A rich man lives in a big city near the sea. He has got three daughters and three sons.
One daughter is called 'Beauty' because she is very beautiful. The other two daughters are called Rosalind and Hortensia. They are lazy and unfriendly. They like going out and having fun. They both want to find a rich husband. They do not like Beauty because she is beautiful.
Beauty has got long red hair. She is kind and friendly. She likes staying at home and reading books. She also likes playing the piano.
Beauty's father is a merchant. One day he loses all his money because his ship is lost at sea.
'My dear children,' he says sadly, 'I haven't got much money. We're poor. We must leave this big house and go and live in the country.'
'Oh, dear!' say the two sisters. 'We're poor — this is terrible!'
'What bad luck!' say the three brothers.
'We have to work now,' says Beauty's father.
'Work?' say the two sisters. 'No, we don't want to work! And we don't want to live in the country.' They start to cry.
Beauty is sad but she says, 'Let's not cry! We can work and be happy without money.'
The family goes to the country and lives in a small house. Beauty gets up at four o'clock every morning to clean the house and cook. Then she washes the family's clothes in the river. The three brothers work in the country.
Rosalind and Hortensia do not work. They do nothing all day. They sleep all morning and walk in the woods in the afternoon.
'I'm unhappy,' says Rosalind. 'I don't like the country because there's nothing to do.'
'We can't go to the theatre and wear nice clothes,' says Hortensia. 'And we haven't got any friends.'
'Look at Beauty,' says Rosalind angrily. 'She works and she's happy in this terrible place.'
Beauty's father says, 'Dear Beauty, you work a lot and you're always happy. You're a wonderful daughter.'
A year later Beauty's father gets an important letter. He calls his six children and says, 'Listen to this letter:'
You ship is here.
It is not lost at sea!
Please come to the port.
Everyone is happy. 'This is wonderful news!' say the three sons.
'Yes,' says their father, 'the ship with my goods is in the port.'
'We're rich again!' says Rosalind. 'We can buy beautiful clothes.'
'We can go back to our big house in the city,' says Hortensia. 'I must go to the port today,' says her father happily.
'Oh, father,' says Hortensia, 'bring me some new clothes and new hats.'
'Yes,' says Rosalind, 'and some new shoes and jewels.' Beauty's father looks at her and says, 'What do you want, Beauty?'
'Please don't spend your money, father,' says Beauty. 'Just bring me a rose.'
Beauty's father gets to the port and finds his ship. But there are no goods on it — it is empty!
'What bad luck!' he says angrily. 'I must go home and tell the children the bad news.'
On the way home he crosses a big forest. It is snowing and windy. He is lost.
'Where am I?' he thinks. 'Where can I go? I'm very cold and tired.' He hears some wolves and he is afraid. Suddenly he sees a big castle in the forest. And there are lights in the windows.
'Oh, good!' he thinks. 'Perhaps the people in the castle can help me.'
He takes his horse to the stable near the castle. He knocks on the big door of the castle but no one answers. He waits outside the door. Then he opens the door and goes inside. He sees a big hall with a fireplace. There is a long table with a lot of food on it.
He is cold and sits near the fireplace.
'How strange,' he thinks, 'there's no one here.'
He is hungry and sits down at the table and starts to eat.
Then he is sleepy. He finds a warm, comfortable bed and falls asleep. The next morning he finds some new clothes near his bed.
'How nice! New clothes!' he thinks. 'A kind person lives in this castle.'
He looks out of the window and is surprised.
'It's not snowing and it's a beautiful day!' he thinks. 'And there are flowers in the garden.'
He gets dressed and goes to the hall. There are biscuits, chocolate and milk on the long table. He sits down and says, 'Thank you for this lovely breakfast.' He looks round but sees no one.
He eats and decides to go home. He goes to the stable and gets his horse. In the garden he sees some roses.
'Beauty wants a rose,' he thinks. He takes a lovely one. Suddenly he hears a terrible noise. He turns round and sees an ugly monster.
'You're a bad man!' cries the Beast angrily. 'You come to my castle and I save your life. You eat here and you sleep here. And then you take one of my beautiful roses. For this you must die!'
Beauty's father starts to cry. Oh, sir, I'm sorry! You're very kind. Please don't be angry with me. This rose is for one of my daughters.'
'My name is not «sir'' — it is Beast. Please call me by my name. You talk about your daughters. Then one of your daughters must die in your place.'
'Oh, no!' says Beauty's father. 'They're young and they don't want to die.'
