Goldilocks & the Three Bears: A Retelling

Time for something light. This story originates with my friend David on Flickr, the photo-sharing website, who started a group called Lost Objects. The idea there was to take a photo of a lost object, and perhaps to write a little story that went with it. One day shortly thereafter, I saw this poor little abandoned red & white teddy bear on Fairbanks Street just off Northern Lights (link to map supplied so you’ll know just where this tragic event occurred), & thus was this retelling of the immortal tale of Goldilocks & the Three Bears born.

Casualty, or, Goldilocks & the Three Bears: A Retelling

Goldilocks & the Three Bears: A Retelling

For a moment it seemed that they had just come back from one of their traditional pre-breakfast walks, for as Papa Bear, Mama Bear, & Baby Bear entered their home they immediately spotted their three porridge bowls waiting for them on the table. But when they came to the table they saw that the bowls contained only the hard, congealed remains of porridge, with bits of bacon fat & the rind of a grapefruit that was beginning to get moldy. The dishes were surrounded by a messy pile of mail, some of which had been torn open — their private mail! — what looked like all their mail since they’d departed on their Black Forest vacation!

“Someone’s been reading my bank statements!” bellowed Papa Bear. And indeed, there were his last two bank statements, with arcane calculations scrawled on each one.

“Someone’s been reading my mama’s letters to me!” growled Mama Bear. And indeed, here was a letter from Grandma Bear, stained with with drops of orange juice & wipes of bacon grease.

“Someone’s been reading my National Geographic!” wailed Baby Bear, “and scribbled it all up!” And indeed, every picture in the latest issue of Baby Bear’s magazine had been scribbled on with a black magic marker.

It got worse. The place had been trashed. Papa Bear’s handsome wooden armchair had been carved with graffiti. The cushion on Mama Bear’s chair had been ripped open & its stuffing strewn about the living room. Baby Bear’s chair had been broken into pieces.

But there was also what looked to be a brand new flatscreen TV & a DVD player that proved, when Mama Bear opened it, to have Season 2, Disc 1 of “Battlestar Galactica” still in it. But where had these things come from? That’s when Papa Bear discovered that some of the opened mail was from credit card companies, for cards he had never applied for. But somebody had — & in his name!

“Someone has stolen my identity!” bellowed Papa Bear.

“Someone has stolen my carrots!” growled Mama Bear, staring out the window at her little side garden.

“Someone has stolen my Xbox!” wailed Baby Bear, “& snorted it all up their nose!” And indeed, there was a cracked mirror from the bathroom lying next to Baby Bear’s broken chair, & on it were a pawn shop ticket & a vague line of white dust left over from their housebreaker’s cocaine.

Papa Bear was just heading for the master bedroom to see what damage had been done there, when a young bleary-eyed human female with bedhead stumbled out of Baby Bear’s room. “What in hell’s all the racket?” she grumbled.

That must have been when she really woke up. For suddenly her eyes popped wide. She gave each of them a startled, no, a desperate glance, & with just as much desperation she lunged to the table, grabbed up a grapefruit spoon, & darted over to Baby Bear, pulling her close with the serrated points of the grapefruit spoon pressed against the diminutive bruin’s neck.

“It’s Goldilocks!” Papa Bear & Mama Bear exclaimed in sudden fear. For everyone knew about Goldilocks & her criminal gang.

“That’s right, it’s Goldilocks!” the young woman snarled, “& if you care about your little red bear’n here, you’ll toss over your car keys right now!”

There was nothing for it: either give in to Goldilocks’ demand, or watch her eviscerate Baby Bear’s tender neck with the grapefruit spoon. Papa Bear tossed over the keys, & they watched helplessly as Goldilocks backed out the door, still holding tight to their sweet little, terrified little cub.

* * *

The police caught up with Goldilocks in Big City some miles away. After the shootout, as an ambulance came to take the critically injured criminal away, police working the scene found poor little Baby Bear, lying unconscious in a gutter. She had wounds in her left side & hand: she’d been caught in the crossfire.

Happily, Baby Bear is expected to make a full recovery.

Papa & Mama Bear have filed suit against the Big City Police Department for endangering their child & their 2006 Ford Explorer in the shootout.

For her part, Goldilocks was tried for her numerous crimes & sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole.

Asked to comment on the sentence, the recovering Baby Bear told the Big City Daily News: “It’s just right.”

[October 16, 2006]

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