Beau and the Hag

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Once upon a time, there was a farm boy named Beau who loved books. Beau was the baby of the Bachelor family. His beauty always made his spoilt brothers jealous, but they always mocked him for his love for flowers and nature. Flowers, especially red roses always made Beau think of his late mother. His elder brothers blamed him for her death. For not long after he was born, she succumbed to a sickness that she never recovered from. Their father died with her.

After the death of Beau’s parents, the family fortune was passed on to the eldest brothers, Donald and Boris who had spent it all on all sorts of indulgent pleasure; prostitutes, alcohol and gambling. Their bad habits drove the whole family into poverty.

One day, their grandmother took her favourite white horse to go the city’s market. “Is there anything you boys would like?”

“I want crates of beer,” requested Donald.

“I want lots of swords,” Boris demanded.

“I want a red rose,” said Beau.

Donald and Boris chuckled at each other. Donald pushed Beau into a puddle. “You’ll never be a real man. You should learn to fight like us.”

“I don’t want to fight,” Beau says. “I want to live in peace.”

“If it’s a rose you want, then it is a rose you shall get,” their grandmother said. “See you next week boys!”

Beau missed his grandmother when she was away. There was nobody to stick up for him when his brothers and the town teased him. A week had passed, and nobody had heard from Grandma.

The white horse returned home without its owner.

“Where’s my beer?” Donald shouted.

“Where are my swords?” Boris screamed.

Beau gasps. “Where’s Grandma?” Beau jumps on the horse and orders her to take him to Grandma. He hoped she was okay. As the sun slept, Beau discovered an enchanted castle and barged inside. He scurried past the moving objects and cried out for his grandma until he found her shivering in the highest room in the tallest tower.

A hideous hag emerges from the shadows. Beau gulps. He is repulsed by her jiggered appearance, but he is not afraid. “Let my grandma go!”

“No. She stole one of my precious roses. She must die!”

“I asked for the rose. It’s all my fault. Take me instead!”

Much to the disappointment of her grandmother, the Hag accepts Beau’s offer. The Hag bestows Beau the most extravagant room of the castle and spoils him with regal suits and earl grey tea.

“You are now the master of the house, I will be your slave and wife if you desire.”

“No thank you,” Beau said. “I can take care of myself.”

Winter turned to spring. Beau and the Hag start to form a strong friendship. Homesick, Beau begs the Hag to see his family. The Hag gives him a magic mirror – that can make him see anything. He asked to see his grandmother, and the mirror presented Grandmother coughing in bed.

“Please let me go,” Beau requested.

“Yes, you may, but do come back.” As Beau immediately heads home, the Hag watches him leave as tears roll down her face.

When Beau returned home. His brothers inform him that Grandmother is dead. Beau told Donald and Boris everything that had happened in the castle and they decide to lock Beau up in the attic and take all his presents from the Hag for themselves.

All the fine gifts turn to dust when the brothers them. The wine, the Hag gave to Beau turned the brothers into rats. The Hag had enchanted the gifts so they were for Beau and for Beau alone.

Embarrassed by their cruel treatment towards their brother, Donald and Boris decide to set Beau free. Remembering the Hag’s request for him to return. He charged back to the castle on his grandmother’s horse.

Beau is mortified when he finds the Hag laying on the floor, struggling to breathe. “No!” Beau cried. “You can’t die, I love you.”

The moment his tears drip onto the Hag’s face her wrinkles and ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful princess. Beau bowed before her.

“Your Majesty, is it really you?”

“Yes, it is,” she replied holding his hand. “I was turned into an ugly hag after being cruel to a homeless man who turned out to be a wizard. Only true love’s first kiss could break the spell.”

The castle’s staff and Beau’s brothers all became human again. Beau discovered that his grandmother isn’t dead and has recovered from her illness. Beau and the Princess got married and lived happily ever after in a tale as old as time.

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