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Today's Birthday

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

The Castle
A very long time ago, on a small farm, there lived a poor farmer with his three daughters. He never made much money as his farm was very small. When he was a young man, he lost the most valuable thing in his life. His beautiful and kind wife died when their last baby daughter was born.
Now his daughters were almost young women, but the farmer still felt the same pain in his heart for her.
One day, he called his girls.
"Girls! Listen to me! We have more fruit from our trees, and more wheat from our fields, than ever before. I can sell a lot of food this year and buy a new cart.
Gertrude, his eldest daughter was very happy about this.
"Good! Because I cannot walk to the village any more, or carry wood for the fire. I need a cart."
Ursula, his second daughter, was also happy about it.
"Can I come with you, Father? I want to see the town for once!'
"I can't take you with me. You must help your sisters with the work on the farm. But I will bring each of you a present." "I want a new satin dress! An expensive one!" "I want some new clothes, too. And I want some jewellery
-    a necklace and a ring!
"Well, girls, I will buy you what I can." Then he looked at his youngest daughter.
"What do you want from the town?"
"Father, I only want.you to come back home safely."
The farmer saw in her kind face the face of his dear, sweet wife. But then his other daughters shouted.
"You only say that because you want to make us look selfish!"
"Don't listen to her, Father! She likes this poor life on the farm. She is stupid!"
This was not true; she was very clever. She was also very beautiful. And that was why her name was Beauty.
The farmer looked at the older girls. Why were they so unkind? He looked at Beauty and smiled at her.
"Come on, my love, let me bring you a present. Tell me, what do you want?"
"Alright, Father. Will you bring me a rose?"
"A rose? Why, only a rose my dear, when you could have a present?"
"A rose looks so pretty, Father. And when you touch it, it is like silk, so soft. And the smell - there is no perfume as lovely as a rose."
"Yes, my dear. You are right. I will bring you one."
The next day the farmer left early in the morning. It was a long journey through the forest. He stayed in a small inn, and the next day he went to the market.
"Oh dear! Carts are very expensive! I can only buy a very small one."
After that, he looked at clothes for his daughters, but they were very expensive, too.
"I only have enough money for one dress and a pair of shoes. It is better than nothing."
When the farmer left the town the next day, the weather was terrible. It was a cold, November day, the sky was grey and heavy and the wind was strong. As he left the town it started to snow. It was pretty at first, but an hour later he began to worry.
He took the horse into the forest but there was no path, just deep snow.
"It isn't possible -1 have lived here all my life, but now I'm lost!'
The weather got worse and worse. It was nearly dark, and the farmer was scared as he was now completely lost.
Just then, the horse began to go faster. It found a path, and it followed it.
Faster and faster the horse went, into the deep snow. Then suddenly there were no more trees - just a big, open space.
"I must be dreaming! For a moment I thought I saw a castle."
But he wasn't dreaming.
There, in front of him stood a beautiful big castle!
"I will ask for food and a bed for the night. I am so tired and hungry! And tomorrow someone will show me the way home."
He went through the enormous gates, into the garden, and left his horse in the stable.
There were no other horses in there, but there was some food.
Then he walked up to the castle door. It was open. "That's strange! I wonder who lives here."
The ROSE
"Hello! Is anybody there?" There was no reply.
"That's very strange! A wonderful castle like this, but nobody in it. Perhaps there is someone upstairs."
The farmer went up the grand staircase and into the rooms upstairs. He opened a door into a small room. It was warm inside, there was a big fire with a comfortable chair in front of it. He saw a table with a meal on it, and a bed ready to sleep in.
The farmer sat down and ate the meal. Then he went over to the bed. He was very tired, and he went to sleep immediately. The next morning he woke up with the sun shining on his face. At first, he didn't remember where he was. Then he saw the table - with breakfast on it.
Hot, fresh coffee, sweet bread rolls, jam, fruit and fresh cream. He ate the breakfast, and then looked around the room. In the corner, there was a jug of hot water, soap and a towel.
"Well, I need a wash, it's true. But who did all this?" He washed and then left the room. He walked along the long hallways and down the stairs. Again he called out: "Hello! Is anybody there?" Again, there was no answer.
