Ah, science: righter of wrongs, demolisher of false beliefs, corrector of childhood fantasies. The same commitment to exacting facticity that brought us proof of other galaxies is now being trained on the naive imaginations of millions of children, as The New York Times reports that the skull of Winnie The Pooh has been put on display in the Hunterian Museum in London. Though the article doesn’t mention it, it’s also safe to assume the museum will be planning a live vivisection of Dora The Explorer, a streaming video of Bambi being turned into a coat, and an upcoming Blu-ray release of Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web being devoured by her children.
Technically, the willy nilly silly old skull going on display at the museum is that of Winnipeg, the bear who served as A.A. Milne’s inspiration for the classic children’s character. Winnipeg was a fixture at the London Zoo, brought there during World War I and instantly becoming a celebrity attraction. Now, of course, the main attraction will be the shattered visions of the world’s youth, lying in ruin on the floor, probably alongside the tattered remnants of the pelt harvested from Winnipeg’s flesh. (Winnipeg’s body was donated to the Royal College of Surgeon’s Odontological museum after her death in the ’30s, presumably caused by the collective sadism of the nation’s scientists.)
The Hunterian’s director, Sam Alberti, also noted that the bear’s skull has a particular value above and beyond its celebrity status: “She lived with quite severe gum disease, you know, undoubtedly because of the honey on the sticky buns that she was being fed by the museum visitors out of love,” he says, probably in between rounds of stopping by kindergarten classes to tell the kids about the inevitability of death. “We can have a look and see what happens to animals when their diet is, I’m sure, delicious, but utterly inappropriate.” He did not say how long the exhibit, likely titled Here Is The Skull Of Your Childhood Friend, Behold How Consuming Treats Destroyed His Insides As They Are Currently Destroying Yours, would be open.