Once upon a time as a merchant set off for market, he asked each of his three daughters what she would like as a present on his return. The first daughter wanted a brocade dress, the second a pearl necklace, but the third, whose name was Beauty, the youngest, prettiest and sweetest of them all, said to her father:
“All I’d like is a rose you’ve picked specially for me!”
When the merchant had finished his business, he set off for home. However, a sudden storm blew up, and his horse could hardly make headway in the howling gale. Cold and weary, the merchant had lost all hope of reaching an inn when he suddenly noticed a bright light shining in the middle of a wood. As he drew near, he saw that it was a castle, bathed in light.
“I hope I’ll find shelter there for the night,” he said to himself. When he reached the door, he saw it was open, but though he shouted, nobody came to greet him. Plucking up courage, he went inside, still calling out to attract attention. On a table in the main hall, a splendid dinner lay already served. The merchant lingered, still shouting for the owner of the castle. But no one
came, and so the starving merchant sat down to a hearty meal.
Overcome by curiosity, he ventured upstairs, where the corridor led into magnificent rooms and halls. A fire crackled in the first room and a soft bed looked very inviting. It was now late, and the merchant could not resist. He lay down on the bed and fell fast asleep. When he woke next morning, an unknown hand had placed a mug of steaming coffee and some fruit by his bedside.
The merchant had breakfast and after tidying himself up, went downstairs to thank his generous host. But, as on the evening before, there was nobody in sight. Shaking his head in wonder at the strangeness of it all, he went towards the garden where he had left his horse, tethered to a tree. Suddenly, a large rose bush caught his eye.
Remembering his promise to Beauty, he bent down to pick a rose. Instantly, out of the rose garden, sprang a horrible beast, wearing splendid clothes. Two bloodshot eyes, gleaming angrily, glared at him and a deep, terrifying voice growled: “Ungrateful man! I gave you shelter, you ate at my table and slept in my own bed, but now all the thanks I get is the theft of my favorite flowers! I shall put you to death for this slight!” Trembling with fear, the merchant fell on his knees before the Beast.
“Forgive me! Forgive me! Don’t kill me! I’ll do anything you say! The rose wasn’t for me, it was for my daughter Beauty. I promised to bring her back a rose from my journey!” The Beast dropped the paw it had clamped on the unhappy merchant.
“I shall spare your life, but on one condition, that you bring me your daughter!” The terror-stricken merchant, faced with certain death if he did not obey, promised that he would do so. When he reached home in tears, his three daughters ran to greet him. After he had told them of his dreadful adventure, Beauty put his mind at rest immediately.
“Dear father, I’d do anything for you! Don’t worry, you’ll be able to keep your promise and save your life! Take me to the castle. I’ll stay there in your place!” The merchant hugged his daughter.
“I never did doubt your love for me. For the moment I can only thank you for saving my life.” So Beauty was led to the castle. The Beast, however, had quite an unexpected greeting for the girl. Instead of menacing doom as it had done with her father, it was surprisingly pleasant.
In the beginning, Beauty was frightened of the Beast, and shuddered at the sight of it. Then she found that, in spite of the monster’s awful head, her horror of it was gradually fading as time went by. She had one of the finest rooms in the Castle, and sat for hours, embroidering in front of the fire. And the Beast would sit, for hours on end, only a short distance away, silently gazing at her. Then it started to say a few kind words, till in the end, Beauty was amazed to discover that she was actually enjoying its conversation. The days passed, and Beauty and the Beast became good friends. Then one day, the Beast asked the girl to be his wife.
Taken by surprise, Beauty did not know what to say. Marry such an ugly monster? She would rather die! But she did not want to hurt the feelings of one who, after all, had been kind to her. And she remembered too that she owed it her own life as well as her father’s.
“I really can’t say yes,” she began shakily. “I’d so much like to…” The Beast interrupted her with an abrupt gesture.
