I must have seen it at the cinema when I was five and I’ve carried it with me ever since. In particular, Baloo must have been my first ever hero, and remains my number one role model. The Bear Necessities is as close to a philosophy of life as I’ve managed, and I often cite these lyrics as my touchstone:
Now if you pick a paw, or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw, next time beware.
Don’t pick the prickly pear by the paw,
When you pick a pear try to use the claw
But you don’t need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big paw paw.
Have I given you a clue?
(Gee golly, thanks, Baloo).
The song was actually played at Karin’s funeral. I think the idea was we would all break free from our chains and dance with childlike abandon around the chapel and, being in the front row, I had the perfect opportunity to locate my inner Baloo and lead the way. To my constant regret, I’m sad to say that all the glass darkly stuff had taken hold, and timidity, embarrassment and decorum held me back.
So, with that in mind, if I have one resolution for the year, it’s to be less grown-up and more Baloo, though we’d best not tell Anne…