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Once upon a time, before you were born, before I was born, before anyone you know was born, there was a big dark forest and right in the middle of that big dark forest there lived three bears.


Big Bear was a great big hairy bear and Middle Bear was a middle sized bear and Baby Bear was a wee small bear.


Each of the three bears had a special bowl for their porridge. Big Bear's bowl was a great big huge bowl, Middle Bear's bowl was a middle sized bowl and Baby Bear's was a wee small tiny bowl.


Each of the three bears had a special chair to sit in. Big Bear's chair was an enormous great chair with a great hard seat and big strong legs. Middle Bear's chair was a medium sized chair with a soft plump cushion and small but perfectly formed legs. Baby Bear's had a wee small chair with tiny, tiny legs.





Each of the three bears had their own special beds. Big Bear's bed was a great long bed with a great hard mattress and a great rough hairy blanket. Middle Bear's bed was a medium sized bed with a nice comfortable mattress and soft feathery pillows. And Baby Bear's bed was a cosy little bed, with a tiny white pillow and a little soft sheet and the tiniest, prettiest, patchwork quilt you've ever seen.


Now one day, the three bears made some porridge for their breakfast.  They were very hungry. Especially Baby Bear! He could hardly wait. As soon as Middle Bear poured the steaming porridge into his bowl he scooped up a spoonful; but it was so hot that Baby Bear burnt his mouth. And when Big Bear tried his porridge, it was so hot he gave a great big roar and jumped clean out of his chair!


So the three bears decided to let the porridge cool down a bit. Big Bear opened the front door, and off they went for a walk. 


Now right on the edge of that big dark forest there was a small village with a church, a farm, a duck pond and a baker's shop. And right next door to the baker's shop, there was a thatched cottage and in that thatched cottage lived a little girl and a very nice little girl she was too. Her name was Honeysuckle Elizabeth Cross, but everyone in the village called her "Goldilocks", because she had such beautiful long golden hair.












Now one morning Goldilocks was feeling a bit bored. There was no-one to play with. The other children in the village were either too young, too old or too silly. Her Mum of course was busy working in the baker's shop.


Goldilocks sucked her thumb and stared out of the window. It was a lovely day but she didn't know what to do. She had made her bed and brushed her hair. She had tidied her room. She had polished her boots. She'd fed the cat. She'd picked some dandelion leaves for the rabbits.


She decided to go to the village pond and feed the ducks. But after a while she ran out of bread and all the ducks started drifting back to the middle of the pond. So Goldilocks decided to go off for a little wander.


First she wandered up to Stonyfield Farm and looked at the cows and the sheep.









Then she wandered down to the church and looked at all the pretty flowers in the churchyard. Then she hopped and skipped down the lane until she spotted a nice clump of daisies so she sat down by the side of the path and made herself a crown for her lovely golden hair.


After she'd wandered on a bit further, Goldilocks found herself on the edge of the forest. Now although she sometimes went into the forest with her family to collect blackberries and firewood she had been told Never Ever to go there on her own! 


But she was feeling very hot and I suppose she just forgot, because without thinking, Goldilocks left the sunny lane and disappeared down a narrow path into the cool dark trees.  


After a while Goldilocks came to a large clearing in the middle of the forest. She was feeling a bit tired so she sat down on a tree stump and had a rest. She was also feeling quite hungry, so she decided she had done enough wandering for one day! It was time to go home and have her breakfast. But when she stood up poor Goldilocks couldn't remember which of the paths to take. They all looked the same!












She didn't know what to do. She began to wish she had never set foot in the forest.    "HELP!" she shouted, hoping that a passing hunter, or a friendly wood cutter, might hear her. but no-one answered. There was no sound in the forest apart from the singing of birds and the sighing of the wind in the trees.


Goldilocks raced round and round the clearing looking at all the different paths trying to decide which one was the way home. In the end, she made up her mind and started running.


 To begin with, the path seemed to be leading in the right direction. Goldilocks was very relieved and started to whistle cheerfully to herself. She was looking forward to getting back to her little cottage by the bakery. She was even planning what she would have for breakfast.


All of a sudden she heard an unfamiliar noise and stopped. It sounded like running water." Perhaps its only the wind...?" she said to herself and hurried on. But the noise got louder and louder and louder, until coming round a bend in the path, she saw a wide silver stream gurgling and babbling through the trees.


"Oh Dandelions and Bluebells!" muttered Goldilocks. It was obvious she had chosen the wrong path. She was just about to turn round and retrace her steps, when she noticed a rickety wooden bridge crossing the stream. On the other side of the bridge a well-trodden path led to a beautiful house built in the bottom of an enormous hollow tree.







