Beauty and the Beast
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.