The Three Shaggy Bears

This was submitted by Dave Wallace.

By mid-morning, Goldilocks was exhausted. After the adrenaline rush subsided, and she had made the beds and cleaned up after the bears, and made and eaten a new bowl of porridge for herself, she really need a cuppa. Earl Grey. But not any Earl Grey. The very pinnacle of Earl grey teas – Alley brand – the Choice of Emperors. She put one and a half cups of water in the kettle and set it to boil. She measured out two teaspoons (one for her, one for the pot) of the precious leaves into a reusable tea bag, and inhaled the sensuous aroma of Broken Orange Pekoe and bergamot oil.

When the kettle boiled she immediately (as boiling for too long removes the oxygen from the water and will flatten the flavor of the tea) rinsed out the teapot with a little water to preheat the teapot. She also poured a small amount of the hot water over the tea leaves to allow them to bloom, or open up, and release some of their bitter tannins, then drained the water right away. She put the tea cosy on the teapot, and set it to steep for exactly five minutes (steeping tea too long makes even the best tea taste bitter). She poured a perfect cup and set it out on her table, in a perfect patch of sunshine on her front verandah. Just then the phone rang, so she ran inside to answer it. After politely getting rid of the persistent telemarketer, she stepped outside, only to find Father Bear sitting on her chair, at her table, in her perfect patch of sunshine, drinking her perfect tea!

So she called the Sheriff.

Father Bear refused to speak until his lawyer was present.

“So what is the complaint”, the lawyer asked. “Breaking and Entering”, the sheriff said. The mouthpiece retorted with “The front gate was open, the verandah is wide open, and he didn’t go into Goldilock’s house – Any real crime committed here?”. “Pooping in public” stated the lawman. “Well”, stated the lawyer, “that’s what bears do, don’t they?”. So the sheriff asked “By the way, where is Mother Bear and Baby Bear?”. Father Bear whispered rather bashfully to the lawyer, who replied “Baby Bear is a Princess, and she refuses to go in the woods, so they are using the bathroom at Whoa Nelly Deli”. So the sheriff asked Father Bear “Do you know what kind of tea this was?”. And Father Bear replied “Alley Earl Grey”. At that point in time, the officer said “Turn around and put your paws behind your back. I’m gonna cuff you and take you in!” “For what crime!” yelled the lawyer. “Bear steal Alley tea”.

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