The story was first recorded in the form of a short story by the English writer and poet Robert Southey and published anonymously in 1837 under the title “The Tale of the Three Bears” in a collection of his writings called The Doctor. 2] In the same year Southey’s story was published, it was written about by editor George Nicol, who called the anonymous author of The Doctor “the great original inventor” of the story. 3] Southey was pleased with Nicol’s attempt to publicize the story because he feared that the children would ignore it in The Doctor. 5] Nicolas’s version was illustrated with engravings by B. Southey. In this version the three bears live in a castle in the middle of the woods, and are visited by a fox named Scrabble, who drinks their milk, sits in their chairs, and rests in their beds. 3] This version is part of the first cycle of fox and bear tales. 14] Southey may have heard “Scrapefoot” and mistaken the word “vixen” for an old, wicked woman. The story of the three bears was in circulation even before Southey’s tale was published. In 1813, for example, Southey told the story to friends, and in 1831 Eleanor Mouret produced a handwritten pamphlet about three bears and an old woman for the birthday of her cousin Horace Brock. 3] Southey and Mouret disagree on the details. Tartar claims that it occurred in 1852, while Catherine Briggs suggests that it occurred in 1878 with Mother Goose’s Tales, published by Routledge. 14] After Aunt Fanny’s story was published in 1852, the bears became a family in the illustrations for the story, but the three bears remained alone in the text. Once the girl entered the story, she remained, suggesting that the children preferred the attractive girl in the story to the ugly old woman. In Robert Southey’s version, three anthropomorphic bears-“a little bear, a bear cub, a medium bear cub, and a big bear cub”-live together in a cabin in the woods. Elms suggests that Bettelheim may have neglected the anal aspect of the tale, which would have made it useful for the development of the child’s personality. In his Handbook of Psychobiography, Elms describes Southey’s story not as a development of Bettelheim’s post-oedipal self, but as a Freudian pre-oedipal analysis. 23] He believes that the story is addressed primarily to preschoolers who are concerned with “sphincter control, maintaining order and behavior in the environment, and despair when order is disturbed. Like the three bears, the gnomes shout, “Someone was sitting in my chair!”, “Someone was eating from my plate!” and “Someone was sleeping in my bed!” Opies also note similarities with a Norwegian tale in which a princess takes refuge in a cave inhabited by three Russian princes in bear skins. In 1894 folklorist Joseph Jacobs discovered “Scrapefoot,” a tale with a fox as the antagonist and striking similarities to the Southey story, which in oral tradition may have originated earlier than the Southey version. The original version of the story tells of a sullen old woman who sneaks into the forest home of three lonely bears while they are away. There are also three episodes in which the bears discover one by one that someone has eaten their porridge, in which they sit on chairs and finally lie in their beds, culminating in the discovery of Goldilocks. This arrangement represents the evolution of the primitive trio of three traditional male bears into a family consisting of father, mother, and son. In the 1860 publication, the bears eventually become a family, both in the text and in the illustrations, “Old Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Little Bear.” In the Routledge edition, published around 1867, Papa Bear is called Rough Brown, Mama Bear is called Mammy Muff, and Baby Bear is called Tiny.