Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bright and the Beast, an Underfable

       Bright and the Beast

          Once upon a time a Merchant was passing through a dark forest, when he was captured by a Beast. The Beast said, “For ransom you must promise me your daughter for a wife.”
          The Merchant said, “My daughter Bright is not a trophy to barter. She is her own woman, and she’ll marry whom she will. Besides, she’s the plainest lady in the land, and she can’t stand men. So do what you will to me, Beast, but speak no more nonsense!”
          The Beast roared at the Merchant, and chased him out of the forest. The Merchant ran back to his mansion; panting, he told Bright what happened. She groomed his hair, and in it she found a thistle glowing bright blue. “A tracking device,” she said. “He followed you home!”
          Bright looked forth from the tower window, and out on the lawn stood the Beast. They gazed at each other. It was annoyance at first sight. Bright called down, “Go away, Beast! For the gate is guarded by a magical Spirit.”
          The Beast bragged, “I am more magical than a Spirit!” He advanced, the Spirit appeared, and they did battle. The Beast knew six efficient combat spells, but the Spirit knew one more, and it would have incinerated him, but Bright dismissed it at the last moment.
          “Oh, what am I to do with you?” Bright fretted. “Turn back, Beast, for the gate is clamped shut by a Steam Engine.”
          The Beast bragged, “I am stronger than a Steam Engine!” He pulled at the gate with six tons of force, and he squeezed halfway through, but the Steam Engine pulled one ton harder, and it would have crushed him, but Bright shut it down at the last moment.
          “Oh, what am I to do with you?” Bright fretted. “Save yourself, Beast, for the courtyard is patrolled by a pack of attack dogs!”
The Beast bragged, “I am braver than a pack of attack dogs!” He fiercely fought off six vicious dogs, but one more joined in, and they would have torn him apart, but Bright called them off at the last moment. 
          She said to the dogs, “My Beast. Mine!” Then she cast a spell to heal his bites and bruises and burns.
          The Beast followed Bright to her bedroom and he laid his head upon her lap. Bright stroked his furry forehead and she fretted, “Oh, what am I to do with you?”
“Marry me,” he said; so she kissed his wet nose.
Just then the Merchant cleared his throat. He offered them a magic potion, which a Fairy had just sold to him, that would turn her into a Beauty, and him into a handsome Prince.
But Bright said, “No; for if I were a famous Beauty, then the Beast would be jealous and possessive of me.”
And the Beast said, “No; for if I were a puny Prince, then Bright would not be jealous and possessive of me.”
So they married just as they were, though their wedding was the scandal of the season. The guests all wondered what they saw in each other; and when the preacher said ‘you may now kiss the bride’, he licked her.
Bright bore the Beast seven children, each as bright and beastly as their parents; and they all lived fretfully ever after.

Moral: Love people just as they are.

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