This is the story of Three Bears. Their names are Cookie, Donny Boy and Snow Star. They are not exactly a Mama Bear, a Papa Bear and a Baby Bear, but one of those new-type families consisting of three adults of assorted sexes.

The Three Bears got a beautiful new house, right in the middle of the National Zoological Park. It had all the latest luxuries. It had two dens. It had two swimming pools. It had an artificial waterfall. It had a steep slide from the shallow pool above down to the deep, deep pool below.

Yesterday was the opening of their new house. The Three Bears were not there. Cookie and Donny Boy had gone next door, and been locked in there. Snow Star had gone inside his den and got locked in.

Meanwhile, hordes of people they don't remember inviting took over their pool, swimming, shouting and generally frolicking. This is not an uncommon experience with swimming pool owners, some of whom have been heard to shout, "WHO'S THAT SWIMMING IN MY POOL?"

The people swimming in the Three Bears' pool yesterday were employees of the zoo and their families. The Three Bears had not invited them. Dr. Theodore Reed, the head of the zoo, had. He wore a yellow and blue striped two-piece bathing suit.

There was Mitch Bush. He is a veterinarian. He had planned to wear a polar bear suit and scare people. He found out is costs $75 to rent a polar bear suit. He came in a swimming suit and carried a can that read, "Polar Bare Repellent."

There was Jordan Ross.He works in the graphics department. He made his tic. He walked to the pool from his office and watched the grown-ups pretend they had not seen a man in a polar bear suit. He got in the pool and lots of kids pushed at him and grabbed him. He said he called the experience "Paws."

And there was a little, golden-haired girl who said, when she had to go home, "Mommy, can we come back here and swim again tomorrow?"

Sure, kid. Only the Three Bears will be home then.