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The Three Bears

Published September 15, 2005
Countries: England
Age Levels: 3 and up

Once upon a time, there were three bears.  There was great big Papa Bear, middle sized Mama Bear and wee little Baby Bear.  They lived in a comfortable cottage in the middle of the woods. The Bear family always had porridge for breakfast.

You might like porridge - It is a food that's made by very very slowly stirring oats into boiling water  or boiling milk. It is like oatmeal or cream of wheat.  But, it is harder to make.

Papa Bear always ate his porridge from a great big bowl.  He added a little honey to his porridge to make it sweet.  Mama Bear always ate hers from a middle-sized bowl.  She added maple syrup to her porridge.  Wee little Baby Bear always ate his porridge from a wee little bowl.  Baby Bear didn't add anything to his porridge except for sweet milk.

The three bears had very comfortable chairs to sit on in their house.  Papa Bear sat in a great big chair. Mama bear sat in a middle-sized chair, and wee little Baby Bear sat in a wee little chair.

Their beds were nice and cozy too.  Papa Bear and Mama Bear were thinking about getting a new king-sized bed and building on their own bedroom since wee little baby bear was growing up and soon would need a room of his own.  Papa Bear slept in a great big bed.  Mama Bear slept in a middle-sized bed.  Wee little Baby Bear slept in a wee little bed.

One cold fall morning, Mother Bear made porridge for the Bear family.  She boiled it and stirred it a long time to make it thick the way they liked it.  Everyone was happy when Mama Bear poured the porridge into the bowls.  But, since the porridge was so hot, Papa Bear suggested taking a walk while it cooled. 

The three Bears had no sooner left their houses when along came a little yellow haired human girl.  Her name was Goldilocks. That was because her hair was very yellow, and she didn't like the name Blondie.  Goldilocks had been taking a walk also.

She went out for a walk and to look at the fall colors while her mother was fixing breakfast at home. The fall trees were extra beautiful that year, and the day was warm.  So Goldilocks walked farther into the woods than usual. She came to the middle of the woods and saw a small cottage.  It was the Bear's house.

Goldilocks was getting tired and wanted to rest for a moment before going home.  She knocked on the door of the Bear's cottage.  But, no one answered.  She wasn't usually the type of girl that normally went into the home of strangers - especially the homes of Bears she didn't know - but this time was different.  She was tired - so perhaps she wasn't thinking right.  She might have left the Bear's cottage to find her way home until she smelled the aroma of the porridge.  I think it might have been because of the maple syrup Mama Bear added that day to the porridge.

Goldilocks rudely entered the house without permission and walked straight to the kitchen.  She knew it wasn't right, but she just had to have a taste of the porridge. She picked up Papa Bear's large spoon and dipped it into the porridge and brought it up to her lips.  "Ouch," she said.  "This porridge is too hot."

Then she took the middle-sized spoon from Mama's middle-sized bowl.  She brought the spoon to her lips and made a face -  "This porridge is too cold!"  Then Goldilocks picked up the wee little spoon that sat in the wee little bowl that belonged to Baby Bear and tasted the porridge. It was just right! And it was delicious because of the sweet milk.  Without thinking about getting Bear germs or about eating something that wasn't hers, Goldilocks ate it all up!

"I simply have to sit down for a bit before I go home," thought Goldilocks, and she tried to sit on the great big chair that belonged to Papa Bear.  "Oh, no!" She said.  "This chair is too hard."  Then she sat on the middle-sized chair that belonged to Mama Bear.  "Oh, no!" she said.  "This chair is too soft."

Then - you guessed it!  She sat down on the wee little chair that belonged to Baby Bear - and snuggled into the seat saying, ?This chair is just right!?  But as she snuggled too tightly - her bottom pushed the sides of the chair apart - and the bottom of the chair came loose.  The chair broke apart.

Goldilocks got up.  But instead of being embarrassed about breaking a chair that wasn't hers - Goldilocks said, "They sure buy cheap chairs!"  Then she walked into the Bear's bedroom.  "What cute bedspreads," thought Goldilocks.  She yawned as she looked at the beds.

She decided to lie down for just a moment before going home.  She tried to lie down on the great big bed that belonged to Papa Bear.  "Ooh" - she said as she tried to climb up on it. "This bed is too high and too hard!"  Then she tried to climb on the middle-sized bed that belonged to Mama Bear. "This bed is too low and too soft."  Finally, Goldilocks climbed onto the wee little bed that belonged to Baby Bear and - you guessed it.  The bed was just right!  That's when Goldilocks fell fast asleep.

The Three Bears came back from their walk.  Papa Bear noticed that his spoon was dirty and saw that part of his porridge was on the spoon.  "Someone's been eating my porridge," he growled.

Mama Bear saw that her spoon was dirty and said, "Someone has been eating my porridge."

Then Baby Bear saw his spoon. It wasn't dirty since Goldilocks had licked it clean.  "Someone has been eating my porridge," said Baby Bear.  "And they ate it all up."

Papa Bear saw his seat cushion had been moved.  Then he growled, "Someone's been sitting in my chair!"

Mama Bear saw her cushion had been moved.  She said, "Someone's been sitting in my chair."

Baby Bear looked at his chair and said, "Somebody's been sitting in my chair, and they smashed it to bits!"

Then the bears went into their bedroom.  "Someone has been sleeping on my bed," growled Papa Bear after he saw his wrinkled bedspread.

Mama Bear saw her wrinkled bedspread and said, "Someone's been sleeping in my bed too!"

"That's nothing," said Baby Bear, "Someone's been sleeping in my bed, and they're still there."

"Oh, no! A HUMAN!" Growled Papa Bear.  "That figures. You can't leave your house for a minute without one of them causing problems."

"I'll never get the stink out of the bedclothes," said Mama Bear.

"Can I keep her for a pet?" asked Baby Bear.

"Absolutely not," said both of his parents at the same time.  "Humans are messy!  They have germs.  They eat too much!  And they aren't easy to train."

All of the talking woke up Goldilocks.  She jumped off the bed and ran to the window and climbed out. Off she ran as fast as her legs would carry her.  "See what I mean about impossible to train," said Papa Bear.  "She can't even use the door correctly!"

Of course Goldilocks made it home safely. But, her rudeness made it difficult for today's humans to walk alone in the woods.  Bears used to be very friendly to humans.  Now, they growl!  It is all because all because of Goldilocks and the rude way she treated the three bears on that fall day so long ago.


Note:  The history of this story traces back to a book of poems and stories written by Robert Southey in 1837.  Interestingly enough, in the original version, the home invader was a "little old woman," not a little girl.  Later versions retold the story with a "silver haired girl."  Today's versions all seem to have a blonde girl, called Gildilocks.  If you enjoyed Dr. Lockett's version of this story and wish to read more folktales as retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller, please visit his site at