Goldilocks and the Three Bears — by Richard Dawkins

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Once upon a time there were three bears: Mummy Bear, Daddy Bear, and Baby Bear.

One day the three bears decided to go for a morning walk in the forest.

But while the three bears were walking in the forest, a little girl called Goldilocks came across their house.

Goldilocks was very hungry, because she had been walking in the woods all morning. She wondered whether anyone lived in the house.

“Hello?” she called. “Is anyone home?”

No-one answered, so Goldilocks stepped inside. On a table inside the house she saw three bowls of porridge.

Just then the bears unexpectedly returned. They saw that someone had entered their home, and were greatly alarmed. Being wild animals, they killed Goldilocks, tearing her limb from limb, and scattering her remains around their home, which was not a house at all, because even idiots know that bears don’t live in houses. As for eating porridge, why the very thought is preposterous, and no doubt the foolish girl saw no such thing, and if she did see something she obviously mistook it for porridge. Perhaps one of the bears had been sick and had vomited several times in the cave where they lived. A bear’s vomit might very well look like porridge to a stupid young child.

The little girl’s parents grew alarmed when she did not return for her tea, so they called the police. The police conducted a massive search of the forest, and three days later stumbled across a cave. This was the cave where the three bears lived. Mummy Bear and Daddy Bear charged out at the invaders, but unfortunately for the wild animals the police had come prepared, for they knew this was bear country. Mummy Bear and Daddy Bear were killed, and Baby Bear was wounded and later died alone in the forest, into which he had fled to escape the gunfire.

The authorities found the remains of Goldilocks in the cave.  Her corpse had been so torn and mangled that even some of the most experienced police officers on the scene were physically ill. The body had begun to decompose, and the smell of rotting meat was everywhere. Those who worked on the case later spoke of it as being one of the most horrific they had ever experienced.

Golidlocks’ parents were distraught and inconsolable at the loss of their daughter, though it is difficult to have any sympathy for parents who will let their child go wandering in a forest known to be inhabited by killer bears. Their foolishness resulted in the death of their only offspring. If there is a gene for this particular type of stupidity, the process of natural selection is clearly working well to remove it from the gene pool.

At the funeral for little Goldilocks the priest sought to comfort the grieving parents. “Your beautiful daughter is now in the Lord’s care, and she is dancing with the angels in heaven,” he told them during the service.

It was a stroke of luck that an evolutionary biologist just happened to be at the service. “This is lamentable ignorance!” he shouted from the back of the church. “There is no God, and there is no heaven! Why do you tell these lies?”

The evolutionary biologist then spoke directly to the parents of Golidlocks. “I am very sorry for your loss,” he said, “but your daughter is dead. Nothing remains of her except for the tiny corpse that the bears tore to pieces and that now resides in that small box.

“You will never see her again, not in this life and not in the next, because there is nothing after this life. And as for notions of the soul, do not be fooled. Do not for a moment tolerate the delusions of these religious fanatics who don’t want people to think for themselves.”

And so was the truth spoken at last, on that day when Goldilocks was laid to rest. And the evolutionary biologist was triumphant, for he had confounded the Church and all its evil works, at least for a moment, before he was stabbed in the eye by the dead girl’s father.

And the little girl’s parents lived the rest of their lives as sad broken shells. The mother killed herself two years later, and the father drank himself to death.

And nobody lived happily ever after, and everyone died, and no-one went to heaven.