The Whole Bear Thing

                     The paddle-bear reminds me I need to explain the whole “bear” thing. Many toys need some sort of pilot, or driver. Years ago I discovered carving little human figures to put into various toys was way too hard. As a substitute I started putting simple animals in place of human operators. Cats, seals, dogs, and bears. Here is a catboat sailed by, naturally, two cats.

catboat1.jpg

A tomcat fighter flown by…

tomcat1.jpg

For his birthday, I once made a pond yacht for my eldest nephew to sail with his grandfather in the toy boat pond in Central Park. As an after thought I added two little bears sailing the boat and painted “Bearable” on the transom of the yacht.

bearable1.jpg

When the little yacht was unwrapped, my niece, who was at the time four-going on forty, announced; “Bears do not belong on boats”. When asked where bears belong, she answered with total certainty, “Bears”, she said, pausing for emphasis, “belong in the zoo”. This became a running joke between us, and since then I have been putting little bears in many of the toys that I make for her,and her brothers. Here are two bears driving a steam engine.

beard-riving-engine.jpg

It may be harder to make out, but there are two bears here piloting this tug.

tug-copy.jpg


                   

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One Response to “The Whole Bear Thing”

  1. Wooden Corsair #1 « Dovetails Says:

    […] The toy will be varnished wood, with a clear canopy over the cockpit, and a bear as the pilot. If you don’t know why a bear is flying a Corsair you need to read “the whole bear thing”. […]

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