Little Bear and Goldilocks

Author: Copyright Brian Wentroble, used by permission
Published: 03/08/2024

Today’s going to be a great day, I just know it!

Some days are raining and there’s no one outside that wants to play, but today is already warm with no clouds. When I woke up, I could see the sun peaking over the mountains and the birds were just singing away. I waved at the blue jay sitting on my windowsill, but he flew away when I went to look outside. Sandy the Squirrel was just below my window.

“Hey, Sandy! Good morning!” I said. “Have you found any acorns?”

“Not over here,” said Sandy. “I did find a few other nuts, though.” A short pause as if he was going to tell me again about the thrill of finding a partially hidden nut but a sound caught his attention. Looking over where the trees started the forest, he looked startled. “Gotta run! Might be a fox!” Off Sandy ran around the other side of the house.

I looked over to the rustling sound and sure enough, there was Felix Fox. “Hey, Felix!” I shouted and waved.

“Shhh!” I’m trying to find breakfast. Did you happen to see a squirrel?” Felix put his nose up and started sniffing. Felix was always chasing some sort of small animal.

I didn’t want Felix to find Sandy. They were both my friends but you never could tell about Felix when he gets hungry. “He was running into the forest,” I said, pointing to the left of Felix. I didn’t like to lie, but maybe there was something over there for Felix anyway.

With a quick, “thanks!” from Felix, off he ran.

There didn’t seem to be anything interesting after that so I decided it was time to wake up Mom and Dad. They always wanted to sleep in, even on bright sunny days like this. I went over to Mom’s bed first.

“Mom! Mom! It’s a great day outside! Can we go for a walk? Can we, can we?” I always want Mom to know that I’m awake and excited so she can be excited with me. For some reason, she’s usually not nearly as excited as me. I don’t understand why, but adults can be funny that way.

Mom slowly opened her eyes and sat up. “Is the sun even up?” she asked. That Mom, she’s always making jokes like that. I hardly ever forget to see if the sun is up before waking her up. I mean, the sun was up today. OK, maybe it wasn’t up yesterday when I woke her up, but that was a whole day ago.

“Yes, the sun is up. Let’s get going!” I said, pushing her to help wake her up some more.

“OK, OK, I’m getting up,” said Mom. She leaned over to Papa’s bed and pushed him. “Guess who’s up already,” she said.

Of course, that would be me! I’m always the first one awake. It doesn’t seem to be a hard guess. Maybe Pappa doesn’t guess very well when he first wakes up. He mumbled something I couldn’t understand that sounded like, “why can’t I ever sleep in?” but that couldn’t have been what he said. Maybe he was still dreaming.

Mom and Pappa both got out of bed. While they made their beds, I remembered my bed was still messy. I went in and made it. I didn’t want Mom to stop us from going on a walk because my bed covers weren’t good and straight.

I then went downstairs to see about breakfast. Mom was cooking porridge on the stove. I went and looked at the big pot she always used. “Is it done yet? Is breakfast ready? I love porridge. Can I have mine now? Is it ready?” I noticed my bowl was sitting on the table so I went and picked it up. I brought it to Mom and asked, “Can you add the porridge to my bowl? I’ve brought it over to help you. Is it ready yet?”

Mom looked over at me while she stirred the pot. She looked tired for some reason. Maybe she needs to go to bed earlier.

“The porridge is ready,” she said. “Put you bowl back on the table. I don’t want you to spill it.” I guessed Mom must be thinking about how I spilled the porridge the last time she dipped it into my bowl straight from the stove. I took the bowl over to the table and was sitting down when Papa came down. He added the cinnamon and sugar into the bowl while Mom kept stirring. Then Mom went and sat down and Papa brought the pot to the table.

“Me first, Me first!” I shouted. Papa told me to be quiet, as usual, but then he dipped the porridge into my bowl first. It looked so yummy! Papa then dipped porridge into Mama’s bowl and then his own bowl. He placed the pot back on the stove.

Before he even sat down, Mama said, “I think this porridge is too hot.” Looking over at me and smiling, she said, “Maybe we could all go for a walk while it cools down.” She remembered I wanted to go for a walk!

