Goldilocks and the Search for the Bears
told by J. Watson
Now, there is a little known Fact in the world. So little known, that I'm not sure anyone knows it. I can hear you saying, “But you know it!” But that is entirely besides the point, because I am the Narrator, and I know everything that there is to know.
The Fact that I speak of has to do with Fairytales. I'm sure you all know the story of Cinderella, of Hansel and Gretel, and so on. The Fairytale I am about to tell you is the Fairytale of Goldilocks.
I suppose there are two Facts I should mention before I start my story. Fact Number One, as I suppose we can call it, is that a Fairytale knows exactly what should happen, and does its best to please the reader. But most Fairytales mess up the first go-round in some way or another, and that is precisely what my Story is about.
Fact Number Two is something that doesn't really have much impact on my Story, but is important for you to know nonetheless. Fact Number Two is that it is actually very easy to step from one Fairytale to another. They are all neighbors, and enjoy visiting.
Time to get on with the show.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl name Goldilocks. (I am quite sure you all know this part of this Story, but I cannot mess with the traditions of Storytelling by skipping the beginning. That would be quite atrocious.)
One day, Goldilocks' mother asked her to go to town to buy some curds and whey for breakfast from Miss Muffet (who happened to live six miles down the road). Before Goldilocks left, her mother warned her against taking the road that said “Short Cut” on it, because it was dangerous. (I, the Narrator, agree with Goldilocks' mother. Paths that say “Short Cut” are often unsafe; at least in Fairytales.) Goldilocks sweetly said, “Yes, Mother,” and went on her way.
But when Goldilocks got to the “Short Cut” path, she took it anyway. After all, who wants to walk six miles when you can take a Short Cut? Goldilocks quickly discovered that the path was very twisty and treacherous, with many trails leading off to the side. Soon little Goldilocks was thoroughly lost.
Just when Goldilocks had nearly decided to give up, she came upon a cottage. Eagerly, Goldilocks ran up to the front door and knocked. No one answered. Goldilocks peeked through a window. She didn't see anyone, but she could see three steaming bowls sitting on a kitchen table. Goldilocks' stomach growled. After wandering in the forest for so long, Goldilocks was very tired andvery, very hungry. So Goldilocks went on in.
There, sitting on the table she'd seen through the window, were the three bowls. Goldilocks smelled porridge, and she was so hungry that she ran to the biggest bowl and shoved a spoonful in her mouth.
“Ouch!” she cried. “Too hot!”
Cautious now, but still very hungry, Goldilocks carefully tasted the porridge in the next bowl.
“Yuck,” she said, and wrinkled her nose. “I hate cold porridge.”
There was only one tiny bowl left. Goldilocks decided to try it.
“Mmm,” she said happily. “Perfect.” And she was so hungry that she ate it all.
Exhaustion rushed over her. After all, you'd be tired too after being lost for a whole half hour or so. She wandered into the next room. It was a sitting room, with three chairs and a large fireplace. A fire crackled cheerfully in the fireplace.
Goldilocks gratefully sat in the largest chair, since it was closest to the fire. She curled up in it, but couldn't get comfortable. It had a lump in just the wrong spot. So she got up and sat in the next chair. But she still couldn't get comfortable (this time due to the fact that the chair tilted too far forward—who knows why, that's just how Mama Bear is). So she went over to the last and smallest chair. She curled up and was immediately comfortable. But just as she got settled, she heard a creak and the chair broke into pieces.
“Oh, dear.” Goldilocks felt bad about breaking the chair, but by now she was too tired to worry about it. So she found a staircase and climbed up.
Upstairs she found a large bedroom, with three beds. Goldilocks ran and jumped in the first bed, and was rewarded with a sharp crack to her knees.
“Ouch! This bed is hard!” Goldilocks rubbed her bruised legs.
Goldilocks got up and walked over to the second bed. Carefully she sat on it. She sunk deeper and deeper into the bed.
“Oh, my,” Goldilocks said, and stood up. “If I were to sleep in that soft thing I would smother!”
