Lonely Goldie by Shanna
Lonely Goldie by Shanna
Goldie was not a picky person, but if she heard someone call her that one more time, she was going to throw her porridge at the wall.
“Goldie,” Mama Bear said, “surely you can see that you are a bit picky. You’ll only eat Baby Bear’s porridge-”
“I have a refined palate,” Goldie interrupted.
Mama Bear sighed and looked over at Papa Bear. “And you’ll only sleep in Baby Bear’s bed.”
Goldie interrupted again. “But that’s because Papa Bear’s bed is too hard and your bed is too soft. You both just have so much padding and fur that you can’t tell how uncomfortable your beds are.”
“And to top it off, you broke Baby Bear’s chair!”
“But that wasn’t my fault,” Goldie cried. “It just broke!”
Goldie pleaded with Mama Bear as she sat across the table, Mama Bear’s paws resting gently on the scarred top. Goldie’s eyes started to water and she could feel tears starting to form. She looked around the room looking for a friendly face but, as usual, Papa Bear had his head in the newspaper and if it wasn’t for his sporadic grumbling comments, Goldie would think he wasn’t paying attention. She looked over to where Baby Bear was sitting on the other side of the room but his concentration was solely focused on the ball that he was throwing into the air and catching.
Papa Bear glanced up from his paper and locked eyes with Mama Bear. If they had known what a nuisance Goldie would turn out to be, they would never have decided to let her stay. She had looked so small and vulnerable sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed when they saw her first, her pale golden hair shining in the sunlight. They didn’t mean to scare her when she first woke up and Mama Bear supposes they had maybe given off the wrong impression, considering that they were all complaining about their eaten porridge and chairs and beds that had been messed up.
Of course, Mama Bear thought, any child would be scared when faced with three bears, but Goldie had calmed down when she realized the Bears were offering her a place to stay.
But that was six months ago and the strain was getting to be too much. Add into the mix the strange obsession Goldie had with Baby Bear, insisting that his bed was the only one she could sleep in which meant Baby Bear had to sleep on the floor, meant that Goldie had to leave.
Mama Bear cleared her throat. “Look Goldie, we like you. You’ve changed our opinions of little blond children.”
“And you’ve made sure we lock our door now when we go out,” Papa Bear muttered, only to have Mama Bear glare at him through her glasses.
“But you can’t stay here any longer,” Mama Bear continued. “Baby Bear needs to sleep in his own bed and there’s just not room for a fourth bed in the house for you. Plus, we can’t keep feeding you. You insist on only eating porridge and we’re running low and need enough to last through the winter. And Baby Bear hasn’t had a chair to sit in since you arrived.”
Goldie continued to sit at the table, staring blankly at Mama Bear, her porridge slowly cooling into a congealed mess. “I don’t understand. Don’t you like having me here? I’m fun! Right Baby Bear?”
“I guess,” Baby Bear said, his eyes on his ball as it fell back into his hands.
Goldie slumped in her seat. The rejection from Baby Bear hurt. She thought she had a special kinship with Baby Bear. They liked the same bed, the same chair, they even prepared their porridge the same. To hear that Baby Bear didn’t care if she was there or not hurt her heart. What was she going to do now?
Goldie sighed. “Alright. I’ll find somewhere else to live.”
Mama Bear smiled. “Now, we’re going to be gone for the next month or so. It’s our turn to collect picnic baskets at Jellystone Park. I expect you to be gone when we get back.” She got up from the table and gathered her purse and hat. “Come along Papa Bear, Baby Bear.”
Goldie sniffed and wiped her eyes as the family walked out the door. No one stopped to say goodbye or ask her to stay.
She watched them walk away from the house and from her. They walked in a line, Papa Bear in the lead, with Mama Bear following and Baby Bear in the rear. Goldie remembered when she used to go for walks with them, how she was always last in line. Many times she had to prod Baby Bear to keep up, his shorter legs working twice as hard to keep the pace with Papa Bear and Mama Bear. Goldie hoped Baby Bear didn’t fall behind on this trip with no one to watch him.
She watched the Bears walk amongst the trees until they were no longer visible and Goldie tore her eyes from their retreating figures.
“Where am I going to go now?” she whispered.
The silence was loud in the Bears’ house. Goldie usually enjoyed the silence but today it thrummed so loud she could barely hear her own thoughts.
She had heard there was an old lady that lived in a shoe. Perhaps it was a high-top shoe and she had room for Goldie. Or there was the old grandmother that the girl in the red hooded cloak was always going to visit. Perhaps her cottage had room for one more? Or, Goldie had heard rumors that a woman lived in the woods with seven little men. Seven men! Surely they wouldn’t notice another person if Goldie were to slip into their house.
Goldie slowly got up from the table and put her, or rather Baby Bear’s, bowl into the sink. Suddenly the porridge didn’t taste so good. She wandered around and lay on Baby Bear’s bed. She shifted around – all of a sudden the bed was real lumpy. Had something changed from the time she woke up? She sat up and stared at the pile of sticks in the corner that had once been Baby Bear’s chair. She winced as she realized that maybe Mama Bear was right to make her leave.
She looked around the house that she had called home for the past six months. Sure she had been a brat when she first arrived, helping herself to all of the Bears’ things. But she had changed, she was different now. Didn’t she bring home those beautiful flowers just because they were too pretty to leave in the woods where no one would see them?
Goldie strode determinedly to the dresser to gather her things. But her hand stilled as she reached out to the dresser as she realized, she had nothing.
She realized that she had nothing to take, nothing to call her own. She turned to leave when she spied Baby Bear’s ball on the floor where he left it. She swiftly walked over, grabbed the ball and put it in her pocket, and then walked out the front door, closing it softly behind her.