(picture by Stacey)
“Goldenlocks and the Three Bears”
A fractured-fairytale by Stacey
Once upon a time, in a land all the way on the far, far side of the world, there lived a beautiful man with long golden locks. Now, this was no ordinary man, mind you, no, not at all! For this man was none other than Captain Jack Aubrey of the British Royal Navy – the most successful of all Captains that ever did sail the seven seas, and the most handsome, too! To all who saw him, however, he was known only as “Goldenlocks”, for he loved nothing more than to climb high up on the mainmast of his ship and let his long, golden hair flow freely through the wind. Such a sight it was, too!
Now, on this particular day, the fine Captain Aubrey and his crew – having grown weary from being at sea for so long - decided to take a short shore leave on the banks of a nearby lush tropical island paradise. After being handed their share of spoils from their most recent acquisitions, the crew all went on their way to spend their loot in various island pubs and such. Captain Aubrey, however, always up for an adventure, decided to go exploring the island’s interior with his best friend and resident ship’s doctor, Dr. Stephen Maturin.
As the two friends trudged through the lush forest of the island’s interior, stopping frequently for the doctor to pick up and examine the many various flora, fauna, and insects, they suddenly discovered that they were quite lost and quite hungry, to boot!
“This is just like you, Stephen…,” complained Jack, “…always getting us lost in the middle of nowhere, and with no food or shelter in sight!”
“Me?” replied Stephen, quite surprised by the Captain's comment. “Let it be known that it was you who decided to eat all of the bread that I had planned on leaving a trail with so that we might follow it back to our ship when our exploration was complete.”
“Well, it does us no good to argue over such matters now, does it?” asked Jack. “The fact remains as such…we are lost.”
“Ah, brother, but we might not be as lost we first thought,” said Stephen, looking off into the distance, a grin on his face. “For over there in the distance, sits a cabin of sorts.”
Jack pulled out his telescope. “Ah, so it is!” he exclaimed, clapping Stephen on the back. “This is great news! We shall knock upon their door and beg they should supply us with a bit of food and shelter for the night. Come, Stephen, there’s not a moment to lose!”
Now, let the reader take note, that as the beautiful Captain and the good doctor trudged their way through the forest, the inhabitants of the little cabin they sought were just sitting down for a nice dinner of porridge.
“Porridge, again?!” complained the biggest and baddest of bears, Bud.
“And just what is wrong with porridge?” replied the middle-sized bear, Jeff. “We always have porridge.”
“Exactly!” exclaimed Bud Bear. “That’s the problem. I’m sick of porridge! Besides,” he added, taking a bite, then spitting it out again, “this porridge is too hot!”
“Well!” grumped Jeff. “I slave all morning over the hot stove – cooking porridge just for you, and this is the thanks I get?!” he took off his apron and threw it on the floor.
Arthur, the smallest of the three bears, with his wee little Welsh voice,
piped in, “I like the porridge, Jeff. Mine is quite tasty.”
Bud Bear shot him a look that let him know he should mind his own wee little business, so he lowered his head and tucked back into his wee little bowl of porridge.
Jeff Bear sat down at the table, across from the very grumpy Bud Bear, and dipped his spoon into his medium sized bowl of porridge.
“Ack!” he acked. “Now, see what you’ve gone and done, you big lump?! You’ve gone and made me wait on you hand and foot and now my porridge has gotten cold!”
Bud Bear glared at him, jumped up from the table and headed for the back door.
“Wait!” yelled Jeff Bear. “Where are you going? Come back!”
Bud Bear stopped at the door, looked back at his two friends. “I’m going for a walk!” he exclaimed, then stormed out the door.
Jeff Bear and the wee little Arthur Bear looked at each other, shrugged, and then went running after the big Bud Bear, exclaiming, “Wait for us! We’ll go with you!”
Just as the three bears left through the back door of their cabin, Jack and Stephen stepped upon the cabin’s front porch and knocked. Upon receiving no answer to their rapping, they knocked again – this time much harder and louder.
