Pooh's Birth Certificate
The real life toys owned by Christopher Robin inspired the stories of Winnie the Pooh. In 1947, the toys toured the Unites States and A.A. Milne insisted that they should be accompanied by a birth certificate as if they were like any other traveller. The stuffed toys were even invited to travel by Concorde! Unfortunately, Roo was lost in the Sussex countryside and couldn't join Pooh and his friends as they travelled America. Milne explains this disappointing fact on the certificate.
The certificate can be a little difficult to read, so I have written the text below:
When the first stories of WINNIE-THE-POOH were written there were three animals in the nursery: stuffed animals to the visitor, but to the resident very much alive. They were Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore. Pooh had been the first birthday present, Eeyore was the Christmas present of a few months later. Piglet was an undated arrival at the hands of a stranger, who had often noticed a little boy walking in the street with his nurse and sometimes stopped and talked with them.
With these three friends, and an imaginary Owl and Rabbit, the stories began; and as they went on, additions to the family were made in the persons of Kanga (with Roo in her pouch) and Tigger. It must be confessed that the newcomers were carefully chosen, with the idea of not only giving pleasure to the reader, but also fresh inspiration to the chronicler of their adventures.
Five of these animals are paying a personal visit to America in the hope that some of those who have read about them will now be pleased to meet them. Anyone who does so will recognize them at once, for they were drawn from life for the illustrations in the books. The sixth one, Roo, is believed to be somewhere in Sussex, but no details are available. A subsequent dog, who became part of the establishment, took him for a walk once and left him in a hollow tree, from which he was extracted a year later. But the spirit of adventure was now strong upon him, and soon afterwards he was off again -- whether or not with the co-operation of the dog this time is not known. The latter was one of those friendly but unbalanced young things who must have company; and if Piglet's face now gives the impression of having seen better days, they were the days before the dog joined the party. But no explanation is needed for the world-weariness of Pooh and Eeyore. Time's hand has been upon them since 1921. That was a long time ago.
A. A. Milne