© 2018Jonathan Shipton Childrens' Books.

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WHAT GOLDILOCKS DID NEXT...

 

 

 

Once upon a time there were three bears and they were all very, very, grumpy.

Big Bear was in a great, huge, hairy, black grump.

Middle Bear was in a medium-sized, pale and prickly, grump.

Baby Bear was in a whiney, snitchy spiky grump.

 

And who could blame them!They’d gone out for a nice walk in the woods and come back to find their breakfast stolen and a lot of their furniture smashed to smithereens!

 

Middle Bear growled. Middle Bear was on her paws and knees trying to clean up the horrible mess left by Goldilocks. There were footprints on the rug. There was porridge on the pillows. There was milk spilled on the floor. It was a good thing Middle Bear didn’t know where Goldilocks lived!

 

Big Bear growled.He was trying to glue together the chair, broken by Goldilocks. And fix a new lock on the front door, opened by Goldilocks. It was a good thing that Big Bear didn’t know about the little village on the far side of the forest!

 

And as for Baby Bear, he was so upset about his porridge and his chair and his bed, he was stomping around the house howling:“It’s not fair! It’s not fair!” And so it went on all morning.Scrubbing. Sweeping. Hammering. Wailing. Sweeping. Hammering. Wailing. Scrubbing! Scrubbering! Screaming! Wamming! Hailing!..

 

By midday the house had been restored to order, but the three bears had such sore heads, they decided they had to get some fresh air. Of course this time Big Bear made sure he locked the door! And off they went.Over the silvery stream. And along the forest path.It was such a lovely day. The three Bears soon forgot all about their sore heads. Baby Bear was having a wonderful time racing along in front looking for nice juicy blackberries when suddenly he stopped and yelled.“Quick! Quick!”

 

Middle and Big Bear looked at each other with alarm. Had Baby Bear been stung by a bee? Or been bitten by a poisonous snake? Was he caught in a hunter’s trap?

 

Big Bear gave a big gruff growl and began to thunder down the path with his great big heavy feet.

 

Middle Bear gave a medium-sized growl and followed Big Bear.

 

When they got to Baby Bear, they found him jumping up and down with excitement and pointing down to the ground. The two bears skidded to a breathless halt! “Where’s the snake?” panted Big Bear, picking up a massive stick and waving it dangerously above his head.

 

“Have you been stung?” asked Middle Bear anxiously. Baby Bear shook his head and continued to point.The two bears followed his quivering finger down to the muddy path.

It wasn’t a snake.

Or a trap.

It was a footprint and a broken daisy chain.

 

The three bears growled. Big Bear had seen that footprint somewhere before. Middle Bear had spent the entire morning trying to remove that footprint from her kitchen floor. It was the footprint of a little girl’s shoe. It was the footprint of you know who!

 

Now bears are clever creatures. They can catch fish with their bare paws. They can swim in icy waters, climb trees, sniff out honey. But what they’re really, incredibly brilliant at doing is following trails....

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile... back in the village, young Goldilocks was trying to explain to her astonished Mother, why she didn’t want porridge for her breakfast.

“But you love porridge! she insisted. You’ve always loved porridge for your breakfast. Ever since you were a tiny baby. Just one little spoonful..? It’ll make you big and strong...” Goldilocks clamped her lips tightly shut and glanced nervously at the window. There was no sign of the bears...Yet!

 

Unfortunately Goldilocks couldn’t really explain to her Mother that at that moment, she didn’t want to be big or strong. She wanted to be as small as a mouse and hide in a hole. She wanted to be a tiny beetle under a huge stone. She basically wanted to be invisible!

 

“Well…” said Goldilocks’ Mum despairingly, “I’ll keep it warm for you. But I’ve got to get back to work now; Mr Miller is delivering a load of flour.”

 

She carried the steaming pot back to the stove, kissed Goldilocks goodbye, opened the door and hurried back to the bakery. The minute she was gone Goldilocks dashed over to the window and took another anxious peep. It all looked so peaceful. The sun was shining. The ducks were waddling round the pond. But where were those bears? At any moment she expected to hear a loud hammering on the front door. What was she going to do? What would her Mother say? It was bad enough that she’d gone into the forest on her own. But stealing someone’s breakfast and then breaking their furniture!

 

In the end Goldilocks decided that she would  have to be brave and tell her mother the truth. She opened the door, and was just about to step outside, when she happened to look up and saw three dark shadows creeping along the churchyard wall!

 

“Dandelions and Bluebells! gasped Goldilocks. Quick as a flash Goldilocks slammed the door. “Mum!” she shouted. “Help! Help!” Unfortunately, just at that moment, Mister Miller’s heavy cart was trundling slowly past, on its way to the bakery. Goldilocks’ cries were drowned out by the rumble of wheels and the clatter of horses’ hooves. She tried once more: “Mum! Mum!” But it was no good. Mr Miller had started to unload his cart and amongst all the shouting and banging and general confusion nobody could hear anything. She hurried back to the window to see what the bears were doing but the back of the cart was blocking her view! “Oh no!” groaned Goldilocks. It just wasn’t her lucky day!

