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Beauty and the Beast

A poor merchant lived in a small village with his daughter, Brianna.

He loved his daughter very much and wanted to give her everything her heart desired. He knew Brianna’s greatest wish was for a single, perfect rose.

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Roses were rare in their village. But the merchant had heard of a castle deep in the dark forest where the flowers bloomed freely. On the day before Brianna’s birthday, he set out to find it.

After much walking through the forest, he came to a crumbling castle. Its gardens were overgrown with roses.

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The merchant was so happy! He searched the gardens for the perfect rose. His eyes settled on the biggest, most beautiful flower. He reached out and snapped the flower from the bush.

A dark figure suddenly appeared behind the merchant.

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“Thief! How dare you steal my roses!” said a thunderous voice. Before him stood a great hairy beast dressed in fine clothes. The beast grabbed the merchant.

“It is for my daughter, Brianna,” the merchant said. “It is her birthday. Her one and only wish is for a perfect rose.”

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“Stealing is a crime,” growled the beast. “Go home and return tomorrow with your daughter. I will tell you your punishment then. If you don’t return, I will find you.”

The merchant apologized and rushed home.

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When they returned to the castle, the beast spoke again. “Merchant, you should be locked in the dungeon for stealing. But I will forgive your crime if your daughter agrees to visit me each day in my garden.”

The merchant was about to refuse when Brianna said, “Father, you took the rose for me. I will do as he asks.”

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Every morning Brianna traveled to the castle. She was terrified of the beast. When he would try to walk beside her in the garden, Brianna would tremble with fear.

The beast tried his best to be kind to the girl. He knew that his appearance made people afraid. One afternoon, Brianna began crying.

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“Do not cry Brianna,” said the beast. “I know that you are scared of me. I promise I will never hurt you.”

The beast began to hand Brianna a bouquet. As he drew near, he slipped on a muddy puddle. He tumbled to the ground. The roses flew everywhere. Brianna could not help but laugh.

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The beast at first grew angry. But seeing Brianna’s beautiful smile melted his heart. The two laughed together as Brianna helped him from the mud.

Over the course of the winter, they spent a lot of time talking and laughing together. When spring arrived they were close friends.

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One morning, Brianna arrived at the garden and did not see the beast anywhere. When he did not show up in the afternoon, she became worried.

She heard a soft whimper from outside the garden. She followed the sound and found the beast. He was lying on the ground, bleeding from a gash in his arm.

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Brianna kneeled beside the beast. He growled in pain, but Brianna was not scared. She quickly wrapped a cloth around his wound.

She gave the beast a gentle pat and kissed him on the cheek.

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A great mist encircled the beast. He was transformed into a handsome prince before Brianna’s eyes.

“I have been under an evil curse for many years,” said the prince. “Your kindness has broken the spell. My castle and its gardens are yours, along with my heart.”

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Brianna smiled. She loved the prince, too—not for the handsome man he had become, but for the kind heart he had always shown.

The two were soon married. Everyday they walked through the gardens. And everyday the prince happily gathered the best roses for his beautiful bride, Brianna.

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FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 560
Word Count 620
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