Deep in the woods stands an enormous and beautifully built cabin. The cabin has been the most magnificent home in the immense woods for many years.
The cabin provides a well-to-do home for the Red-Neck Bears. They keep the inside of their cabin looking pleasant, and the yard is always maintained to look better than any found in the woods. Someone always asks, “Why are they called the Red-Neck Bears?”
The Bears always wear colorful red scarves around their necks. The bright red color separates them from the other bears that live throughout the woods. The Red-Neck Bears are a family filled with plenty of sophistication and class, and their lifestyle is the envy of all who live in the woods.
Some may feel that they already know the story of the “Three Bears” from childhood stories from long ago, but this is the sequel that few have ever heard of. Sit down now, relax a spell, and enjoy the story.
True, there are three bears. The family’s patriarch is Papa Bear, a mighty beast with a loving and soft heart. His lovely wife, Mama Bear, keeps the home running smoothly with tender love and care. Their child, Baby Bear, is so grown-up now that Papa Bear likes to refer to him as Junior Bear.
The Bears awake early on this warm summer morning (as they always do). Each puts on a fresh and clean red scarf as is the family’s tradition. Mama Bear prepares the usual breakfast of porridge (some habits never change). As expected, the porridge is much too hot for anyone to eat so the family leaves their cozy and comfortable cabin for a quick, morning walk while the porridge cools.
Now, let’s see where the rest of the story goes. Remembering of course, this is a sequel in the storyline of the “Three Bears”, aka “Red-Neck Bears.”
While the Bears are away, mischief arrives in their front yard. A curious and sometimes naughty thirteen-year old boy, Rebel, stumbles upon the cabin. He has run away from his family who live in the big city on the other side of the woods. Rebel is always in trouble back home, and his parents have threatened him with a harsher life filled with fewer privileges until he shapes up. He is on his way to becoming the most obnoxious of all juvenile delinquents.
As Rebel steps into the yard, he quickly discovers three four-wheelers parked in a perfectly straight line, just like they have been waiting for his arrival. The Bears enjoy taking rides throughout the woods on their splendid machines. It can be quite exhilarating to experience the vastness and beauty of the woods while riding these sporty vehicles.
Rebel jumps on the gigantic four-wheeler, but the seat feels much too large and too hard. He accidentally spits out his hunk of bubble gum, and it lands squarely on the seat. Looking to his right, he moves to the next four-wheeler. The seat fits better, but it feels much too soft. Frustrated, Rebel deflates one of the tires just because it seems like the right thing to do.
Jumping off, Rebel steps over to the final machine. Everything feels just right as he sits on the seat. He eagerly cranks up the motor and takes off for a spin around the front yard. Being a city kid, Rebel has never driven anything like a four-wheeler. He quickly loses control.
A mammoth maple tree blocks the path of the small four-wheeler. Unhurt, Rebel hops off. He seems unfazed by the damage done to the tree, much less the mangled front end of the machine.
Meanwhile, the porridge continues to cool in the kitchen. The Bears are enjoying their early morning venture into the woods, but they realize that they must soon turn around and begin heading back before the porridge becomes cold.
Rebel scampers up the front steps and boldly enters the cabin without any fear. He has assumed, correctly of course, that the home is empty. Afterall, no one came running outside when he foolishly crashed into the majestic maple tree.
Inside the living room in plain sight are three different sizes of video screens. The Bears enjoy gaming on each of their individual screens. Walking right past the three comfortable-looking chairs, Rebel checks out the enormous video screen, but he cannot figure out how to operate the remote. Frustrated, he throws the remote at the wall, and it shatters into several pieces.
Sliding over to the slightly smaller screen, Rebel becomes frustrated with the poor quality of the video. His impatience ruptures as he slams the screen to the floor, cracking it in more than one place. Anyone can see that young Rebel has a temper that boils over quickly and easily.
Last of all, Rebel spies a small mobile game device sitting on an end table, and it looks just right. He has used a similar device before at a friend’s house in the city. Happily, he begins playing on the device before slipping through the kitchen and dashing past the cooling porridge. He takes the device with him, thinking that he will keep this for the journey home.
Meanwhile, the hungry Bears are nearing their home. With a brief stop to gather some fresh berries for their porridge and some firewood for the wood stove, they will be back in less than ten minutes.
As Rebel glides out the back door, he realizes that his family is probably quite worried about his sudden disappearance. He is set to begin his walk back through the woods towards the city, but three hot tubs catch his wondering eyes as he hurries across the backyard. A morning dip appeals to him before he begins his journey for home (and a stern talking to from his parents, who have been distraught all morning).
