Beauty and the Beast | A Short Bedtime Stories
In the whimsical land of fairy tales, where castles touch the sky and animals converse with humans, there lived a merchant like no other. This is the enchanting tale of “Beauty and the Beast,” reimagined with a sprinkle of humor and a dash of modern wit. So snuggle under your blankets, dear readers, for a bedtime story that will transport you to a world where appearances deceive and love conquers all.
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there lived a wealthy merchant with a heart full of love for his three daughters. He was no ordinary merchant; he was more like a master of expense, investing generously in their education. The daughters grew up in a world of luxury, and among them, the youngest was named Beauty – a name that radiated charm but also ignited the flames of jealousy in her sisters.
The two older sisters had their noses perpetually held high in the air, thanks to their inherited riches. They wouldn’t be caught dead mingling with anyone other than the high society folks. Balls, parties, concerts – you name it, they were there. Meanwhile, Beauty found solace in the embrace of her books, much to the amusement of her sisters. “Beauty,” they’d snicker, “when are you going to realize that books won’t get you a dance partner?”
Then, out of the blue, disaster struck. The merchant’s wealth vanished like a magician’s trick, leaving behind a small countryside house as his only asset. Tearfully, he informed his daughters that they must pack their bags and head to the hinterlands to make a living. The older girls, however, were brimming with delusions of grandeur. “Oh, don’t worry about us, Father. Our admirers will sweep us off our feet even if we’re penniless,” they exclaimed confidently.
But reality had different plans. Their supposed admirers vanished faster than a cookie at a kids’ party. Their pride, which had once shone brighter than their jewelry, crumbled like a stale pastry. The townsfolk laughed, “Looks like the princesses have turned into peasants! Good riddance!” However, amidst all this, Beauty’s kind heart and warm nature won her friends among the villagers. “Isn’t Beauty such a sweetheart?” they’d say, shaking their heads at the sisters.
Settled in their countryside home, Beauty embraced her new life. Early mornings became her allies, as she tackled chores, cleaned the house, and prepared breakfast. From a life of leisure to one of labor, she initially struggled, but soon enough, her hands grew calloused and strong. After her tasks, she’d lose herself in books, spin yarn while humming a merry tune, and occasionally surprise herself by plucking at the harpsichord. Her sisters, on the other hand, grumbled about the inconveniences of country living and lamented their lost social status.
Then, one day, a glimmer of hope peeked through the clouds of their misfortune. A letter arrived, bearing news of a ship presumed lost but now miraculously recovered. The merchant was overjoyed, and he decided to embark on the journey to claim what was rightfully his. Before setting off, he asked his daughters what gifts they’d like. The older ones had material wishes – necklaces, chains – but Beauty, ever the gentle soul, asked for nothing more than a single rose.
With hope in his heart, the merchant set out on his quest. But the ship’s return turned into a whirlwind of chaos, legal disputes, and confusion. As he navigated this storm of problems, he thought of Beauty and her rose, and he set out to find one in the nearby woods. But fate had other ideas; he became lost, surrounded by wolves and chilling cold.
Suddenly, a light appeared through the trees. The merchant stumbled upon a palace lit from top to bottom, shining like a star in the night. Intrigued and relieved, he entered, but the place seemed eerily empty. Nevertheless, a table adorned with sumptuous food beckoned. Hunger and curiosity got the best of him, and he sat down to eat, feeling like an uninvited guest at a ghostly banquet.
Hours passed, yet no one appeared. Midnight chimed, and the merchant, riddled with hunger, had a leg of chicken in one hand and wine in the other. “I hope they don’t mind,” he muttered, trying to ease his guilt. The hours ticked away, and still, no one emerged. Finally, exhausted, he found a comfortable chamber and settled into a deep sleep.
Dawn broke, and the merchant awoke in the palace. His ragged clothes had been replaced by fine garments. “Is this the work of a kind fairy?” he wondered aloud, grateful for the mysterious hospitality. Days passed, and the merchant explored the palace, only to be met with invisible servants that seemed to anticipate his every need. He marveled at the wonders, all the while, the shadow of a promise he made to the Beast lingered in his mind.
At last, the day arrived when he was allowed to return to his daughters. Beauty’s sisters were overjoyed, and the eldest flaunted a new gem-studded necklace while the second proudly wore a heavy gold chain. But Beauty’s thoughts were with the Beast, and she was content with her rose. The merchant shared his adventures, but in her heart, Beauty sensed that something was amiss.
Her premonition was correct; the Beast demanded his due. In a garden, lit only by the moon and stars, the merchant came face to face with the creature. It was as if a nightmare had sprung to life – tusks, fiery eyes, and a bristled, horned visage. Trembling, the merchant explained his plight, but the Beast’s response was merciless: a life for a rose.
The merchant pleaded, “Please spare me, I have three daughters. The youngest, Beauty, she’s so kind and good-hearted!” The Beast listened and relented, but on one condition: a daughter had to willingly take his place. The merchant, bound by desperation, agreed, not knowing the implications of his oath.
Thus, Beauty found herself in the Beast’s palace, surrounded by invisible servants and a palace that seemed to respond to her desires. Her days were peaceful, yet loneliness gnawed at her. The Beast visited her every evening at nine, and his appearance, though fearsome, held a glimmer of vulnerability. As days turned into weeks, they talked about life, gardens, and their mutual discomfort with their appearances.
“Am I hideous?” asked the Beast one evening.
“Well, truth be told,” replied Beauty, “you wouldn’t win a beauty contest, but your heart is good.”
The Beast sighed, “At least I’ve got that going for me.”
Beauty’s time in the palace was pleasant, but she missed her family. And then, a fateful dream swept her into the night, where she saw the Beast suffering in the garden. Panic and worry consumed her, and at dawn, she woke up with tears on her cheeks. “I must return,” she whispered, knowing that her heart belonged with the Beast.
Back in the palace, she searched every corner, finally finding the Beast, seemingly lifeless. Desperation filled the air, but then his eyes fluttered open. “Beauty,” he rasped, “you forgot your promise, and I was ready to embrace death’s cold embrace. But now, knowing you’re here, I can depart with peace.”
“No!” Beauty exclaimed, realizing the depth of her love. “You won’t die, Beast. I’ll stay, I’ll marry you.”
With those words, the Beast’s hide cracked, and from within emerged a prince, handsome and grateful. He explained that a curse had trapped him in that monstrous form until true love set him free.
Happiness filled the palace, and soon Beauty’s family was brought to share in the joy. Her sisters, who had once scoffed at her, were now in awe. The older ones were married but unhappily, while Beauty had found true love in an unexpected place. From then on, the palace was a hub of love and laughter, and Beauty’s heartwarming journey became a cherished tale, reminding all who heard it that true beauty lay in kindness, compassion, and an open heart.
And so, dear friends, let this story be a reminder that appearances may deceive, but genuine love can transform even the most unlikely souls. And if you ever find yourself walking in the moonlight, keep an eye out for enchanted roses, for they might just lead you to an adventure of a lifetime, and a love that can break the most powerful spells.
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