"Well somebody knows I am here, but who? And how can I say thank you for the kindness, the food and bed? Oh, well, never mind. Maybe one day a poor traveller will come to my door. I will certainly do the same thing for him. Now, I must go; my daughters are waiting for me."
He went to get his horse from the stables which were across the garden.
The garden was beautiful - lovely green grass and flowers of every colour. He suddenly remembered his promise to Beauty to bring her a rose. At that moment, he saw something in the middle of a flowerbed.
"Just look at that rose! I have never seen anything so beautiful in all my life!"
The rose was pink, but inside it there was a golden light. It was so bright that he thought:
"It cannot be real, it must be magic! It is a perfect present for Beauty."
He put his hand forward to pick the rose.
"LEAVE IT ALONE!"
A terrible voice shouted at him.
"Who do you think you are? I give you everything a poor traveller needs and you STEAL MY ROSE!"
What a noise! The ground shook under the farmer's feet. He turned his head, and he saw ... it!
It was on two legs, like a human. But it was taller than any human. It was covered with fur - long dark fur. It had gigantic paws and horrible long ears. But the worst thing was the face, the horrible, ugly face. It had eyes like a wolf, and two big horns. The face was angry and fierce, and the voice - oh, the voice! The words of a human, but the sound of a wild lion.
The farmer was very scared.
"I am very sorry. I didn't want to upset you. And you are right, you have done everything to make me welcome in your home."
"So in return you steal!
"I ... I am s .. s .. sorry! But the rose wasn't for me. I did it for someone very special, someone with a heart of gold." "And who is that?"
"It's my youngest daughter, Beauty." Now the Beast was quieter and calmer. But still, when he spoke, the farmer was afraid. "Why do you call her Beauty?"
"Because she is the most beautiful girl in the whole world, and her heart is as lovely as her face. Please, I beg you, forgive me, and let me go to her."
"I will let you go to her, but you must bring her back to me. I am looking for someone with a very good heart. Bring me your daughter, and you will live."
"Oh, no! I cannot ask my Beauty to give her life to save mine! Please, no. I am so sorry about the rose ..."
"DID YOU HEAR ME? GO! BRING BEAUTY TO ME!"
Now the farmer was terrified.
"Yes I..."
"QUIET! You have one week. You must be back here in one week, with your daughter Beauty. She must come here because she wants to come. And don't bring another daughter - I want Beauty. If you don't come back with her I will find you and kill you. Do you hear me?"
"Yes, yes. I hear you."
"Now take the rose to Beauty and go."
Beauty Goes to the Beast
The farmer went back to the flower bed. He picked the rose, then took his horse and cart and left the castle. He rode through the forest with a heavy heart.
"Now I am going to lose Beauty, my dear Beauty. How can I tell my daughters about this? I am no good as a father."
He thought about all this until he reached his house. His two older daughters saw him through the trees, and they ran out to meet him.
"Father! Is this the new cart? It's not very big!"
"Father! Where are our presents? Come on! I want to see my jewellery!"
"Come inside."
Beauty was in the kitchen, and when she saw her father she ran to him and kissed him.
"Father! You are safe! But what took you such a long time? I was worried. Come and have some hot soup, you look so tired."
"Oh, get out of the way, Beauty. We want to see our presents."
"Where are they, Father? I can only see two bags."
"Come and sit down and listen to me, all of you."
And he told them everything. About the cart, and how expensive it was, and that he didn't have enough money for all the presents. And then about the journey in the snow, and the castle in the middle of the forest.
"A castle, Father! How lovely! Were they friendly to you? Did you eat lovely food?"
Then the farmer went over to his coat, and he took the rose out of his pocket.
"Here you are, my dear Beauty. This was the most expensive present of all. In fact, I don't know how to pay for it."
Beauty took the rose.
"Father, it's perfect! How did you find such a wonderful flower? And why was it so expensive? What do you mean?"
The farmer told the daughters about the rose, and the horrible Beast in the garden.
"Was he very angry, Father? Did he hurt you?"