So she walked over to the last and smallest bed. Goldilocks pressed her hand to the mattress.
“It feels just like the one at home!” And Goldilocks snuggled in and fell fast asleep.
(This is where we leave familiar territory and all sorts of interesting things happen.)
One (or perhaps two) hours later, Goldilocks woke up, feeling refreshed. She looked around the bedroom, and screamed.
I'm sure her scream could have been heard several Fairytales away, it was so loud and fearsome. Goldilocks leaped out of bed in a panic, and bolted as fast as her short little legs could carry her down the stairs. She looked around the sitting room and saw nobody, just the shattered chair. She ran to the kitchen, and peeked around. Again, there was no one. Goldilocks went to the window and peeped out. No one was there.
Goldilocks searched the house three times over, but was faced with the ugly truth.
The Bears weren't there.
Goldilocks sat down and cried. She cried for a long time. Her Fairytale was ruined! Absolutely ruined! People would read her story and say, “So Goldilocks falls asleep in a stranger's house? What happens next? This is a lame story. I like the Little Red Hen better than this!” This was the absolute worst thing that could have happened. (Fairytale characters tend to be a bit overdramatic.)
By the time Goldilocks had stopped crying, she had come to a resolution. She would go find those Bears, and save her story! So Goldilocks set off on her Search, with every intention to fix the horrible mess-up.
Quite soon, she came to a cottage. Goldilocks boldly marched up the porch steps and knocked sharply on the door. Inside, she heard a muffled reply, and so she went ahead and opened the door (her rather well-known reputation).
“Has anyone here seen--” Goldilocks stopped at the scene before her.
A Wolf, wearing a pink frilly bonnet, was standing with his mouth wide open, ready to gobble up Little Red Riding Hood.
Goldilocks screamed. “Little Red!” (Even I, the Narrator, would be shocked at this sight. It is rather disturbing. And it doesn't help matters that Little Red Riding Hood happens to be Goldilocks' best friend.)
“Go!” Little Red Riding Hood shouted. “I'll be fine, don't worry. Remember? The Woodsman will rescue me!”
Goldilocks turned and ran from that place. She ran and ran and didn't stop until she came to another cottage. She was still very scared from what she had seen at the last cottage, but Goldilocks decided to knock anyway.
So Goldilocks walked up to the front door and knocked.
“Come in,” a deep voice rumbled from inside.
“Actually, I would feel much safer if you came out here. So I can talk to you?” Goldilocks' voice shook.
The door opened. The doorway was filled with the form of a large man with a bushy beard.
Goldilocks swallowed. “Hi, I—that is—I'm Goldilocks. Are you the Woodsman?”
The burly man nodded. “That would be me,” he growled.
Goldilocks looked up at the Woodsman, then pointed the direction she'd come. “You need to save Little Red Riding Hood!” she said. “Hurry! Last I saw her, the Wolf was about to eat her!”
“Oh, dear,” the Woodsman said, and he rushed out of his cottage, shutting the door behind him. “I'm late!” (Which, if you ask me, is not really a very comforting comment. Imagine, your best friend could very well be dying, and the very man who's supposed to save her says “Oh, dear. I'm late. I suppose I'd better be going. La-da-da-la-dee.”)
As the Woodsman hurried away, Goldilocks called, “By the way, have you happened to see three Bears come by?”
“No!” came the reply. “I haven't seen a bear since last week!”
Goldilocks decided to hope Little Red was safe, and continue her Search. So she set of to look for some Bears.
After a while, Goldilocks began to feel very hungry. She hadn't eaten since the porridge earlier that day. So she began looking around for a cottage to stop by. After a moment of searching, she saw a clearing, and in the clearing was a house.
Goldilocks eagerly walked up to the house. As she got closer, she noticed something strange. The house was made of gingerbread! Goldilocks' stomach grumbled at the sight.
Looking around nervously, Goldilocks crept up to the gingerbread house and broke off a piece of icing.
“Mmm,” she said, and reached for a piece of candy corn.
Suddenly the door to the cottage opened.
