Monday, December 21, 2009

Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin Milne received a stuffed donkey for Christmas in 1921. He was one year-old and had already received a stuffed bear for his birthday in August. You know the rest of the story. His clever father wrote a book about Christopher Robin and his toys, and then another. They were bestsellers, which embarrassed the boy no end when he went away to school. (The other boys enjoyed chanting "Hush hush, whisper who dares! Christopher Robin is saying his prayers!")

The books, in their fiftieth printing by now, were read to you when you were small, long before you understood the wit. Then you reread them in college. Trying to recapture the innocence of childhood worked as a temporary respite from first semester finals. Christopher Robin eventually grew up. He was wounded in action in World War II, married, and opened a bookstore in Dorset. He later wrote a book about the difficulties of living a famous childhood. He appears six times in A Book of Ages.

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