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.


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 6, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“Furry Bear” appears in A. A. Milne’s collection of children’s verse Now We Are Six (E. P. Dutton & Co., 1927), illustrated by E. H. Shephard. In Three Cheers for Pooh: A Celebration of the Best Bear in All the World (Egmont, 2001), writer and radio broadcaster Brian Sibley remarks, “A. A. Milne told a friend that his son’s encounter at London Zoo with the American black bear, Winnie, had inspired him to write a couple of poems and, possibly, even a story. True or not, Now We Are Six, published in 1927, contained ‘Furry Bear,’ a verse in which the poet imagines what it would be like to be a bear.” Describing the poem’s accompanying illustration, Sibley later writes, “Thanks to E. H. Shepherd, [Winnie the Pooh] is discovered coming face to face with his famous namesake at the London Zoo in the illustrations to a remarkably Poohish ‘Hum,’ entitled ‘Furry Bear.’”