“Gretel? Is that you?”
“You're early. Come, come in, dear.”
Hesitantly Goldilocks walked over to the door of the gingerbread house.
“You must be hungry, come eat,” the voice came from inside. At the mention of food, Goldilocks walked in.
Goldilocks walked into the kitchen and stood near the doorway.
An old lady stood holding a plate of cookies. Goldilocks gratefully took one.
“You're early, Gretel.”
“What? I'm not--”
Goldilocks was getting rather annoyed at the old lady. She wouldn't let her finish her sentences! “Listen, have you seen any--”
“Have some more cookies, dear.”
Goldilocks took a few, but continued talking. “Have you seen any bears? They're missing, and--”
There was a scratching sound outside.
“Child, stick you head out my window and tell me who's there.”
Annoyed, Goldilocks stuck her head out the window. “It's a boy and a girl. They're eating some gingerbread.”
“It must be Hansel and Gr--” the old lady narrowed her eyes. “You're not Gretel!”
“I know, I--”
“You must leave now,” the old lady pushed her out the kitchen door. “Take some gingerbread if you're hungry, but I'm busy. Go on.”
Goldilocks let herself be shooed out the door. “Goodbye, and tha--”
The door shut.
Goldilocks shrugged her shoulders, grabbed some gingerbread, and left.
After about another half hour of walking, Goldilocks came to the edge of the forest. And with the edge of the forest was another house. It was made of straw, which Goldilocks thought seemed strange. But she went ahead and knocked anyway.
“Can I come in?” she asked.
“Not by the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin!” a nasally voice replied.
“Well, that's quite rude,” Goldilocks told the door. “I just wanted to see if you knew where the Bears went.”
“Bears? I don't want Bears!” A beady eye appeared in the peek-hole in the door.
“No, but I do,” said Goldilocks. “They're missing from my Story.”
“Oh, my, oh, my!” A click came from inside, and the door swung open to reveal a nicely-dressed Pig standing on her hind feet. The Pig beckoned Goldilocks in, and locked the door behind her.
“I'm sorry, dear,” the Pig said to Goldilocks. “But the Wolf is late, and I'm becoming so anxious with all this waiting...”
“Is your Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood's story?” Goldilocks asked.
“Why,” the Pig said thoughtfully, “I suppose he probably is. There aren't many talking wolves around, you know.”
Goldilocks nodded. “I was just over there. The Woodsman was running late, so I suppose your Wolf will be too.”
The Pig nodded her piggy head. “I suppose so. Well, if that's the case, do you want to stay for tea?”
Goldilocks smiled. “That would be very nice, thank you, but I just ate.”
“Nonsense!” the Pig said. “There's always room for tea.”
Goldilocks laughed. “All right, then.”
About halfway into tea, a harsh knock came on the door.
“Little Pig, little Pig, let me come in!”
“Oh, my, oh, my!” The Pig got up from the table quickly. “Not by the hairs of my chinny-chin-chin!” She called back shrilly. She took Goldilocks' hand and led her quickly to the back door.
“Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in!” roared the voice from outside.
“Hurry, dear,” the Pig said as she pushed Goldilocks out the door.
“Will you be all right?” Goldilocks asked worriedly.
“I'll be fine, but do hurry.” The huffing and wheezing from the front was getting louder.
As the door shut, Goldilocks called quickly, “You haven't seen my Bears, have you?”
“I'm afraid not, dear. Now go!” the voice from inside said urgently.
And Goldilocks turned and ran. Before she had run a hundred yards, a loud crash sounded behind her. She turned to look.
The Pig's house was laying in ruins on the ground. The vicious looking Wolf from Little Red's story was limping toward the Pig, who squealed and ran as fast as her short, fat legs could carry her. In the distance was a little house made of sticks, and Goldilocks hoped the Pig would make it there in time.
Goldilocks looked back at the Wolf. He was very skinny, and limping. Goldilocks guessed the limp was from when the Woodsman came and rescued Little Red. She almost felt sorry for the thing, it looked so hungry. But Goldilocks would never want the sweet little Pig to get eaten.