"Oh, my girls. I don't know how to tell you. Yes, the Beast was very angry. I am only here now because I made a promise."
"A promise? To a Beast?"
"What was the promise?"
"Tell us, Father."
"The Beast said I must give him one of my daughters in one week, or he will come here and kill me. Beauty must go!" Ursula was angry.
"It's all your fault, Beauty. You asked for the rose. Why didn't you ask for a proper, sensible present? Eh?" But Beauty was calm.
"Father, I cannot let the Beast harm you. I must go!" "NO! I can't let you go!"
"Father, you are in danger. I love you more than anything or anyone in the whole world. You are so good to me! Now it is my turn to be good to you. I want to go."
"Beauty, you don't know what you are saying. The Beast is ugly, and very frightening."
"It doesn't matter. I want to do this for you. Now, eat your soup, and go to bed. Goodnight."
Beauty kissed her father, and went to bed.
Five days later, Beauty and her father left. When they reached the castle, Beauty saw how wonderful it was. "Father! It is fantastic!"
Beauty was very nervous, but she didn't want her father to know. She knew that he was very unhappy. "Hello! Is anybody at home?" The Beast stood at the top of the stairs. "Hello, Beauty."
What a terrible voice! Beauty's heart almost stopped. She could only see his shadow, but she answered him. "Hello, Beast."
"Beauty, don't be afraid. Tell me. Have you come here because you want to be here?" "Yes, Beast. I have."
Beauty looked at her father. There were tears in his eyes, and on his face. He covered his face with his hands.
"Farmer, go to the next room, and fill the two big boxes with jewels, clothes, and anything you like in the room. Take them and go."
When the Beast left the room, Beauty said:
"Oh Father, please don't cry! "
She brought him to the next room and filled two boxes with clothes and jewels while he watched helplessly. He left the same night, unable to forgive himself but also very frightened of the Beast.
The Dream
Beautv stood at the window and watched her father as he left the castle. She waved as he rode out of the garden, and into the forest. She watched him as he got further and further away. When he was only a tiny spot of colour in between the trees, she left the window and looked around the room. She was completely alone and very scared. She lay down on the bed, hid her head in the pillows, and cried herself to sleep.
In her sleep, Beauty had a dream. She dreamed that she was in the hall of the castle, and that she saw a handsome young man. She walked up to him. His eyes were deep blue, with a beauty that was not of this world. She saw that he was not an ordinary man, but a Prince. There was something magical about him. When he spoke, his voice went straight to her heart. She looked at him and she was filled with love for him. He spoke to her.
"Beauty don't be sad. Things are not the way they seem. Please find me, and save me from my misery. I am very unhappy."
"But Prince, how can I help you?"
"Don't trust your eyes. Just listen to your heart."
Then a clock striking softly twelve times, woke her up. Beauty remembered where she was. She remembered the wonderful Prince of her dream, and she was calm and happy. She remembered that in the dream the Prince was in the hall, so she decided to go there.
She walked around the hall and it was all the same as in the dream. But, of course, there was no Prince. Beauty had a wonderful time exploring the castle. But she could not stop thinking about the Prince. "But what does it all mean? After all, it was only a dream, but it seemed so real. Is the Beast so cruel that he can keep the Prince in prison? He must be very evil!" While looking for the Prince she found a room full of toys and stuffed animals which spoke to her and danced with her. In the next room musical instruments played themselves. The third room she entered was bright, full of candles, lamps and chandeliers. A beautiful fur cape flew in front of her, she took it and put it round her shoulders. When she finally got back to her room there were all kinds of books for her to read, and a delicious meal on the table. Beauty ate the meal, and started to read one of the books. She was so interested in the story that she didn't hear anyone at the door. She looked up and the Beast was in front of her. She was very frightened although he spoke softly to her. "Hello, Beauty. Did you find things to make you happy today?" "Yes, thank you, Beast." "Good. I want you to be happy here. Are you happy?" "Oh, yes, Beast. Everything is lovely here." "Beauty, I want to ask you something. But you must give me an honest answer, the answer that comes from your heart." "Yes, Beast. What is it?"
