Audio Stories


A Story From: France
Read Time: ["6 to 10mins"]
For Ages: 5 to 7yrs., 8 to 10yrs.

Beauty and the Beast StoryBeauty and the Beast Story Fairy Tale ~Bedtime Story for Kids in English

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This is the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast Story. Beauty and the Beast original story was written by Charles Perrault. This version is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

 

 Once upon a time there was a very rich man who lived with his three daughters.  The two older daughters laughed at anyone who did not dress as well as they did.  If the two of them were not resting at home, they were out shopping for as many fine dresses and hats as they could carry home.  

The youngest daughter, Beauty, loved to read.  “Your nose is always in a book,” her two older sisters said.  They laughed.  “No one will want you! Look at your hair.  You look like a servant girl!”  Beauty did not know why they were so mean.  But she said nothing.

One day, the father got some bad news.  He had spent all of his money on a ship that he sent out to sea for trade.  Now he learned the ship was gone!  Everything on it was lost.  All at once, the rich father became as poor as poor could be.  

The family could no longer stay in their big house.  The fine house, its fine tables and chairs, and all of their fine things, had to be sold.  

One day, the father got some very bad news.

 

All the father had left was a little hut, deep in the woods.  So that is where he and his three daughters had to move.  

Living in the hut in the woods was hard work.  Each day a fire had to be started, meals cooked, the place cleaned up, the garden tended, and things needed fixing when they broke.  Now that the family was poor, you might think the two older sisters would help out.  Think again.  

“She looks like such a mess,” they said, turning up their noses at Beauty.  “She might as well serve us.”  And so Beauty did all the hard work.  The sisters slept late, took naps, and showed up for meals.

“She looks such a mess,” they said, turning up their noses.

 

Then – good news! – the father’s ship came to shore!  

“My daughters!” said the happy father. “I am going to town.  Tell me what fine gift I can bring back for you.”

“Bring me the best dress from the best shop in town,” said the oldest sister.

“I want one just like it,” said the middle sister.

“And you, Beauty?” he said.

“All I want, Father,” she said, “is a rose.”

“Can you believe her?” said the eldest sister.

“What a fool!” said the middle sister.  And they both laughed.

“Girls!” said the father.  “If that is what Beauty wants, that is what I will bring for her.”

 

“All I want, Father,” said she, “is a rose.”

 

The father was on his way home when he thought, “Oh my!  I forgot all about the rose for Beauty!”  All at once, the sky turned black.  “Dear, me! A storm is coming!”

A moment later, heavy dark rains fell down hard from the sky.  Soaking wet, the father saw a blink of light far away.  He went closer to the light.  Maybe it was a place he could stay for the night.  When he got up close, he saw that it was a large palace with candles in all its windows.  Very odd, but the front door was open. 

So, the father stepped inside.  

“Hello?” he said.  No answer.  

There, before him, was a great feast on a long table.  

“Hello?” he said again.  Still no answer.  He dared not touch any food on the table.  The father sat down in front of the fire to warm himself.  He waited.  But no one came. 

“I suppose it would be all right if I stayed the night,” said the father.  “And maybe just one bite.” He took a quick bite from the feast.  Then he found a bedroom and fell fast asleep.

 

“Hello?” he said.  No answer.

 

The next morning the table was laid again, but this time with breakfast.  Again – most odd! – no one was there.  “I suppose I should leave now,” said the father.  

On the way out, he passed a rose garden.  “Ah, I was to bring Beauty a rose!” he remembered.  “I will take just one.”  And he picked a rose for Beauty.

Just then, a loud stomp came up from behind.

Roared a voice – “You took my rose!”

The father spun around.  There before him was an awful, huge monster.  “I… I’m sorry!” he said.  “I didn’t know.”  

“How could you not know?” roared the Beast. “You will pay for this! You will die!”  

The father fell on his knees.  “Please!” he begged.  “Do not kill me! I only picked the rose for one of my daughters.”

 

“You will pay for this!” the Beast yelled.  “You will die!”

 

“You have daughters?” said the Beast. “Well.  If one of them will come stay here in your place, I will let you go free.  She must stay here forever.  In three months, if none of them will come in your place, you must return yourself and take your punishment.”  

When the father got home, Beauty could tell something was wrong.  “What is it, Father?” she said.  

“Oh, nothing,” he said.  But she knew that was not true.

At last, the father told his girls what the Beast had said.  “This all happened because I asked you to bring home a rose for me!” said Beauty.  “I will go there in your place.  Or else, you will die there.”

“No, I cannot allow that!” said the father.  “I am old.  I do not have much more time to live.  You are young.  You must not do this for me!”

But Beauty would not change her mind.  And so two days later, the father took Beauty to the castle where the Beast lived.

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SOURCE:

This version of "Beauty and the Beast" is combined by Elaine L. Lindy from two sources:

(1) the story as told by Madam Prince de Beaumont in 1756 (The Young Misses Magazine, Containing Dialogues between a Governess and Several Young Ladies of Quality Her Scholars, 4th edition, volume 1, London, pp.45-67). Beaumont's tale was a 17-page summary, and revision, of an earlier 362-page version written by Madame Villeneuve in 1740.  The first English translation of de Beautmont's version appeared in 1757.

(2) the story as told by Joseph Jacobs in 1916 (European Folk and Fairy Tales, New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, pp. 34-41).

The copyright for this version is held by Elaine L. Lindy ©2006. All rights reserved.


FOOTNOTE:

"Beauty and the Beast" is a classic fairy tale, nearly as beloved as "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty." Yet unlike those two stories, where the female protagonist instantly falls in love with her prince, in this tale the woman gets to know the male character first and develops a relationship with him before she falls in love. Another distinguishing characteristic of the story is that the male character, portrayed as hideously ugly (a "beast") proves to be gentle and kind, thus disproving the notion that first impressions are trustworthy.

The "animal bridegroom" motif is well known to folklorists, however the specific tale of "Beauty and the Beast" as we know it evolved from the literary imagination of two Frenchwomen.  Madame Beaumont wrote a version which itself was a revision of an even longer tale penned by Frenchwoman Madame Villeneuve over a decade before (see "Source of Story"). However Madame Beaumont is credited with the plot line of the story we accept today. In her version, Beauty comes to appreciate the Beast by her own initiative rather than in the Villeneuve version, where she is repeatedly reassured by a Good Fairy and magical dreams that loving the Beast is a good idea.  The story of "Beauty and the Beast" is often mistakenly credited to Charles Perrault, who published a popular collection of fairytales (Tales of Mother Goose) in 1697, including this one. Some note a similarity with the story line in the modern King Kong films.