“…I found a book of fairy tales, and read one called ‘Beauty and the Beast.’
In this story, a beautiful young woman finds herself the forfeit of a bad bargain made by her father. As a result, she has to marry an ugly beast, or dishonour her family forever. Because she is good, she obeys. On her wedding night, she gets into bed with the beast, and feeling pity that everything should be so ugly, gives it a little kiss. Immediately, the beast is transformed into a handsome young prince, and they both live happily ever after.
I wondered if the woman married to a pig had read this story. She must have been awfully disappointed if she had. And what about my Uncle Bill, he was horrible, and hairy, and looking at the picture, transformed princes aren’t meant to be hairy at all.
Slowly I closed the book. It was clear that I had stumbled on a terrible conspiracy.
There are women in the world.
There are men in the world.
And there are beasts.
What do you do if you marry a best?
Kissing them didn’t always help.
And beasts are crafty. They disguise themselves like you and I.”
From the book: “Oranges are not the only fruit” by Jeanette Winterson. (pg. 70 and 71)