Tag: goldilocks

The Golden-Haired Pirate

Greta Goldenlocks was a fearsome and mighty pirate. No pirate or soldier alive could defeat her in battle. She could defeat ten men as large as grizzly bears with one hand tied behind her back and the wind blowing her hair into her face. She could surround and defeat an armada of ships with three rowboats and a crossbow.

And as for treasure, Greta had a nose for it. No one could hide their valuables from Greta’s sticky fingers. If it was golden false teeth, they’d be gone and in her loot bag while you were in the middle of eating dinner with them. You wouldn’t notice they were gone until you tried to eat the mashed potatoes.

One day, after getting up early to explore the surrounding seas, Greta sailed up to a castle. She rowed to shore and jumped from the rowboat, eager to explore. She approached warily, but no guards or lookouts stood outside the gates.

The front door was unlocked. It was a little unnerving. Greta thought of all the ghost stories she heard on quiet nights. Yet, she never once saw a ghost, after all.

She couldn’t walk away from this. A castle? With the front door unlocked? She wouldn’t be a pirate if she didn’t walk right inside. So, she did.

The front hall was empty. Following her nose for treasure, she turned into the first room. It was a banquet hall with a lavish feast served but untouched. Greta sampled the dishes.

No poison.

After sampling the last serving, she finished the meal. Why leave good food to go to waste? She considered finding the kitchens later and bringing some extra provisions to her crew.

But first, she needed to look for treasure. She went into the next room. It was a throne room, and the chairs looked like solid gold.

However, Greta was an expert treasure hunter, unwilling to be fooled by imitations. She checked first one chair, then another. She hacked the last chair apart with her sword. It wasn’t gold, just painted wood.

Disgusted, she moved along. She found a bed chamber. The expensive linens would fetch a pretty penny if sold to the right buyers. Yet, linens would be a poor treasure to take back to her crew from the castle. Even if she added the provisions.

Surely there must be something better. Letting her mind go blank, Greta tuned in to possible treasure. But all her senses told her that the treasure in this castle was the beds.

She looked under the beds. She scratched the paint of the headboards to see if they were made of gold. She checked under the mattresses. She checked the seams of the bedding.

Maybe they were enchanted beds? Greta didn’t really believe in magic, but she was willing to keep an open mind. She crawled into each of the beds, with her boots on, to see if anything felt different.

Nothing did. Maybe she needed to fall asleep first. And so, in the last bed, she fell fast asleep. The bed was marvelously comfortable, and she slept well. Unfortunately, she didn’t sleep long.

Greta started awake with the feeling of someone watching her. Opening her eyes, she was shocked to see three large bears. Actual bears. Yet they wore clothes and stood on their hind legs like people.

Was that what the enchanted beds did? Did they turn people into bears? Or was it the food that changed them?

In alarm, Greta looked down at her hands. They were still normal hands. She cautiously put her hands up to check her face. No fur.

She remembered her treasure-seeking instincts telling her the beds were important. It must be the beds. Luckily, she hadn’t slept there long. She needed to get out of here before anything happened.

The bears were still staring at her in shock. Greta jumped from the bed, and in two steps she was out the window. She landed gracefully on the lawn and waved at the bears watching her from the window.

Her crew sailed away from the enchanted castle as quickly as possible. The ship’s doctor said her voice sounded a bit hoarse, but it was probably just a cold. He told her it just wasn’t possible for people to turn into bears. But Greta and the crew knew better. She’d had a narrow escape.

Greta is still just as good in battle. She can still find any treasure no matter where it’s hidden. But she might wait a moment or two before taking it now. She checks to see if the owner looks cursed. Greta Goldenlocks is a wise and mighty pirate.

Little Lost Goldibot

Once, or maybe someday, there was a little factory sitting nearly abandoned at the edge of the woods. It was nearly abandoned by people, because the Gold Standard Cleaning Supplies factory was nearly fully automated. The robots did most of the work themselves, and only really needed people to pick up their neatly boxed supplies to deliver them elsewhere.

