Goldilocks and the Three Bears
This is more or less the version of the story I used to tell my daughters while I was brushing their hair, usually on hectic Sunday mornings.  All characters in this story are fictitious, and any resemblance to real bears (or little girls) is strictly coincidental.  If you believe that, I just happen to have some magic beans you might be interested in.
O nce upon a time there were three bears: a great big Papa Bear, a middle-sized Mama Bear, and a little Baby Bear.  They lived in a little cottage in a clearing in the woods.

One Saturday morning, Mama Bear decided to make porridge for breakfast.

"What's for breakfast?" growled Papa Bear, who had just gotten up.

"Porridge!" said Mama Bear.

"Oh yuck!" said Baby Bear, who up to this point had been too busy watching TV to care.

"Well, it's all ready, so let's sit down."  said Mama Bear.  But when they sat down to breakfast, the porridge was still too hot to be eaten.

"Let's go for a walk in the woods while our porridge cools." said Papa Bear.  So they took their fishing poles, and their berry baskets, and set out.

They had not been gone for more than forty-seven and a half seconds, when out of the woods on the opposite side of the clearing stepped a little girl.  She had long golden curly hair, and a pout on her otherwise pretty face.

It was Goldilocks.

Goldilocks had taken a little stroll in the woods that morning simply because her mother had suggested that if she wanted double blueberry waffles for the thirty-forth day in a row, that she could jolly well learn to make them herself.  By this time, she had been walking for two and a half hours, and was actually starting to get a little hungry.

When she saw the cottage in the clearing, Goldilocks marched up to it and knocked on the front door.  When nothing happened, she knocked harder and harder, and finally started pounding.  Eventually, she pounded hard enough that the door, which Papa Bear had been meaning to fix one of these days, swung open.

Goldilocks looked inside, and hollered "HEY!  ANYBODY HOME?"  But, as you know, nobody was.

Then she stepped inside and looked around.

Inside, she found the table with three bowls of porridge.  Now by this time she was hungry enough to eat almost anything, so even porridge looked pretty good.

First she tried the porridge in the biggest bowl, because Goldilocks always took the biggest whenever she had a choice, but Papa Bear liked his food spicy, and had used a lot of hot sauce and black pepper on it.  "Wow!" she said, when she finally recovered, "This porridge is much too hot!"

Next, she tried the porridge in the middle-sized bowl, but Mama Bear liked her porridge with lots of milk and cream in it.  "Ugh!" said Goldilocks, "This porridge is much too cold."

Finally she tried the porridge in the littlest bowl.  Now Baby Bear, if he ate porridge at all, liked lots of brown sugar and honey and maple syrup on it, so she found the porridge in the little bowl to be just right.

She started eating and before you know it she'd eaten it all up.  Then, feeling rather footsore after her walk in the woods, she looked around for somewhere to sit down.

First she tried the biggest chair, but it was upholstered with a very rough material, and scratched her legs.  "Ouch!" she cried, "This chair is much too scratchy!"

Then she tried the middle-sized chair, but it had a seat covered with a shiny silky material, and every time she tried to lean back she slipped off.  "Whoops!" she cried, "This chair is much too slippery!"

At last, she tried the little chair, which was made of wood and painted red.  "Ah!" she said "This chair is just right!"  She smiled, folded her hands behind her head, leaned back in the chair, and started to put her feet up on the table.

She leaned back farther, and farther, and was just getting comfortable, when all of a sudden, CRACK!  The back legs of the chair broke off and she landed in a heap of kindling and splinters on the floor.

"Well!" she thought to herself, "You'd think people would be a little more careful about choosing furniture.  A person could get hurt." She looked around the room, but since there was no one there to see her cry, she decided to skip it for once.

As she was looking around, she spied a staircase leading to the loft of the cottage. "I wonder if there's anything interesting up those stairs." said Goldilocks.

She climbed the stairs, and found herself in the Bear's bedroom. "Oh goody!" she cried "Now I can lie down."

She ran over and jumped onto the biggest bed, but Papa Bear, who had been having a little back trouble lately, had put a piece of 3/4 inch indoor-outdoor plywood under the mattress pad for support, and she landed with a thump.  "Ouch!" she cried "This bed is much too hard!"  She tried re-arranging the covers, but soon saw it was not going to help.

Feeling rather ill-used, she proceeded to the second bed.  But Mama Bear had not had a new mattress since she graduated college, and the one she had was so broken-down in the middle that Goldilocks nearly disappeared from sight.  "Help!" she cried, "This bed is much too soft!"

Fighting her way to the edge, Goldilocks climbed off the middle-sized bed, and went to try the little bed.  "Ahh!" she sighed, as she lay down, "This bed is just right!"  She curled up in the little bed, and cuddled what she took to be a Teddy Bear.  (It was actually, as you have probably already guessed, Baby Bear's doll.)  Soon, she fell fast asleep.

By and by, the three Bears returned home from their walk.  They had picked a basket of berries, and had caught a respectable string of Bluegills.

"Baby Bear!" growled Papa Bear, "Did you leave the door open?"

"No, Papa. You were the last one out, remember?"

"Oh yes, so I was." mumbled Papa Bear.

"Maybe there's something wrong with the door latch." said Mama Bear.  "I hope everything is just as we left it."  Very quietly, the three Bear crept into their house.

"Look!" Papa Bear said quietly "Someone's been tasting MY porridge."

"I'll bet they were sorry!" said Mama Bear.  Then she looked around. "Oh!" she cried "Someone's been tasting MY porridge."

"Someone's been tasting MY porridge, too," said Baby Bear, "and someone has tasted it all up!  And just look what they did to my little red chair!"

"Let's have a look upstairs." said Papa Bear, and they all climbed the stairs to the bedroom.

"Someone's been sleeping in MY bed." said Papa Bear quietly.

"Someone's been sleeping in MY bed." said Mama Bear, even more quietly.

"Someone's been sleeping in MY bed," whispered Baby Bear, "and not only that, they're still sleeping in my bed."

Quietly, the three Bears gathered around the little bed, for they had never seen a little girl before, and weren't exactly sure what she was.

What happened next happened almost too fast to tell.  Goldilocks rolled over on her back, and her mouth fell open, and she snored a magnificent snore.  The three Bears all jumped back in fright, and Papa Bear roared out loud, having just stepped on a Lego®.  Goldilocks opened her eyes, saw the Bears, and screamed.

The Bear family all ran down the front stairs and out the front door, and Goldilocks ran down the back stairs and out the back door.

The Three Bears didn't come back until the middle of that afternoon, and Papa Bear fixed the latch on the door.

Goldilocks, who is a little more careful not to go where she hasn't been invited, has astonished her mother by no longer asking for double blueberry waffles for breakfast.  She now asks for porridge.  Because now she knows how to make it taste good.


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