“It’s no use, Jack,” said Stephen. “There doesn’t seem to be anyone at home. Come, let us away and see if we can manage to navigate our way back to the ship by our lonesome.”
“Don’t be silly, Stephen. It’s at least a day’s walk back to the ship, and the sun will surely be setting soon. I’m sure the fine people who live here won’t mind if we let ourselves in for a bit and await their return in comfort.” Jack told him, as he lifted the latch to the cabin’s door and made his way inside.
“Oh, very well, then,” Stephen sighed, “I guess there’s no arguing when you’ve clearly made your mind up.” He dutifully followed the fair Captain into the cabin and shut the door behind him.
“Look, Stephen!” Jack joyfully exclaimed with a twinkle in his eyes. “What good fortune have we! For here on the table lies three bowls of what appears to be porridge! Ours for the taking, my brother!” And with that, Jack quickly leapt over to the table and grabbed the first very large bowl and quickly took a bite, then spit it out again. “Blech!” he exclaimed, his face contorted into a complete expression of disgust.
“Jack! Jack!” yelled Stephen, quite concerned by the Captain’s reaction. “Are you okay? Is it…is it…poison, Jack?”
“Oh, no, sorry, Stephen,” he apologized, picking up a large glass of water and gulping it down as quickly as he could. “It’s just that this porridge is way too hot!”
“Should I check your tongue for 3rd degree burns, brother?” asked the doctor, digging through his pockets for a tongue depressor.
“No, no,” assured Jack, “that won’t be necessary. I think I might just try my luck with the second medium-sized bowl of porridge instead.”
Jack picked up a spoon, dipped it into the contents of the medium-sized bowl and shoved it into his mouth. Once again, he spat it out – a complete look of disgust on his face. “Ack!” he acked, picking up a napkin and wiping the leftover porridge from his tongue.
“Jack! Jack! What’s wrong?” asked Stephen, concerned for his friend’s well-being. “Should I bring you another glass of cold water to sooth your tongue?”
“No, no, my friend, that won’t be necessary. For, to my misfortune, the contents of this medium-sized bowl are simply way too cold for my taste.”
“Oh, well…there’s still this last wee little bowl left,” said Stephen, handing the wee little bowl of porridge over to Jack. “You might have better luck with it.”
“Why, thank-you, Stephen, I shall do just that.” Jack picked up a wee little spoon, dipped it into the wee little bowl of porridge and shoved it into his mouth.
“Mmm…mmm….” said Jack, as he gobbled up the entire contents of the wee little bowl, using his tongue to lick the bowl completely clean once he could spoon up no more.
Stephen simply looked on, saddened that his dear friend didn’t leave even one mere morsel of porridge for him to eat.
Now that his belly was fat and full of porridge, the golden-locked Captain began to look around the rest of the cabin.
“Stephen, let us sit here by the hearth upon one of these three chairs and rest a bit from our day’s travels,” said Jack, as he made his way over to the largest of the three chairs and plopped himself down upon it.
“Ouch!” cried Jack, quickly jumping up out of the largest of the three chairs.
“What’s wrong, Jack?” asked Stephen, deciding it might just be safer if he stood.
“Why, this chair – though magnificently large – is much, much too hard for me to sit upon!” explained Jack. “I think I might have better luck sitting upon this medium-sized chair instead.”
And with that, Jack rested his bottom upon the much more decorative and frilly medium-sized chair. However, not a moment later, he suddenly jumped up out of the chair and cursed under his breath.
“What is wrong this time, Jack?” asked Stephen, starting to get more than just a wee bit irritated by all of the Captain's most recent complaining. “Is this more decorative and frilly medium-sized chair too hard for you to sit upon, as well?”
“Oh, but not this time, Stephen... no, this medium-sized and most decorative and frilly of chairs is much, much too soft, and I find that I am unable to get comfortable while sitting upon it.”
Stephen rolled his eyes and sighed. “Of course you can’t, Jack. Well, there IS this one last wee-little chair there, but...I would advise against trying to fit yourself into such a wee-little thing. Could have quite...um...unfortunate....results.”
