Title: The most beautiful Beast

Summary: Once upon a Time there lived two young, royal Beasts. One was of great Beauty and the Other was especially ugly...

Category: Fiction / Fable

Genre: Drama / Fantasy

Rating: K

Words: 1.722

A/N: Constructive criticism is always welcome! It helps me to improve, so if you notice mistakes in my stories, don't hesitate to point them out to me. I'm happy when I learn something I didn't know before.

Thank you, SirScott for pointing out my mistake!! =) You helped already a lot and I'm very grateful! +smiles+ (Now, everyone, isn't it much more fun to read a story with less errors than a piece full of spelling, grammar, whatsoever mistakes? So, don't be afraid to point them out to the author. It helps and therefore it's a very good thing!)

Feedback: Yes, please, if could spare a moment of time, it would make my day. Thank you for caring.

~*~

Once upon a time there lived two young, royal beasts in the savannah.

One of them was a female of great beauty. The other beast was a male and he was especially ugly.

The two beasts were brother and sister and since the sister was a little bit older she was supposed to rule the country and all the animals one day whilst her younger brother was only a prince, which meant not much in their family.

One morning, when the sun shone bright onto the country the two beasts strode through their land.

Every river and every pond they passed was immediately claimed as a mirror by the beautiful female.

"Oh, look at me, I am so beautiful. Aren't you lucky to have me around you? All day long you can see my great beauty and this is my gift to you," the female said happily as she watched her reflection in the sparkly water.

The ugly male merely shrugged his shoulders and waited patiently for her to move on.

When they came to the sixth river and the female stopped and told her brother again how lucky he was to be allowed to look at her all day, the ugly male couldn't hold his tongue.

"Listen, you keep telling me how beautiful you are, how lucky I am to have you, but I can't help thinking that it's you who is lucky."

The female laughed aloud.

"Why is that?" she asked in a sarcastic tone, grinning.

The male frowned at her and shook his sparse mane.

"I'm the one who goes hunting for you and the family. I'm the one who does everything for you and without me you would be nothing. ...let's walk on. I don't want to talk about it anymore," the male said sighing and the female just forgot about his words.

A little later they came to a small puddle of rainwater that was all that was left from the last thunderstorm and again the beautiful female all but admired her reflection.

"You can't help it, can you?" the ugly male moaned annoyed. "Yes, you are beautiful. Yes, I enjoyed the sight of you. ...but that was a long time ago. Today I can see beyond your outer beauty; I can see your heart and it is ugly like I am in looks."

The female laughed at her little brother and kept on watching over her beautiful picture in the puddle.

"Sister, listen to me. One day the world will be able to see your ugly heart, too. One day you can't hide behind your beauty anymore and you will be hated. I love you, for you are my sister. So, please, listen to me, don't give so much on looks but close your eyes so you can see with your heart. I beg you, listen to your ugly brother," the male cried out for her.

The beautiful female had heard her brother's words, but there was a mere smirk playing on her lips.

"You are very vain, aren't you? You seem to think highly of yourself, but give your own reflection a look and you'll see that it is not you but me who is the better one. I'm to rule one day and you'll be a mere servant to the queen of beasts," she said daring.

The ugly male glared at her, but though he didn't want to he did come to her side and glanced into the puddle.

An ugly picture of what should have been a royal beast looked back at him. Nothing of his father's great dignity lay in his own reflection. The male had not the impressive mane that was significant for his kind and his body was rather thin and bony. Saddened by this picture and deeply hurt by his beautiful sister's words he began to cry. The female laughed and made fun of him as if he wasn't in enough pain already.

Suddenly the heated land got shaded as dreary clouds covered the wide, blue sky. The siblings didn't notice the change and they didn't even hear the threatening thunder nearing them for the female was still laughing in a very mean way at her poor, little brother.

Just when the clouds broke open and a fuzzy figure emerged them the beasts looked up and found themselves faced with an alien appearance.

The figure was not recognizable in all its shining brightness. It was like looking at something out of the corner of your eye and when you close your eyes you can't even tell whether it was real or not...

The beautiful female got scared and hid behind her ugly brother, pushing him slightly forward in case the thing was to fight it would take him and she could run away.