Goldilocks was so excited, she rushed over the bridge and started banging on the door shouting "HELP! HELP! I’M LOST! She waited impatiently for someone to open the door. When no-one came she shouted through the keyhole. There was still no reply so she knocked and shouted again!‘ Perhaps they are all asleep’ thought Goldilocks.She walked round the side of the house and peered in at the window. Inside she saw a neat little table all laid with a table cloth. On the table there was a milk jug and a big black cooking pot, and three delicious, steaming, bowls of porridge! Goldilocks couldn't believe her luck! She ran round to the door, lifted the latch and just walked inside! She didn't even bother to wipe the mud off her feet!







Goldilocks ran over to the table and grabbed a spoon. First she tasted the porridge of the great, huge, Big Bear but that was much too hot for her.Then she tasted the porridge of the middle-sized, Middle Bear and that was much too salty for her! But when Goldilocks tried the porridge of the little, small, wee bear; it was neither too hot, nor too salty, but just right. In fact it was so perfect that she gobbled it all up and licked the bowl clean.





Then she felt a bit sleepy so Goldilocks sat down on the chair belonging to the great, huge, Big Bear but that was too high and too hard for her. "Fiddlesticks!" said Goldilocks. Then she sat on the chair belonging to the middle-sized Middle Bear, but that was much too soft for her. Finally she tried the chair belonging to the wee, small bear; it was neither too hard, nor too soft, but just right. So Goldilocks poured herself a mug of milk and settled herself down in baby bear's little chair.











Suddenly there was a loud crack! ‘Oh fir cones!’ exclaimed Goldilocks as the back fell off. Then the legs started creaking. Finally there was a dreadful splintering sound and Goldilocks ended up sprawled in a heap on the hard floor!


While she was lying there, covered in milk and feeling very sorry for herself, she noticed some little wooden stairs. So being a curious girl she decided to go up and see what was there.


It was very cosy. There were three beds side by side. There was a lovely warm rug on the floor. Goldilocks yawned, all that porridge had made her feel really tired. First she lay down on the bed belonging to the great huge bear, but it was much too hard and hairy. Next she tried the bed belonging to the middle sized bear, but that was much too soft and soggy. Then she tried the bed of the little small wee bear; it was neither too hard, nor too soft, nor too long, nor too hairy, it was perfect!







Goldilocks yawned, laid her head on baby bear's clean white pillow, snuggled down under baby bear's pretty patchwork quilt, and soon fell fast asleep.    


Meanwhile, the three bears had finished their walk and were hurrying back home. They were all very hungry and greatly looking forward to breakfast. Big bear came through the door first. Straightaway he noticed the muddy footprints on the floor. And then he looked at the table, " Somebody's been eating my porridge! " he growled in his great, rough, gruff voice. Then Middle Bear came through the door and she looked at the table. "Somebody's been eating my porridge" she growled in her middle-sized voice. And then Baby Bear came in and rushed over to the table and said "Somebody's been eating my porridge and they've eaten it all up!"


When the three bears realised that someone had been inside their house they were very annoyed and started to look around. Big Bear saw that his great big enormous chair had been moved." Somebody's been sitting in my chair," he growled.









Middle Bear noticed that the soft plump cushion in her chair had been completely flattened. And somebody's been sitting in my chair!" she growled. " Where's my chair?" squeaked baby bear? When Baby Bear saw what Goldilocks had done to his chair he was very upset!" Somebody's broken my chair to bits!" he squeaked in his little small wee voice!


By now the three bears had begun to growl and snarl. They were all very angry. They decided to search upstairs.Big bear stamped up first with his great big cross feet. And of course he saw that his great hairy cover had been all rumpled up. "Somebody's been lying in my bed!" he roared in his great big gruff voice. Middle Bear stamped up next with her medium sized feet, and of course she saw at once that her soft plump pillow had a deep dent in it: " Somebody's been lying in my bed!" she growled in her medium sized cross voice. And when Baby Bear stamped up the stairs with his wee small feet he saw that his pillow was in the right place, and his patchwork quilt was in the right place but there was a long lump in his bed that shouldn't have been there! "Somebody's been lying in my bed and they’re STILL HERE!" squeaked Baby Bear.


At that moment Goldilocks woke up! When she saw the cross little bear, standing by the bed, she sat bolt upright in surprise. Then she saw the angry medium-sized Middle Bear and her eyes nearly popped out of her head. But when she saw the great big, fearsome Big Bear, she was so terrified she leaped out of bed, dashed across to the open window and jumped! It was a long way down but luckily Goldilocks landed in a soft pile of  leaves. She picked herself up and ran away as fast as she could.Over the bridge! Through the trees! She ran and ran and ran. She didn't stop running until at last she reached the pond with the ducks, the church with the steeple, and that little thatched cottage by the bakers shop.



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