“Bah!” exclaimed Jack, “Are you, dear doctor, implying that I am too...large?”
Stephen stared at Jack, thought a moment, then replied, “Well, um....yes.”
Jack looked down as his rather expanding midsection – trying to suck it in. “I assure you, Stephen, I am perfectly fit and just the right size for a man of my stature. No, I will give this wee little chair a try. Now stand back, good sir.”
Stephen stepped aside, allowing his friend to try his luck with the wee little chair. Jack squatted down as far as he could and with all his might he began to squeeze his rather over-sized Captain’s bottom into the wee little chair. Unfortunately for Jack, his good friend was correct in his assessment – Jack was simply way too large for such a wee little chair – and the poor little thing cracked and broke under the pressure, sending Jack sprawling to the floor.
“Blast!” he cursed, “I did so hope it would be able to hold me.”
“Well,” observed Stephen, “I did try and warn you, but...”
“Yes, you quite did, there Stephen,” Jack lamented, picking up a piece of the wee little chair’s timber and tossing it into the fire place. “Ah, they just don’t make wee little chairs like the used to, then.”
“No, I guess they don’t at that,” replied Stephen, with a yawn.
It was getting late, and the two men were growing quite tired now, so they decided to head upstairs and find a place where they might have a bit of a lie down. Once upstairs, Jack and Stephen found three beds of various sizes.
“Oh, now THIS is a bed fit for a Captain!” exclaimed Jack, as he took a flying leap and landed squarely upon the largest of the three beds. Big mistake, for though the bed was quite large and regal in stature, it was also rather hard.
“OW!!!!” Jack screamed out in pain, as Stephen ran to his side to examine Jack’s bruised body. “No, no, doctor,” Jack said, pushing Stephen away. “I am quite alright, I assure you. Just a bit of a bruise is all.”
“Well,” sighed Stephen, “there are still 2 more beds...maybe you will be able to find one of them to your liking.”
Jack nodded in agreement, then walked around to the more decorative and frilly medium-sized bed. “Um...Stephen...do you think this one is....um...safe for me to lay upon?”
Stephen examined one of the bed ruffles with his tongue depressor and then pushed upon the mattress a bit with his hands. “Yes. I dare say that this bed – though quite frilly and not to my taste – is completely safe for you to rest upon, Jack.”
“Well then,” said Jack, brightly, “there’s not a moment to lose!” And with that said, he plopped himself down onto the most decorative and frilly medium-sized bed, and sank down into the mattress.
“Oof!” exclaimed Jack, now completely encompassed by the rather soft mattress. “Stephen! Help me out of here!”
“Very well, then,” sighed Stephen, and he reached down and grabbed Jack by the hand and pulled him out of the mattress.
Jack straightened out his hair and uniform a bit. “Um...thank-you, Stephen. I dare say we shan't speak of this in front of the crew.”
“No, I dare say we won’t,” sighed Stephen. “Now, Jack, there’s the one bed that is left over here, but I dare say it can’t possibly be to your liking. It is but a mere wee little bed, and hardly something a fine Captain of the British Royal Navy would find fitting for to sleep upon.”
Jack looked at the wee little bed, straightened his back and stuck out his chin. “Nonsense, Stephen, I dare say it is quite perfect and I shall have a bit of a lie down in it now.”
Stephen once again stepped aside and allowed his pig-headed friend to try his luck with the wee little bed. Jack squatted down as far as he could and managed to squeeze rather large self into the rather wee little bed – though it must be said that his feet dangled off the end by quite more than a foot. Soon, the golden-locked Captain was fast asleep – snoring quite loudly, I might add. Stephen – quite tired himself – opted to make himself a pallet on the floor onto which he too was soon fast asleep.
Now, much time had passed, and so it was that the three homeowners – now finished with their walk – decided to make their return to the little cabin. They had walked quite far and were now hungrier than ever and looked forward to eating the porridge they had left out on their table.
Bud Bear, the biggest and baddest and now the hungriest of the three bears, was the first to reach the table. Staring down into his bowl, he grumped, “Someone has been eating my porridge!”