“I quite understand! And I’m not offended by your refusal!” Life went on as usual, and nothing further was said. One day, the Beast presented Beauty with a magnificent magic mirror. When Beauty peeped into it, she could see her family, far away.
“You won’t feel so lonely now,” were the words that accompanied the gift. Beauty stared for hours at her distant family. Then she began to feel worried. One day, the Beast found her weeping beside the magic mirror.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, kindly as always.
“My father is gravely ill and close to dying! Oh, how I wish I could see him again, before it’s too late!” But the Beast only shook its head.
“No! You will never leave this castle!” And off it stalked in a rage. However, a little later, it returned and spoke solemnly to the girl.
“If you swear that you will return here in seven days time, I’ll let you go and visit your father!” Beauty threw herself at the Beast’s feet in delight.
“I swear! I swear I will! How kind you are! You’ve made a loving daughter so happy!” In reality, the merchant had fallen ill from a broken heart at knowing his daughter was being kept prisoner. When he embraced her again, he was soon on the road to recovery. Beauty stayed beside him for hours on end, describing her life at the Castle, and explaining that the Beast was really
good and kind. The days flashed past, and at last the merchant was able to leave his bed. He was completely well again. Beauty was happy at last. However, she had failed to notice that seven days had gone by.
Then one night she woke from a terrible nightmare. She had dreamt that the Beast was dying and calling for her, twisting in agony.
“Come back! Come back to me!” it was pleading. The solemn promise she had made drove her to leave home immediately.
“Hurry! Hurry, good horse!” she said, whipping her steed onwards towards the castle, afraid that she might arrive too late. She rushed up the stairs, calling, but there was no reply. Her heart in her mouth, Beauty ran into the garden and there crouched the Beast, its eyes shut, as though dead. Beauty threw herself at it and hugged it tightly.
“Don’t die! Don’t die! I’ll marry you …” At these words, a miracle took place. The Beast’s ugly snout turned magically into the face of a handsome young man.
“How I’ve been longing for this moment!” he said. “I was suffering in silence, and couldn’t tell my frightful secret. An evil witch turned me into a monster and only the love of a maiden willing to accept me as I was, could transform me back into my real self. My dearest! I’ll be so happy if you’ll marry me.”
The wedding took place shortly after and, from that day on, the young Prince would have nothing but roses in his gardens. And that’s why, to this day, the castle is known as the Castle of the Rose.
In olden times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face. Close by the king’s castle lay a great dark forest, and under an old lime-tree in the forest was a well, and when the day was very warm, the king’s child went out into the forest and sat down by the side of the cool fountain, and when she was bored she took a golden ball, and threw it up on high and caught it, and this ball was her favorite play thing.
Now it so happened that on one occasion the princess’s golden ball did not fall into the little hand which she was holding up for it, but on to the ground beyond, and rolled straight into the water. The king’s daughter followed it with her eyes, but it vanished, and the well was deep, so deep that the bottom could not be seen. At this she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and could not be comforted. And as she thus lamented someone said to her, “What ails you, king’s daughter? You weep so that even a stone would show pity.”
She looked round to the side from whence the voice came, and saw a frog stretching forth its big, ugly head from the water. “Ah, old water-splasher, is it you,” she said, “I am weeping for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well.” “Be quiet, and do not weep,” answered the frog, “I can help you, but what will you give me if I bring your play thing up again?” “Whatever you will have, dear frog,” said she, “My clothes, my pearls and jewels, and even the golden crown which I am wearing.” The frog answered, “I do not care for your clothes, your pearls and jewels, nor for your golden crown, but if you will love me and let me be your companion and play-fellow, and sit by you at your little table, and eat off your little golden plate, and drink out of your little cup, and sleep in your little bed – if you will promise me this I will go down below, and bring you your golden ball up again.”
“Oh yes,” said she, “I promise you all you wish, if you will but bring me my ball back again.” But she thought, “How the silly frog does talk. All he does is to sit in the water with the other frogs, and croak. He can be no companion to any human being.”
