In Southey's tale, three anthropomorphic bears – "a Baby Bear, a Mama Bear, and a Papa Bear" – live together in a house in the woods. Southey describes them as very good-natured, trusting, harmless, tidy, and hospitable. Each of these bears has their own porridge bowl, chair, and bed. One day they make porridge for breakfast, but it's too hot to eat, so they take a walk in the woods while their porridge cools. An pretty little girl named Goldilocks approaches the bears' house. She looks through a window, peeps through the keyhole, and lifts the latch. Assured that no one is home, she walks in. Goldilocks eats Baby Bear's porridge, then settles into his chair and breaks it. Prowling about, she finds the bears' beds and falls asleep in Baby Bear's bed. The dark end of the tale is reached when the bears return. Baby Bear finds his empty bowl, his broken chair, and Goldilocks sleeping in his bed and cries, "Somebody has been lying in my bed, and here she is!" Goldilocks wakes up, jumps out the window and is never seen again.