March 18, 2021

#08-060: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

color drawing of a homey room occupied by bears of three sizes at a table with bowls of two sizes; two chairs of different sizes can be seen
The Bears at home

Note: Readers might be surprised to learn that "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is NOT a story from Grimm's Fairy Tales. Instead, it was first written down in 1837 by the English author Robert Southey, who seems to have picked it up from another source. In Southey's version, the intruder is an old lady; the little girl was substituted into the story by another author twelve years later, with the name "Silver Hair." Goldilocks didn't arrive (by that name) until 1904!

Get Ready: The story of Goldilocks is about balance--not too much, not too little, but just right. How important is this idea of moderation or "the Golden Mean"?

Once upon a time, three bears lived in a house in the forest. There was Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and little Baby Bear.

One morning they decided to go for a stroll in the forest while their breakfast porridge cooled. While they were out, an impertinent little girl named Goldilocks came along, knocked on the door and, hearing no answer, went on in. She saw the table with three chairs--one large, one medium-sized, and one little--and three bowls of porridge in front of them, sized like the chairs.

Because she was famished--and the porridge looked scrumptious--she sat in the big chair, and tasted the porridge from the big bowl with the big spoon. But it was all too big--and too hot! So she moved on to the medium-sized chair, but that porridge was too cold. But the porridge in the smallest bowl was just right, and she at it all up! Sadly, she was too big for the chair, though, and it broke under her.

Going upstairs, she found three beds in three sizes. The biggest was too hard, the medium-sized too soft, but the smallest was just right! So she slunk into it and fell asleep.

Soon, the Bear family came home. They espied at once the open door, and when they went in, Papa Bear growled, "Someone has been sitting in my chair!" Mama Bear said in her gentle voice, "Someone has been sitting in my chair." And Baby Bear squeaked, "Someone has been sitting in my chair--and they smashed it to smithereens!"

Then Papa Bear noticed something else. "Someone has been eating my porridge!" he growled. Mama Bear said gently, "Someone has been eating my porridge." And Baby Bear said, "Someone has been eating my porridge," but he added, "...and they gobbled it all up!"

Going upstairs, Papa Bear growled, "Someone has been sleeping in my bed!" Mama Bear also said, "Someone has been sleeping in my bed!" But Baby Bear said, "Someone has been sleeping in my bed--and she's still in it!"

His squeaky voice startled little Goldilocks awake. Terrified, she jumped out of the bed, dashed down the stairs, and fled into the forest. The three bears, you may be sure, never saw her again.


Read more:

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. espied
  2. famished
  3. gobbled
  4. growled
  5. impertinent
  6. scrumptious
  7. slunk
  8. smithereens
  9. squeaked
  10. stroll

  1. spoke in a small, high voice
  2. tiny pieces; bits
  3. intrusive; rude
  4. moved in a secretive manner
  5. saw; noticed
  6. spoke in a low, scary voice
  7. delicious
  8. a leisurely walk, without a destination
  9. extremely hungry
  10. ate in a greedy way

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for March 18, 2021

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. e; 2. i; 3. j; 4. f; 5. c; 6. g; 7. d; 8. b; 9. a; 10. h