Unfortunately for the Gold Standard Cleaning Supplies company, one day one of the delivery people was in a hurry. He stacked the boxes higher than normal so that he could take fewer trips. This meant that he propped the door open so that he didn’t need to try to open and close it while his arms were over-full.

He did not notice the cleaning robot making its way around the perimeter of the factory. He did not see it follow the trail of his muddy footprints out the door. And when he locked up and left, he did not count to see if any robots were missing.

The little lost gold standard cleaning supplies industrial janitorial robot, goldibot, would not be missed for months and months and months. That’s how long it would take for the deliveryman to notice that the factory floor was unusually dusty. It would take many more months for him to remember to report it to his supervisor. By that time, goldibot was long gone, and they never knew what happened to it.

They never knew that goldibot followed the dirty footprints out to a dirty parking lot, where the footprints became lost in the general grime. Following the perimeter of the lot, the little robot began sweeping up dirt and fallen leaves and pine needles and leaving them in tiny compact cubes. Normally, goldibot would pick these up in its next pass around the perimeter and drop them in the incinerator.

However, the perimeter wasn’t clearly defined, and goldibot didn’t come around again. Instead, the robot soon wandered into the woods, clearing a path as it went. Occasionally there was a tree in its path, and goldibot paused to clean off all the moss and scrub the bark. Boulders received similar treatment. The robot cleaned with pressurized air and sonic waves, so it was in no danger of running out of cleaning supplies.

The next morning, goldibot wandered into a dark, messy cave. This was not just any cave. This was the home of three bears, who were out for a walk to patrol the edge of their territory.

Goldibot quickly swept up the nuts, seeds, and berries left in the hollows of the rock and left them behind, squished into tiny cubes. It rolled further into the cave, clearing boulders of moss and stacking them neatly out of the way.

The next room was full of mounds of pine needles and soft grass that kept goldibot very busy sweeping and compacting. In fact, goldibot was still cleaning up when the bears returned home. Goldibot didn’t know that the bears were there, of course.

But the bears knew that goldibot was there. When they stepped into the cave, ready to sit down to breakfast, they noticed right away that something was different. “Something has happened to my breakfast,” Papa Bear roared.

“Something happened to my breakfast, too,” Mama Bear replied.

Baby bear inspected the tiny cubes and tasted one. “I think this is breakfast,” he said.

After some grumbling, the bears quickly gobbled up the tiny cubes and went to sit in their living room. But their comfy moss-covered boulders were gone. “Someone has stolen my chair,” Papa Bear roared.

“Someone stole my chair, too,” Mama Bear replied.

Baby bear sniffed at the tiny green cubes and followed them to the neat stack of clean boulders along the far wall. “Here they are,” he said.

“We can’t use them like that,” Papa Bear said. “They don’t look at all comfortable. Someone has broken our living room.”

“This is all so distressing,” Mama Bear said. “I need a nap.”

“Me too,” Papa Bear said.

Baby Bear followed them to the bedroom. The bedroom looked strange, too. Something was missing.

“Somebody stole my bed,” Papa Bear roared.

“Someone stole mine too,” Mama Bear said.

“Someone is still stealing my bed,” Baby Bear said. “And there he is.” They all looked at the silver something as it scooped up the last bit of Baby Bear’s bed. It spat out a tiny cube, made a scary hissing noise, and zoomed away.

The bears cleaned up the mess and remade their furniture. They never saw the scary silver thing again. But they heard from the foxes and wolves that it was still out there, causing trouble. The animals still tell their children about it on dark nights when the moon is full and no one can sleep.

And the little lost goldibot continued to clean everything in its path for years and years and years.

Silverbug and the Big Lizards

Once upon a time, deep in the woods, there was a cozy cave. Inside the cave lived a mama dragon, a papa dragon, and a baby dragon. Every morning they woke up early to flame-roast hazelnuts for breakfast.

This took a long time, because they were careful not to burn them. Instead, they carefully breathed fire above the nuts, turning them over in the shallow stone hollow that was their stove until every side was golden brown. Once every nut was toasted to perfection, they went on a walk while breakfast cooled.

One morning, as they walked through the woods in the early dawn, stepping through the sun-dappled shadows, things were different. They just didn’t know it yet. Unfortunately, a knight in shining armor had just found their cozy cave.

