Thursday, June 12, 2014

Exploring new worlds (or how did the Teddy Bear get it's name ? :) )

Another day, Another cliché :) "It's amazing how things change when your life starts revolving around your baby"

But no, this is not the standard gushing post ( or atleast I hope it's not :) ) - I have started to explore a lot of new "why?" s around stuff that relates to the baby.. And the flavor of the day?

Why is a Teddy Bear called a Teddy Bear? :)  Apparently there is a very interesting story behind it.

Cut to 1902. The then Us President Theodore Roosevelt was in Mississippi wanting to take a break from White House duties with a little Bear hunting. Day 1, Everyone enthusiastic, but not a single black bear could be spotted ( Hmmm - did they have prior information ? :) ) Day 2 also wasn't very successful. But the hunter dogs did corner one black bear, and the hunting guide, gave a knock on its head and tied it to the tree.


He then used his bugle ( I wanted to say blew the bugle - but is that correct? :) ) to call the President, who had by then given up and retired to the camp. But when Roosevelt saw this really underweight, dazed, poor female bear tied to the tree - he couldn't bring himself to shoot it. So, he asked that this bear be let loose.

Within no time, the media converted this into a now famous cartoon. And the toymakers, made the bear in the cartoon immortal by making a plush toy out of the bear and calling it - drumroll please.... - Theodore's Bear , or The Teddy Bear. ( and of course, the bear in the cartoon looked so helpless that you would want to immediately protect it - See for yourself :) (Pic from Library of Congress Archives - http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3a30000/3a34000/3a34700/3a34770r.jpg )

So if the President hadn't drawn the line in Mississippi, my daughter wouldn't have got her hugging toy more than a 100 years later :) As she leaves the plush toy, tired of playing with it, and as my gently puts her to sleep singing her a lovely Malayalam Lullaby, my mind is now starting to wonder - Why do Lullabies put a child to sleep? More on that, next time :):)

(And thanks to this wonderful TED talk by Jon Mooallem from where I learnt about Teddy Bear: http://www.ted.com/talks/jon_mooallem_the_strange_story_of_the_teddy_bear_and_what_it_reveals_about_our_relationship_to_animals )