The Three Bears or Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a notable children's bedtime story. Often considered an anonymous folk story, even one of the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, it actually first saw print in 1837 as a prose story composed by the poet Rober Southey and collected in his book The Doctor. Possibly based on an even older story, though this is by no means certain, the story became widely known after being published by Southey, and was so often retold, that it has lost connection to its author.The story was very popular and retold by many others. George Nicol retold Southey's story in verse. Southey's story included the three bears, but the visitor to the bears' home was "an old woman"; later versions of the story replaced the old woman with a girl named Silver-hair. George MacDonald mentions the three bears of Silverhair in his 1867 story The Golden Key.
Joseph Jacobs included a fairy tale Scrapefoot in his More English Fairy Tales, identical in every respect to "The Three Bears" except that milk replaces the porridge, and the visiting character is a lame fox. This saw print later than Southey's version, but it may have predated it in the oral tradition; some have hypothesized that Southey heard a tale about a literal vixen and mistook it for a figurative vixen, a harridan. Charles Dickens' “Our Mutual Friend” contains a reference to a version of the story with three hobgoblins instead of bears.
Goldilocks first appeared in the 1904 printing of Old Nursery Stories and Rhymes. The story continues to grow and change. Recent versions include the story told from the point of view of the three bears. The story was humorously adapted into a popular song in 1946 by songwriter Bobby Troup. This song too is often erroneously credited as "anonymous".
The Teddy Bear Lady of Myrtle Creek
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