Monday, October 8, 2012

The Scarlett Flower a Russian Beauty and the Beast

For those who have read Grimm's Beauty and the Beast The Scarlet Flower. A fairy tale for children: in Englishwill have a familiar feel to it.

A wealthy merchant leaving on a long trip promises his daughters gifts. The older daughters want special gifts that will cost the father money to acquire, but his youngest daughter's request leaves him troubled. She wants a scarlet flower equal to none other in the world. He is challenged because he feels he can never be sure he has met her request.

This is of course where he encounters the Beast and has the choice to forfeit his own life or surrender the hand of one of his daughters into marriage. He returns home saddened at the prospects before him. The older two daughters refuse to help feeling since it was the youngest daughter's request that caused the problem, she should be the one to sacrifice to fix it. She willingly goes to the Beast.

The two overcome their challenges and do become friends. While initially, overcome at his physical looks she convinces him that she can adapt to his appearance and even that hurdle is overcome. In this version, she is provided with a magic ring so that if she cannot tolerate him, she is free to leave. In a dream, she receives word her father is ill and asks permission to visit her father. He reminds her that she is free to use the ring and go. He does warn her if she does not return within three days and nights he will die.

She enjoys her time with her family. Her sisters are envious of her new wealth and try to convince her to stay with them. She feels loyalty to the Beast and is prepared to arrive back an hour early. Her sisters trick her and set the clocks back so she will arrive late. She finally leaves and is surprised that the Beast is not waiting for her. She walks into the garden to find the Beast dead holding her flower. She holds him, kisses him, and tells him she loves him as she would her betrothed.

This of course releases the Prince from beneath the Beast. He tells her the tale of how he became the Beast. This is where the tale differs from many I have read. In this version, he was cursed from birth. It had nothing to do with any actions on his part. However, the release still required someone to love him in his Beast form.

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