Molly and the Three Bears
By Lindsay Bayer
Molly stared straight ahead at the fireplace that was creating a warm glow in the living room.
The heat warmed Molly’s toes, but it didn’t warm her up to the idea of hearing another silly
story. Molly was not interested. Stories bored her.
Everyone told Molly that she had no imagination…her mother, her teachers and even her
friends. But event at seven years old, Molly thought daydreaming was a waste of time. “Why
make up things that aren’t even real?” she often thought.
But Molly’s mother insisted that her daughter try one more time to listen to a storybook. As
Molly curled up on the floor in front of the fireplace, her mother grabbed a hardbound copy of
Goldilocks and the Three Bears from the bookcase. When Molly saw the book emerge from the
stacks, she was unimpressed. Molly had heard the story many times before and didn’t like it.
She thought Goldilocks was a trouble maker and that the bears were hot-tempered. But Molly
closed her eyes and was willing to try one more time. Part of her wanted to try to imagine the
characters and the setting of the story, but another part of her, the bigger part, wanted to get
story time over and done with.
“Once upon a time…” her mother began.
With her eyes still closed, Molly heard her mother describe the forest.
“The trees were tall and thick with a small path that ran right to the home of the three bears.”
As Molly opened her eyes, she realized that she was no longer in front of the fire. She wasn’t
even in her home at all. Although she could still hear her mother’s voice describing the forest,
it sounded faint and distant. Molly saw tall trees and felt a narrow dirt path beneath her feet.
Just yards away from Molly stood a small cottage. As she walked closer, she saw a mailbox at
the gate with “Three Bears” painted on the side.
“What’s happening to me?” Molly thought.
Molly grew more curious and began to take timid steps towards the little cottage. With every
step, Molly noticed that her mother’s voice was becoming fainter and fainter. When she could
no longer hear her mother’s voice at all, Molly spinned around, searching for the sound in the
distance. As soon as she did a complete turn, Molly found herself back in her living room.
Molly was startled and very confused. She looked over at her mother who had set the book
down on her lap to sip from her teacup.
“What’s the matter, Molly?” her mother asked. “You look puzzled.”
Molly touched the carpet beneath her feet to make sure it was real. She stood by the fire to
make sure it was still dispensing heat. Everything seemed normal, but Molly knew where she
had been. She had been inside the forest, right outside the home of the three bears.
“I’m fine, Mom,” Molly replied softly. “I just want you to keep reading.”
As her mother picked up the book again, Molly took her spot on the floor and closed her eyes.
She tried to recreate her position, thinking she would be more likely to enter the story once
more if everything was the same as it was before.
“Goldilocks found herself on the bear’s front porch,” Molly’s mother read.
As Molly opened her eyes, she saw a large door in front of her with a bear claw as a knocker.
Molly could hear her mother’s voice in the distance again, reading about Goldilocks entering
“Goldilocks was hungry, so she went to the kitchen and saw three bowls of porridge on the
table,” her mother’s faint voice stated.
Molly entered the kitchen and could smell something awful. She saw three bowls atop the
large wooden table. As Molly walked towards the steaming bowls of porridge, the smell grew
“Ewwwwww! What is that?” Molly asked herself.
Molly realized that it was the porridge in the bowls that was stinking up the house. Molly said
to herself, “No wonder these bears were so angry at Goldilocks. They don’t have any good food
Molly looked across the kitchen and saw a loaf of bread and some strawberries on the table.
As she looked around the room, she also saw some peanut butter on a shelf.
“Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would be much better than porridge,” she thought. Molly
smashed the strawberries with her hand and wiped the fruit and peanut butter on the bread.
She promptly threw all the porridge out the back door.
Molly was just about ready to continue exploring the bears’ house, when the wooden floor she
walked upon gradually changed color. It was getting softer and softer as well. Pretty soon, the
floor had turned to carpet. But not just any carpet, the carpet in Molly’s house. As Molly
steadied her legs, she looked up and was once again in front of her fireplace. She glanced over
to her mother, who was sipping her tea once more.
Just then, Molly figured it out. Her mom had to keep reading the story in order for Molly to
stay in the forest. Every time her mother stopped, so did Molly’s adventure. So Molly came up
with an idea on the spot.