'Then you must come back here and die,' says the Beast. 'I can wait three months. Do you agree to come back?'
Beauty's father agrees to come back.
'My daughters must not die,' he thinks. 'I want to go home and see my children for the last time.'
Before Beauty's father leaves the castle the Beast talks to him.
'I'm not had,' says the Beast. 'Go back to your bedroom. There is a big chest there. Fill it with everything you want and it is yours.'
Beauty's father fills the chest with a lot of gold. Then he gets on his horse and goes home. When he is at home he gives the rose to Beauty.
'Take this rose, Beauty,' he says sadly. 'Let me tell you about my terrible adventure.'
He tells his children about the empty ship in the port, the castle in the forest and the Beast.
Rosalind and Hortensia are angry with Beauty. They say, 'Father must die because you like roses, Beauty!'
'No,' says Beauty, 'father is not going to die. I'm going to the Beast's castle!'
'No, dear sister,' say her three brothers. 'We're going to his castle and we're going to kill him!'
'No, that's not possible,' says their father. 'The Beast is very big and strong. I'm old — I must go and die.
But Beauty does not agree. She decides to go to the Beast's castle.
'No, father,' she says, 'you must not go. I want to go!'
'Never, my dear Beauty!' says her father.
'I'm not afraid,' says Beauty. 'You must live and look after my brothers and sisters. They need you.'
Beauty's father thinks for a moment. Then he says sadly, 'Alright, Beauty. You can go.'
Beauty's brothers are very sad, but Hortensia and Rosalind are not.
The next morning Beauty and her father go to the Beast's castle. Inside the castle they see a long table with a lot of good food on it.
Beauty and her father are not hungry, but they sit down and eat. Suddenly they hear a loud noise.
'What's that terrible noise?' asks Beauty.
'The Beast is coming,' says her father.
Beauty sees the Beast's ugly face and she is terrified
'Oh, this Beast is really terrible!' she thinks.
The Beast looks at her and says, 'You're a brave girl.'
'I'm very sorry about the rose from your garden...,' says Beauty quietly.
The Beast looks at Beauty's father and says, 'You must go away tomorrow. And don't come back! Do you understand?'
Beauty's father looks at the Beast and then at his daughter.
'Oh, Beauty,' he says, 'please go home! Let me stay here!'
'No, father,' says Beauty. 'We must be brave. We're both tired — let's go and sleep now. Tomorrow morning you can go home to my brothers and sisters.'
That night Beauty has a dream. In her dream a good fairy says, 'You're a good girl, Beauty. And you've got a kind heart. You want to save your father's life. You're going to be very happy one day.'
Life at the Castle
The next morning Beauty's father leaves the castle. He is crying.
'Don't cry, father,' says Beauty. 'Remember, I love you.'
'Goodbye, dear Beauty,' says her father.
Beauty is terrified. 'The Beast is going to eat me tonight,' she thinks. 'I want to enjoy my last day. I'm going to visit the garden of the castle.'
She goes to see the big garden and she is surprised. It is a beautiful garden with a lot of lovely flowers. Then she goes to see the big castle. She looks in all the rooms. On one door she sees this sign:
She opens the door and sees a lovely room. There is a nice bed and a mirror on the wall.
Beauty looks round and thinks, 'There's a piano and a lot of books for me. How strange! Perhaps the Beast doesn't want to eat me tonight.'
She takes a book and starts to read it. Suddenly she sees these words on the pages:
You're the queen here.
Tell me everything you want.
'I only want to see my poor father,' says Beauty.
Suddenly she sees her father in the mirror on the wall. He is very sad. She also sees her home and Hortensia and Rosalind. They are happy without Beauty.
'The Beast is kind to me,' she thinks. 'Why am I afraid of him?'
At 12 o'clock she has lunch. After lunch she goes to her room.
'What a beautiful piano!' thinks Beauty. 'I want to play it.'
She plays some wonderful music on the piano. Then she looks at all the books in her room. Some of them have got pictures and others have not. She takes a book about flowers and looks at the pictures of different flowers. Then she sees pictures of roses of all colours.
'Now I want to go to the garden and look at the lovely roses,' she thinks. She goes to the garden and stays there all afternoon. She looks at the flowers and feels happy.
At dinner time she sits down at the long table and then she hears the Beast coming. She is terrified.
'Beauty, can I sit here with you?' asks the Beast.
'You're the lord of the castle,' says Beauty.
'And you're the queen,' says the Beast. 'Can I ask you a question?'
'Yes, of course,' says Beauty quietly.
'Am I very ugly?' asks the Beast.
