunny and regular games of Pooh sticks could keep a Bear so young in heart?
As it happens, today is – for me – a equally important milestone. From the earliest days of childhood, Pooh was my boon companion: I love him and his hums – and his friends in the 100 Aker Wood: nervous Piglet, gloomy Eeyore, bossy Rabbit, punctilious Owl, fussy Kanga, excitable Roo and, of course, the ever-bouncy Tigger –– all perfectly depicted in the incomparable illustrations of E H Shepard.
Three Cheers for Pooh was broadcast, on this day, in 1976. The programme was presented by actor (and Teddy Bear aficionado) Peter Bull (with whom I had become friends some years earlier) and featured veteran BBC actor, Norman Shelley (the BBC's original voice of Pooh) and another dear friend, the talented singer, pianist and broadcaster, Anthony Miall.
It's very old but it still has some charm (I think) and I'm very fond of it because it launched my radio writing and broadcasting career. Not only that, but it's about Pooh!