The knight looked around at the clean, well-ordered cave, and decided he’d just found his new base of operations. He was delighted to find the nuts, and didn’t once wonder where they came from. He ate every last one, cracking open the shells with his sword, and wished there were more.

Wandering further back in the cave, he found three large tree stumps. He cut up the smallest stump with his sword. Then he pulled out his tinderbox and lit one of the sticks of wood on fire and stashed a few unlit sticks of wood in his pack as he put the tinderbox away.

Holding aloft his torch, the knight ventured further into the cave. He followed the large, winding tunnel feeling especially dashing and brave. He couldn’t wait to tell of his heroics when he returned to the castle!

At the end of the tunnel, he found a wide room with three lumpy raised beds covered in soft moss. The torch was growing dim, and he had been walking around all morning. The knight decided he had time for a nap before exploring any further.

He laid on the closest and largest mound. It was too lumpy, and he kept rolling off the bed and falling onto the floor with a clang. This was not a good choice.

He laid on the next bed. It had too much moss for a knight still wearing shining armor. He kept sinking and sinking until he struggled to stand up before he’d sunk too far.

And so the knight laid down on the smallest moss-covered mound. It was just right. The torch went out and the knight fell asleep.

Meanwhile, the unsuspecting dragon family was returning home from their morning walk. As soon as they entered the cave, they knew something was wrong. The floor was covered in mysterious muddy footprints.

There was a pile of hazelnut shells in the middle of the kitchen floor. What animal would dare to enter a dragon cave and steal their breakfast? “Did they eat all of it?” Baby dragon whispered.

“It looks like it.” Papa dragon looked worried. “Stay behind me.”

As they followed him to the living room, mama dragon whispered, “Don’t worry. We’ll find something else to eat once it’s safe.”

They were shocked to find baby dragon’s chair broken into small pieces. Papa dragon sniffed the air. “Smoke.”

Mama dragon glared. Was it another dragon who had come to steal their hoard? How unmannerly. She couldn’t wait to tell them what she thought of their behavior. She nodded at papa dragon. They could be hiding in only one place.

The dragons stalked down the hall, their eyes glowing and lighting all the darkest corners. Baby dragon trailed behind them not sure what was happening, but hoping they’d get breakfast soon. He looked around once they reached the bedroom.

The moss-covered piles of gold had been disturbed. And there, lying on the smallest pile, baby dragon’s bed, was something shiny and largish. “Someone is sleeping on my bed,” baby dragon yelled. “There he is. I bed he was the one who ate breakfast and broke my chair too!”

The silver creature launched itself from the bed, waving a strange stinger in the air and growling incomprehensibly. Baby dragon hid behind mama dragon. He really hated getting stung by little bugs, and this was the biggest bug he’d ever seen.

Mama and papa chased the silverbug away without getting stung. Baby dragon looked around the bedroom and made sure the gold was safe. He sniffed closely. It hadn’t even been touched. Maybe silverbugs didn’t like gold. Maybe it was just hungry and sleepy. Baby dragon could understand that.

Mama and papa returned with fish and berries for breakfast, and all was right in the world. They never saw the silverbug again. They returned to roasting nuts and walking in the mornings, but they rolled large rocks in front of their cave before they left, just in case.

The knight was grateful for his narrow escape. The big lizards could keep their lumpy beds of rocks. The cave wasn’t worth the effort. He would find a new base of operations that wasn’t as dark and unwelcoming.

Just then, he saw a little cottage in the woods. It looked abandoned. He entered at once, and was delighted to find porridge on the table. All that walking had made him a little hungry. He sat down at once and started sampling the bowls to find which was best.

Substitute Thieves

“…And there she is!” Baby bear threw the covers back triumphantly. He jumped back as flames shot past his left ear, singeing the ends of his fur. There was a dragon in the bed.

The dragon stopped breathing fire and sat up. “Sorry about that,” he said, looking embarrassed. “You surprised me.”

“But who are you?” Baby bear narrowed his eyes. “And where is Goldilocks? Did you eat her?”