As he approaches the tubs, he kicks off his shoes and socks. Rebel dips a hand into the enormous tub, but he discovers that the water is much too hot for him. Moving over to the next tub, he dips a bare left foot into the calm water, but swiftly pulls it back out. With the water feeling like ice cubes, he accidentally loosens his grip on the gaming device. The device falls to the bottom of the tub where it suffers a frigid, fateful plunge.
With one hot tub left to check out, Rebel cautiously approaches. He feels the warm water beckoning him to jump in . . . and he does, clothes and all! The steamy water feels just right as he slumps down in the perfectly sized tub. Hmm, he feels like he could stay here forever.
Soon, the perfectly heated water serenades Rebel to sleep. His long trip away from home has left him more fatigued than he realizes.
A few minutes later the Bears arrive back home. Finished with their walk, yet famished, each of them looks forward to enjoying a warm breakfast bowl of porridge with some of the berries that they harvested during their uneventful walk.
“What’s this!” Papa Bear roars with frustration and anger.
In the front yard, all three bears witness the carnage done to their treasured four-wheelers. In shock and disappointment, Papa Bear sees that his machine has moved a few feet from its accustomed parking spot, its headlight has been left on, and a huge blob of bubble gum is stuck to the seat. Mama Bear, in disbelief, agonizes that one of her back tires is flat.
Junior Bear screams, “Who crashed my bike into the maple tree?”
Sure enough, Junior Bear’s four-wheeler is crumbled like an accordion against the magnificent tree, which now sports a nasty divot in its massive trunk.
Papa Bear’s temper is beginning to swell as the family proceeds into the house. In the living room, they find that their sturdy, comfortable chairs are untouched. “Thank goodness for that,” whispers Papa Bear in a quiet, uncertain voice.
“Oh my dear!” Mama Bear cries out as her eyes scan the rest of the room.
The three view the damage done to their prized video screens. Paper Bear finds his remote . . . well, at least the shattered pieces left on the floor. Mama Bear stands over her smashed video screen, which is lying upside down on the floor. Both are feeling their usual calm demeanor heating up into a fiery rage.
Junior Bear frantically surveys the room and cannot find his brand new mobile game device. He growls, “Someone is going to pay for this!”
Now all three of the Red-Neck Bears feel their emotions burning hot—nearly as red as the scarves that are tied around their necks. Junior Bear runs upstairs to the bedrooms, looking for his game device. Sadly, he returns downstairs empty-handed, but he reports that their bedrooms appear untouched.
Hurrying through the kitchen, the family barely notices the full bowls of cooling porridge waiting on the table for their starving appetites. Their hunting instincts lead them all out the door into the backyard.
Papa Bear walks up to his gigantic hot tub, and he finds a pair of beat-up sneakers and dirty socks lying on the ground. Hmm, someone has been in the backyard, too. Mama Bear hurries to her tub, and she immediately finds Junior Bear’s gaming device drowned and dead at the bottom. She begins to “bear” her teeth.
“Mama, Papa! yells Junior Bear. The Bears surround the final and smallest hot tub. Sleeping in the tub is Rebel, the thirteen-year old, delinquent boy, who has turned their tranquil and contented world upside down.
All three of the Bears hiss and growl! Their razor-sharp teeth are showing, and their ferocious claws look ready to carve up the skinny, teenage boy from the big city.
Jumping up awake in an instant, Rebel takes one look, and his final expression says it all. He is frightened, and his face turns totally white with terror. Will he be the Bears’ morning meal?
Screaming, he jumps out of the hot tub and rushes back into the woods—barefooted and soaking wet!
Rebel continues running all the way home. When he reaches his destination and safety, he tumbles into his warm bed—exhausted from his frightening ordeal and escape from certain death. He has never felt so frightened or tired. Sleep overtakes him almost immediately.
But hang on . . . the story is not finished yet!
Several hours later, Rebel wakes up from a deep sleep as the morning has started without him. He quickly realizes that he has been dreaming the strangest of all hallucinations. His shoes are scattered in a corner of his disheveled room. His dry clothes and socks are piled on a chair, and he is wearing his worn and faded “Three Bears” pajamas. Everything looks and feels just right. He sighs and smiles . . . being home feels just right!
Meanwhile back in the woods, the Bears have returned from their usual morning walk. Their four-wheelers, waiting for an afternoon ride, are perfectly parked in a straight line in the front yard. In the living room, the furniture and video equipment look like they are ready for another day of use. Junior Bear looks out the kitchen window, and he is already thinking of some hot tub time after breakfast.
The Bears’ morning is going just right. Their world is unspoiled here deep in the woods.
Their porridge has cooled, and it tastes just right. Everything else looks and feels just right . . . except!
Junior Bear walks past the kitchen counter and discovers three red-colored scarves resting there. He asks, “Where did these red scarves come from?”
I hope that you enjoyed this update of a classic story. If you hunger to read one of my other short stories, feel free to checkout “The Flying Trash Can” and “Panic on the River.”