Goldilocks & the Three Bears told years later from the bears' point of view.
He was running, hard, fast, and full of fear. The dew-wet grass lashed at his feet and legs, the trees and bushes scratched at his face and body with their branches. It was dark, the moonlight weak, and the speed of his run and the tears from his eyes turned the landscape into a terrifying blur. This was wrong, the night was wrong, everything was wrong. He had fallen asleep to the murmur of his parent's voices in the comfort and safety of his own bed and now he was running for his life. He could hear his mother running behind him saying, with breathy urgency, "run, baby, run. I won't let them get you, just keep running." He could hear his father roar with rage as he tried to drive the intruders from their home, and the crack of what he would later learn was gunfire. As horrifying as the sounds were, the smells were worse. The air was full of smoke and stank of burning wood and petroleum. There were other smells, non-burning smells, in fact pre-burning smells, light, subtle, lingering underneath the smoke. Smells that would haunt him for the rest of his life. He ran until he died and in that instant, at the moment of death he woke up in the real world.
He woke up wet with sweat and stinking of fear. He quickly realized he had been dreaming. A quick glance around the room and the sound of his mother in the kitchen reassured him for the moment. He got up and initiated his morning routine. Before he could even complete the first task, his anxiety return, an anxiety that had been plaguing him for the last three days, the same anxiety that had probably brought on last nights nightmare. He took a deep breath in an attempt to regain some control. It was then that he noticed the smell. He ran into the next room and asked his mother, "can you smell it?"
She looked up from her task quizzically and asked, "smell what?"
"The Human, the Golden Haired Thief, the Harbinger of Destruction." He answered in a harsh, controlled whisper.
"No, it can't be, you can't possibly remember. It's been to many winters, you were too young...," she said, approaching him, fore-paw extended to offer comfort.
He turned away from her, rejecting comfort and said, "it's been impossible to forget. It was my bed we found her in, my bowl she stole, my father her people murdered driving us from our home. Her scent was everywhere, in everything, so strong I could almost taste her." His voice was low and he trembled with rage. "Now, she has followed us here and where she goes her people follow, occupy and destroy like terminates."
His mother turned, looked around the room and said, "then we must leave this place."
He turned to face her, his expression incredulous. "No. No I will not be driven away again. This is my home, our home. She can't have it."
He ran outside, raised his head skyward and gave his deepest, loudest roar. He wanted the attention of all forest dwellers. He roared until the woods were completely void of animal noise. Then he spoke.
"You know me, you know my story. You know about the golden haired human who broke into our home, vandalized it, stole food, then left only to return with others of her kind to force us out and take our land. She is coming this way. I can smell her scent on the wind. We must prepare, do something, stop her and the others with her from taking what isn't theirs."
A voice called from the trees, "we are aware of the human migration problem, what do you propose?"
He swung his head towards the direction of the voice and answered, "that we kill her."
"You hardly need our help for that," the voice responded with a low, sad chuckle. "Besides if you, or 'we' as you propose it, kill her and whatever companions accompany her, you guarantee that we will not only be driven from these lands but that we will be hunted and killed to avenge her death."
"I would rather die than see her take these lands," he answered.
"And leave your mother widowed and childless, commendable," the voice returned sarcastically.
He lowered his head, fear, depression, and frustration colored his voice. "Help me, please, all of you, any of you. Help me find a way."
The trees rustled with wind and the murmur of many voices blended with the sound. A discussion ensued and the sun crossed the sky. Ideas were exchanged, suggestions made, some accepted some rejected. Shadows lengthened, the moon rose and a plan was conceived.
He returned to the house where his mother asked, "are you ready to leave?"
"I'm not leaving," he answered. "I am going to wait to for the Golden Haired Thief."
"And do what?" She asked.
"What I must," he answered, then he told her the plan.
It had been ten years since her first acquisition and each new property prospect made her heart dance with anticipation. She was the youngest developer in her region and her success had earned her unprecedented commissions and the envy of older more experienced developers. She was an aggressive speculator who spent more time than most exploring the realestate she intended to acquire. She didn't depend upon satellite photos or word of mouth or any other indirect means of evaluation, she had to see it, smell it, hear it, feel it brush up against her skin to know it was right. Her first acquisition was, after a fashion, a fluke. She had been sent out to set up "Open House" signs around a nearby suburban neighborhood. After she had done so, she drove higher into the mountains, parked her car and wandered into the woods to explore. She was so distracted by the beauty of the area that she got lost. She wandered about for several hours frightened, hungry, and tired until she stumbled upon a small cabin. She knocked and finding no one home, broke in hoping to find a telephone and a bathroom. Unable to locate either she wandered back outside and relieved her bladder and bowel behind a clump of bushes. She returned to the cabin determined to wait for the owners in hopes they could help her get back to her car. More time passed and the sun sank closer to the horizon, darkening the cabin's interior. Both her fear and depression increased with that darkening. In an effort to be productive she looked for food in what appeared to be a kitchen area. There she found fresh carrots, apples, and walnuts and a small bowl to hold her treasure. She wandered about the cabin and in another room found a small bed next to a window with a western view. She laid on the bed, ate her pseudo-salad and fell asleep watching the sun go down.
