the three heirs



once upon a time, there was a mama bear named beth who had 3 little girl bears. each one was very different, yet for some reason mama bear had thought it was a good idea, (at the time), to give each one a name that began with the letter,’h.’ over time, each had learned just to answer to any name that began with the letter ‘h’ because the odds were that mama bear usually was calling them by the wrong name. especially when she was tired or was excited or was laughing or was a bit worked up about something.

well, the little bears grew up and each went to their own cave, but there were some special moments when they all were all back together, in the same place at the same time. it was during one of those times, that mama bear had another good idea, and she gave two of the little bears a certificate to go to a local spa as a gift for their birthdays, which were close together. it had been a long season, and they were tired and needed some pampering. the third little bear stayed with mama and played games and had coffee and chatted about how much fun the other two must be having and how relaxed they would be after their special day.


when the two little bears got home, and came through the door, they had sad and disappointed looks on their faces, and one was even hobbling a bit. and they shared their story of what happened at the spa that day. it seems the spa had gotten them mixed up, as both of their names began with ‘h,’ and they had arrived together.

one had wanted a deep tissue sports massage, and spent a long time waiting for the massage to ‘really begin.’ she said when she heard the enya music, and smelled lavender and her masseuse was whispering, she had a feeling it was not going to be the experience she had expected. when she was finished, she walked out and came around the corner, only to run into her little bear sister who had tears in her eyes, and was walking very gingerly. she had been given the hardcore sports massage and had moaned and groaned throughout the treatment, as she was pummeled and twisted and turned, and she was waiting for the gentle massage to begin, and her whole body was now aching and she was in pain.

when they told mama and the third little bear the whole story, the listeners really did try to be sympathetic, they really, really did, but they could not stop laughing about the mixup. this did not make the two little spa bears feel any better. the ones who stayed home realized they had been the ones to have the relaxing day, not the ones who went out to seek comfort. but they were smart, and thought it might not be a good idea to bring it up right then.

when everyone calmed down, and when it had been quiet for a bit, they all sat down (carefully), and mama bear made everyone some comfort food, and gave each bear a healthy glass of red wine, and then all of the ‘h’s’, (who knows which went first?), took turns retelling their version of the story. and then there was laughter in the house once more, along some painful wincing going on.

The whole campaign was a tragic case of mistaken identity.  –  George McGovern


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57 responses »

  1. Lol. Believe me. This was so good. Especially the way you presented it. I work at a spa and my position has changed over the last nine years. After losing my own business in an earthquake. I started out as an Event Coordinator and a few years ago after the company I work for downsized due to the economy, I have worked at the front desk at the spa. We provide mineral spa tubs as well as facials and massages in a wine country community so we get a lot of tourists and locals and lets JUST say I am glad I am off today after working both Friday and yesterday on this three day weekend that
    just happened to fall on Valentine’s Day!
    So sorry for your three little bears story 😉 but I totally see how that could happen. Though I am pretty sure, SO far so good for us.Just glad I’m done.


    • cm – wow, you have really done it all. i wish i was at your spa right now! glad you have a bit of time off and the 3 little bears have all recovered and enjoyed sharing the story to this day )


  2. This, my friend, is a classic. Find an illustrator and put it out as a parents-only book in the style usually considered as the realm of children. The poor over-massaged H and the curious under-massaged H … and homebound H with mama laughing at their arrival and tale. Thank you for precious story, Beth. Hoooo-boy, the daughters should start wearing name tags when they are together.


    • thanks so much mark, it would be a fun read for someone needing a stress relief, wouldn’t it? h3 has just messaged me to tell me i forgot about the german and gladiator music blaring while she was being pummeled. ) they’ve given up on being called the proper name, and just accept it at this point.


  3. How funny, Beth! I can relate to this story on two different levels. As the youngest and third sister in my family, I was frequently called my older sisters’ names by my teachers and my mom. I hate to admit it but I have accidentally called my son our dog’s name when I’m just chatting it up. Lol! Good thing my son is a good sport and loves our dog.


  4. Ha I think we are all there with you. I used to be so puzzled at how my mom got us all mixed up, now I do it all the time. Just this morning I was coaching swimming and my youngest is in my group. I kept calling her her sisters names and eventually one little one commented asking me why I call her names of people not even in the pool. I suppose we’ll just have to explain to them it’s not personal. 🙂


  5. Such a wonderful story, I can imagine them walking in, grimacing and hobbling, the other refreshed. I love how you pulled this together as mama and her three bears and the pic is just as adorable as your words. Ahhhh wine…how that can help, a wonderful tale that will continue to be told. 🙂 xx


  6. Oh Beth, this will be a family story for years to come!
    I know what you mean about calling your children by the wrong name. With two girls and two boys, I often didn’t even get the sex right.


  7. Those little bears need to count their blessings…(fun story!) and be thankful they aren’t one of the 19 of that TV family that all have names beginning with the same letter – boys and girls alike!

    And it doesn’t matter if they have different names. When Mama bear is tired or wants just one of her little bears, she’ll rattle of everyone’s names (Mother-in-law did this) and expect who ever is around to attend to her post haste!

    Lesson learned: Check who the appointment is for 🙂


  8. It oesn’t matter what you named them. You would still call them by the wrong name. Every lecture I ever received from my father informed me that he had five kids. Then he would name them, going down in order from eldest (Beth) to youngest (me). It was so annoying that I finally shouted at him to just call me number 5. It became his term of endearment for me. And it will always be my lucky number.


  9. I laughed at this one, Beth! You did an amazing job with this, building up to the surprises!
    Especially since I have a few grandchildren with the same first initial and have already called one for the other.
    My Mom really regretted her ‘ingenuity’ as a young teacher of naming us all “R’s” since she and my Dad had “R” as their first letter, too. Try to shout out RRR’s (at a playground) and you start sounding really funny, like a fire engine! All because of Reading, ‘Riting, n ‘Rithmetic. Silly Mama’s! I named my three with totally different letters so at least my kids are not getting their names mixed up!


  10. I dread to think what else could have been on the menu, some of those spa’s have strange ideas on relaxation, for instance it could have been the orgy rub, don’t worry it’s not what you are thinking but in the wrong hands anything could happen? 😉 Yes I am kidding again, your story is much better and it is very amusing how they got mixed up with someone else 😦 Poor things 🙂 lol Mind you the tall glass of wine would have helped a lot, actually I wouldn’t mind some of that myself, the wine not the heavy pummelling 😦 Groooowl

    Andro xxxx


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