This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Saturday Rave: Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Well, it seems there were always three bears, at least.

To start with the bears were bachelor bears, but quite soon after Robert Southey (the Robert Southey) wrote down the story in 1837 the bears became a family of Mother, Father and Baby (in a 1867 version the mother bear was called, most charmingly, Mammy Muff).

As for the bear's visitor, well, first of all she seems to have been a fox, and then an interfering old lady (who in one early version ends up impaled on the steeple of St Paul's cathedral*) and then, finally, a little girl with such extraordinary tresses that she was called, yes,  Silver-Hair.

Well, let's face it, Goldilocks is a very odd name.

Goldilocks is a simple story, full of repetition, and these qualities make it a wonderful tale for the very young.

Not only that, but the story gives the teller the chance to use silly voices.

There we are: three reasons at least to rave about the wonderful tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Word To Use Today: porridge. This word is a variation of pottage, which comes from an Old French word potage, the contents of a pot.

Hint for Use: Gerald Durrell once described his poor sister's acne as resembling pink porridge, and I've never been able to forget it.

*St Paul's steeple fell down in 1561. Perhaps this means the story is much older than we think, or perhaps this is just a cunning detail to embed the story firmly in the past.


  1. Thank you for this! I have been retelling this recently to two and a half year old grandson and he loves it. Makes me do it over and over again. Must be my excellent voices because I confess I find the story ineffably DULL! But that's just me.This post is as always most interesting and to me at least, highly relevant.

  2. PS...have I ever said how much I enjoy the made-up words that appear each time I comment, for the validation process? They are lovely!