Once upon a time there were three healthy bears who lived in a house of their own in the woods. There was an itty bitty Baby Bear, a middle-sized Mama Bear, and a powerfully big Papa Bear.
Every morning they took their vitamins, and then ate a healthy breakfast of whole wheat porridge.
One morning Mama Bear had cooked the porridge extra hot, to make sure all the germs were dead. And while the porridge cooled, the three bears decided to take a walk, because there’s nothing like a good walk before breakfast to keep you healthy.
While they were on their walk, Chicken Pox, a sick little chick who lived, barely, around the corner, came up to their door, hoping to borrow some medicine.
Chicken Pox knocked weakly. There was no answer. Even if the bears had been home, though, there wouldn’t have been an answer because the bears wouldn’t have heard the knock.
Chicken Pox knocked again. No answer.
She called out, in a voice almost as loud as a whisper, “hello…is anyone home?”
No one answered. So Chicken Pox decided she’d go in and see if she could find the medicine herself.
She pushed hard on the door and slowly it opened.
Chicken Pox walked into the house.
There, in front of her was a table with three bowls on it. “Could that be medicine?” she asked.
She climbed up on the itty bitty chair and looked in the itty bitty bowl. “That doesn’t look like medicine,” she said, and she sneezed an itty bitty sneeze into the itty bitty bowl.
She climbed from the itty bitty chair to the middle-sized chair and looked in middle-sized bowl. “That doesn’t look like medicine either,” she said, and she sneezed a middle-sized sneeze into the middle-sized bowl.
She climbed from the middle-sized chair to the powerfully big chair and looked in the powerfully big bowl. “That doesn’t look like medicine either,” she said, and she sneezed a powerfully big sneeze into the powerfully big bowl.
All that climbing and sneezing had made Chicken Pox tired. She climbed down from the powerfully big chair and looked for a place to rest.
There, in the next room, she found three soft chairs. Maybe one of those would do, she thought.
She climbed into the itty bitty soft chair. But it was only an itty bitty bit soft. Not soft enough for Chicken Pox.
She climbed into the middle-sized soft chair. But it was only a middle-sized bit soft. Not soft enough for Chicken Pox.
She climbed into the powerfully big soft chair. It had powerfully big softness, much too much softness for Chicken Pox.
Now Chicken Pox was very tired. She needed a place to lie down and get some rest.
“Here I’ll get some rest,” she said when she entered the back room where the three bears slept.
She climbed onto the itty bitty bed. She wiggled, she turned, she twisted, but she could only get an itty bitty bit comfortable.
She climbed onto the middle-sized bed. She wiggled, she turned, she twisted, but she could only get a middle-sized bit comfortable.
She climbed onto the powerfully big bed. She wiggled, she turned, she twisted, and finally, she found a position where a powerfully big comfort settled over her, and she fell asleep.
After a while the three bears came home. The sat in their three kitchen chairs and ate their three bowls of porridge.
“My porridge tasted an itty bitty bit funny,” said the itty bitty Baby bear, and he sneezed an itty bitty sneeze.
“My porridge tasted a middle-sized bit funny,” said the middle-sized Mama bear, and she sneezed a middle-sized sneeze.
“My porridge tasted powerfully funny,” said the powerfully big Papa Bear, and he sneezed a powerfully big sneeze.
For some strange reason, even after taking their vitamins, going on a healthy walk, and eating a wholesome breakfast, the three bears were tired.
“Maybe we should sit down,” they said.
The itty bitty Baby Bear sat down in his itty bitty soft chair.
The middle-sized Mama Bear sat down in her middle-sized soft chair.
The powerfully big Papa Bear sat down in his powerfully big soft chair.
And then the Baby Bear started to scratch.
And the Mama Bear started to scratch.
And the Papa Bear started to scratch.
They scratched itty bitty itches, and middle-sized itches and powerfully big itches.
“Look!” said the Mama Bear. “We’re breaking out in spots!”
“Oh,” said the Baby Bear. “I’m not feeling well.”
“Neither am I,” said the Papa Bear. “I think we need to go lie down.”
So the three bears crawled off to their bedroom.
The itty bitty Baby Bear lay down in his itty bitty bed.
The middle-sized Mama Bear lay down in her middle-sized bed.
And the powerfully big Papa Bear lay down in his powerfully big bed.
“You’re smothering me!” said Chicken Pox to the powerfully big Papa Bear in a voice almost as loud as a whisper.
But the Papa Bear didn’t hear her.
So Chicken Pox coughed and pushed, and sneezed and shoved, and finally wiggled her way out from under the Papa Bear.
She climbed out of the powerfully big bed and stumbled through the house and out the door and home, without her medicine.
And the three bears didn’t even see her go, for they were very sick. They had sneezes, and coughs, and spots, and itches, and aches, and pains, and watering eyes, and every other icky sicky thing that a bear could have.
And they just stayed in their beds until they were better.
The itty bitty Baby Bear stayed in bed for an itty bitty time.
The middle-sized Mama Bear stayed in her bed for a middle-sized time.
But the powerfully big Papa Bear was so powerfully sick, that it was a powerfully long time before he was able to get out of bed.
And from then on the three bears never took their vitamins.
And they never ate whole-wheat porridge.
And they never took walks before breakfast.
Because something had made them very sick. And they didn’t know what it was. But they didn’t want to take any chances.