What follows here is an article that Pogo himself wrote for the POGO Fan Newsletter (aka fanzines) The Okefenokee Star back in 1969. It's basically Pogo's "Secret Origin." Although I have never seen a copy of The Okefenokee Star (I was too young to be a subscriber and by the time I had heard of it it had ceased publication), the following article was re-printed in the great POGO Even Better (1984, Simon & Shuster) probably available at your local library. (If not, ask for it!)
Written especially for Okefonokee Star readers by Pogo
In 1943 I was born, not in the real Okefenokee Swamp, but in a comic book. (The real Okefenokee Swamp is a wildlife wilderness, 30 x 40 miles, in southeastern Georgia and notrheastern Florida). At that time I played only a bit part. The leading character was a little boy. And next to him there was an alligator whose name was Albert. In those days Albert Alligator was ferocious and a braggart. He was always boasting about the things he was going to do. He never did any of them. He tried, though. I am very glad he didn't succeed because one of the things he wanted to do was quite distasteful to me. Albert wanted to eat me. Maybe that's why I looked so sad in those days.
Later it seemed to Mr. Walt Kelly, the boss, that the boy slowed us animals down. "Animals are much more sensible and a lot more fun to work with," said Mr. Kelly, and he threw the little boy out....gently. Then when the animals in POGO talked to each other, it made more sense. Animals do not really say anything much to humans, or in front of humans either. "It doesn't pay to let them know too much," says Mr. Rackety Coon.
We all lived in the comic-book swamp until about 1947. Mr. Kelly went to work then for a newspaper in New York City, and in 1948 he made a comic strip out of our adventures. The first thing Albert did was to swallow a pollywog child. It took two months to get the poor little beast out of there.
Besides these special friends, many other people joined our company...bears, snakes, butterflies, worms, and mice. Somebody tried to count them all one time, but gave up after identifying about 150.
Mr. Kelly confesses that each of the characters, good and bad alike, represents a side or two of his own personality, for better or worse. This is why he says that we should not judge the other fellow too harshly. "You may be somewhat like him yourself. Try to understand him."
Bun Rabbit's interest in holidays led to a story that is being adapted for television in animation. I thought that anybody should be allowed to celebrate the holiday of his choice any time he wanted to. So we set about acting that out. The story mainly involves Porkypine and a lot of confusion.
Confusion seems to be a way of life in the Okefenokee Swamp that we live in. We try to do things right but they turn out a little upside down or inside out. So, as Porkypine says, we don't take life too seriously, "because it ain't nohow permanent."