Let’s face it: Goldilocks was a home invader. I’ve certainly never read a version of the story where she had any reason to think she was welcomed into the home of the Bears.
But this beloved children’s story is all about respecting the property and space of others. You’ve heard the story, I’m sure. Goldilocks is out walking unsupervised is the forest and find the home of three bears who have gone out for a morning walk. Unconcerned about leaving trace evidence, she enters the home and tastes their breakfasts. Alas, one is too hot, one is too cold and one is just right. The breakfast porridge makes her sleepy (was it perhaps drugged? Is it all an elaborate set-up??) she decides to try the living room chairs, but one is too hard, one is too soft and one is just right. Still feeling sleeping despite the littlest chair breaking under her weight, she wanders to the bedroom and tries out the beds. Again, not concerned about leaving DNA or fingerprints, she climbs into their beds. And you guessed it, one is too hard and one too soft. But there is one that is just right and she quickly falls asleep.
It takes some real hubris to invade a home, eat the food, break the chairs and then fall blissfully asleep without consideration if the consequences, but I digress.
There are varying accounts about what happens when the bears find her. Usually she escapes, having learned her lesson. I’m not sure that getting away without punishment constitutes learning your lesson, but maybe she was scared straight.
The kids enjoyed the James Marshall retelling, though the Jan Brett version would have been a good choice too.
I always try to follow up with a funny version when reading to first graders and they loved Goatilocks and the Three Bears.
The kids were busting out laughing when Goatilocks ate the porridge, the bowl and the spoon…and the just right chair…and the just right bed. There were lots of giggles when she brought an apology bouquet to the bears and since it was so thoughtful and so kind and just right…they ate it.
We have a lot if retellings and fractured versions of this story at school. I love Helen Lester’s version, which stars Tacky the Penguin:
And here are a few others: