Thursday, July 8, 2010

You never can tell with bees


One of the things that I love the most about this online community of crafters, artists, mothers, women, etc. is the inspiration that they draw from their children and the infinite ways that it affects their art. The voices of little muses show themselves in clothing, toys, painting, fiber arts, gardens, everywhere!

The magic of these littlest of muses has filled the lives of artists for centuries. I wanted to introduce you to A. A. Milne and the muse of one of his greatest works. Milne is the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh inspired by his son…his very own Christopher Robin. Now the Winnie-the-Pooh that I am talking about is not the modern Disney illustrated version, or even the “classic Pooh” variety. But rather the original versions as printed in this beautiful 1957 edition (the first printing of The Christopher Robin Story Book was in 1927) that sits on our bookshelves. The inside cover is stamped “Ayersville High School”…with no idea whatsoever where Ayersville High School is I can only imagine the journey that this book took to make it to our shelves.


But back to A. A. Milne! Christopher Robin, Milne’s own son, and his adventures with his stuffed animals inspired his two Pooh books. The famous stuffed bear was originally named “Edward”, was renamed “Winnie-the-Pooh” after a Canadian black bear named Winnie (after Winnipeg). Winnie was used as a military mascot in WWI and left to the London Zoo. “The Pooh” comes from a swan named Pooh.

This weekend we spent a lovely bit of time together as a family laying on a blanket in the shade of a tree. Sick stomachs rested and souls drank in the fresh air. We read the charming words of A. A. Milne and imagined ourselves sitting on a rug at his feet surrounded by the very same stuffed friends who inspired these incredible adventures. Floating down through generations, from families all over the world, onto our blue blanket full of cute, albeit cute little sickies came just the love, memories, and bits of childhood that we all needed.


He put his head between his paws and thought very carefully.

“It’s like this,” he said. “When you go after honey with a balloon, the great thing is not to let the bees know you’re coming. Now, if you have a green balloon, they might think you were only part of the tree, and not notice you, and if you have a blue balloon, they might think you were only a part of the sky, and not notice you, and the question is: Which is most likely?”

Wouldn’t they notice you underneath the balloon?” you asked.

They might or they might not,” said Winnie-the-Pooh. “You can never tell with bees.” He thought for a moment and said: “I shall try to look like a small black cloud. That will deceive them.”

Then you had better have the blue balloon,” you said; and so it was decided.

We do love a good book. While this isn’t a daily read, or a record breaking favorite from our shelves it hit the spot so deliciously with us under the tree the other day that I just had to share it with you. I’ll be back once and a while in the midst of the “normal” handmade childhood goodness with a glimpse into some of our other favorite books and the artists/authors that inspire us.