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      Once upon a time, actually July 2008, in a faraway land, actually Yosemite Park, a young blonde woman, the eponymous Goldilocks, was enjoying a camping vacation in the great woods with her parents. Her mother and father were again arguing over whether the State Constitution of California should be amended to prohibit gay marriage, which had recently been ruled legal by the state’s Supreme Court. The father felt that the amendment was necessary to save the American family. The mother felt equally strongly that any two people should be allowed to formalize their lifetime commitment of love to each other.

       Her parents’ bickering over politics, however, drove Goldilocks to stroll by herself into the forest. Venturing too far from camp, she became lost. Wandering aimlessly, she came upon a strange sight.

WARNING: RUSH LIMBAUGH WOULD NOT APPROVE OF THIS BEDTIME STORY!

      Amongst the trees and rocks, a rectilinear reflecting pool tastefully marked the front entrance to a charming residence, expanded from a cave in the mountainside. Enthralled by the exquisite beauty of the place, Goldilocks approached the tall, beveled glass entry doors and opened them.

       It was a combination “hunting lodge” and stately home. Before her, a Persian carpet underscored the muted tones of the living room. The owners had transformed the original cave, adding space and opening the dwelling to the site’s 270-degree views of Yosemite Valley.The living room narrowed back farther in the cave to an intimate fireside sitting area. Mirrors, including a French parcel-gilt trumeau, were propped against the living room walls like living pictures, and lace and linen shawls were layered on the Charles X furniture. Everything about the place was about texture and scale. Objets d’art were scattered about the living room, including a pair of Roman terracotta beehives and a large bronze sculptor’s rendering of a honeybee. Though eclectic, the room paid homage mainly to neoclassicism.

       Goldilocks thought, “A house itself is not important, it’s what you do in it – how you give it life.” She admired the great craftsmanship which, in the past, had counted for more than design.

       She continued on into the dining room with no thought as to where the owners were, or what they might think of an intruder in their home. You would have thought she was as happy as a queen, and quite contented to stroll where she willed. It happened that she was rather a mischievous young woman, and could not resist running about the world meddling with other people’s property.

    Consistent with a classic fashion aesthetic, the owners had chosen a mix of vintage and modern pieces for the dining room. There were two identical Venetian chairs at two settings of fine china, silver, and 18th century crystal glassware. The crystal chandelier contrasted pleasantly with the modern French doors opening on the veranda.

       The owners must have just gone out for a walk, for there was food on the plates – and such food! After eating trail mix for three days, her eyes widened at the sight of Caesar salad with Parmesan reggiano, white anchovies, and sweet cherry tomato bruschetta. The center plate was covered with honey-glazed, pan-roasted golden trout, chana dal lentils, eggplant-shallot masala, cucumber relish, cilantro-mint raita, and Indian spices.

       Goldilocks could contain herself no longer. She sat in the first chair and it was just right! She sat in the second chair and it, too, was just right! She tasted the first plate and it was neither too hot nor too cold. She tasted the second plate and it was neither too hot nor too cold. Both were delicious, so she ate them both.

       There was a bottle of very fine Sancerre Domaine des Caves du Prieuré 2006 from the Loire Region in France on the table; chilled to perfection. She opened it with a silver Chateau Languiole opener beside the bottle and poured herself a large glass. She found this Sancerre to be easy-drinking, yet one of the more complex whites she had ever encountered. Like everything else, it was just right!

       After finishing the food and beverage, Goldilocks retired to the elegant but tasteful bedroom fatigued from her walk and sated from her dining. The single bed was a large queen-sized four poster canopy type. It was just right! She plopped down and fell fast asleep.

       Soon the owners returned. They were bears, Bruce Ursa and Leroy Arcticus. Bruce cried, “Well, the very idea! Someone has been sitting in my chair and that someone ate all of my dinner!” Leroy exclaimed, “Someone has been sitting in my chair and that someone ate all of my dinner, too!” They began an immediate search of the house.

       They soon found Goldilocks fast asleep in the middle of their bed. They shouted in unison, “Someone has been sleeping in our bed and here she is!” Goldilocks woke suddenly to find the two bears leaning over her. She screamed in terror, but the bears calmed her down, promising to do her no harm.

       After she was composed they explained that in all of the forest, they would be the very last to molest a woman. They were not happy to have their dinners eaten by an intruder, but they were very forgiving. Soon they were all happily enjoying a friendly conversation by the fireplace in the living room.

       Bruce and Leroy explained that they were newlyweds recently united in holy matrimony by the Mariposa County Clerk. They proudly showed Goldilocks their beautifully framed marriage certificate, which declared that “Party A” (Bruce) and “Party B” (Leroy) were now husband and husband ‘til death do them part.

       Goldilocks realized that, while many bears might be aggressive and hostile, sexual orientation had nothing to do with it. These creatures just wanted a chance to live out their lives happily ever after, enjoying the same benefits of our free society as anyone else.

       Later, Bruce and Leroy guided Goldilocks back to her camp, where her parents, still arguing, had not even noticed her missing. She interrupted the argument only to tell her dad forcefully that, not only did she agree with her mother, she felt that gays could teach us much about style and taste, but, more importantly, about life.

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