"Don't be afraid," the strange creature said and her voice was thin and unreal. "I am your ancestor. I was the very first of our kind and therefore I have been the very first queen of beasts. I still watch over our kingdom and I watched over you, my vain child," she went on addressing the beautiful female. The female ducked behind her brother and didn't dare to say a word. The ugly male on the other hand stood tall and asked confidently,

"What do you want from us, ancestor?"

The ancestor would have smiled, if smiling would have been possible for her form.

"I hoped so long for your sister to change. She is vain and unworthy of the kingdom she is to hire from me. When she picked on you she felt strong and superior. When she made you cry she laughed at you.

Female, your brother warned you that one day you won't be able to hide your ugly heart anymore. I shall make his words come true."

The female's ears went up and her eyes grew wide.

"What will you do to me?" she stuttered quietly.

"I shall let others recognize your true colours.

You laughed at your poor brother for mean reasons and from now on you shall speak the language of nasty laughter. To other creatures you will sound odd and alienating.

Your words were sharp and therefore your teeth will be strong and pointy, but due to another reason you won't be able to use these, your best weapons properly.

You casted others out therefore you will be an outcast yourself your entire life. No creature will love you enough to become your friend.

You never really did something yourself. You let your brother hunt for you and bring you everything you wanted. Since you have been so lazy I shall not force you to change. Instead you will eat other's leftovers and hope for them to not eat everything alone before you can get to it. Even if you want to hunt you won't do too well for I will make your hind legs short and your front legs long which will cause you to run funny.

Your fur shall be as dark as your heart has always been. Your children and grandchildren and every following generation shall wear your mark and their fur will lighten according to how clear your depth is. You can only hope that in a few hundred years your descendants will have only some dark spots left on light fur. Then you will know that I forgive you.

You, ugly male, will be strong and beautiful when you receive the crown that was meant for your sister. When you get old and die your son shall rule the country and its beasts. I hope you will do better than your sister would have. I will watch over you too. You did everything for your sister and you are willing to sacrifice yourself for her. You shall be rewarded. Never again will you have to hunt, instead your females will be your huntresses.

Now, young son, tell me your name. I will give it to your whole kind"

The ugly male looked puzzled and he threw his sister a questioning gaze, but she was too afraid to look back at him. Finally the male spoke up,

"My name is Lion, ancestor"

The ancestor nodded and said,

"From this day on you and your descendants will be known as lions all over the world. Your name will cause every creature's heart to swell and you will be famous for your strength and righteousness, but also for pride and beauty so you will never forget about your vain sister. May you learn from her mistakes.

And you, young daughter, tell me your name and I shall give it to your whole kind."

The female looked pleading at her brother, but it was too late; her body began to change already and as she eventually answered the transfiguration was completed.

"My name is Hyena, ancestor," she whispered shocked, regarding her new form.

The ancestor nodded.

"Creatures all over the world will hear your name; call you a thief and think of death for you shall be closets to him from all living.

From this day on lions and hyenas shall live side by side, but as enemies. You, Lion, are too wise to start a fight without reason and you, Hyena, are to lily-livered to built up before the lion. You will steal from what your brother has left of his prey and you will barely eat anything but carrion as the scavenger you are," the ancestor declared and the hyena cried tears of sorrow.

"Even now you are still vain," the ancestor said and shook her head sadly. "I know, you are not ashamed of what you did, but sorry for yourself alone. Let's hope, that you learn your lesson and let's hope your children will do better than you did. Accept what you are now and teach your descendants the right things and if they become good hyenas I shall reward them by making them less ugly and by having at least a handful of other creature who will befriend them," the ancestor told the hyena and all she could do was accept it.

~*~

Today there are still many people who dislike hyenas and think they are ugly and unworthy of love.

If you don't see an ugly beast when you look at a hyena, be happy, for the first hyena's dept is almost cleared.

~*~*~*~

AN2: I felt it was necessary to tell you this; I love hyenas! They're my favourite animals and I never thought they were ugly. Also hyenas are actually pretty good hunters and they never really 'steal' from lions. Sometimes they take the leftovers. Lions steal quite often the hyenas' prey! ...okay... uhm... just so you know. ;)