Beauty does not know what to say. She looks at him and thinks for a moment.
'Well, yes you are!' says Beauty. 'But you're kind and polite.'
The Beast looks at Beauty and smiles. 'You're right, I'm terribly ugly but I'm kind. This is your home now, Beauty. Please don't be sad!'
'Some men are handsome but they're not kind,' says Beauty. 'I prefer you because you've got a good heart.
'Thank you, Beauty,' says the Beast.
Now Beauty is not afraid of the Beast and she eats a big dinner.
The Beast looks at her and asks a question.
Do you want to marry me, Beauty?'
What a question! Beauty is terrified.
'What can I say?' thinks Beauty.
She is silent for a moment and then she says, 'No, I'm sorry I don't want to marry you.'
The Beast is angry and Beauty is afraid.
Then he goes out of the room and says, 'Goodbye, Beauty.'
The Magic Ring
Beauty spends three months at the beautiful castle. Every day she reads books and plays the piano. She walks everywhere in the big garden. She likes the tall trees and the flowers of different colours. She puts beautiful flowers in the rooms of the castle. Sometimes she makes perfume from the flowers.
But the days are long and she is often lonely. Beauty often thinks about her father, her sisters and her brothers.
'I want to see my father again,' she thinks sadly. 'And I want to see my home again too.'
The Beast goes to see her every evening at dinner time, at nine o'clock.
They talk about interesting things and are happy together. Beauty is not afraid of his ugly face now. Every evening the Beast asks Beauty the same question:
'Beauty, do you want to marry me?'
And every evening Beauty answers, 'No.'
One day Beauty says, 'Why do you ask me the same question every evening?'
'Because I hope to hear a different answer,' says the Beast.
'I'm sorry, I don't want to marry you,' says Beauty.
The Beast is very sad.
'But I'm always going to be your friend,' she says.
'You're a wonderful friend,' says the Beast.
'And you are too,' says Beauty smiling.
'I know I'm terribly ugly,' says the Beast. 'But I love you a lot. I'm very happy with you. Please, don't leave me!'
Beauty's face becomes red and she is quiet for a moment.
'In the mirror of my room,' says Beauty, 'I see my poor father. He's sad and lonely. He thinks I'm dead. My sisters are married and my brothers are away. I want to see my father for the last time. Can I go and see him, please?'
'Yes, you can go and see your father,' says the Beast. 'But I'm going to be very sad without you.'
'Oh, thank you!' says Beauty happily. 'Please don't be sad, Beast. I'm going to come back in a week.'
'Alright,' says the Beast. 'You can visit your father tomorrow morning. But remember, you must come back in a week. Before you come back put this ring on a table near your bed. It's a magic ring. Goodbye, Beauty.'
The Sisters' Plan
The next morning Beauty wakes up in her bedroom in her father's house. She gets up and goes downstairs.
When her father sees her he cries, 'Beauty, is that you? How wonderful! My daughter is well and she's here!'
Beauty is very happy and hugs her father.
'Get dressed quickly and then tell me about the Beast!' says her father happily.
She goes to her room and finds a chest full of beautiful clothes. 'This is a present from the Beast!' says Beauty to her father. He's very nice and gives me presents every day.' She chooses some lovely clothes.
'I want to give these lovely clothes to Rosalind and Hortensia,' she says.
When she says this the chest disappears!
'The Beast is watching you,' says Beauty's father. 'These beautiful clothes are for you and not for your sisters.'
Suddenly the chest comes back again.
That morning Rosalind and Hortensia come to visit their sister. They are both very unhappy.
'Oh, Beauty,' says Rosalind, 'I'm unhappy.'
'Why are you unhappy, Rosalind?' asks Beauty.
'Oh, it's a long story,' says Rosalind.
'Please tell me,' says Beauty.
'My husband is handsome and he spends all day in front of a mirror. He never looks at me or talks to me.'
'Oh, dear, that's a big problem,' says Beauty.
Hortensia says, 'My husband is very clever, but he doesn't like anyone, and no one likes him.'
'I can never invite my friends to lunch or dinner because he doesn't like them.'
'We've got a lot of problems with our husbands,' they say.
'My poor sisters!' says Beauty. 'I'm very sorry.'
'Tell us about the Beast,' says Hortensia.
Oh, the Beast is not a bad man,' says Beauty. 'He's very kind. I live in his beautiful castle and I'm the queen. I don't work. I read, play the piano and walk in the garden. Every evening the Beast comes to see me at dinner and we talk about a lot of things. It's wonderful.'