But the frog when he had received this promise, put his head into the water and sank down; and in a short while came swimmming up again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass. The king’s daughter was delighted to see her pretty play thing once more, and picked it up, and ran away with it. “Wait, wait,” said the frog. “Take me with you. I can’t run as you can.” But what did it avail him to scream his croak, croak, after her, as loudly as he could. She did not listen to it, but ran home and soon forgot the poor frog, who was forced to go back into his well again.
The next day when she had seated herself at table with the king and all the courtiers, and was eating from her little golden plate, something came creeping splish splash, splish splash, up the marble staircase, and when it had got to the top, it knocked at the door and cried, “Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me.” She ran to see who was outside, but when she opened the door, there sat the frog in front of it. Then she slammed the door to, in great haste, sat down to dinner again, and was quite frightened. The king saw plainly that her heart was beating violently, and said, “My child, what are you so afraid of? Is there perchance a giant outside who wants to carry you away?”
“Ah, no,” replied she. “It is no giant but a disgusting frog.”
“What does a frog want with you?”
“Ah, dear father, yesterday as I was in the forest sitting by the well, playing, my golden ball fell into the water. And because I cried so, the frog brought it out again for me, and because he so insisted, I promised him he should be my companion, but I never thought he would be able to come out of his water. And now he is outside there, and wants to come in to me.”
In the meantime it knocked a second time, and cried, “Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me, do you not know what you said to me yesterday by the cool waters of the well. Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me.”
Then said the king, “That which you have promised must you perform. Go and let him in.” She went and opened the door, and the frog hopped in and followed her, step by step, to her chair. There he sat and cried, “Lift me up beside you.” She delayed, until at last the king commanded her to do it. Once the frog was on the chair he wanted to be on the table, and when he was on the table he said, “Now, push your little golden plate nearer to me that we may eat together.” She did this, but it was easy to see that she did not do it willingly. The frog enjoyed what he ate, but almost every mouthful she took choked her. At length he said, “I have eaten and am satisfied, now I am tired, carry me into your little room and make your little silken bed ready, and we will both lie down and go to sleep.”
The king’s daughter began to cry, for she was afraid of the cold frog which she did not like to touch, and which was now to sleep in her pretty, clean little bed. But the king grew angry and said, “He who helped you when you were in trouble ought not afterwards to be despised by you.” So she took hold of the frog with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner, but when she was in bed he crept to her and said, “I am tired, I want to sleep as well as you, lift me up or I will tell your father.” At this she was terribly angry, and took him up and threw him with all her might against the wall. “Now, will you be quiet, odious frog,” said she. But when he fell down he was no frog but a king’s son with kind and beautiful eyes. He by her father’s will was now her dear companion and husband. Then he told her how he had been bewitched by a wicked witch, and how no one could have delivered him from the well but herself, and that tomorrow they would go together into his kingdom.
Then they went to sleep, and the next morning when the sun awoke them, a carriage came driving up with eight white horses, which had white ostrich feathers on their heads, and were harnessed with golden chains, and behind stood the young king’s servant Faithful Henry.
Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his master was changed into a frog, that he had caused three iron bands to be laid round his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness. The carriage was to conduct the young king into his kingdom. Faithful Henry helped them both in, and placed himself behind again, and was full of joy because of this deliverance. And when they had driven a part of the way the king’s son heard a cracking behind him as if something had broken. So he turned round and cried, “Henry, the carriage is breaking.”
“No, master, it is not the carriage. It is a band from my heart, which was put there in my great pain when you were a frog and imprisoned in the well.” Again and once again while they were on their way something cracked, and each time the king’s son thought the carriage was breaking, but it was only the bands which were springing from the heart of Faithful Henry because his master was set free and was happy.
Welcome to a world of dreams
Where everything is just make believe
A place with dragons and sorcery
Every princess has a prince
Life just can’t get better than this
No hearts to be broken
No blood to be shed
To bad this world is all in my head
(My poem = Story of my life, why can’t I be Cinderella you know)