A small town in Poland is trying to redefine Winnie the Pooh into something the bear's creator, A. A. Milne, wouldn't even recognize: A hermaphroditic, nudist bear created by a disturbed old man.
While debating whether the beloved literature icon should be the face of a new local playground, officials in Tuszyn concocted the bizarre history for the bear, adding that his genitals were removed and that his shirtless appearance makes him "inappropriate for children," according to a report in the Croatian Times:
Officials in the small town of Tuszyn, in central Poland, were meeting to decide upon a new patron for a children’s playground when Winnie-the-Pooh was brought up.
But the suggestion was quickly rounded on by more conservative members.
Councillor Ryszard Cichy, 46, said: "The problem with that bear is it doesn’t have a complete wardrobe.
"It is half naked which is wholly inappropriate for children."
He then suggested a Polish fictional bear, saying: "Ours is dressed from head to toe, unlike Pooh who is only dressed from the waist up."
Later, a town official named Hanna Jachimska added: "This is very disturbing but can you imagine! The author was over 60 and cut his [Pooh's] testicles off with a razor blade because he had a problem with his identity." And yet another pointed out: "It doesn’t wear underpants because it doesn’t have a sex. It’s a hermaphrodite."
So, okay. A few things to note here:
1. In general, bears on the whole do not wear pants. This is a mostly consistent law of nature (with notable exceptions, h/t the circus etc.); but if one were to take a survey of bears in nature, one would most likely find that the vast majority are not wearing pants. So the fact that Winnie wears a shirt actually suggests he's quite conservative in nature.
2. Winnie has already proven he can be trusted with children. In most of their interactions, Winnie and Christopher Robin are without supervision, and this never seems to become a problem.
3. The genital issue is a little murkier. There's really no way to prove one way or the other whether Milne performed said surgical operation on Winnie's nether regions, so we'll call it a wash.
4. Winnie the Pooh is a known honey thief. Just seems like a missed opportunity here. Although UPI seized it, reporting: "Winnie-the-Pooh is being run out of town, and it's not for taking all the honey."
So, overall, this is weird.