The two sisters are very angry and they go to the garden.
'Beauty wears lovely clothes and shoes,' says Rosalind. 'She's like a queen. She's very happy. Why is she lucky? And why are we unlucky?'
'You're right, Rosalind,' says Hortensia. 'We're not very lucky. But maybe we can be lucky! Beauty has to return to the Beast in a week, or he's going to get angry and eat her!'
'Then we must keep her here,' says Rosalind. 'Then the Beast is going to get angry.'
During the week the two sisters are kind to Beauty. They talk and laugh with her. They walk together in the country. Beauty is happy with her sisters.
'Rosalind and Hortensia love me,' she thinks. 'They're good sisters and I love them a lot.'
At the end of the week Beauty says, 'I must go back to the Beast's castle.' But her sisters start to cry.
'Oh, Beauty,' says Rosalind, 'please stay with us another week. We need you.'
'Yes, Beauty,' says Hortensia, 'please don't leave us. We have fun with you and we love you.'
'Yes,' says Rosalind, 'stay with us! We can do a lot of things together.'
Beauty does not know what to do. She decides to stay another week.
The Beast is going to be very sad without me,' Beauty thinks. 'But I want to stay with my family for a few more days. Then I'm going to go back to him.'
Beauty thinks about the Beast. She misses him.
Ten days later Beauty dreams about the Beast. In her dream the Beast is on the grass in the garden of the castle. And he's going to die!
'Beauty, whispers the Beast, 'today is the tenth day and you're not here. I can't live without you. I can't eat or drink.'
Beauty wakes up and thinks, 'The poor Beast is going to die without me! I must go back to him.'
She takes the ring and puts it on a table near her bed.
'The Beast is ugly but he's very kind,' she thinks. 'Why don't I marry him? I'm happy with him. My sisters have handsome, clever husbands — but they're not happy.'
Beauty falls asleep and the next morning she wakes up at the Beast's castle.
Today I'm going to wear a beautiful dress,' Beauty thinks.
At nine o'clock in the evening she goes to dinner and waits for the Beast. But he doesn't come to see her.
'What's happening?' Beauty thinks. 'Where's the Beast? Why isn't he here?'
'Beast!' she cries. 'Beast, where are you! Answer me!'
She opens the doors of all the rooms and looks everywhere in the castle. But she cannot find him. Suddenly she remembers her dream. She runs to the garden and sees the Beast on the grass.
'Oh, no!' she cries. 'Is he dead?' She listens to his heart and it is beating. 'Good! He's not dead!' she thinks.
She gets some cold water from the river and wets his face. The Beast slowly opens his eyes.
'Beauty,' he whispers, 'I'm dying… but I'm happy because you're here.'
'No, Beast,' cries Beauty. 'Don't die! You must live and become my husband. I love you and I can't live without you.'
Suddenly all the lights of the castle and the garden, turn on. There are beautiful fireworks in the sky. Beauty is surprised and looks at the castle. Then she turns round and looks at the Beast.
What a surprise! She sees a handsome young man.
'Thank you, Beauty,' says the young man. 'The spell is broken!'
'But where is the Beast?' asks Beauty. 'I am the Beast!' says the prince.
'I don't understand,' says Beauty. 'Who are you?'
'I'm a prince and this is my castle,' says the young man. 'Sometimes a bad witch puts a spell on a prince and only true love can break the spell. Now I know your love is true.'
The prince takes her hand and says, 'Do you want to marry me, Beauty?'
Beauty looks at the handsome prince and says, 'Yes, I do!'
Beauty and the prince go to the castle. When she opens the door she is surprised.
'My family! You're all here!' cries Beauty. She is happy when she sees her family. They talk and laugh together.
Suddenly she sees the good fairy from her dream.
'Beauty,' says the good fairy, 'you've got a kind heart and you're going to marry the prince and become a princess!'
Then the good fairy looks at Beauty's two sisters.
'You're both bad, lazy and unkind,' says the fairy. 'You don't love anyone!'
The fairy says some magic words and suddenly Rosalind and Hortensia become statues.
'Oh, no!' cries Beauty. 'My sisters are statues!'
'Your sisters have got hearts of stone,' says the fairy. 'Now they can't move, but they can see and hear everything. When they understand their mistakes they can become Rosalind and Hortensia again.'
The next day Beauty and the prince get married. Everyone dances and sings in the castle. It is a happy day. People give flowers to Beauty and the prince.
The prince sees tears in Beauty's eyes and says, 'Don't cry, my Beauty. We're going to be very happy together!'