Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I just love all of the different versions of traditional stories that are available. But sometimes it's fun to go back to one of the original stories.
Continuing my bear theme (you do remember my Smokey the Bear blog, right? if not go down two blogs), I thought I would present you with one of the orignal "written" versions of the Three Bears and then show you some of the newer versions.
You'll notice in this version of the Three Bears, published in 1894 by Joseph Jacobs, there is no Goldilocks.
Apparently she was added much later.
Once upon a time, there were three Bears who lived in a castle in a
One of them was a great big Bear, and one was a middling Bear, and one was a little Bear.
And in the same wood there was a Fox who lived all alone, his name was Scrapefoot.
Scrapefoot was very much afraid of the Bears, but for all that he wanted very much to know all about them.
And one day as he went through the wood he found himself near the Bears' Castle, and he wondered whether he could get into the castle.
He looked all about him everywhere, and he could not see anyone.
So he came up very quietly, till at last he came up to the door of the castle, and he tried whether he could open it.
Yes! the door was not locked, and he opened it just a little way, and put his nose in and looked, and he could not see any one.
So then he opened it a little way farther, and put one paw in, and then another paw, and another and another, and then he was all in the Bears' Castle.
He found he was in a great hall with three chairs in it--one big, one middling, and one little chair; and he thought he would like to sit down and rest and look about him; so he sat down on the big chair.
But he found it so hard and uncomfortable that it made his bones ache, and he jumped down at once and got into the middling chair, and he turned round and round in it, but he couldn't make himself comfortable.
So then he went to the little chair and sat down in it, and it was so soft and warm and comfortable that Scrapefoot was quite happy; but all at once it broke to pieces under him and he couldn't put it together again!
So he got up and began to look about him again, and on one table he saw three saucers, of which one was very big, one was middling, one was quite a little saucer.
Scrapefoot was very thirsty, and he began to drink out of the big saucer. But he only just tasted the milk in the big saucer, which was so sour and so nasty that he would not taste another drop of it.
Then he tried the middling saucer, and he drank a little of that.
He tried two or three mouthfuls, but it was not nice, and then he left it and went to the little saucer, and the milk in the little saucer was so sweet and so nice that he went on drinking it till it was all gone.
Then Scrapefoot thought he would like to go upstairs; and he listened and he could not hear any one.
So upstairs he went, and he found a great room with three beds in it; one was a big bed, and one was a middling bed, and one was a little white bed.
And he climbed up into the big bed, but it was so hard and lumpy and uncomfortable that he jumped down again at once, and tried the middling bed.
That was rather better, but he could not get comfortably in it, so after turning about a little while he got up and went to the little bed; and that was so soft and so warm and so nice that he fell fast asleep at once.
And after a time the Bears came home, and when they got into the hall the big Bear went to his chair and said, "WHO'S BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR?"
And the middling Bear said, "WHO'S BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR?"
And the little Bear said, "Who's been sitting in my chair and has broken it all to pieces?"
And then they went to have their milk, and the big Bear said, "WHO'S BEEN DRINKING MY MILK?"
And the middling Bear said, "WHO'S BEEN DRINKING MY MILK?"
And the little Bear said, "Who's been drinking my milk and has drunk it all up?"
Then they went upstairs and into the bedroom, and the big Bear said, "WHO'S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY BED?"
And the middling Bear said, "WHO'S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY BED?"
And the little Bear said, "Who's been sleeping in my bed?--and see here he is!"
So then the Bears came and wondered what they should do with him; and the big Bear said, "Let's hang him!" and then the middling Bear said, "Let's drown him!" and then the little Bear said, "Let's throw him out of the window."
And then the Bears took him to the window, and the big Bear took two legs on one side and the middling Bear took two legs on the other side, and they swung him backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, and out of the window.
Poor Scrapefoot was so frightened, and he thought every bone in his body must be broken.
But he got up and first shook one leg--no, that was not broken; and then another, and that was not broken; and another and another, and then he wagged his tail and found there were no bones broken.
So then he galloped off home as fast as he could go, and never went near the Bears' Castle again.
From More English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs
Great story, huh?? I am sure you noticed that Jacobs story is a wee bit more violent at the end than the present day versions. Most folktales and fairy tales seem to have had much harsher consequences than the versions we read now.
Wonder why? More realistic? The better to get a point across??
Apparently we aren't worried about that these days.
Our endings are usually tame and happy.
Personally, I prefer happy endings even if they are a bit unrealistic.
Moving along, below you will find just a small sampling of the many versions of the Three Bears avialable today.
Alaska's Three Bears by Shelley Gill, illustrated by Shannon Cartwright.2003.
This book, written for elementary school kids, teaches about bear ecology while telling the story of a black bear, a grizzly bear and a polar bear and their search for homes in the Alaskan wilderness.
Beware of the Bears by Alan MacDonald, illustrated by Gwyneth Williamson. 1998.
Angry at what Goldilocks has done to their house, the three bears decide to get back at her by messing up her house, but they make an unfortunate mistake.
A Chair for Baby Bear by Kaye Umansky and Chris Fisher. 1998.
This sequel to "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" follows Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear as they go shopping to replace the chair broken by Goldilocks.
Dusty Locks and the Three Bears by Susan Lowell, illustrated by Randy Cecil. 2001.
