The bear in the wild rules over his kingdom from his den, eating anything from berries to cattle. Bear-baiting, brutal and voyeuristic, has stopped in England, but the London Stock Exchange is still called a bear-pit. By contrast, the bear in the home is a much-loved cuddly children’s toy, representing security. Many children’s books are centred around bears, all of them surprisingly benevolent; Baloo in The Jungle Book, Rupert Bear (originally brown but changed to white to save on printing costs), Paddington Bear and Winnie-the-Pooh.

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