This week I had a slightly unusual request. A dear friend of mine sent me a message saying that her niece wanted a ‘Backson’ for Christmas. At first I had no idea what she was talking about, Miss T is 13 now so I’m used to little ones being interested in characters that I am unfamiliar with. But then I realised that this was a character from Winnie The Pooh.
You can be forgiven for not knowing that I have a soft spot for Pooh Bear and the works of AA Milne. When I was a little girl my great aunt bought me a copy of ‘When We Were Very Young’ and ‘Now We Are Six’. I memorised each and every poem and, although I’m a little rusty and out of practice, I can still manage to quote some of them from memory 30 years later! I loved them, and I still do.
When Miss T was little I used to read her the stories from Winnie The Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner so I am familiar with the idea of a Spotted or Herbaceous Backson. One of the stories tells of Rabbit’s quest to find out what Christopher Robin does in the mornings after finding a note saying ‘Gon Out. Backson. Bisy Backson.’ – it is, of course, revealed that he is going to school which eventually leads us to the final chapter when Christopher Robin realises that he can’t just do ‘nothing’ any more and he grows up and leaves his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. When I was a little girl I just thought it was a nice story, when I came to read the stories to Miss T I found that the last story always brought a tear to my eye, I’m even getting a little weepy just thinking about it now!
But I have realised that the Backson features in one of the Winnie The Pooh Movies made a few years ago. It passed me by when it was first released but I did some research so that I could create the perfect Backson for my friend. The film roughly follows the same story-line, with the characters wishing to catch the ‘Backson’ that they believe has kidnapped Christopher Robin. Owl sings a funny little song to help the others understand what the Backson is like, and I have found it useful with my design work.
The Backson Song
It’s a Giant creature with a tail,
Here I’ll draw Piglet in for scale,
His hide is like a shaggy rug,
His face a surely ugly mug,
With two sharp horns atop his head,
In between a mop of hair that’s red,
And in his nose a ring of gold,
It smells of monkey’s feet and mold,
Its toes are black,
It’s fur is blue,
I swear that all I tell you is not made up…
The first thing that struck me about the Backson is his horns which the creatures believe he used to poke holes I socks. They are pretty similar to a Highland Bull, and, having just recently created a Bully the Bull toy for my grandmother I thought it would be a good basis for the pattern. I made Bully’s hair using a loop stitch but I think I will tie in the Backson’s ‘mop of hair’ in individual strands like I do with my Alpaca. I’ve bought some King Cole Moments in ‘Electric’ for his shaggy hide. So far I’ve made his head, legs and started his arms. So far I’m really pleased with the results. I’ll be able to post photos next week.
Other Crafting Projects This Week
I have finished sewing up the Land Girl Jumper which I am hoping to write more about next week and I have been continuing my jumper using Lion Brand Mandala. I have also finished Mr B’s ‘Icicle Tatters’ although the rest of the project is being put on hold. The wind and rain have been particularly bad in the South West of the UK over the last weeks so the decision has been taken not to Stilt Walk at Buckfast Abbey this weekend, although we will be there running Circus Workshops for the kids. If you’re in the area do stop by and say hi, I’ll even talk knitting with you if you let me know that this blog sent you there.
A Final Poem
Whilst planning out this blog I was racking my brain to come up with a suitably seasonal poem to quote, the only one I could think of was this one which is how I feel when the winter rolls around and I just want to hibernate like a furry bear…
If I were a bear,
And a big bear too,
I shouldn’t much care
If it froze or snew,
I shouldn’t much mind
If it snowed or friz
I’d be all fur-lined
With a coat like his.
For I’d have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
And brown fur knickers and a big fur cap,
I’d have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws,
And brown fur mittens on my big brown paws,
With a big brown furry-down up to my head,
I’d sleep all the winter in a big fur bed!
I hope I remembered it correctly, I was going to look it up but I thought it would be more fun to do it from memory. Do you have a favourite AA Milne poem or story? Or another author who inspired you as a child?