As Sammi wandered about, her nose buried in the pamphlet, it suddenly occurred to her that it had gotten quite dark. When she looked up, she was shocked to discover that she was no longer in the town, but rather in a dark, silent woods.
“Well,” she thought, “this is odd. I suppose I ought to find someone who can direct me back to town.”
She continued on and soon came across a little house. Being one well-versed in fairytales, Sammi knew that little houses usually housed witches, ogres, and other terrifying, horrible beasts that haunt the nightmares of children everywhere. …she knocked anyway.
When the door opened and revealed a horrifying creature, our brave heroine did the bravest thing she could do – she dropped to the ground and curled up into the fetal position.
“Please don’t eat me!” Sammi cried.
“I will not eat you,” the beast growled, “if you can answer a question about fairytales.”
This heightened our heroine’s courage. She peeled herself apart and faced the creature. “Lay it on me, betch, I got this.”
“Compare for me the story of Cupid and Psyche to one version of Beauty and the Beast.”
Immediately, Sammi’s brain kicked into high gear. She thought of De Beaumont’s version of the tale, and realized that the two had much in common. In both tales, the daughter (or “Beauty”) gives herself up to the beast because she feels it is her obligation to do so. In both stories, she is given lavish living conditions and is waited on by magical servants. Though in De Beaumont’s story, Beauty gets to know the Beast, Psyche does not; however, both seem to have the utmost faith in their respective keepers. Additionally, both women have this faith poisoned by jealous sisters, who aim to ruin the happiness of Beauty/Psyche. Finally, in the end, after almost losing the Beast, Beauty and Psyche are able to be reunited with their loved one.
However, Cupid and Psyche deals with gods, while Beauty and the Beast with mortals. Additionally, Psyche is put through many trials to be reunited with her husband, Beauty does not have to undergo the same strain to be reunited with one who is not yet her lover.
All in all, though, Sammi realized, the two were quite alike. And she told the horrifying monster so.
As soon as the words passed her lips, the monster shrunk and became, not a beast, but a kindly young gentleman who was only too happy to show her the way back to the town. So Sammi learned the moral of the story: doing the right thing pays off.
That, and Beasts are nearly always secretly attractive.
To be continued…