Once upon a time, there was a monster named Beauty. The other monsters in town laughed and made fun of her. Because, truly, who has ever met a monster with such a name? You see, Beauty’s mom held a secret that most monsters do not know, or even care to know. I’ll tell you this secret in just a minute.
I am certain by now you are wondering the obvious. What did Beauty look like? Was she the fairest of all the monsters? She certainly was not. She looked like a monster, of course. Her ears were made of leaves. Her teeth were gnarly and yellow. She belched a lot, was by no means graceful, and she always had dirt under her fingernails. The only thing pretty about her was a blue and white bow she wore on her head.
One day, on her way home from Gross Skills School, Beauty watched two monsters growling at a little human girl. Beauty felt something inside of her she could not quite understand. This something was surely something they never taught her at school. It grew the longer she watched and it grew to the point she could no longer remain crouched behind the stinky garbage can.
She stood up and ran over as quick as she could. The little human girl was trembling. The monsters were laughing. Tears streamed down Beauty’s cheeks. She didn’t know what made her do this, she didn’t even know what it was called. Her arms wrapped around the little human girl and she gently squeezed. She whispered, “It’s okay, don’t pay attention to them. I will protect you.”
The other monsters did not know what to make of any of this. They ran off yelling, “We’re telling Mr. Pimple on you. You’ll for sure get kicked out of Gross Skills School.”
“Thank you, monster. I never knew monsters could be so kind. What is your name?” The little human girl asked.
“My name is Beauty. What is your name?”
“Beauty is a perfect name for you. My name is Penelope. Maybe we can play someday.”
“Maybe we can,” Beauty said.
The two hugged again and then parted ways. Beauty went home feeling happy, but also sad and confused. She went straight to her room and sat on her bed made of stinky socks. She was afraid she’d be in big trouble when her mom found out what had happened. After a while, her mom came in and sat next to her.
“Beauty, what’s wrong? You never even ate your snack of sour milk and moldy grapes.”
“Mom, something happened today and I’m just so confused.”
Beauty told her mom everything. Her mom patted Beauty’s head and said, “Well, my dear, that is why I named you Beauty. I knew from the moment our eyes met that you were no ordinary monster. I saw your beauty, I felt your beauty. It was then I realized beauty is about the love you hold inside your heart for others. It is about embracing that love regardless of what everyone else is doing. Don’t ever let the monsters of this world tell you otherwise.”
(This is dedicated to my beautiful niece who drew this picture and asked me to write a story about a monster.)