Baby-faced Blonde Goes Bad
In 1774 on this date, Robert Southey was born in England. You owe Robert a Happy Birthday wish to recognize his contribution to your own childhood; yes, you do!
Southey was a literary scholar, essay writer, historian and biographer. He was also a renowned scholar of Portuguese and Spanish literature and history and translated a number of works from those two languages into English. Within the long list of his liiterary achievements, all of which sound quite scholarly and that you have never read (most probably!) is an 1837 story called The Story of the Three Bears within a larger collection of prose.
Southey's tale tells of an impudent, foul-mouthed and dirty old woman who enters the forest home of three good-natured, tidy, and trusting bachelor bears while they are away. She sits in their chairs, samples the food, and sleeps in one of their beds. Frightened when the bears return home, she jumps out of the window to disappear forevermore. Versions over the years replaced the old woman with a little girl and the three bears as a Papa, Mama, and Baby, but Southey started the tale that has become one of the most popular fairy tales in the English language.