When she woke the sky in the window was pre dawn gray. She picked up the bowl and walked back into the kitchen area. There sat three bears that looked up at her when she entered the room. She didn't scream, didn't faint and tried not to panic. She backed out of the room back into the small bedroom, took a deep breath, and thought. Number one, you can't have drug flashbacks if you've never done drugs. Number two, bears do not live in houses. They do not sit at kitchen tables waiting for uninvited houseguest to wake up and explain their presence, therefore whatever those things were sitting at the table they were not bears. Having calmed herself down she returned to the kitchen area and saw that the bears were still there, and they appeared to be getting up to investigate her. This time she ran back into the small bedroom, climbed out of the window and ran back into the woods, still clutching the small bowl she had eaten out of the previous evening. She ran until her body gave out and she collapsed. She curled up against the trunk of a tree still clutching that bowl as if it were a weapon. It wasn't real it couldn't be real. Bears were dumb animals, incapable of the rational behavior required to permit enough cooperation with others to build anything as complex as a cabin. They were animals to be used and controlled by man. Anything else would be immoral. She looked down at the bowl in her hand and dropped it as if it burned her. She found a large rock and beat the little bowl into tiny pieces. All evidence of rational bears had to be destroyed. Her world couldn't exist with that kind of evidence around. Her composure restored, she eventually found her way out of the woods, back to her car and civilization.
In Goldie's world man was the only creature possessed of reason and any evidence to the contrary frightened her beyond that ability. It was fear that led to her investigation of that tract of land and a need to reestablish her sense of being that led to her acquisition and development of that land. It was her opinion that wild things, plants and animals both, belonged either on another continent or in an Arboretum or zoo under the civilizing hand of man where their presence could not offer a false sense of safety and security. Development was all that was needed to put things right.
She started surveying this new area three days ago, going further afield each day. On the fourth day something in the woods made her feel uneasy. Maybe the bugs buzzed just a little too loudly or something but the woods just didn't feel right, so on day five she invited her friend, Steve along. He wasn't really the out doors type but he was comfortingly masculine and available. When he parked the car he reached into the glove compartment and pulled out a small twenty-two automatic handgun. She looked at the gun then at Steve and said, "you know, if you hit anything bigger than a squirrel it'll just get mad and try to kill us."
Steve said, "I won't shoot at anything, I'll just fire up into the air and the noise will scare whatever is out there away."
They entered the woods and Goldie found it worse than the day before. The mosquitoes and black flies were voracious and they couldn't walk ten feet in any direction without running into invisible strands of spider's silk right at face level. These discomforts weren't enough to deter Goldie and Steve wasn't about to be out done by a woman so they trudged on. By mid afternoon they were tired, irritable, and ready to leave. It was as if the woods, plants and animals, had become hostile to their presence. Tree roots seemed to reach up and grab Goldie and Steve by the toes every dozen feet or so. They had been hit by bird guano at least four or five times each. Mice, lizards, and spiders ran across their hands almost every time they dared touch a tree. Bugs tore at their flesh, buzzed in and out of their ears, eyes, and mouths. It was torture but the survey was almost done.
They pushed further into the woods and came to an unexpected clearing with a small cabin at the opposite side.
"Who lives way out here?" Steve asked aloud.
Goldie rubbed her hand against her pants reflexively. The clearing and cabin were too similar to the one ten years ago to be a coincidence. The image of bears sitting around a kitchen table came to her unbidden. Fear begot anger, anger begot rage, and rage begot action. She stepped out into the clearing and walked towards the cabin with a definite purpose. Steve wasn't too far behind. The grass rustled with the movement of small animals running back and forth. When she was about twenty feet away from the cabin a large bear burst through the doorway with a horrific roar. She stopped and roared back with equal fury. They screamed at each other in their respective languages, "THIS LAND IS OURS, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE!"
Steve, in a fearful show of impotent rage, pointed his tiny gun toward the sky and fired. Both Goldie and the bear flinched at the sound and looked over at Steve. Both roared at Steve then returned their attention to each other. Goldie took a step toward the bear then crumpled to her knees and fell forward. Steve and the bear stared at the fallen figure and watched the blood flow from the top of her head. Steve's bullet had fallen from the sky only to land on Goldie's skull. The bear and Steve looked up at each other surprise and fear on their respective faces. Steve backed away then turned and ran. The bear move to investigate the corpse when a voice called out from the woods. "Leave the body untouched. The man will be back with others to collect it. Leave them this thing that they may tell each other stories, frighten themselves and each other into believing these woods are haunted by vengeful spirits that will do them harm."
All of the animals, all the way down to the ants and flies left the remains of Goldie Locke unmolested. Future humans left the woods, out of shame and superstition, equally unmolested.