There once was a family of three bears. Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and wee Baby Bear lived in a cozy cottage right in the heart of the forest. The three bears started each day in much the same way. They tidied up their comfortable home, taking special care to make their beds and fluff up their pillows just so.

Mama Bear prepared three bowls of oatmeal and set them out on the table. As their oatmeal cooled, the Bear family would take a leisurely walk in the forest pointing out the many beautiful birds and tall old trees.

One morning there was a young girl walking in the forest. She was named Goldilocks because she had ringlets of golden hair. Goldilocks had been following butterflies and wandered into the forest all by herself. She was

terribly hungry and tired.

Goldilocks was a pretty girl with bright yellow hair. She looked sweet, but she didn't act that way. Goldilocks was stubborn and selfish. She wanted her own way, all the time. Goldilocks caused all sorts of trouble, too - like when she ran away on cleaning day. That day, the trouble began at breakfast.

"I won't eat pancakes," Goldilocks told her mother. "And I certainly won't clean my room."

goldilocks and the three bears

She walked a long time until she came across a lovely little house.

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The little girl went to lay on her bed. She felt cranky. But then, she got an idea. She would sneak out her window and run to the woods! Of course, she knew playing in the woods was against Mother's rules. "But I don't want to follow the rules," whined Goldilocks. "I want to play right now."

So, off to the woods she went.

She walked a long time until she came across a lovely little house.

"Is anyone home?" called Goldilocks. When no one answered, Goldilocks

sat patiently on the front step and waited for the owners to return.

Now, Goldilocks had forgotten her sweater that morning and the forest can be quite chilly in the spring. She waited a little while longer and then opened

the door and let herself in. She hoped that whoever lived in such a sweet little cottage would not mind if she went in to rest a bit.

Goldilocks saw three bowls of oatmeal on the table. Her stomach

began to rumble. She had also forgotten to eat breakfast that day.

I wish they would come home and offer me a bit of oatmeal, Goldilocks thought. The steam from the largest bowl tickled her nose.

She waited a little longer and then reached for a spoon.

She dipped the spoon into the largest bowl of oatmeal, that happened to belong to Papa Bear. "Oh no, this oatmeal is much too hot!" she said

dropping the spoon and making quite a mess.

She tried a bite of the middle-size bowl that belonged to Mama Bear. "And this oatmeal is much too cold," she said knocking the bowl slightly with her elbow.

She took a small taste from the smallest bowl that was set out for Baby Bear.

"This is the most perfect oatmeal ever!" she said, and she licked the bowl clean.

She walked a long time until she came across a lovely little house.

"Is anyone home?" called Goldilocks. She hoped she could rest inside awhile. When no one answered, Goldilocks opened the door. Of course, she knew she should wait for the owners to return.

"I don't want to wait," whined Goldilocks. "I will go inside right now."

This was the home of the Bear family: Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. The bears loved their home. It had everything they needed.

To find out what happens next in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," go to the next page.

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