 

At long last all the flour was unloaded and the empty cart started its slow journey back to the mill. Goldilocks carefully pulled back a corner of the curtain and peered through the window. There was no sign of the bears anywhere. Goldilocks felt so relieved. They must have given up trying to find her and gone back home. All the same, just in case, Goldilocks thought it would still be a good idea to tell her Mum all about her adventures in the forest.

 

So she unlocked the door and stepped out into the sunshine.She was just about to enter the baker’s shop when she heard a loud noise coming from the far side of the village. There was shouting and banging and clapping followed by an anguished howling that sent shivers down Goldilocks’ spine. Suddenly all the doors and windows in the village flew open and everyone hurried outside to see what was causing the commotion. 

 

Gradually the noises got louder, and louder and then all at once the miller’s cart re-appeared, followed by a procession of farmers waving their pitchforks triumphantly in the air. As the crowd drew nearer, Goldilocks could see that on the back of the cart were three struggling bundles.

 

One was a great, big, howling bundle...

One was a medium sized, howling bundle...

And one was a wee small, whimpering bundle...

The three bears had been captured!

 

Now you might think that Goldilocks would have been delighted by this news. But as she watched their hopeless struggles, Goldilocks felt quite sorry for the bears. When she heard that the bears were going to be chained up and sold to a circus, Goldilocks’ heart was filled with sadness and pity.

 

Now it happened that the unfortunate bears were imprisoned in a store room at the back of the bakery. As she lay in bed that night, Goldilocks could hear their mournful cries drifting up to her window. She thought of their neat little house tucked away in the forest. The black porridge pot...The milk jug...Big Bear’s great big enormous chair...Middle Bear’s soft feathery pillows...Baby Bear’s pretty patchwork quilt... 

 

In the end she could stand it no longer. She got out of bed, tiptoed down the stairs, opened the door, and crept out into the starry night. There was a high window at the side of the storeroom and by standing on a flower pot, Goldilocks was able to look through the iron bars of the bears’ prison. The three bears  were all huddled up together in one corner. As soon as the great big Bear noticed the little girl’s face, he leaped to his feet and growled in his great big gruff voice. Goldilocks was so startled, she nearly fell off the flowerpot!  But when she heard Baby Bear’s soft whimpering and thought of his wee, small legs locked in chains, little by little, her courage returned. She walked round to the back of the storeroom and saw that the door was secured with three rusty bolts.As quietly as she could she slid back the top bolt. Then came the middle bolt.  But the third bolt would not budge!

“Oh Bluebells!” muttered Goldilocks.

She tried again. She pushed. She pulled. She even banged it with a stone. But it remained stubbornly stuck. Just then she heard the farmyard cock start to crow. The village would soon be waking up. What can I do?” she muttered to herself.. There was a rustling noise in the storeroom.“Butter!” hissed a medium sized voice.

“Butter?” repeated Goldilocks.“Oh Yes! Butter the bolt. What a brilliant idea! " Goldilocks dashed back to her house. She ran into the larder and scooped out a large dollop of butter. Then she dashed back to the storeroom door and smeared the butter all along the rusty bolt.

 

She tried again. And very slowly, she was able to drag back the bolt until at last, the door swung open, and the bears were free! First out was the wee, small, Baby, bear. He was so pleased he did a double somersault. The next out was the middle-sized Middle Bear who did a dance of joy. Finally came Great Big Bear with his great, big, enormous head, and his great, big, enormous arms, and his great, big, hairy feet. Big Bear stood for a moment gratefully gulping in great deep breaths of the cool morning air.

 

Then suddenly there came a loud rumbling noise. It sounded like a small earthquake. Goldilocks nearly jumped out of her skin! But then when Middle Bear and Baby Bear both started making the same noises, Goldilocks realised that the poor bears were just very hungry after their ordeal. Of course Goldilocks knew exactly what bears like for breakfast! It was the work of a moment for Goldilocks to dash back to her house and fetch the porridge pot and three spoons.

 

When the grateful bears had had their fill, they came up to Goldilocks, one by one, to thank her. Big Bear gave her a great, big, enormous, hairy, hug. Middle Bear gave her a nice medium-sized cuddle. And Baby Bear took her hand and gave her a wee, small, baby squeeze. Then they all three disappeared down the track and back into the safety of the forest.

 

As for Goldilocks...?

Well, she felt a bit sad to see them go but she was very very glad to see them free!

 

And I think she lived happily ever after.

 

Although she was never that keen on eating porridge.