“Yes, yes, let’s go for a walk!” Mama was the one to tell me to be quiet this time. Mama did stand up though and her and Papa started walking to the front door. I jumped up and caught up with them as they were walking through the door. We were going for a walk on such a beautiful morning!

I don’t know why they call it a walk. I run the whole time. I run here and there, looking at all the flowers and birds and saying hello to any of the animals. Mama and Papa walk, though. They love to say, “Slow down,” and “Don’t get so far ahead of us,” and “Come back out of the forest so we can see you,” and “Put that down.” They have all kinds of sayings that they repeat every time we go for a walk, It keeps things fun.

We finally made it all the way around and back to our house. By this time, I didn’t want to run anymore. I just wanted to eat. We all walked in through the door and went to the table. As soon as Papa got to the table, he said, “Someone’s been eating my porridge!”

What a strange thing to say. He must have imagined it because who would come into our house and eat porridge? It didn’t make any sense.

Then Mama said, “Someone’s been eating my porridge, too!” I looked at her bowl and sure enough, there was a spoon standing straight up in it. I knew Mama didn’t even touch her spoon when Papa dipped the porridge in her bowl. It was very strange to see the spoon in the porridge.

I looked at my bowl. There was nothing in the bowl except a spoon with a few drips of porridge. “Someone tried my porridge and ate it all up!” I couldn’t believe it. I was so hungry, too.

I couldn’t imagine who would eat my porridge. Certainly not Sandy or Felix. I had tried sharing porridge with my friends before but they didn’t like my kind of food. It couldn’t be a bird. They just liked to peck. I wondered if there was some other animal that liked porridge.

While I was thinking about the different types of animals that could possibly eat porridge, I heard Papa say, “Someone’s been sitting in my chair.” I looked over and sure enough, it wasn’t in the same place it usually stays. Papa likes things to be just so, and he wouldn’t have left the chair facing a different direction.

Then Mama said, “Someone’s been sitting in my chair!” Her chair was definitely messed up. Cushions on the floor, and the chair all messed up.

I quickly looked over to my chair. Oh, no! It was broken! Mama told me if I didn’t squirm so much that I would break my chair, but I never had broken it. There it was, though, with the bottom broken and laying on its side. “Someone’s been sitting in my chair, and broken it!” I yelled. Maybe whichever animal sat there liked to squirm, too.

Hm, I wondered. If someone squirms as much as me, maybe they would like to play together.

Papa and Mama started walking to the bedroom. I quickly followed. When we got there, Papa said, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed!” I looked at the bed and the covers were turned down. I didn’t think anyone had slept there, though. It was not nearly as messy as my bed after I’ve been sleeping.

Mama said, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed!” I looked at her bed. It didn’t look like someone had slept there, either. It looked like someone had been playing in the bed. The pillow and covers were on the floor and the mattress looked like it had been moved. Whoever had been playing in Mama’s bed had really done a lot.

I looked over at my bed and what a surprise! “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, and she’s still there!” I yelled. It was a human girl! It wasn’t an animal after all. I was so excited! Here was someone who would love to play together. I couldn’t figure out how she came to our house, since little boys and girls never came into the forest. Maybe she heard about our house and came to visit. We could have so much fun together! Anyone who could break and chair and move Mama’s bed would have lots of energy to run and play. I couldn’t wait to introduce her to my friends!

Just then, she woke up. Then she screamed from excitement. I’m sure she was so glad that we had come home that she couldn’t wait to go and play. I was trying to ask if she wanted to come back to the table and eat more breakfast with us. She must have remembered something at home that she wanted to bring to play. She hopped out of bed and jumped out the window and went running away.

I was so disappointed! She must not have known that I had plenty of toys for both of us. Mama said that we could eat breakfast and wait for her to return. Then she turned and winked at Papa. I don’t know why she was winking, but I was so hungry and excited that I decided not to worry about it. Papa dipped more porridge into our bowls and we sat down to eat.

I haven’t seen that little girl come back yet. I hope she didn’t forget the path to our house. I keep hoping that she’ll come back soon so we can play.

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