The Three Bears





There were once three bears who lived together in a little house in the

middle of a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; one was a

Middle-Sized Bear; and the other was a Great, Huge Bear.



And they each had a pot to eat their porridge from: a little pot for the

Little, Small, Wee Bear; a middle-sized pot for the Middle-Sized Bear;

and a great big pot for the Great, Huge Bear.



And they each had a chair to sit on: a little chair for the Little,

Small, Wee Bear; a middle-sized chair for the Middle-Sized Bear; and a

great big chair for the Great, Huge Bear.



And they each had a bed to sleep in: a little bed for the Little, Small,

Wee Bear; a middle-sized bed for the Middle-Sized Bear; and a great big

bed for the Great, Huge Bear.






One day they made the porridge for their breakfast, and poured it into

their porridge-pots, and then went out in the wood for a walk while the

porridge for their breakfast was cooling. And while they were out

walking, a little Old Woman came to the house in the wood and peeped

inside.



First she peeped through the keyhole; then she peeped through the

window. Then she lifted the latch and peeped through the doorway; and,

seeing nobody in the house, she walked in. And when she saw the porridge

cooling on the table she was very pleased, for she had walked a long

way, and was getting hungry.



So first she tasted the porridge of the Great, Huge Bear, but that was

too hot. Then she tasted the porridge of the Middle-Sized Bear, but that

was too cold. And then she tasted the porridge of the Little, Small, Wee

Bear, and that was neither too hot nor too cold, but just right. And

she liked it so much that she ate it all up!



Then the little Old Woman sat down in the chair of the Great, Huge

Bear, but that was too hard. Then she sat down in the chair of the

Middle-Sized Bear, but that was too soft. Then she sat down in the

chair of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and that was neither too hard

nor too soft, but just right. And she liked it so much that she sat

in it until suddenly the bottom came out, and she fell down plump

upon the ground.



Then the little Old Woman went upstairs into the bedroom, where the

three Bears slept. And first she lay down on the bed of the Great, Huge

Bear, but that was too high at the head for her. Then she lay down on

the bed of the Middle-Sized Bear, but that was too high at the foot for

her. So then she lay down on the bed of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and

that was neither too high at the head nor too high at the foot, but just

right. And she liked it so much that she covered herself up and lay

there till she fell fast asleep!






By and by the three Bears came home to breakfast. Now, the little Old

Woman had left the spoon of the Great, Huge Bear standing in his

porridge pot.



"=Somebody has been at my porridge!="



said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice.



And when the Middle-Sized Bear looked, she saw that the spoon was

standing in her porridge-pot too.



"=Somebody has been at my porridge!="



said the Middle-Sized Bear in her middle-sized voice.



Then the Little, Small, Wee Bear looked, and there was the spoon in

his porridge-pot; but the porridge was all gone.



"=Somebody has been at my porridge and has eaten it all up!="



said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.






Then the three Bears began to look about them. Now, the little Old Woman

had not put the hard cushion straight after she had sat in the chair of

the Great, Huge Bear.



"=Somebody has been sitting in my chair!="



said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice.



And the little Old Woman had squashed the soft cushion of the

Middle-Sized Bear.



"=Somebody has been sitting in my chair!="



said the Middle-Sized Bear, in her middle-sized voice.



And you know what the little Old Woman had done to the third chair.



"=Somebody has been sitting in my chair and has sat the bottom out!="



said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.



Then the three Bears went upstairs into their bedroom. Now, the little

Old Woman had pulled the pillow of the Great, Huge Bear out of its

place.



"=Somebody has been lying in my bed!="



said the Great, Huge Bear, in his great, rough, gruff voice.



And the little Old Woman had pulled the bolster of the Middle-Sized Bear

out of its place.



"=Somebody has been lying in my bed!="



said the Middle-Sized Bear, in her middle-sized voice.



And when the Little, Small, Wee Bear came to look at his bed, there was

the bolster in its place, and the pillow in its place upon the bolster;

and upon the pillow was the little Old Woman's head, which was not in

its place, for she had no business there at all.



"=Somebody has been lying in my bed--and here she is!="



cried the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.






The little Old Woman had heard in her sleep the great, rough, gruff

voice of the Great, Huge Bear, but she was so fast asleep that it seemed

to her no more than the roaring of the wind, or the rumbling of thunder.

And she had heard the middle-sized voice of the Middle-Sized Bear, but

it was only as if she had heard some one speaking in a dream. But when

she heard the little, small, wee voice of the Little, Small, Wee Bear,

it was so sharp and shrill that it woke her up at once. Up she started,

and when she saw the three Bears, on one side of the bed, she tumbled

out at the other, jumped out of the window and ran away through the wood

to her own home. And the three Bears never saw anything more of her.





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