Real Bears

Goldilocks ran all the way home from the bears’ house. She ran inside and closed and locked the door. Then she found her mom.

“There you are,” Mom said. “You are just in time for lunch.”

“I ate at the bears’ house,” Goldilocks said. “I ate up all their breakfast.”

“I think you’d better explain,” Mom said, “because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I found a house in the woods. I knocked on the door. No one answered, so I went in,” Goldilocks said.

“That was a bad choice,” Mom said.

“Why?” Goldilocks asked.

“You aren’t supposed to go into the woods alone. You don’t visit people on your own. And if no one says come in, you don’t go into someone else’s house.”

“Oh,” Goldilocks said.

“What happened next?” Mom asked.

“There was no one there, but they’d left their porridge on the table. I like porridge, and I didn’t want it to be wasted. So, I ate it all up. Except the porridge that was too hot or too cold. That’s yucky.” Goldilocks made a face.

“That was a bad choice. It was stealing,” mom said.

“Okay,” Goldilocks said. “I accidentally broke a chair, and then I fell asleep on one of the beds, and when I woke up there were bears, and I ran home.”

“Goldilocks,” Mom said.

“I told you it was an accident,” Goldilocks said.

“And you shouldn’t call them bears,” Mom said. “Real bears don’t live in houses. Even if they seem hairy and grumpy, they aren’t real bears.”

“Yes they were,” Goldilocks said.

“We’ll have to bring them cookies and offer to pay for the chair,” Mom said. “After lunch go to your room and write an apology note.”

“But I don’t want to apologize,” Goldilocks said.

“Growing up means learning to do hard things,” Mom said.

After Dad got home from work, Goldilocks led her parents to the bears’ house. They walked through meadows of flowers and past several surprisingly tiny cottages. Goldilocks stopped in front of a white wooden fence with a gate that opened up on a small tidy yard in front of a charming cottage. She insisted on staying by the gate while her parents went to the door.

They knocked and the door creaked open. Mom and Dad yelled in surprise. Mom dropped the cookies and note and they both ran. Dad scooped up Goldilocks on the way past. They ran home.

The bears stood in the doorway for a moment, feeling shocked. “What just happened?” Baby Bear asked.

“Oh look, they brought us cookies,” Mama Bear said. “It’s a good thing they wrapped them up so well. And an apology note too, how nice.”

“Those were obviously her parents. They looked a lot like her,” Papa Bear said.

“They yelled and ran away like her too,” Baby Bear said.

“I guess it runs in the family,” Mama Bear said. “I wonder if we’ll ever see them again.”

They never did. They did find a little chair on their doorstep one morning, though.