“Saw” Redux

Checked out a pile of books at the library yesterday, including “Mr. Wolf and the Three Bears,” by Jan Fearnly (Harcourt, Inc. Copyright 2001). Forgot my rule: avoid children’s books with “fear” in them.

On the couch with the two- and three-year-old grandkids, reading.

The Mr. Wolf story: nice wolfe and his grandma prepare for a visit by the three bears. The wolves cook up some treats (after carefully washing their paws): sandwiches for momma bear, using recipes from a magazine article; cupcakes for poppa bear, using a recipe from a tv cooking show; a birthday cake for baby bear, using a recipe from a cookbook; finally, an added treat, required by the plot if not by logic, using a recipe from the intranet. Then the wolves clean the house, make party hats, etc., etc.

The bears arrive, but uh oh. The annoying Goldilocks has tagged along. She hogs the food, opens all the presents, and is in general a bad-mannered nuisance and pest.

Finally, it’s game time. Hide and seek. But, says Grandma Wolf, no one is allowed to hide in the kitchen.  The game drags on a bit as it seems to take grandma a long time to find everybody. When she has done so, it appears that Goldilocks has left and gone home without even saying goodbye.

From the text:

“Never mind,” said Grandma. “She’s gone now, and I’ve made us a special treat to celebrate.”

She disappeared into the kitchen…

[Next page]

…and emerged with a great big beautiful pie, all golden and steaming hot from the oven, with a buttery, crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth crust right on top.

[Picture of Grandma Wolf bringing out a huge pie.]

“Grandma!” cried Mr. Wolf. “You made a pie after all! Where did you find the ingredients?”

[Picture of the three bears and two wolves all licking their lips as they eyeball the  steaming pie on the table.]

“Oh, you never know what you’ll find in the kitchen when you’re playing hide-and-seek,” she said, smiling. “Happy birthday, Baby Bear!”

[They put four candles on the steaming pie. Baby bear is delighted. Grandma Wolf sits back in her easy chair with a big grin. Her white apron has remained spotless.]

My grandkids look at each other. They look at me.

“So, Grandpa,” they say. “What’s in the pie?”