Handsome and the Hag

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    Once upon a time lived a very beautiful princess. She was admired for her beauty but disliked for her attitude. One day, she held a ball at her palace and invited all the beautiful and important people in the land. But halfway through the party, there was a party crasher. A messy old man drenched in rain barged into the castle begging for food. The princess was repulsed and ordered him out saying, “You cannot be in my palace you filthy old man.” And everyone in the palace laughed at the old man. The old man warned her not to be deceived by outer appearances but rather to look deeper into one’s heart. The princess laughed at the old man and dismissed him once more. Just when she was about to call her guards, the old man changed into a shinny, handsome fairy. The princess tired to beg for forgiveness but it was too late. The fairy put a curse over the palace and all who lived there, turning them into common household objects. But the princess, he turned into a hideous hag saying, ” You must learn to love and are loved back before the last petal of this rose flower falls. If not, you will remind like this forever and everyone of your servants will be household items forever.” And he vanished just as he had appeared. From that moment, the castle and the princess were abandoned by the villages. For they had been forgotten. Over the years, the princess grew even more cold hearted for loss of hope. For who could ever love a hideous hag.
    On the other side of the village, there was a handsome young man named Gaston. He was very peculiar as unlike other men in the village who drank and fought, he was more into painting and drawing. Many thought he was strange but still admired his looks. He was more often than not picked on and teased for his passion for art by the other men in the village. No matter how strange he was, he was still very popular among the young girls in the village looking to marry. But non was more interested in him than Belle. She was considered the mo beautiful girl in the village, which is not a surprise as her name means beauty. But quite unfortunate for her, Gaston was not in the least bit interested in her. She was arrogant, rude and quite simple minded.
    Now, Gaston had a mother, an artist who travelled great distances to find new and beautiful art materials for her paintings and sculptures. On one of her journeys though, she came across a strange path which led to a snow trail and was lost. Most especially because it was mid June. She kept moving forward in hopes of running into someone who might help her with directions but instead she came face to face with a pack of hungry wolves. She encouraged her horse, Phillip, to run as fast as it could until it came across an old, sad looking castle. Strangely, one look at the castle made the wolves retreat. So, keeping her horse in a shelter, she knocked on the castle door. With no response, she let herself in. She called out to the owner of the house to show them self but received no response. So, she helped herself to the food presented on the the dinning table and received a shock when she heard some one say, “Hello.” and turned to see the tea cup smiling up at her. After realising what happened, she ran out of the castle, grabbed her horse and was just about to leave when she saw roses growing in the garden. She quickly plucked one and was about to leave when she heard a savage growl. She turned around and came face to face with an ugly hag and the next thing she knew, she blacked out. Phillip on the other hand was not as curious but rather ran for his life through the snow and through the wolves back into the village and to Gaston. Upon seeing his mother’s hat carried on Phillip’s back, she demanded the horse to take him to wherever his mother was and came face to face with the Hag’s castle. He entered and even though he thought he heard little voices whispering where the candle stand and clock were place, he ignored it, grabbed the candle stand and ran deeper into the castle in search of his mother calling for her as he went. Hearing his mother’s faint voice call back, he ran until he came across a dungeon with his mother inside. She tried to warn him to leave, “Son, you can’t be here. There’s a witch. She’ll get you. You have to leave now.” But no sooner had she said it, did a high voce shriek, ” So you’re the son of that ugly thief.” Gaston replied in a rage, “How dare you speak to my mother that way. Show yourself.” And with a whoosh, there appeared right in front of him a white haired, dark skinned woman with boils and rashes all over her body. The sight took Gaston aback very much but he held his ground, saying, ” Release my mother at once.” She replied, ” Why would I release a common thief.” ” My mother is not a thief.” Gaston shouted in a fury. “But I caught her trying to steal