"Beauty, I love you. Do you love me? Will you marry me?" What should she say? She was afraid of him, and she didn't know how to say "no". And so, she said,
"No, Beast. You are kind, but I don't love you. And I don't want to marry you."
At this the Beast let out a roar of anger and pain.
"Why don't you love me? Am I so ugly?!" he shouted at the terrified Beauty, and left the room.
The Strange Room
The Beast frightened Beauty but he made her sad too - he seemed so unhappy. She went back to her story book, and tried to forget about him - she didn't know what else to do.
That night Beauty had another dream about the Prince.
This time he was unhappy.
"Beauty, my Beauty. Why are you unkind to me? I love you so much - why do you hurt me?"
His eyes were full of tears and Beauty felt a pain in her heart.
It was such a sad dream that Beauty woke up. She sat up in bed.
"What have I done to the Prince? Why is he so sad? I hate to see him like this. What can I do?"
She remembered the other dreams, and she still didn't understand.
"They are only dreams, after all. The reality is this castle, and the Beast."
Beauty got up and went to look around the castle again. "I wonder what I shall find today."
She found some stairs and went up them. When she reached the top, she found a door.
Beauty opened the door, and went inside.
"What a strange room! Everything is old here. Old toys, old furniture, old pictures. I wonder where they came from."
She picked up one of the pictures.
"I can't believe it! It's the Prince. A picture of the Prince. So he is real!"
It certainly was a picture of the Prince. He was exactly the same as the one in her dream - even the clothes were the same. But where was he? And why was he in her dreams? She remembered how lovely he was, and she wanted to see him again. And she remembered his message in the dream.
"Things are not the way they seem."
And she remembered the other part of the message.
"Please don't leave me, save me!"
She went to many more rooms, but they weren't interesting anymore. She wanted to look for the Prince.
Eventually it got dark, and Beauty went back to her room. The fire was bright, and the meal was on the table for her as usual. She ate the meal and sat down to read her book. Again, the door opened, and the Beast came in.
"Hello, Beauty."   "
"Hello, Beast."
"Did you enjoy your day?"
"Yes. The castle is full of lovely things. I was very happy."
She decided not to tell him about the Prince.
"Tell me, Beauty. Do you really like being here?"
"Oh, yes, Beast."
"And do you like me?"
"Oh, yes, you are very kind to me."
She decided to be more friendly to him, so she asked him a question.
"Beast, what do you do all day? I never see you in the castle. Have you got any friends?"
The Beast walked to the window and sat down. Then he turned round and said sadly:
"Beauty. Do you love me? Will you marry me?"
She knew she didn't love him.
"Say what you feel, Beauty. 1 only want your honest feelings."
"I ... I ... don't love you. You are very kind. I like you a lot. I don't want you to be sad or lonely. But the truth is ... I ... I must love the person that I marry. And so - I don't want to marry you."
The Beast stood up quickly. He turned his face away from her. Then he walked out of the room.
The Mirror
Beauty watched the Beast as he left the room. She felt sad for him but she didn't love him. She tried to read her book, but she was too worried about the Beast.
"Maybe I should marry him - to make him happy. But I can't - he told me to tell him ray real feelings. I must tell the truth. Father told me always to keep my promises, and to tell the truth."
But when she thought about her father, she felt sad again. She missed him so much!
Poor Beauty! She felt worse and worse. Her father was not happy, the Beast was not happy and she was not happy. She tried to forget all the sadness, and she looked down at her book.
A tear fell onto the page. Another one and then another. Beauty went to bed and cried herself to sleep again.
In her dream the Prince came to her once more.
"Beauty don't believe everything you see. Find me, my love, and save me."
The dream ended, and the next thing she heard was the clock waking her up.
Beauty thought about his message. What did it mean? And where was he?
Many months passed. Beauty discovered a new room every day, and new things to make her happy.
She played all day. Every evening the Beast visited her, asked the same question and she gave the same answer. And every night she dreamed of the Prince. His message was always the same, but she still didn't understand it.
As the days went by Beauty noticed something. She wasn't frightened of the Beast any more. His voice was strange - but no longer terrifying. And although his face was certainly very ugly, when she looked in his eyes she saw that he had real feelings in his heart.
