This version of the story is perfect to tell to a little girl with long, curly blonde hair.

ONCE UPON A TIME in the middle of a deep, dark wood there was a tiny little house with two rooms. In that house lived three bears: Daddy Bear; Mommy Bear; and Baby Bear. Now early one morning Mommy Bear woke up, got up, got out of bed, made her bed, and went into the kitchen to make porridge. Then Daddy Bear woke up, got up, got out of bed, made his bed, and went into the kitchen to draw water to boil. Then Baby Bear woke up, got up, got out of bed, made his bed, and went out into the yard to gather firewood for the stove. Things came together, as they usually do, and before long the porridge was boiling merrily on the stove, Baby Bear was setting the table, and Daddy Bear was sweeping up their dirt floor as neat as it could be.

When the porridge was ready, Mommy Bear spooned it into their bowls: A big bowl for Daddy; A little bowl for Mommy, who was on a diet; and a middling bowl for Baby, who was a growing bear. They tried the porridge and ouch, it was too hot. So they set down the porridge and decided to take a walk in the woods to wait for the porridge to cool.

So they went out the kitchen door and closed it behind them, then walked into the woods. About the time they got out of sight of the house a little girl walked out of the woods. Goldilocks was her name, and she was pretty with long, curly blonde hair. She had been lost in the woods all day the day before and all night, and had nothing to eat, no way to keep warm, and no place to sleep the whole time.

Goldilocks saw the little house and called out, “Hello, anybody home?”

Nobody answered.

Goldilocks went up to the house and knocked on the door, “Hello, anybody home?”

Nobody answered, but the door opened just a crack. Goldilocks said, “Oh my!”

Goldilocks pushed on the door, looked inside, and called out, “Hello, is anybody there? Do you mind if I come in?”

Nobody answered, so Goldilocks came in. Immediately she smelled the porridge. She hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for a whole day and night so she was famished. She said, “surely whoever lives here can’t mind if I have a bite, for I am near starved,” and sat down on the bench at the table, right next to Daddy Bear’s bowl.

She dipped his spoon into the porridge and took a taste. “Ouch!” she said. “This is too hot.”

She dropped the spoon on the table and slid over to Mommy Bear’s bowl, where she took a taste. “Oh, my,” Goldilocks said. “This is too cold.”

She dropped the spoon on the table and slid over to Baby Bear’s bowl, where she took a taste. “Oh, my,” Goldilocks said. “This is just right.”

She took another bite, and it was good. And another. And another. Then she wasn’t quite so empty inside, but the porridge tasted so good to her that she kept eating, until she had eaten up every bite from Baby Bear’s bowl and was as full as a tick. She dropped the spoon on the table and slid off the bench, then looked at the three chairs near the hot stove.

“Surely they can’t mind if I warm myself by the stove,” Goldilocks said. “I have been so cold all night in these woods.”

So she climbed onto Daddy Bear’s chair. It was tall and broad and hard. When she swung her legs over the front so they could get warm her back was leaning against nothing. The seat was hard. And she couldn’t reach the arms on the sides. When she scooted to the back of the chair her feet didn’t even stretch over the front of the chair. And the seat was hard and slippery and when she pushed herself forward she slid right off that hard and slick chair and fell thud on the dirt floor.

“Oh my,” she said. “That was a long fall.”

She got up, dusted herself off, and went on to the next chair. It was Mommy Bear’s chair. She climbed into Mommy Bear’s chair, which was a very nice size and so soft and comfy. It was a rocking chair, and when she sat in it it began to rock forward and back, and forward and back, faster and faster, crazily so she couldn’t control it. Then it swung so far forward that she couldn’t hold on and the chair threw Goldilocks thud right onto the dirt floor.

“Oh my,” she said. “That is not a friendly chair at all!”

She got up, dusted herself off, and went on to the next chair. It was Baby Bear’s chair. She climbed into Baby Bear’s chair, and it was just right. It didn’t move. It wasn’t too hard or slippery. And she could hold her toes close to the stove so they got all toasty. She stretched to the right, then she stretched to the left, then she leaned way back and stretched in every direction, and that was when the little chair gave way and broke into pieces, dumping her right onto the dirt floor again!

“Oh my,” she said. “Now I have no place to sit.”

