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THE THREE BEARS
NCE upon a time there was a little girl named Golden
Hair, and she lived near a forest-covered mountain.
Many pretty flowers grew in the woods on the
mountain-side, and Golden Hair liked to gather them.
Usually she did not go far from home after the flowers,
but one day she rambled on and on, picking blossoms
here and there, until she was much deeper in the woods
than she had ever been before.
"Now I must go back," said Golden Hair at last."I
didn't intend to come such a long way and I'm tired and
Just then she looked on ahead up the lonely hollow into
which she had wandered, and there among the trees was
as nice a little house as she had ever seen.
"I didn't know any one lived here in the woods," said
Golden Hair."I will go and find out whose house it is."
So she ran up to the door and rapped, but she got no
 "Well," said she, "the people that belong to this
house can't be far away, for I saw smoke coming out of
the chimney. I suppose I might step in if the door
She lifted the latch, and the door was not locked, and
she went in and looked about. The room in which she
found herself was the kitchen, and a fire was burning
in the fireplace, and on a table were three bowls of
porridge—a big bowl, and a middle-sized bowl, and a
"The people that live here have set the table for
dinner, I think," said Golden Hair. "Oh, how hungry I
am! I wonder if they would care if I ate some of their
porridge without waiting till they came back. I will
So she went to the table and took a spoonful of
porridge from the big bowl.
"This is too hot," she said."I will try the next."
Then she took a spoonful of porridge from the
"This is not so hot as the other," said she, "but it is
hotter than I like. I will try the next."
Then she took a spoonful of porridge from the little
bowl, and that was just right and she ate it all.
"Now, I wish I could sit down to rest for a while
 in a good easy chair," said Golden Hair."They would
have their easy chairs in the parlor, I suppose. I
will look in and see."
So she went into the parlor and there she found three
nice rocking-chairs,—a big chair, and a middle-sized
chair, and a little chair. She tried the big chair, but
it was too high.
"Dear me!" said Golden Hair, "I can't touch my feet to
the floor. I don't like this chair, I will try the
Then she tried the middle-sized chair. She could touch
her feet to the floor in that, but it was too high for
her to feel entirely comfortable, and she tried the
little chair. That was just right, and she began
rocking back and forth in it, when crack I smash! the
chair broke and Golden Hair tumbled to the floor.
"That was a nice little chair," she said as she picked
herself up. ((I m sorry it is broken. I was having such
a good rest in it, too! I don't care for the other
chairs, and I think I would like to lie down and have a
nap. I must see where the beds are.
So she went upstairs and into a chamber, and here she
found three beds—a big bed, and a middle-sized bed, and
a little bed. She tried the
 largest bed, and it
was too hard. Then she tried the middle-sized bed, and
that was not so hard as the big bed, but it was not
soft enough to please Golden Hair. Then she tried the
little bed, and that was just right, and she lay down
on it and covered herself up and fell fast asleep.
Now the house that Golden Hair was in belonged to three
bears—a big bear, a middle-sized bear, and a little
bear. Shortly before Golden Hair rapped at their door
they had cooked their porridge for dinner and set it on
the table. Then they had gone out for a little walk to
give the porridge time to cool. While Golden Hair was
asleep the bears came home. As soon as they entered the
kitchen and looked at the table they saw that things
were not as they had left them.
"SOMEBODY HAS BEEN TASTING MY PORRIDGE!" growled the
big bear in his great, gruff voice.
"AND SOMEBODY HAS BEEN TASTING MY PORRIDGE!" said the
"And somebody has been tasting my porridge and eaten it
all up!" piped the little bear.
"We will look around," said they, "and see if there has
been any more meddling."
Then they went into the parlor.
 "SOMEBODY HAS BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR!" growled
the big bear in his great, gruff voice.
"AND SOMEBODY HAS BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR!" said the
"And somebody has been sitting in my chair and broken
it all to pieces," piped the little bear.
Then they went upstairs to the chamber.
 "SOMEBODY HAS BEEN TUMBLING MY BED!" growled the
big bear in his great,
"AND SOMEBODY HAS BEEN TUMBLING MY BED!" said the
"And somebody has been tumbling my bed, and here she
is!" piped the little bear.
Golden Hair waked up just then, and before the three
bears could catch her she slipped from the bed and
scrambled down the stairs and out at the door. Then she
ran home as fast as her legs could carry her, and she
never went near the three bears' house again.