The Beast often came to visit her and asked her about her day in the castle.
One day something strange happened. Beauty opened a door in one of the long hallways and walked into a golden room.
There was a golden table, a golden wardrobe and a big, golden bed.
"I wonder who sleeps here. Maybe this is the Beast's bedroom."
She opened the doors of the wardrobe.
They certainly were not the Beast's clothes.
Inside the wardrobe there were the most magnificent clothes: dresses, robes, hats and crowns. Beauty picked a dress. It was golden, with beautiful big pearls. She put it on, went over to the mirror, and looked in it. It was beautiful - she looked like a queen.
"If only my sisters and my father could see this! I miss Father, I wish I could see him."
Suddenly, a cloud appeared in the mirror. "What is happening?"
Beauty put her face closer to the mirror - and the cloud cleared away. But the bed was not the same. Now it was a simple, wooden bed. It was a bed for a country cottage - not for a castle.
It was her father's bed and he was lying in it. His face was white and he looked terribly ill. Beauty cried out,
"Father, don't die! Wait for me, I'm coming to take care of you!
Beauty Visits her Father
Beauty ran from the golden room back to her own room. She lay down on the bed and cried.
When the Beast came in for his usual visit, he saw her crying.
"What is the matter, Beauty?"
"Oh, Beast! My father is ill! Let me go and see him!"
"Don't worry, Beauty. Your father is ill but he is not going to die. It is right that you visit him though."
"Oh, Beast, he needs me. When can I go?"
"Listen, Beauty. You can go very soon, maybe tomorrow. But I want you to remember something very important."
"What is it?"
"Your place is here in the castle, and you must return. You may stay with your father for one month. He will get better -it will be enough time."
He put his big, hairy paw on her shoulder.
"You must not stay longer."
"Yes, I understand, and don't worry. I will be back here in a month."
"Beauty, you must promise this." "I promise.
"Good. Now, take this."
The Beast gave her a gold ring.
"Oh, it's beautiful!"
"Yes, and it is special, too. Put it on your finger. On the day that you want to come back to the castle turn the ring, round your finger, three times. You will not need a horse to return. Just say goodbye to your family, go to bed and turn the ring. Three times. Do you understand?"
"Yes. And I will keep my promise. And Beast..."
"Yes?"
"Thank you."
Beauty almost put her arms round him and kissed him.
"He is so kind. There is something soft and gentle in him. Sometimes I want to cry when I look at him," she thought to herself.
The Beast left the room, and Beauty went to bed. But she didn't go to sleep straight away, she was so excited.
"What will Father say when he sees me? I can't wait to see him. But the strange thing is - I feel sad about leaving the Beast."
She lay for a while, and looked at the fire. It was a lovely room, and a lovely castle. Feeling very happy she went to sleep.
That night Beauty had a dream. She dreamed of the Prince, but this time the dream was sad. He spoke to her.
"Oh, Beauty! Why are you leaving me?"
"I'm only going to see my father who is very ill."
"I'll die if vou leave. Please save me."
"You won't die. I will come back."
"Why don't you save me, Beauty? Find me and save me." "I am looking for you, Prince, but I can't find you." "Beauty, things are not the way they seem." "I must go to my poor father. But I have promised the Beast that I will return."

"Do you really promise, Beauty?"
"Yes. The Beast is so kind. I won't hurt him. A promise is a promise."
"And you will keep your promise?" "Of course, I will."
Then the Prince's voice became very weak, and the dream finished. Beauty slept.
When she woke up she heard a different voice - but one that she knew. She opened her eyes and saw a window - and she remembered that, too. Then she realised that she was home.
She ran into her father's room.
"Beauty! Where did you come from?"
"Oh, Father! I don't know how I got here. But never mind about me. How are you?"
Beauty's father's face was very white, and he looked very weak.
"My dear, I have been very ill, but I am going to be all right."
"You will get much better now that I am here to look after you."
Beauty told her father about her life in the castle and all the wonderful rooms.
"How lovely. But, Beauty, what about the Beast?"
"The Beast is nice, Father. He visits me every evening, and he wants me to be happy. He is very kind."