So Goldilocks turned and walked away.
After having been walking for a while, Goldilocks felt tired. She looked up at the sky. “I swear it should be nighttime by now,” she growled. “I've been walking for ages, and it looks barely three in the afternoon!”
“That's because you've been walking through so many Fairytales, child,” a sweet voice said.
Goldilocks jumped. “Where are you?” She asked.
“Right here,” and suddenly a sweet looking lady appeared in front of her. Goldilocks jumped again. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you.” The lady smiled.
Goldilocks smiled back. “It's okay.” She paused. “I'm Goldilocks.”
“Yes, I know, child.”
“Who are you? And how do you know?”
“I am known by many names,” the lady shrugged. “Most commonly as the Fairy Godmother. And I know who you are because I am a Fairy, obviously.”
“The Fairy Godmother? From Cinderella's Story?”
“Well, I suppose you could say I'm from her Story, I suppose. She is quite popular, you know. Millions of fans. No one ever considers me, the poor Fairy Godmother who does all the work.”
“I'm sorry,” Goldilocks said.
“No need for you to be sorry,” the Fairy Godmother brushed off. “I am just rather frustrated with it.”
Goldilocks nodded. “You said you are known by many names. Are you part of other Stories?”
“Yes,” the Fairy Godmother said. “Many. Two of the most popular Stories I'm part of, as you so sweetly put it, part of, instead of in...anyway, I'm in Sleeping Beauty's tale, and the Princess and the Frog.”
“You were one of the good Fairies who gave Sleeping Beauty good gifts, I hope?”
“Of course, child. Death curses are so drab, I would never even consider such a curse.”
Goldilocks nodded politely. “Yes, I agree.” She paused. “And I mean no offense, but I didn't know there was a Fairy in the Princess and the Frog's story.”
The Fairy sighed. “Yes, most people don't. I was the Fairy who turned that prince into a Frog in the first place, child.”
“Why?” Goldilocks' eyes were huge.
“I told you, death curses are so drab. And besides, he and the Princess made such a cute couple. That's why I put him in the pond I did.”
“Oh.” Eager to change the subject away from curses, Goldilocks asked, “Have you happened to see any Bears around?”
“I can't say I have,” the Fairy said. Suddenly she started fading. “Oh, drat. Yet another wish.” The Fairy turned to Goldilocks. “Be careful, child. And take plenty of naps, because time changes from story to story.” And she was gone.
“Okay,” Goldilocks said to thin air. Take plenty of naps.
Goldilocks curled up beneath a tree and fell fast asleep.
When she woke up, it was dark. “I wonder how much time has passed in my story,” Goldilocks said. “I hope Mother isn't too worried.”
She started walking again. “I wonder what Fairytale I'm in now,” she said.
Up ahead she heard music. Goldilocks started walking faster. She came upon a clearing in the trees. There was an enormous palace, a sparkling white beauty. There were many gardens overflowing with beautiful and rare flowers, immaculate stables filled with grand horses, and golden carriages with their handsome footmen lying about.
Suddenly, a huge clock tower clanged... one... two... three... and the huge palace doors swung open, and a lady in a gorgeous, sparkling, silver dress came running out. She ran down the stairs, right towards Goldilocks.
Just as the lady passed by, a pretty slipper fell off her foot and settled near a startled Goldilocks.
“Miss? Lady! You lost your shoe!” Goldilocks shouted, and picked up the glittering slipper.
The beautiful lady turned suddenly and ran back. Goldilocks held out the shoe.
“Here you go.”
The lady snatched the shoe and threw it on the ground. “No, no, no! You leave my shoe alone! Didn't your mother ever teach you not to take things that don't belong to you?”
Goldilocks was shocked. “But...but it fell...you dropped--”
“Leave my shoe alone!”
“Oh!” Goldilocks suddenly understood. “You must be Cinderella! I love your Story! So romantic...” (For Goldilocks, like all other young girls, loves a romantic Story.)