Way out West live three bears who like to keep their cabin neat and tidy. But one day while they're out for a walk, a dirty little girl named Dusty Locks barges in and helps herself to their supper of beans. The big bear's beans are so full of chile peppers that she burns her mouth. The middle bear's beans don't even have any salt. But the baby cub's beans are just right, so Dusty Locks gobbles them all up. When the bears come home to find their nice, neat house looking like it's been hit by a whirlwind, they get riled -- and Dusty runs home so fast the dust doesn't settle for a week.
Goldie and the Three Bears by Diane Stanley. 2003.
In this story, loosely based on that of Goldilocks, Goldie, who has yet to find a friend to "love with all her heart," makes an unplanned visit to the house of some bears.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Caralyn Buehner & Mark Buehner. 2007.
In this variation on the classic folktale, a rhyming, rope-skipping, little girl rudely helps herself to the belongings of a genteel family of bears.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears: A Split-Page Surprise Book by Harriet Ziefert. 1995.
Will the three bears discover the girl who's been eating their porridge, sitting in their chairs, and sleeping in their beds? Turn the top, then the bottom of each ingeniously split page to find out!
Leola and the Honey Bears: An African-American Retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Melodye Benson Rosales. 1998.
With a large helping of rural southern flavor, this African-American retelling of the tale follows the adventures of Leola as she wanders away from her Grandmama's cottage. Secretly followed by a kindly blackbird, Leola encounters frightening Ol' Mister Weasel, surprised the gentle Honeybear family, and learns an important lesson about strangers.
Goldilocks and the Three Hares by Heidi Petach. 1995.
When Mama burns the oatmeal, the Hare family heads out to eat. Then along comes Goldilocks and the puns and fun begin, commented upon by the zany mice who live downstairs and who carry on their own hilarious story at the same time.
Goldilocks and the Three Martians by Stu Smith, illustrated by Michael Garland. 2004.
Goldilocks is fed up with chores and homework. Can't a girl have any fun? So she builds a spaceship and blasts off for the adventure of her life. After touring all the planets (and finding something wrong with each of them), she finally lands on Mars and is soon ringing the doorbell of a Martian house. You guessed it, no one's home, but some tasty alien stew is cooling on the table. After a little nap and a narrow escape from the returned occupants, Goldilocks heads for Earth, which suddenly feels . . . just right after all.
With a terrific rhyming text that's great fun for out-loud reading, this picture book offers a wacky twist on an old favorite.
Goldilocks Returns by Lisa Campbell Ernst. 2000.
Fifty years after Goldilocks first met the three bears, she returns to fix up their cottage and soothe her guilty conscience.
Jolie Blonde and the Three Heberts: A Cajun Twist to an Old Tale by Sheila Hebert Collins, illustrated by Patrick Soper. 1999.
In this version of the story, Goldilocks is called Jolie Blonde (pretty blonde), and the Three Bears are actually three humans the Heberts (pronounced AY-bair)who live on the bayou. Mama Hebert makes gumbo that is left to cool while the family goes for a pirogue (boat) ride, with the predictable results. The text is sprinkled with Cajun expressions that are explained at the bottom of each page. The appended gumbo recipe is easy enough for any jolie blonde. This book will work well as a one-on-one lesson on Cajun-French words or as a group read-aloud sharing of a unique bit of culture.
Santa and the Three Bears by Dominic Catalano. 2000.
Three bears have a lot of explaining to do when they are caught sleeping in Santa's house.
Somebody and the Three Blairs by Marilyn Tolhurst, illustrated by Simone Abel. 1990.
In a reversal of the Goldilocks story, a bear explores the home of the three Blairs while they are out.
The Three Bears' Christmas by Kathy Duval, illustrated by Paul Meisel.2005.
After taking a walk on Christmas Eve while their freshly baked gingerbread cools, Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear arrive home to encounter another "trespasser," who does not have golden hair but wears a red suit and leaves presents.
The Three Bears' Halloween by Kathy Duval, illustrated by Paul Meisel.2007.
Is it a witch or a blonde little girl hiding in the bushes of the spooky house when the three bears go trick or treating?
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett. 2007.
Retells the story of Goldilocks, set in an Inuit village and featuring a family of polar bears.
Yours Truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada, illustrated byLeslie Tryon. 1998.
This lovely book tells its story through an exchange of letters between familiar characters such as Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, Peter Rabbit, Little Red Riding Hood, Baby Bear and, of course, the Big Bad Wolf (aka Fer O'Cious). The author chronicles the attempt of the three little pigs to plan a housewarming party. Meanwhile the villains from the previous title (Dear Peter Rabbit) are still up to no good, spying on the residents of the forest and planning an attack on the homeward-bound guests. Fortunately, the surprise is on them because the wolves haven't counted on Baby Bear's mother and her swift reflexes and the two wolves lose both their pride and their fur. This is fairy-tale fun at its best. Following these well-loved characters on a new adventure tickles the imagination with fanciful "what ifs."
Who's Been Eating My Porridge? by M. Christina Butler, illustrated by Daniel Howarth. 2004.
When Little Bear refuses to eat his porridge in the morning, his parents tell him they will leave it in the woods for the mysterious Old Scary Bear.