Not every tale should begin with the hallowed words, “Once upon a time.” Let’s save that for fairy tales. A fairy tale features a princess and a prince who overcome some difficult circumstance. A fairy tale focuses on the heroism and goodness of honest-living people who overcome the evil intent of others. A fairy tale ends with the words, “And they lived happily ever after. The End.”
So let me begin this story this way:
There once lived a princess with long golden hair.
(You see? It still sounds nice, but now at least you’ll know it’s not a fairy tale. I wonder what kind of story it is. Maybe it’s a cautionary tale. Maybe it’s an allegory. Maybe it’s revelation. Who knows? Oh well, what we can all see is that it’s become blog post number 149.)
Her name wasn’t actually Goldilocks (her parents knew better than to give their children trivial names), but she was sometimes called that because her hair was unexpectedly golden. Her sister princesses didn’t have hair quite like that; but they weren’t the least bit envious or jealous. As a matter of fact, the whole family thought it was entirely amusing and rather sweet, to have number three stand out quite in this way.
Now just for the record, this princess’s hair wasn’t that very pale blond that you sometimes see in other illustrations of this tale. It actually was the shade of real gold – that has a quieter and more complex hue.
In any case, that was the princess and that was her hair.
Goldilocks lived with her parents on the south-west edge of a forest. The forest was filled with fearsome bears. That’s why Goldilocks
Than to go anywhere
Without her family.
At the very least, she’d always stay close to her princess sisters and the queen (their mother). They went everywhere, always together. If you saw them outside, you’d notice you’d never see one without seeing the others.
So back to our tale, one day Goldilocks went with her sisters and her mother to a house. They came as guests, because they were polite and
Than to arrive anywhere
Entirely unannounced and unexpected.
(They weren’t the type to arrive and Howl at a door. They weren’t wolves in sheep’s clothing, clawing and pawing and peeking in windows. Of course not. They knew better.)
They had been invited for brunch.
Now in this home lived two rather nasty and ambitious power-hungry bears. The interesting thing was that you would never know it from the outside. As a matter of fact, the mother bear looked entirely ordinary – just distracted on her phone, all the time, entirely ignoring the little bears down at her feet, except when she snarled at them. Father Bear was a little different. He was more the holy-and-righteous kind. The kind you’d never suspect of neglect and so on.
But anyway, Goldilocks came one Tuesday afternoon to the home of these most cunning bears.
And yes, it was most definitely on a Tuesday.
That part had been carefully specified.
It had to be on a Tuesday.
(A rather mixed-up day at the time – a day filled with “school” and some rhyme and a snack here and there.)
Goldilocks arrived, and she took off her shoes.
Her sisters did too.
“Hello, and how are you?”
Everything seemed perfectly sweet.
The home was rather tidy and neat.
On the stove stood two large potfuls of soup.
The aroma was yummy and entirely appealing.
Goldilocks, her sisters and her mother were looking forward to sitting down in some chairs.
(The day had been, well,
In any case, what happened was this.
What is it you say?
The third bear?
Well, the third bear wasn’t actually there.
But she did exist.
And she was an important part of the story.
You just didn’t see her (out for a walk).
But she had made the soup.
Two different kinds.
She was equally fearsome – but always seemed entirely meek and, truth be told, rather
(That was part of her disguise.)
The princesses sat down at the table. Their mother came and sat down as well.
The Bears dished out the soup.
Two different kinds.
One was seasoned this way.
One wasn’t seasoned at all.
(There had been some joking around — “Don’t mix up the pots!”)
Prayers were said.
(Father Bear tried to ignore the irony.)
And they all prepared to partake.
“Is something wrong?”
Mother Bear asked.
“Yes!” said Goldilocks. “There is!”
What could it be?
Mother Bear and Father Bear looked suddenly rather alarmed, and they looked at each other.
Too hot? Too cold?
Wasn’t their soup
Entirely just right?
(Two different kinds.)
“Well, you see”
The bears leaned in,
“I have a policy.”
(Goldilocks spoke directly and honestly.)
“I never have soup –
Not even one sip –
At other people’s homes
If it’s a Tuesday.”
The Bears were entirely stunned.
Flabbergasted, in fact.
(They were nearly speechless. It wasn’t what they expected at all.)
Finally, they recovered.
But the visit seemed over.
And as a matter of fact, the princesses and the queen seemed like they wouldn’t quite stay
As long as expected.
The Bears were most obviously dismayed.
“But why not?”
They finally did say.
“Why not? Why not soup in our house?”
It’s good and it’s yummy.
Prepared entirely for you.
(One kind, at least.)
“Hmm” said Goldilocks
“Let me put it this way:
I plan to live
To see the sun rise
And Goldilocks left, along with the queen and her sisters.
They walked calmly and happily
All the way home,
Where they sat and marveled at the goodness of God
While they put up their feet
And ate popsicles.