Cinderella glared. “Yes, yes, yes. Whatever. Now go before my Prince sees you. Shoo! Go away!”
“All right, but, I--”
“Have you seen any Bears around here? They--”
Cinderella's eyes widened. “Bears? There's bears? I must go!”
And off she ran.
Goldilocks sighed, and walked on.
No one was listening to her. No one seemed to know where her Bears had gone. It was all rather discouraging.
Goldilocks stopped and sat in the weeds, and started to cry.
Goldilocks jumped up. “Who's there?” she asked, more than a bit frightened..
“Why you! You sat on me! That hurt! Don't you realize that I'm the prince's fiance? I'll have him behead you!”
“Where are you? Who are you?” Goldilocks looked around wildly.
“You! I am Thumbelina! Future princess! You should look where you're sitting, you big meanie!”
“I'm sorry,” Goldilocks said, still looking for the unexpected voice. “I couldn't, can't, see you!”
“Grr! Just because I'm not as big as you doesn't mean I'm invisible!”
Goldilocks looked down. A tiny, red-faced girl looked up at her. “Yikes!” she said, shocked. Slowly she knelt down by Thumbelina.
“Oh, my,” she murmured.
Thumbelina stomped her foot. “Now, I hope you've learned your lesson!”
Goldilocks was confused. “What lesson?”
“To watch where you're going!”
“Oh,” Goldilocks flushed. “I'm really very sorry about that.”
“Well, go away, I'm busy,” Thumblina said and turned her back.
“Um,” Goldilocks paused, contemplating even speaking to the miniature, moody girl. “Have you possibly seen any Bears around here?”
Thumbelina turned towards her, a mischievous grin on her face. “Oh, yes,” she said innocently. “Lots. I killed one with my bare hands the other day.”
“You killed one?!”
“Yes,” Thumbelina said proudly. “I'm much stronger than I look, see. It was a big, mean, brute, he was.”
“Oh, no!” Goldilocks started to sob. “Papa Bear!”
Thumbelina froze. “What?” she asked.
“You killed Papa Bear!” Goldilocks was sobbing uncontrollably. “He may be rough and not very polite, but he's good, he is! No wonder the Bears didn't come to scare me! Papa Bear is dead! Poor Mama Bear—poor Baby Bear! Oh, no!”
Thumbelina hopped up to Goldilocks' shaking shoulder. “Aw, listen. You're Goldilocks, aren't you? You must be looking for those Bears. Don't worry, don't cry, I didn't really kill him! I was just trying to show you how tough I really am, you know--”
Goldilocks leaped to her feet, taking Thumbelina with her. “He's not dead! I was so scared! Oh, thank goodness!” She turned to Thumbelina, who was clinging with desperation to Goldilocks' shoulder. “But you haven't really seen them?”
Thumbelina, regaining her composure, said, “No, I'd think not. Bears don't lurk around these parts.”
Goldilocks carefully set Thumbelina on the ground. “Well, I have to go,” Goldilocks said. “You are very tough, don't worry.”
Goldilocks slowly made her way to the little village where she lived. She'd had to ask the king's men for a few pointers and a talking unicorn for directions to Drury Lane (Goldilocks' father happened to be a muffin maker). But she made it.
She opened the creaky front door and collapsed on one of the sitting room chairs.
Her mother rushed in, and, seeing Goldilocks' condition, began to fret.
“Oh, my! Goldilocks, my dear, are you all right?” She patted Goldilocks' cheek. “Did those Bears hurt you? Were they mean to you? Oh, I hope they--”
“No, Mother.” Goldilocks started to cry. “They weren't there! I looked all over, looked and looked and looked! But they're gone! My Story is ruined, Mother!”
Goldilocks' mother was silent for a moment, then said, “But they were over here.”
“We had tea together. We talked for a while, I guess they thought you'd sleep longer.”
“What are you talking about? The Bears were over here? But--”
“They just left to go and get you.”
P.S. This particular Story was told by an amateur Narrator. Please forgive any exaggerations, interruptions, and faulty Storytelling techniques.