It was most famously written by the late Eleanor Mure in 1813, but is based on older tellings of the story (as is often the case with fairytales and folk stories in general).
The Bears are not a family in this story but rather simply three bears of varying size who live together in the forest, one day they leave their home and an old woman arrives and begins to cause trouble via stealing their food, breaking their chairs and sleeping in their beds - she was also said to curse and generally act in a very disagreeable manner.
When the bears returned they found the old woman asleep and when she woke up she was too late to avoid the bears' extreme wrath as they attempted to burn her alive in the fireplace - yet she would not die, thus they dragged the scorched old woman outside and tried to drown her in the river, yet she still refused to die.
This prompted the bears to take the scorched, half-drowned woman to a church where they finally killed her by impaling her body atop the spire, the bears then proceeded to dance merrily at the old woman's demise.
The Bears are extremely violent and zealous punishers of wrongs, to the point even minor misdeeds warrant extreme torture and death - they are thus also extremely vindictive and inventive in their methods and have no qualms about brutally killing an elderly woman for her trespass, indeed they rejoice at her death and take pride in their work.
Other than these negative traits the Bears are largely neutral beings if undisturbed who simply live in their house in the woods and likely keep to themselves, save to punish those who displeased them.
Powers and Abilities
The Bears would all possess great strength, durability, claws and fangs but are most known for their inventive use of torture and murder - devising many different ways by which to dispose of a victim.
- Despite the extremely brutal nature of the story it is important to note that in morality tales the Old Woman is seen as the one truly in the wrong, with the Bears being seen as just in their actions - it is only due to modern perceptions on right and wrong that we associate the characters as being villainous, in the time periods when the original tale was told people would likely see the Bears as the "good" characters (as with all fairy tales it was also as much about teaching children about social taboos as it was about a story).
- This is by far the most brutal take on the "Goldilocks" fairytale, as well as one of the oldest, being significant in that the manner in which the Bears tortured and killed the old woman being very similar to how supossed witches were treated during medival witch hunts.
- In later tales, the old woman would be replaced with a child, the bears became a family, and the violence was toned down, which made the Goldilocks story as we know it emerge. However, even in some modern takes on the story, The Bears ultimately devour Goldilocks rather than scare her off (In some older stories they also mauled her, but this is obviously not commonly told these days). While in some version they seem to be more friendly then evil.