a rose from my garden after welcoming herself in my home without permission. Even eating my dinner.” Gaston replied, “I asked for that rose. Lock me up instead. Release her.” His mother was just about to protest when the hag shrieked, “You would take your mother’s place??” “Of course I would. She’s my mother.” Gaston replied proudly. “No, don’t do it Gaston. I’m old. You still have your whole life to live.” His mother protested. “There you have it young man. Now leave.” The hag turned around. “But at least let me say goodbye to my mother.” The witch did not urn back. “Please.” He pleaded. “Fine, but when that cage closes, it doesn’t open ever again.” The hag said and with a flick of the wrist, she opened up the dungeon. Gaston hugged his mother and whispered in her ear, “I swear I’ll find a way to escape.” and before she could react, he pushed her out of the dungeon and locked himself inside. “Foolish boy.” The hag said more to herself but to the hearing of Gaston and his mother. “You may now leave my castle and never return.” The hag said watching Gaston’s intently until she ran out of sight and out the castle. The hag then took one more look at Gaston and left. After a few minutes of looking around for a place to escape through, he heard the sound of keys falling to the floor and after a few seconds, the dungeon door flung open. Stepping out carefully and curiously, he came face to face with the candle stand he came upstairs with. Then suddenly, the candle stand said, “Bonjour monsieur.” With a scream, Gaston grabbed the stool at the corner and was just about to hit the candle stand when he pleaded and ran away saying, “No, please wait. I am Lumière and I come in peace.” Slowly dropping his weapon, Gaston bent down to get a better look at the object when he saw a clock breathing very hard as it ascended up the stairs. “Lumière, what are you doing. Leave the prisoner alone.” Then Lumière replied, “Cloacksworth, calm down. We have to give our guest a proper welcome.” Then turning to face Gaston said, “Come, let me show you to your room.” “But I thought that the Hag said the dungeon’s not going to open once it closes.” Gaston said out of confusion. “Oh the mistress says a lot of things but never mind that right now.” So, amidst little quarrels between the candle stand and the clock, Gaston was led to ‘his room’. While he was there, Lumière and Cogsworth were confronted by the Hag for giving the boy a room but they explained that they believe that he might be the one to break the curse. So the Hag invited the boy for dinner but after being rudely rejected, she declared that he would not eat anything unless with her. Nonetheless, Lumière, Cogsworth and Mrs Pot, a little tea pot, along with her son Chip and the other servants not only gave him food but treated him to some musical entertainment. After eating, Gaston wondered around the castle and stumbled across the old Hag’s room where he saw a delicate rose covered with a glass. He was just about to touch it when the Hag appeared and chased him not just out of her room but out of the castle where in the snow, he was almost devoured by wolves. Fortunately, the Hag appeared and used some magic to finish up the wolves but not without getting some bad injuries. And so, a grateful Gaston took her back to her castle and tended to her wounds. They bounded over the experience and the Hag showed him her many refined art materials. He made a portrait of the Hag and hung it on the wall. During the course of all this, Gaston actually learnt to care for the Hag and the Hag for Gaston.
    Meanwhile, at the village, his mother was trying to convince the people that a witch held her son captive. No one believed her and said she was mad. Gaston used the Hag’s magic mirror to look at his mother and saw her bounded and called a mad woman. So the Hag granted him permission to go to his mother. The villagers did not believe him either until he showed them the Hag through the magic mirror. And so, taking charge, Belle snatched the mirror from Gaston and stirred up the villagers to attack the Hag and the castle. Using the mirror, they found their way to the Hag’s castle amidst pleads from Gaston telling them that the Hag was good and was not an evil witch but it was too late. There was a full on battle between the castle and the villagers. The castle which was alive fought back with all it had and succeeded. The Hag also killed Belle unintentionally. For she had given Belle the opportunity to leave but she refused. At the end of the battle, the Hag and Gaston shared a true love’s kiss. As this happened, the fairy appeared and lifted the curse from the castle, all who lived in it and the Hag. The castle was restored to its original beauty and the next day, a ball was held in honour of the princess and Gaston. They got married and lived happily ever after.

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