Then Beauty heard her sisters in the next room.
"Gertrude! Ursula! I'm home!"
The girls came into their father's room.
"Well, well, well! Isn't the castle good enough for you?"
Then Ursula saw the ring on Beauty's finger.
"Oh, what a wonderful ring, can I wear it Beauty?"
"Oh, no! I'm the eldest and I must wear the ring."
"Now, now girls, we have work to do."
Nothing had changed, but Beauty was glad to be home.
The Beast Calls for Help
With Beauty looking after him, her father soon got better.
"Are you going back to the castle, Beauty?"
"Yes, Father, 1 must. But not yet. Don't think about it - let's just enjoy our time together."
She didn't want to leave him, but she had no choice."
She remembered what the Beast told her before she left.
"I can't leave him. I promised him. And he is so kind - I don't want to hurt him. I can't let the Beast die - but I can't hurt my father. What shall I do?"
More than a month passed, but Beauty still didn't want to leave her father and her home. She went to bed one night, and she thought about the Beast.
That night, Beauty dreamed that she went to visit the castle. It was a sunny day. She walked into the garden room where she often played. It was full of trees and had water fountains and butterflies everywhere. It looked just like a real garden but there was no water in the fountains now -they were dry. And the leaves on the trees were yellow and brown. A lot of them were on the floor.
"It looks like autumn!" she thought.
Then she noticed that the butterflies were all dying and falling to the ground like leaves.
Beauty walked around the room. She saw something in the corner, under a tree. It was the Beast. He looked very ill. She ran to him.
"Beast! It's me Beauty. What's wrong with you?"
He answered in a very slow voice.
"I ... am ... dying ... Beauty."
"But why?"
"Because ... you ... have ... broken ... your ... promise. Come ... back ... quickly. I ... am ... dying." At this time the dream faded.
The next morning Beauty remembered her dream.
"Oh, what have I done? I made a promise, and the Beast trusted me. He might be in danger."
She didn't want to go but she knew she had to.
All day, Beauty worried about saying goodbye. She cooked a special dinner, and she made a cake. She sat with her father and sisters in the warm kitchen.
"Beauty, that was a lovely dinner. But why do you look so
sad?"
"I must leave, Father. I must go back to the castle." "Why, Beauty?"
"I made a promise. I told the Beast that I would go back." Beauty felt sad. Her father looked at her and put his hand on hers.
"You are quite right, my love. A promise is a promise."
She sat alone by the fire for a few minutes.
"I want to remember it just like this. Goodbye for now, Father. And stay well. I want to find you strong and healthy when I come back again."
He held her in his arms.
"Beauty, my love! You are so special."
Beauty felt the tears in her eyes. She didn't want to cry in front of her father, so she quickly kissed him and then left the room.
Beauty went into her room. She touched the ring on her finger.
"Oh, well. This is it!"
She closed her eyes and turned the ring round her finger three times.
When she woke up the next morning she was in the castle.


Back at the Castle

At first Beauty wasn't sure where she was, but then she saw the clock.
"That's funny. It didn't strike twelve times. Or maybe I didn't hear it. Well, I am a little late, but now I am back at the castle, so everything should be alright."
She got out of bed, but everything was wrong. First of all, the room was very cold.
"That's strange. There is no fire."
Beauty got dressed very quickly, because she was cold. Then she felt hungry, and, as usual, she went to the table for breakfast. But the table was empty.
"Oh, no! The Beast! I am too late."
Beauty ran out of the room. She ran down the stairs, and along the hallways.
"Where is the Beast? I must find him, before he dies.
Oh, Beast, what have I done?"
Beauty ran all over the castle. But everything looked different.
"Which way is it? I can't remember. And why is it so dark? The castle is usually full of candles."
Beauty ran, but every time she came back to the same place: her own door. Not just once, but again and again.
"The castle is getting darker. Something terrible is happening."
She went to the top of the stairs near a door. But now it was very dark.
There was a light behind the door, and the door was slightly open. Beauty went through it, and then she saw where she was. It was the garden room. But it wasn't like the room she played in.
