A tragically beautiful retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/02/a-tragically-beautiful-retelli.html


That was sweet.


This is more like retelling the Little Match Girl with bears…


This is wonderful! But who’s the third bear? My money’s on Boo-Boo.

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Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not how the story of Goldilocks goes.

And Is the girl dead? Did she die in the snow, and the bears are a deathbed hallucination? Or did her father find her in the snow and rescue her, and the bears are a fever-dream?


One of the great things about art is that it’s allowed to be ambiguous. So if we have art that doesn’t force us to an end, that doesn’t force us into “this is the truth, this is the way things happened, this is the only way it goes”, then we are allowed to examine our own responses to that art. That’s one of the ways that art teaches us about ourselves; one of the things that separates art from “something nice to hang over my sofa”.


I agree. My way of putting it is that any piece of art is always created twice: once in the mind of the author, and once in the mind of the person appreciating it.

I just wanted to get other people’s opinions on how it ended.

My first impression was that the girl died in the snow, after something terrible happened to her family, and it took me a few re-reads before I saw the other possibility.


I read it that the girl’s family was dead and the bears took her in to fatten her up and eat her care for her.


That her family didn’t have enough food to make it through the winter, so they chose to leave the daughter in the woods to freeze rather than starve?


Okay, it’s good to know that my mind doesn’t gravitate to the most depraved interpretation.

ETA: That is not intended as a challenge, please do not interpret it as such.


The bears and the bittersweet interpretation made me think of the Vivol and Moon Bear story line in The Abominable Charles Christopher

Kerschl has been making new comics!!! (only one a month, but I’ll take it)


Please forgive my cluelessness, but I’m not seeing any other possibilities :cry:

My second impression was that she was trying to get home, and collapsed just short, and her actual family found her and brought her inside, but she had a fever and hallucinated them looking like bears.

Here’s the follow-up from the author:

[spoiler]The ending is pretty ambiguous for a reason: It’s up to interpretation. They could be her family reincarnated as Ursa constellations, in which they find her and take her in their new home. They could be the spirits of her family guiding a dying Goldilocks to the afterlife with them where they can be a family again. They could be a construct of the freezing Goldilocks’ imagination/hallucination as she slowly dies from freezing to death. Or they could be a magical bear family that finds her, takes pity on her state, and bring her home to live with them. Regardless, they are meant to represent what Goldilocks is currently missing: a family.

The only for-sure thing about this comic is that Goldilocks is an orphan, her family is dead, and the bears are meant to parallel that. How you choose to interpret that parallel and what happened to Goldilocks is entirely up to interpretation. o3o


This was my read. The bears being the family she desired and not the one she had. Emphasis on past tense.



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My view is that we have a girl who isn’t dressed for the snow – not a mistake a rural family is likely to make if she was out there on purpose – so something bad happened to her family, she decided she had to go for help in a hurry and didn’t make it. Hypothermia often leads to feeling of warmth, so the idea that her last semi-conscious thoughts would be of warmth isn’t strange.


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