I’ve owned these tiny ceramic mugs since I bought them at a department store in the town of Piła (pronounced pee-wa), Poland, back when I was in the Peace Corps in 1998. They number among the very few things I brought back from Poland and the even fewer I still have to this day.

I have no idea if these little cartoon characters pre-exist the mugs themselves or if they’re just the product of some in-house illustrator tasked with creating them but, either way, I think they’re awesome. They’re all so strut-y and happy—with the possible exception of the tiny, slightly threatening owl—it’s hard not to smile as you’re downing your morning OJ, for which I’ve almost exclusively used them over the past 16 years.

So cheers to you, tiny, inexplicable Polish cartoon mugs! Here’ sot another 16 years together!

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