"The Story of the Three Bears" (often known today as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears") is a children's story first recorded in narrative form by English author and poet Robert Southey and first published in a volume of his writings in 1837. The same year, writer George Nicol published a version in rhyme based upon Southey's prose tale, with Southey approving the attempt to bring the story more exposure.
The story makes extensive use of the literary rule of three, featuring three chairs, three bowls of porridge, three beds, and the three title characters who live in the house. There are also three sequences of the bears discovering in turn that someone has been eating from their porridge, sitting in their chairs, and finally, lying in their beds, at which point is the climax of Goldilocks being discovered. This follows three earlier sequences of Goldilocks trying the bowls of porridge, chairs, and beds successively, each time finding the third "just right".
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