"No! The trees are dying! Beast! Beast! Are you here?" There was no reply. She ran to the corner just like in her dream.
"Oh, no! Beast! Can you hear me?"
The Beast was on the floor - exactly as he was in the dream.
"Is he breathing? I can't see!"
The Beast's eyes were almost shut. There was no sign of life in them. He was lying still.
"He is dead! I have killed him! I broke my promise and now he is dead, it's all my fault."
Beauty lay down and put her face onto his. She cried and cried, and her tears ran down the Beast's face.
"You were so kind. You had this horrible body and face, but you were so good inside. And you loved me and trusted me!"
She put her arms round him and she held him close. He was cold and heavy.
"And all the time I didn't want to touch you because you were so ugly. But your heart was beautiful! Oh, Beast, my love, don't die!"
Beauty's tears ran over the Beast's eyes. The fur on his face was wet from her tears. Beauty looked at him. She looked at his eyes. They were open just a little. Exactly as they were in the dream.
"Oh, Beast! Can you hear me? Can you speak?"
The Beast spoke very slowly.
"Beauty ... you ... have ... come ... back."
"Yes, Beast. I am so sorry I took so long."
"Beauty ... do you love me?"
"Oh, Beast! I will love you forever!"
"Beauty ... will you stay with me and never leave me again?"
"Yes. I will always be with you.
"Then. I will live. I will live!"
Beauty looked at his face - and she looked again.
"What... what is..."
The long dark fur on his face started disappearing. Beneath it there was light-bright, golden light.
"Beast - your face - it is shining. And your fur - where is it going? What's happening to you?"
And then there was no fur, no horns, no animal face at all. She looked at his body.
The great paws, the tail, the fur - all disappearing. She looked back at the face.
"But - are you? Yes - you are the Prince!"
Now there was no sign of the Beast anymore. The Prince got up from the floor, and onto one knee.
"Oh, Beauty! You did it. You saved me. You found me and you saved me. Beauty, will you marry me now?"
"Oh, yes! Yes, my love!"
Beauty and the Prince
Suddenly the room was bright and sunny. The leaves returned to the trees, and water came back into the fountains. The butterflies came back to life, then suddenly they stopped; they were no longer butterflies but beautifully dressed people.
"I don't understand. What is happening? Who are they?"
"Let me explain. A long time ago I was a Prince in this castle. But I'm afraid I was not a good Prince. One day an old lady came to the castle. It was cold, and she was lost in the snow."
"The same as Father!"
"Exactly the same. The old woman spoke to a servant, but I was at the door, too. The old woman was very ugly. I told her to go away."
"I can't believe it! You are so kind."
"I am now, but I wasn't then. But she was not just an ugly old lady, she also had magic powers. And she changed me into the Beast. And when I was a Beast I learned to be kind."
"But where do I come into the story?"
"The old lady told me this. You will stay like that until your heart becomes good. Only the true love of a woman can change you back.' You were the woman with true love, Beauty."
The Prince took Beauty's hand and walked her to the door.
He opened the door into a long hall.
The hall was full of people. Two long lines of men with trumpets stood on each side of the hall. When Beauty and the Prince entered, the trumpets played. A group of young ladies ran to Beauty's side.
"We are here to serve you, Beauty."
"These were the toys, Beauty. Your love has saved them all."
The castle looked very different with people in it. It was always a beautiful castle, but now it was full of life, too. The Prince  called  a messenger.
"Young man, take the fastest horse in the stable, and a big cart. Go and bring Beauty's father and sisters from the cottage in the forest. Your family's home is here with us now!"
The next day people rich and poor, young and old came to see the royal wedding. The church in the castle was full of flowers. There was a choir of one hundred singers, and the finest musician played the organ.
Beauty looked like an angel from heaven in her long white and golden wedding dress.
She stood next to the Prince and the priest married them. The Prince put the ring on Beauty's finger, and kissed his bride.
Beauty's father looked at his beautiful daughter standing at her husband's side, and wiped a tear from his eyes.
The couple walked slowly out of the church into the courtyard where the wedding banquet would be held. As the music started playing, the guests cheered happily.

 
 

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