The next night, the Beast gave Beauty two magical gifts – a mirror and a ring. “If you want to see your father,” he said, “just ask the magic mirror to take you to him. When you are ready to come back, turn the ring on your finger three times. Ask the mirror to bring you back here. But please do not be gone for more than one week. For I will die of grief!”
Beauty was glad to agree. When she got back to her room, she looked in the magic mirror. She asked the mirror to take her to him. And there he was in bed right before her. Yet he looked so sick, it was as if he may die!
“But do not be gone for more than one week. Or I will die of grief!”
Such joy her father felt when he looked up and saw Beauty! For much of what made him sick was knowing that Beauty was stuck in the palace, all because of him.
Beauty stayed by her father’s bed for many hours. She told him that things were not quite so bad at the Beast’s palace. She had all the books she could want to read. She had music to play, and many fine dresses to wear.
“The Beast is really not so bad,” she said, “when you get to know him. He can be good to talk to.”
Beauty looked around. “Where are my sisters?”
“Married,” said her father.
“Did they marry good men?” she said.
“They had money,” said the father. “But I do not know if your sisters are happy.” For the eldest sister had married a handsome man who thought of no one but himself. And the middle sister had married a man who was very clever. But he used his sharp wit to hurt everyone around him, and most of all his wife.
Beauty looked around. “Where are my sisters?” she said.
When the sisters came to the house and saw Beauty dressed so well and talking about how kind and good the Beast was to her, they burned with anger. Beauty told them she must stay no more than one week.
And the two sisters came up with a plan.
The sisters petted Beauty and said such nice things to her they had never said before. When she told them she must go soon, they cried. They said she must not leave! There was still so much left they wanted to do with her. And what did it matter anyway, just a few more days? So Beauty stayed.
One night she had a dream about the Beast. In her dream, the Beast lay sick and dying. When Beauty woke up, she asked the magic mirror to show her the Beast. And there he was in the mirror, lying in the rose garden, looking so sick he would die. At once, she turned the magic ring three times. “Take me back to the Beast!” she said. In a moment she was sitting next to the poor, sick Beast, who could only gasp for air.
In her dream, the Beast lay sick and dying.
“You came back!” said the Beast in a thick voice.
“I am sorry that I am late!” said Beauty.
“I could not bear it that you may not come back to me. And now, I fear it is too late.” His eyes closed.
“No!” cried Beauty. “Do not leave me!” Just then, she knew in her heart what was true. “I love you!” she cried out. “Please come back! Come back and I will be your wife. I will!” Tears rolled down her cheeks.
Just then, the Beast opened his eyes. “Beauty!” he said. “You did it!”
In a flash, the Beast was changed to a handsome prince! Beauty did not know what to think.
“Ah, Beauty!” he said. And the Beast told her his story. Years ago when he was a prince, an evil fairy had put a spell on him. He must stay a beast forever, until a maiden grew to love him when he still looked like a Beast. Now she had been the one to break the spell!
And so Beauty and her prince, formerly the Beast, were married. And they lived happily ever after.