Finger Puppet Play: The Story
Retold by Elizabeth Bushey
Once three bears eagerly began a breakfast of porridge. Too bad! It was too hot. What to do while they waited to eat it, they wondered?
“Shall we partake of a constitutional prior to the morning repast?” the Big Bear asked. Sometimes he spoke like a dictionary.
“Do you mean, let’s take a walk before breakfast?” the Middle Bear asked. She was far more the straight talker.
“Let’s go!” Little Bear said. He was the bear of action.
The three bears left their pretty little bowls on their pretty little table in their pretty little cottage. Too bad! They left their pretty little door open, too.
Up to the door wandered a pretty little girl, with ringlets of golden hair. Her name, coincidentally, was Goldilocks. Of course, her name is only interesting as a matter of this coincidence, since throughout the story, Dear Reader, you will be amazed by the reckless and boundless Bad Manners of this pretty little girl – not least of which is her failure to introduce herself properly.
Therefore no one but you, Dear Reader, will ever actually learn her name.
Up to the open door came Goldilocks, bold and brazen. “Hello?” she said, quietly. When no one answered, she poked her pretty little head inside. “Hello!” she said again, louder.
“No one seems to be here,” Goldilocks said to herself, and sniffed the air. What a delicious smell! Sweet porridge! After all, it had been at least an hour since she’d eaten her own breakfast.
“Here am I, so terribly hungry,” said Goldilocks to herself. “And there it is, sweet porridge, on that pretty little table. All I really have to do is cross this doorway, and go on in. Who, after all, wouldn’t feed a hungry little girl?”
Of course, the bears would have happily given her sweet porridge, if she had been polite and waited to be invited. But now, Dear Reader, we never shall know what would have been, will we? Goldilocks let her nose be her conscience, and took that first rude step over the doorway and into the house of the three bears.
“Ugh!” Goldilocks threw down the first spoon into the largest bowl. “This porridge is too hot!”
She settled into the middle-sized bowl. “Pee-you!” said Goldilocks, dumping that bowl over onto the clean, pressed tablecloth. “This porridge is too cold!”
Goldilocks scooped up a big handful from the smallest bowl. “Ah,” she said. “This porridge is just right!” Then she devoured it, every last morsel. You would have thought the bowl was newly washed.
Her tummy full, Goldilocks next searched for a nice chair to sit upon. She spied three in the next room, Of course, she tried the largest, grandest chair first.
“Oh, my!” Goldilocks said. “This chair is too hard!” She jumped right up as if she were a bouncing ball.
She sank into the middle-sized chair. “No, no, no,” Goldilocks said. “This will never do. This chair is much too soft.” Goldilocks sank into the cushions so far she bent nearly in half. She struggled out of the chair and headed over to the smallest chair.
“This is perfect!” said Goldilocks. “This is just right!”
Yet just as she squirmed her way into sublime comfort, the littlest chair gave way beneath her, and Goldilocks found herself on the floor. “Yipes!” said Goldilocks, picking splinters out of her dress, “they do not make furniture very strong in this cottage.”
Goldilocks decided she was exhausted from all this activity and needed to rest. “Ah ha!” she said. “Beds!”
The largest bed offered a stool upon which to climb, so Goldilocks scurried up and laid her pretty little head upon the feather pillow. No sooner had she pulled the quilt over herself, though, than she realized this would not work at all. “This bed,” Goldilocks said to herself, “is simply too hard.”
So Goldilocks slipped down and out of it.
The middle-sized bed was lower, and easier to climb into, but much, much more difficult to climb out of. “Oh dear,” said Goldilocks. “This bed is far too soft for me!” At long last, she managed to free herself from the soft folds of the doughy bed.
Breathless, Goldilocks eyed the last, littlest bed, and flopped down. “Now this,” said Goldilocks, “this is just right.”
Meanwhile, as Goldilocks was ransacking the cottage, the three poor bears were just wrapping up their journey. Imagine their surprise to find they’d left their door ajar.
Imagine their surprise, Dear Reader, to find their table spoiled.
Big Bear was beyond shocked. “Is this possible?” he turned to Middle Bear. “Someone’s been eating my porridge?”
Middle Bear was more of a realist, and knew however crazy it seemed, it was true. She nodded. “Someone’s been eating my porridge!”
Little Bear – the bear of action – lifted up his empty bowl and held it upside down. “Someone’s been eating my porridge – and they ate it all up!”
Middle Bear headed for the next room, followed closely by Big Bear and Little Bear.
Big Bear sputtered again, pointing at his disheveled cushion. “Someone’s been sitting on my chair!” he shouted.
Middle Bear was calm. “Someone’s been sitting in my chair.”
Little Bear – the bear of action – picked up the pieces of his chair. “Someone’s been sitting in my chair, and they’ve broken it to bits.”
Big Bear roared a great roar. Middle Bear gave him a soothing pat on the nose. Little Bear hopped up and down.
Then Middle Bear spied the bedroom. She motioned for the others to follow.
Big Bear saw his quilt half on the floor. “SOMEONE’S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY BED!” he growled.
Middle Bear said quietly, “Yes, yes, someone’s been sleeping in my bed, too.” But Middle Bear wasn’t looking at her bed. She was looking at Little Bear’s bed, where Goldilocks was beginning to stir at the sounds of Big Bear’s fierce noises.
Little Bear – the bear of action – was crouched at the foot of his own bed, where the interloper snoozed. “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,” he whispered. Then he shouted, as loud as he could. “AND HERE SHE IS!”
Goldilocks sprang awake suddenly, and found herself surrounded by three angry bears. “Oh dear,” said Goldilocks. “I don’t suppose this is a dream?”
The three bears shook their heads no.
“I don’t suppose you’re happy to see me?” said Goldilocks.
The three bears, once again, shook their heads no.
Goldilocks slipped out from beneath the blankets and stood beside the bed. She gave the three bears her sunniest smile. Then out the window she jumped, and she ran off into the forest.
Big Bear was not quite sure what to do. Neither was Little Bear.
Middle Bear, however, knew exactly how to make things right. She cooked up more porridge while Big Bear and Little Bear set about tidying things.
They remembered from that day forward to shut their door.
Little Bear, however, was certain someday he’d cross paths with her again.
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