This was during my Creative Writing class in my senior of high school. Our assignment: choose a classic fairy tale, but tell the story from the point of view of a different character in the story.
We were plopped into the computer lab and made to work on our stories. I drafted this during a single class period, and I look back at it and sigh… Why can’t I be that creative again? What do I need to do?
Grievance of a Little Bear
(December 13, 1994)
This innocence thing is overstated. The very fact that a young brat girl with a stupid name like Goldilocks can break and enter into an unassuming rural home and establish a permanent niche in human history as an innocent interloper clear from all judgment whatsoever through the medium of a fairy tale should be enough to evoke the moral furor of any decent individual. The President of the United States and other public authorities should effect lawful action to purge our population of this vile juvenile delinquent immediately. Any other form of action or display of ignorance shall be denounced as a crime. I recount my story:
That morning was not typical, for my mother had ruined breakfast. She must cook anything we eat together as a family in two pots, and this time she accidentally turned the same stove knob clockwise twice. What resulted were two bowls of porridge that were of extreme temperatures, which my parents did not mind, but I, being the picky one, insisted that they mix some of the porridge from each pot together and serve this to me, whereas they ate from their respective bowls. (How they can tolerate such uncomfortable physical sensations is beyond me. Maybe they were already accustomed to hardship because they grew up during the Great Depression, a time when neither food nor housing were available to bears. I take to heart the rare good fortune I have had of living during a time of relative social order and general comfort.) It was already getting late, so we decided to go on our occasional hunting trip and leave our breakfast behind.
This trip was an excursion to patrol and forage through the forest surrounding our home for food. I will not waste your time by recounting everything that occurred on that trip; and besides, I was still quite young at the time, and my memory fails me.
The events that took place upon our return are another matter, however. When my father opened the front door and we went in, there appeared to be no evidence of an intrusion. He went to his porridge and found that it had cooled off since we left and he began to eat it. My mother began to wash the dishes she had used for breakfast. I went to my porridge and found that someone had eaten it. Had it been Benny? It could not, for he had never visited our house so early in the morning, and he was way too polite to eat someone else’s food without asking him or her if he could first. I tugged on my mother’s dress gently with my claw.
“Why is there no porridge?” I asked her in our beautiful native tongue.
She glanced over to the empty bowl and furrowed her bushy eyebrows. “Why! Whatever could have happened!” she exclaimed. “Forrest? Have you seen this?”
We later found that little girl, Goldilocks. We caught her napping in my very own bed! That bed, the one I made every morning, the one I filled whenever it became too soft, the one I opened and refilled again when it became too hard, my BED!! Goldilocks, you have VIOLATED ME!! Upon her frenzied exit, my father called the authorities. I remember crying in the corner, my mother trying to comfort me, staring at my father as he calmly explained to the human operator our situation. Yet no one came, and no one would come. We were paid no heed.
The long-term effects that event had on my psyche were debilitating. I found myself reserving myself from other classmates in elementary school, for I looked upon other bears with mistrust, actually believing sometimes that some would turn on me and pin me to the ground as their friends stole my precious lunch. For weeks following the incident, my mother would cry in the kitchen because of the lack of response from authorities, during which time my father found it necessary to explain to his son the unfavorable position our species currently holds in modern society. (Throughout history, the ignorance of the urgent and many needs of my species and ridiculously unfair laws have indeed been damaging to our kind.) The murder of loved ones by hateful humans I will never forget, either. These, in addition to the Goldilocks experience, have hardened me, for as I enter my late adolescence, I cannot help but feel some superficial loathing for humans I come across.
The famed Goldilocks incident is only one of many. Frequently, especially in the past decade, hundreds of older and no less curious humans have inconsiderately broken into our homes and disturbed the living space. (It is the opinion of this writer that the Goldilocks incident has received particular media attention because the interloper in this case was so young.) I cite the history of the American British colonies as a precedent: colonists were angered by the British exploitation of their soldiers’ right to reside in their homes. The anger and dissent that resulted were a small yet vital part of the reason why the colonists eventually declared their independence from Great Britain and went to war.
Such crimes shall no longer be tolerated by humans or bears alike. The bear community of Kichiwatta, led by my parents, has successfully mobilized to take peaceful and lawful action to discourage the intrusion of more human vagrants. Our action committee, Operation Gegengoldie, has become to other bear communities a national model of effectiveness and efficiency. Our network is extensive. We have sent out messengers to inform other bear communities of our plight and diplomats to negotiate with humans concerning the use of our lands. We are also in contact with a large array of human sympathizers who are lobbying your legislators to protect our God-given property. However, I must acknowledge the alarming emergence of certain groups of vagabond bears who have in the past couple of years grown frustrated with the present pace of change and have resorted to civil disobedience against what they call the human establishment. These fringe groups are the ones who have sent out spies to raid campers’ food stores and warriors to confiscate your women and children.
Although we do not approve of violence in general, we will commit violence out of necessity in the event that a human or any other animal, be they old or young, breaks into our homes aggressively and without permission. We would therefore reserve the human right to bear arms in this case, the violation of our sovereignty.