Goldilocks saw the door into the bedroom and said, “Surely they can’t mind if I lay on their bed for a little while and take a nap. I haven’t had a wink of sleep all night.”

So she went into the bedroom and there she saw Daddy Bear’s bed.

So she pulled down the covers and jumped into bed
And pulled the covers right up to her head
And said
“This bed
“Is tooooooo hard!”

So she pushed down the covers and jumped out of bed
And went right on to the next
Bed
Mommy Bear’s bed

So she pulled down the covers and jumped into bed
And pulled the covers right up to her head
And said
“This bed
“Is tooooooo soft!”

So she pushed down the covers and jumped out of bed
And went right on to the next
Bed
Baby Bear’s bed

So she pulled down the covers and jumped into bed
And pulled the covers right up to her head
And said
“This bed
“Is just right!”

Goldilocks fell asleep as soon as she laid her head on Baby Bear’s pillow. She started snoring right away.

About the time she fell asleep the three bears came back from their walk in the woods. Daddy Bear saw the house with the door wide open and he said, “Well, looky here! I done closed that there door. I wonder who could a opened it?”

Baby Bear echoed his daddy, and said, “It could a been a monster!”

“Hello, anybody home?” Daddy Bear called.

Nobody answered.

Daddy Bear walked up to the house and pushed it open. “Looky here,” he said, “Anybody home?”

Baby Bear said, “Any monsters?”

Nobody answered, not even any monsters.

Daddy Bear walked in and saw that somebody had been eating his porridge, and said, “Looky here, someone done been eating my porridge!”

Mommy Bear saw her bowl and she said, “Looky here, someone done been eating my porridge!”

Baby Bear saw his empty bowl and said, “Looky here, someone, some monster, done been eating my porridge and the monster done ate it all up!”

Then Daddy Bear saw that someone had been sliding around in his chair and he said, “Looky here, someone been sitting in my chair!”

Then Mommy Bear saw that someone had been rocking in her chair and she said, “Looky here, someone done been sitting in my chair!”

Then Baby Bear saw his broken chair in pieces on the floor and he said, “Looky here, that monster been sitting in my chair and done busted it all into bits!” Baby Bear was just about to cry at this new unfairness.

Then the bears looked at the door to the bedroom. Daddy Bear said, “Looky here, we better look in there to see if whoever done all this is still in the house.”

So Daddy Bear walked into the bedroom and saw his bed all mussed up and said, “Looky here, someone done been sleeping in my bed!”

Mommy Bear saw her bed all mussed up and said, “Looky here, someone done been sleeping in my bed!”

Baby Bear saw his bed, and Goldilocks the covers, and said, “Looky here, some monster done been sleeping in my bed and … it’s still in it!”

The three bears snuck up on the bed and they lifted their paws over their heads, and bared their big bear teeth, and they roared as loud as you’ve ever heard a roar in your life!

R-O-O-O-O-A-A-R-R-R-R! I can tell you it was pretty loud.

Now Goldilocks, who had been sleeping and having a wonderful dream, opened her eyes and saw those scary bears. She was pretty scared, can you imagine? She was so scared that she jumped straight up into the air past the bears and landed on the ceiling then ran right across the ceiling, down the wall and out the door into the kitchen and then out the door into the woods.

And she was so scared and running so fast that I hear she’s still running today!

THE END

That’s the way I tell this story to my kids. I switch up what Goldilocks does when she wakes up. Sometimes she jumps onto the ceiling. Sometimes she jumps up and runs down Baby Bear’s back. Sometimes she falls out onto the floor and scrambles out between Daddy Bear’s legs. My favorite alternate ending goes like this.

Have you ever heard of what happens to people who get so scared they turn white? Their hair turns white and they get all pale. Well sometimes, when they are even more scared than that, they turn clear as glass, and the step past that where they are more scared than it is possible for most people to get, they turn invisible! Yep, you just can’t see them no matter how hard you try. Well, this is what happened to Goldilocks, and she ran out of that room invisible. The bears were pretty surprised about it too. They hadn’t ever seen someone disappear like that. Invisible Goldilocks ran as fast as she could out the door and into the woods, and from what they say she is still running today. Sometimes hunters still see footsteps appear in the dirt as someone, or something they can’t see, a little invisible girl named Goldilocks, runs past them in the woods.

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