Once upon a time, there were three
Here is a picture of the three of them.
Here is what they breakfasted on.
Passers-by, peering in through the windows, were often fascinated by the sight of these three beards sitting at the table eating their coats, munching on a sleeve or two and crunching on buttons. But the beards were perfectly happy and often agreed together that bits of coats didn't stay around on one the way spaghetti or soup often did. In fact, the three beards had a neighbour who exemplified just this problem.
So, the three beards had every reason to be happy with their lives. Until, one day, they had an encounter with a little girl. They'd just finished their breakfast and put the leftovers (two collars and a pocket) into the bin, when one of the beards looked out of the window and saw a little girl in the garden. 'SO golden, SO yellow,' he said to the others, and called to them to come and see what was so yellow. They all peered out. This is what they saw.
'Isn't that girl with the yellow chair supposed to come in at this point and try out our breakfast?' said one beard.
'She looks like she might still be on rice pudding and mashed carrot,' said another. 'Would she cope with the zips and the larger buttons?'
The third suggested, 'She does look hungry, though. Let's go and offer her something.'
Here's what they offered her.
As they watched the girl with the yellow chair bob away on the surface of the flood they'd offered her, out of their lives, without so much as a 'this bed is too small, this bed is too tall, this bed is just right', the three beards mused together on the kind of morning they'd had so far.
'Phew,' said one beard. 'I found all that a bit much to take.'
'I know what you mean,' said the others.
'In fact,' he said. 'I'm in need of a bit of comfort from you two. I'm feeling so emotional. Can you guess what it is I want?'
'Just say the word,' the others urged him, knowing that he wanted a cuddle. He was always one for a cuddle when he was feeling a bit upset. But cuddle wasn't the word he used (or tried to use). If only ....
Once they'd worked out that he was trying to say 'hung', and they'd done what he wanted, the two remaining beards went back into the cottage. At least there would be more coats to go round now when money was tight.