Once, a young prince lived in a faraway land that no one living today has visited. This prince, even though young in years and wisdom, sought peace and happiness he could not find in his entire kingdom. One wintry night, as he was laying his head down to sleep, a maiden appeared floating at the foot of his bed with what looked like fire and water meeting together and forming an indescribable color in her eyes. The maiden was so beautiful that the prince feared that, lest he should tear his eyes away from her beauty, he should perceive every thing he once saw wonderful, wretched. "The thing you seek lays not far." said she. "Over the mountains of Ore, that face neither the setting nor the rising sun, in the north, your treasure is within the valley that lies there." The maiden pointed to the silhouette of the mountains against the starry night sky. "What must I do so that I may keep you in my presence?" said the prince was still awestruck by the appearance of what he thought to be an angel. "Surely, you are an angel of the Lord!" he exclaimed. "Nay, I am not an angel. If you wish to see me again, you must give me the prize you seek beyond the mountains. Then, I shall be with you always." As fast as the sorceress appeared, she was gone again. The prince wept the remainder of the night due to the void he felt the enchantress filled. When dawn came, he prepared for the journey across the mountains. The prince was miserable and heartbroken because he loved the maiden's form. "I must find this woman I love, else I shall die." he said to himself as he set out. At midday, he approached the foot of the first mountains. He sat down and had a light repast, his thoughts still lingering on the maiden's beauty. Day and night her memory haunted his mind. Everything he did, was performed for the maiden. On the third day of his journey at dusk, he reached the top of the second mountain. "Half way through this wretched journey!" cried he. "Soon, my eyes will linger once again upon the fair maiden!" During his journey and obsessive thoughts, he decided that once he found the maiden once more, he should take her to be his own, so he could be with her for all of his days and claim her for himself. He was so delighted with this thought, he feasted and had his fill in wine. After several round of drink, he began to sing and dance around the fire. "Oh, ho! The fair maiden! I quest for thee! To find her and for she to marry me!" Unknown to the intoxicated prince, trolls occupied these mountains. Trolls, as you may know, only come out at night. The prince's song had been just the thing to stir the ravenous beasts. The prince, taking another swig of wine, tripped and fell on his back, sprawled, and still singing. The troll was about six feet tall, four feet wide, ugly and smelled repulsive. The troll took a long stride forward, slamming his foot into the ground, the earth beneath the prince shook. The prince paid no attention and took another drink, thinking that he had not felt the earth move. Another step from the troll. The prince had stopped singing but doubled the amount of drinking. The troll advanced more rapidly toward his prey. The troll took another step forward, club in hand, ready to slay his breakfast. He raised the club above his head and--the sound of crumbling echoed over the mountain. The ledge the prince was lying on crumbled with the troll's immense weight. Down they fell, with the troll tumbling first. The prince landed on the sweaty, unwashed stomach of the troll. The fall had killed the troll, the prince was unharmed, but drunk. He slept there the rest of the night and then continued on his journey. At last he came to the valley, of which the maiden had spoken. In the heart of the valley lay a town. The prince reached the town and roamed the streets, still seeking the treasure his heart longed for. Finding nothing and it being dusk, he went to a lodge to find rest. Outside sat a girl with a dirit and grime covered face. "Sir?" called the girl. "Sir, spare a coin?" The prince stopped upon hearing her voice. He smirked at the girl sitting next to a pile of odds and ends with a tattered dog at her side. The prince scoffed at her poverty."Come," he said. "Come and help me search." the girl upon hearing this had a kind heart and consented to the prince's seemingly generous offer. She followed him to the door and the prince said, "See here, girl, you will have to sleep in the alley with your dog." He laughed viciously and strode in the door, leaving the girl in the snow alone. That night, the maiden appeared to the prince in a dream. She had with her a lamb of snow white. "My lady, wont you stay and become my wife?" he inquired of the maiden. The maiden stroked the lamb and said, "Kill the girl and I will be your bride." While she spoke thus, the lamb's fleece turned to blood as her hand passed gently upon it. The prince, feasting on the woman's beauty, did not notice the omen. The prince nodded vigorously. "Anything, for your hand." replied he. The maiden disappeared once more. The prince, becoming even madder with seeing the maiden a second time, grabbed a hunting knife he had brought, went out and killed the innocent girl. The ragged dog was the only witness to this act of lust. Once the breath had left the poor girl's body, the maiden appeared once more. She smiled with malice as she saw the slain girl. Her figure became distorted and her face hideous. The witch, in her true form, stood before the prince. The prince's mind was cleared after the witch had transfigured for her lovely form. He gazed with horror upon the dastardly deed he had performed. The prince fell on his knees and cried "God in heaven! Forgive me, for I am truly a wretch!" He fell on the ground weeping for the girl, so innocent. The girl indeed had not committed a sin her whole life. She was as blameless as the lamb. The witch had despised the girl her whole existence for her goodness. The witch had tried to make the girl miserable and bitter to the world by making her parentless, friendless, and penniless. The girl still had hoped that, one day, there would be sunshine on her humble existence, that a good soul might take pity on her. The witch cackled and the prince tore his clothes in anguish and despair. "Kill me now, for I cannot live any longer!" the prince pleaded the witch. The witch, having drained the prince's use to her, obeyed his wish and stabbed the tainted man's heart with the same knife used to kill the girl. Outer Beauty, in any form cannot be loved for only it's beauty, but it is loved because of its purpose.
Beauty was the Beast
January 2, 2010