The dragon looked offended. “Of course not. She isn’t at all royal. I only eat princesses. Unless they get rescued, of course. Unfortunately, they always do. Mostly I just eat peanut butter sandwiches.” The dragon looked at the taller bears. “Who made the porridge? It was excellent. The serving in the little bowl was just right. Do you make granola? I would buy it by the barrel!”

“I hadn’t thought of granola,” Papa bear said. “Goldilocks likes porridge so much that I never make anything else.”

“I like granola too,” Mama bear said. “Maybe we could make some after the dragon leaves.”

“I’ll give you my number. Call me if you need a taste tester,” the dragon said, pulling a business card from his pocket and handing it to Papa bear.

“Guys, stop talking about granola. We need to find out what happened to Goldilocks!” Baby bear stomped his feet.

“Oh. Right.” The dragon got up and stretched. “Goldilocks ate some really old pease porridge and got sick. So, she called in some substitutes. She’ll be gone all week.”

Mama bear started making the bed. “Oh, the poor child. She never could resist good porridge. How old was it?”

“Nine days old. Can you believe it? I’m not sure how it lasted that long without being eaten.” The dragon smiled a wide, toothy smile. “Well, it was nice to meet you all, but I have an appointment with a princess.”

“Bye!” Mama and Papa bears waved happily at the departing dragon as he leaped from the window and flew away.

“Wasn’t he nice?” Mama bear said. “I wonder who will come tomorrow?”

“Let’s make some granola. Do you think we should add coconut?” Papa bear rubbed his paws together as he followed Mama bear down the stairs. “This will be fun.”

Baby bear rolled his eyes and followed them downstairs. “Let’s fix my chair first, or it will be broken tomorrow when the substitute comes, and then what will they do?”

The next morning, after the usual walk and subsequent discovery of missing granola and broken furniture, Baby bear threw the covers on his bed back a little more cautiously than usual. “…And there…is a goat?”

The goat stood up on the bed and tossed back his horns. “That’s right, it is I, the littlest billy goat Gruff!”

“Nice to meet you,” Mama bear said. “But please don’t stand on the furniture.”

“Sorry about that,” the goat said, hopping off the bed. “I guess I was more nervous than I thought. Do you have any trolls you need me to toss around?”

“Nope,” Papa bear said. “But we have a barrel of granola in the kitchen.”

“I wouldn’t mind more. The granola in the littlest bowl was just right. It would only be better if I had an apple to eat with it.”

Baby bear pointed out the window. “That’s an apple tree right there. Have as many apples as you’d like.”

“Really? I’ll take a few with me, then. I’m meeting my brothers at a bridge on the other side of the valley. The grass is greener there, you know.” The goat jumped from the window into the tree and stuffed his pockets full of apples before jumping down and trit-trotting away.

The rest of the week was just as strange. There was a princess who pricked her finger on a fork and fell asleep at the table. She didn’t wake up until they put a pea under the chair cushion. She left complaining about bruises.

Then there were the seven grumpy little men who were crowded on the little bed when the bears got home. They were still hungry after splitting the three bowls of granola. “We were promised breakfast, and we won’t leave until we get some so bring it right here,” one of them said. When they finally left, Baby bear’s bed was full of crumbs.

On Friday, there was no one in the bed, but there was a mermaid in the bathtub. “I ran out of magic potion,” she told them. “Do you have any?” The bears did not have any magic potion, but the witch next door had some so the mermaid was able to leave. “I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to break the chair or sleep in your bed,” she told Baby bear.

“That’s okay,” Baby bear said. “Some days are like that.”

On Monday, Baby bear threw the covers back. “…And there she is! Hey, it really is her.” Goldilocks was back.

“It’s me,” she said. “But where was the porridge? I don’t really like granola, you know.”

“Sorry,” Papa bear said. “We made more than expected. But, I know someone who might like it. We’ll be back to porridge tomorrow.”

“Good. Well, time to go,” Goldilocks said. She jumped out the window and ran away.

“It was fun meeting new people, but it’s nice to have her back,” Mama bear said fondly as she made the bed.

“I’ll go call the dragon about the barrel of granola,” Papa bear said, heading towards the stairs.