“Why don’t you finish your tea now, Mom,” Molly suggested. “I don’t want it to get cold.”
“Thank you, dear. I think I will.”
Molly’s mother drank the remaining tea in her cup, settled back into her seat, straightened her
glasses and reopened the storybook. Molly knew there would be no more distractions that
would cause her mother to stop reading. She closed her eyes in her position on the floor and
was excited to spend the rest of the time inside the story.
“Goldilocks went to the bears’ bedroom and found three beds…” Molly’s mother continued.
Molly suddenly found herself standing in a cold room and empty room with only beds to fill the
space. As she sat upon each bed, she realized that one was too hard, one was too soft and one
was just right, just as her mother read. However, Molly wasn’t tired at all…she was puzzled.
The bedroom seemed blank. There were no curtains on the windows. There were no blankets
or pillows on the beds. Molly looked around the room and thought, “No wonder these bears
were so angry at Goldilocks. They probably can’t get any sleep because this room is so boring!”
As Molly’s mother continued reading, Molly went around the house and gathered every bit of
scrap material she could find; dish towels from the kitchen, rags from the closet and even old
clothing that was full of holes and scratches. She then found some of Papa Bear’s fishing wire
to use as thread and a lure as a needle. Molly sat on the floor and got to work. She sewed
curtains for the windows, blankets for the beds and even pillows stuffed with dry porridge that
she found in the pantry.
Molly was proud of her work, but she was exhausted. She thought about getting up to crawl
into Baby Bear’s newly dressed bed, but she didn’t make it that far. She suddenly heard her
mother’s voice in the distance. She said, “Just then, the three bears were coming home from
their walk through the forest.”
Molly froze. She had been so sure she wanted to be inside the story, but she never thought
about what would happen when the bears came home. They could tear her into little pieces!
She remembered the story, and how the bears chased Goldilocks right out of the house and
gave her such a fright that she never returned to the forest. And now Molly was about to meet
the same fate as Goldi.
There was no way to escape! Molly’s mother wouldn’t stop reading to take a sip of tea. She
wouldn’t stop reading at all! Molly wondered how she could have forgotten about this part of
the book. She was about to come face to face with the three bears. She thought of nothing
better to do but to hide under Baby Bear’s bed.
Molly heard her mother’s voice in the distance describing the family’s trip home. As Molly
clenched her fists, her mother’s voice grew fainter and fainter, but Molly’s surroundings did not
change. She was still inside the story, and was unsure how she would ever get out.
Meanwhile, the three bears were walking up the path to their front porch.
“Do we have to eat porridge again for dinner?” Baby Bear asked his parents.
“Now dear,” said Mama Bear, “that porridge is already waiting for you on the table.”
“Great…the house is going to smell like porridge for months,” muttered Papa Bear under his
When the family arrived at their front door, they couldn’t smell the porridge at all. When the
bears walked inside they were surprised to see that their porridge was gone!
“Where is she?” growled Papa Bear. “I bet that blond girl snuck in and ate our dinner again!”
Then Mama Bear saw the pile of sandwiches on the table. She had never seen sandwiches
before. She pointed to the table and said to her family, “Look, someone left us little cakes.”
“Let me try one,” Baby Bear said. Each bear picked up a sandwich and looked it over carefully.
Then, all at once, they took a bite.
“This is delicious!” said Papa Bear.
“Ummm…wonderful!” said Mama Bear.
“Can we have these for dinner every night?” asked Baby Bear.
But the family was still puzzled over who had left the delicious food. And where had their
“Do you think that blond girl came back and left this food to apologize for last time?” Mama
Bear asked her husband.
“I don’t think so,” replied Papa Bear. “I think she’ll be too scared to ever come back into this
“I’m getting sleepy,” yawned Baby Bear.
“Let’s get you ready for bed, son,” said Papa.
As the three bears walked up the stairs to their bedroom, Molly clenched her fists tighter. She
thought about sneaking out the window, but the fall would injure her badly. She thought about
playing dead, but the bears then might cook her for dinner. Molly could only hide. She
carefully peered under the bed and saw hairy feet at the doorway.