“Don’t be silly!” replied Jeff, the middle-sized bear, “No one has been eating your porridge!”
“It was you, wasn’t it?!” accused Bud Bear, getting grumpier by the minute.
“Of course it wasn’t me, you silly old bear!” replied Jeff Bear. “I was with you the whole time! Remember?”
“Well, someone has been eating it, and I’m going to find out who!” said Bud Bear, glaring at the other two bears.
Jeff Bear then turned his attention to his medium-sized bowl of porridge and was just about to take a bite of it when he screamed out with great surprise, “Why, someone has been eating MY porridge, too! Arthur!” he accused, pointing at the wee-little bear, “did you eat my porridge?”
“Um, why would I want to eat your cold porridge, Jeff?” asked the wee little Arthur Bear, “...when I have a perfectly nice wee-little bowl of my....OH! Someone has not only been eating my porridge, but they ate up the entire wee-little bowl full!”
“Well, since we can’t enjoy our porridge, we might as well go warm ourselves in front of the hearth,” grumped Bud Bear, in his large Bud Bear voice.
“Good idea,” agreed Jeff Bear, in his middle-sized voice, taking the wee-little saddened Arthur Bear by his wee-little hand. “Come, Arthur Bear, let us all sit down in our chairs in front of the hearth.”
However, upon reaching their chairs, it was obvious to the three bears that someone had been sitting in each of them, and had even gone so far as to break poor Arthur Bear’s wee-little chair. Bud Bear became so extremely angry that he gripped the back of his chair so hard it cracked in two!
“Upstairs!” he roared at the other three, “Now! All of you! I just want to go to sleep and forget any of this ever happened!”
The three bears all scurried up the stairs and headed towards their beds.
“NOW THIS IS QUITE ENOUGH!” roared Bud Bear, “It isn’t enough that someone ate my porridge and sat in my chair, but now someone has gone so far as to have slept in my bed!” He fumed and stomped around the room.
“Oh dear!” commented Jeff Bear. “Someone has been sleeping in my most decorative and frilly medium-sized bed, too! Just look at the condition they left my sheets in!” He complained, holding up his 700 thread-count Egyptian-Cotton frilly sheets. “Oh dear! Oh dear!”
Meanwhile, the wee-little Arthur Bear was standing in the corner, weeping quietly to himself. Bud Bear, noticing this, stormed over to the wee-little bear, “And just why are you blubbering like that?” he asked, glaring down at the wee-little Welsh bear.
“Well,” replied Arthur, in his wee-little Welsh voice, “it seems that not only has someone been sleeping in my bed, but they are STILL there! Look!” he said, pointing to where the golden-locked Captain Aubrey was snoring away.
The very large and grumpy Bud Bear stormed over to the wee-little Arthur Bear’s bed, looming over the sleeping Captain and his golden locks. Just at that moment, when Bud Bear was about to rip Jack apart with his very large Bear hands, the golden-locked Captain opened his eyes and received the fright of his life.
“Ahhh!!!!” he yelled, as he jumped up out of the bed and fled for his life. “Stephen! Come man....let us away!”
Stephen, who had until this very moment, managed to have gone completely unnoticed by the three bears, yawned, and stretched, “Oh, what is it now, Jack? Does the wee little bed not suit your fancy any more?” he asked, rather put out by all of the Captain’s complaints.
“Good gravy, man! Open your eyes and LOOK!” screamed Jack, grabbing a handful of the doctor’s coat and dragging him off the floor and over to a nearby open window.
Stephen, startled by being yanked so hard upon his person, opened his eyes, blinked twice, then let out a scream. “Oh! Right then! Yes, let us away! There’s not a moment to lose!”
And before the very large and very angry Bud Bear could manage his interrogation of the two men, Jack picked Stephen up and tossed him out of the window, and jumped out after him. The three bears walked over to the window and watched as the two strange intruders quickly ran down the road and disappeared into the forest – never to be seen in their neck of the woods again.
Meanwhile, Jack and Stephen ran so fast and so far that they eventually found their way back to their ship – happy to be safe at last.