Baby bear hurried after him. “Wait, you need to fix my chair first!”

And they lived happily every day after.

Dragon in Little Bear's bed.

The Cat. Everything Else Is Incidental

Once there was a cat. Really, as far as the cat is concerned, that’s all that needs to be said. However, there were others present who believe there is more to the tale.

It all began when Grandmother was coming to visit. The family insisted on noisily cleaning and rearranging things, and so the cat slipped out the open door for a little peace and quiet. The cat was quickly distracted by birds and squirrels, and nearly caught her own breakfast.

Alas, the birds and squirrels refused to be caught. Annoyed, the cat returned to her domain, looking for an alternate meal. She was in luck. Mother had made sweet rolls.

Mother would say that she did not make sweet rolls for the cat. They were intended for a late breakfast after the family returned home with Grandmother from the train station. But, Mother was not there when the cat found the sweet rolls.

With a paw, the cat carefully tested the rolls. The rolls in the center were still too hot and gooey. The rolls at the edges were already cold. Just in-between, the rolls were just right. If she closed her eyes as she munched on them, the cat could almost imagine she was eating a squirrel.

After she finished her meal, the cat knocked the pan of sweet rolls to the floor. They were in her way, after all. She looked around. The kitchen was boring. It didn’t have any birds or squirrels.

She knocked the bag of flour off the counter and jumped from the counter into the pile of flour next to the now empty bag.

She rolled in the cold, soft flour, and then stood and shook it off her fur. It was time to look out the window and see if the birds and squirrels had returned to the backyard for another round of chase. Unfortunately, the living room furniture had all been rearranged.

The cat did not like the new arrangement. The sofa was no longer in front of the window. Where would she sit to look out at the backyard? Instead of the sofa, which was always just right, there were now two chairs.

The cat sat in the first one. It was too soft. She sunk into the cushions and couldn’t see out the window. The seat didn’t have a back she could climb on, either. The cat sharpened her claws on the cushions and tore out the stuffing. Even with cushions that were less soft, she still couldn’t see out the window.

The cat kicked the useless fluff to the floor and leaped into the seat of the other chair. It was hard and slippery. The seat was too low for looking out the window. The back of the chair was too narrow for sitting. The cat jumped down from the chair and leaned against it until it fell over. It made a satisfying cracking sound as it hit the floor.

The cat curled up on the sofa, angry that it was in the wrong place. She sharpened her claws on the arm of the sofa and looked towards the window. She could see a patch of blue sky, but that was all. Growling in frustration, she tore her claws through the fabric one last time and hopped off the sofa.

The cat decided to go upstairs and nap in a nice sunbeam. Preferably it would be a nice warm sunbeam in the middle of a nice soft bed. She checked the first room.

The sunbeam was not on the bed. The window was wide open. It was too cold. The cat jumped on the desk and knocked a few things out the window in protest. Then she went to the next room.

The sunbeam was in the right place, but the windows were closed. The cat tried lying on the bed, but didn’t stay long. The sunlight was too bright. It was too hot. The cat knocked the pillows off the bed and shredded one of them, just a little.

The last room had an open window and a sunbeam on the bed. It was just right. The cat curled up in the middle of the bed and fell asleep.

The cat knew when the family returned home. She heard them walking up to the front door through the open window. They were always so noisy when they were outside, and never considered how they might be scaring away the birds and squirrels.

When she heard them go inside the house, she decided it was time to go back outside. Maybe she could catch the birds and squirrels as they returned to the yard after being startled away. She stood and stretched.

Just then, footsteps pounded up the stairs. She heard them pause at each of the other rooms. And then, three faces looked inside the door. “…And here she is,” said the smallest one.

The cat jumped out through the open window and into the tree growing conveniently nearby. She left to hunt for birds and squirrels, and didn’t come back until lunchtime.

The family was left to clean and bake again, this time with Grandmother’s help. Grandmother laughed as they pieced together the evidence of the cat’s busy morning. “She is a cat and that’s what cats do,” she said. If the cat was there, she would have agreed completely.

Once there was a cat. Perhaps that’s really all that needs to be said, after all.

 

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