As the bears looked into their bedroom, they hardly recognized it. Molly had transformed the
room with colorful blankets on the beds, flowing curtains over the windows and even pillows
for the bears to rest their heads.
“It’s so beautiful!” cried Mama.
“Who did this, Papa?” asked Baby.
Molly couldn’t believe her ears. The three bears were right in front of her. Molly began to
panic knowing she would soon be seen. She gasped for air, silently praying that her mother
would stop reading the story she didn’t want to listen to in the first place.
Her gasps for air were growing louder and Papa knew someone or something was in the room.
In fact, he could hear it coming from under his son’s bed. Molly was too terrified to even close
her eyes. She was frozen. She saw the biggest pair of hairy feet come closer and closer. Papa
Bear slowly got down on his hands and knees to investigate. Right then, Molly saw his mouth,
then his nose, then his eyes. Molly began to feel dizzy as her eyes met the great beast. She
wasn’t expecting to hear what came out of his mouth.
“Oh, hello Dear,” Papa said surprisingly with a smile.
“AHHHHHHH!!!!” Molly screamed.
Papa screamed back, not to scare Molly, but because her shout startled in out of him.
“WAHHHHHHH!” Baby Bear cried.
“All right, everyone stop!” Mama commanded.
Mama cleared her throat, straightened her dress and looked straight at Molly, who had turned
white as a sheet.
“Now my dear, would you please tell us your name?” she asked.
“M-m-m-my name is Molly. Somehow I found myself in the forest and I came upon your
“Are you the one who made the little cakes downstairs and the beautiful furnishings in our
bedroom?” Papa asked.
“Y-y-y-yes,” answered Molly timidly.
Just then, all three bears spread their arms open wide and lunged straight for Molly. Still
shaken from their first meeting, Molly was sure they would eat her right there. She would
never get home or see Mother again. Molly closed her eyes and hunched down, when
suddenly, she felt all three bears hugging her close. They were cheering and saying, “Thank
you, Molly, thank you!”
“Those little cakes were delicious! You must give me the recipe,” said Mama.
“And look at this bedroom! I can finally keep the sunlight out during the early morning and get
some sleep!” said Papa.
“See Papa, her hair is red, not blond. I knew it wasn’t the same girl who stole our dinner ,” said
Molly was relieved to know that the bears were so happy. She told Mama how simple peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches were to make. She showed Papa how to use his fishing wire to sew
pieces of fabric together. And she showed Baby how to use porridge as stuffing, not food. Each
bear was so happy to learn something new and Molly was proud of the work she had done. But
she was still wondering how to get home.
“You know, the story of Goldilocks is very popular where I come from,” Molly told the bears.
“Goldilocks? You mean that blond girl that came and ate our food and slept in our beds?” Papa
“Where I come from, children know all about that story,” said Molly. “In fact, my mother was
reading it to me when I found myself inside your house.”
“How does the story end?” Baby asked.
Molly told the bears that the story ends with the three of them chasing Goldilocks out of their
house and completely out of the forest. As she spoke, she once again heard her mother’s soft
voice in the distance. Molly stepped outside onto the porch and listened harder.
A bit louder, Molly could hear her mother say, “…and Goldilocks was never seen in the forest
Molly knew the story was ending. She knew that her new friends would soon be gone.
Molly turned around to face the bears and said, “I think it’s time for me to leave now.”
“Oh, please come back and visit,” begged Baby.
“Yes, Molly,” said Mama. “You are welcome here anytime.”
Papa nodded in agreement and waved his large paw in Molly’s direction.
Molly was sad as she waved back, but she was also confident that she would see the bears
again. Molly turned around and saw a glowing fire and the end of the narrow path. She walked
towards it and saw the trees morph into her living room walls. As Molly realized she was back
in her home, she heard her mother say, “The End.”
“Mom,” Molly said. “I think I may want to hear that story again sometime.”
“Really?” asked her mother. “I thought you didn’t like imagining things that aren’t real.”
“Well, I think I may have changed my mind,” Molly stated. Then she asked, “Can we have
peanut butter and jelly for dinner?”