Read Online Beauty and the Beast
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a magical kingdom where just about everything was perfect. The land was green, the people were happy, the castle was majestic.
The young prince, however, was another story. He had grown up with everything he desired, yest his heart remained cold. He was selfish, spoiled, and unkind. Yet because he was the Prince, no one dared say no to him. No one dared try to teach him a lesson.
Until one bitterly cold, raw, winter night. On that night, an old beggar woman came to the castle, shivering and weak. The servants led her to the Prince. She bowed to him, taking a red rose from her basket.
“Kind sir,” she said, “would you grant me shelter from the cold? I regret I have no money, but i can offer you this small, perfect rose as a token of my gratitude.”
The servants had taken pity on the poor woman, but the Prince saw only her filth and ugliness. “Be gone, you foul beggar, ” he said. “And look not at my mirrors on the way out, lest they crack in horror!”
” My lord,” the woman said, “do not be fooled by my outward appearance. For beauty is found within all things.”
“I see,” replied the Prince. “Then find beauty within someone else’ s house!” He turned to his servants.
“Take this old bag of bones away. I say!”
But before the servants could touch her, she began to glow I with a powerful light. As they looked on in awe, the old woman was transformed into a beautiful enchantress.
The Prince shook with fright. In the eyes of this enchantress, he could see an anger that was terrifying.
“Please forgive me,” he cried , dropping to his knees.
“I…… I didn’t know.” But she wouldn’t let him finish. “I have seen that there is no love in your heart,” she said. “That makes you no better than a beast-and so you shall become a beast!”
“No!” the Prince protested. “Please…”
The enchantress raised her hands high. Slowly the boy changed. Dark hair sprouted on his face and hands. Claws grew from his fingertips. He screamed with pain as his teeth became long and sharp.
“I hereby cast a spell on the entire castle,” the enchantress declared. “You shall remain a prisoner here-and you shall have no human company.” Instantly, everyone else in the castle changed too. The head of the household, Cogsworth, became a mantel clock. The maitre d’, Lumiere, became a candelabra. The cook, Mrs. potts, became a teapot. Others became furniture, china, even silverware-until not one human being was left.
The enchantress then held up the rose. “This rose will bloom until your twenty-first birthday, and then it will wither and die. You have until then to break the spell. If you don’t you will be doomed to remain a beast forever.”
“But how can I break the spell?” said the frightened boy-beast. His voice was now a raspy snarl.
The enchantress leaned closer to him. “The only way to break it is to love another person and earn that person’s love in return.”
She placed the rose in a bell jar on a table, then pulled a small silver mirror out of her basket. “I also leave you with a gift. This enchanted mirror will show you any part of the world you wish to see. Look well, for it is a world you can no longer be part of!”
Then, in a flash of light , the enchantress disappeared.
The Beast stomped out of the room and ran up the stairs of the castle tower. Up, up, up he climbed, tripping over his new, clumsy, hairy feet. When he finally reached the top, he looked out the tower window.
He was shocked by what he saw. There was not one person on the castle grounds, not one house, not one road, not one grassy field. The sunny countryside had been swallowed up by a thick, gray mist.
He had to earn another person’s love. That was what the enchantress had said.
“But who on Earth could learn to love a beast?” the boy thought in despair.
He reared his head back and howled. It was the howl of a caged animal. It was the howl of a boy who had lost everything.