You’re tucked into bed and snuggled up to your favorite teddy bear, it’s past your bedtime but there’s no way you’re going to sleep.
Why? Because you haven’t got your bedtime story yet.
We’ve all been there when we were younger, and you probably have fond memories of the same bedtime stories that I do. Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Babbity Rabbity And Her Cackling Stump, and of course Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
In the classic story the bears are as harmless as a fluffy teddy bear, and what would normally be a case of breaking and entering is made cute because Goldilocks is simply a lost little girl.
But in the older versions of the story things were different. Instead of a child who got lost in the woods after picking some flowers, the main character is an old woman who’s up to no good.
She was walking in the woods and as soon as she came across a house she immediately started peeping through all the windows. And seeing that no one was home, she walked right in like she owned the place.
The house was actually owned by three bears, but in this version of the story they aren’t a cute cuddly family of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Baby Bear. Instead they’re three ferocious bachelor bears who are described by their sizes. A Small Bear, a Middle-sized Bear, and a Huge Bear, who have all decided to take a walk to amuse themselves while their porridge cools down.
Well as soon as the old woman saw the porridge on the table she helped herself to the food. First sampling the porridge in Huge Bear’s bowl she burned her tongue, then moving over to Middle-sized Bear’s porridge she thought it was too cold. But Small Bear’s porridge was, you guessed it, just right.
After filling up on stolen porridge the old woman continued to rummage through the house, trying out the different sized furniture (loved Small Bear’s chair, but broke it). She worked her way upstairs to try out the beds and drifted off to sleep on the smallest one.
Meanwhile the bears came back from their walk to find the place wrecked, with broken furniture everywhere and overturned bowls of porridge on the table.
They tromp through the house following the trail of mayhem and end up upstairs, where Small Bear spots the old woman in his bed. He screams in his high pitched voice “Someone’s in my bed!!” and startles the old woman awake. She sees three angry and ferocious bears staring at her, so she does what pretty much anyone would do in this situation… promptly jumps out the window.
In some old versions of the story things end there, with the old woman running back to her own house and free to burglar another day. In other versions though the bears chase after her. In true weird old fairy tale style the bears don’t maul her, but instead throw her on top of St. Paul’s Cathedral and is impaled on one of the steeples. Yikes!
You can see why things were softened up in later versions of the story Goldilocks And The Three Bears. Can you imagine if they didn’t?
Someone’s mom would be reading them the story and at the end say “…And then the old woman was impaled on the steeple of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the end. Goodnight!”
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