Let’s Pretend, created and directed by Nila Mack (1891-1953), was a long-run CBS radio series for children. Mack’s Let’s Pretend began March 24, 1934, running for two decades before the final show on October 23, 1954. Adaptations included classics and fairy tales.The series received numerous awards, including two Peabody Awards, a Women’s National Radio Committee Award and five Radio Daily Awards.In 1970 Telegeneral adapted these stories on vinyl records.
Let’s Pretend– Beauty And The Beast / Princess Moonbeam
Label: Stereo Dimension Records – TG 101
Format: Vinyl, LP, 33.3rpm, Album
Genre: Children’s, Non-Music
Style: Story, Spoken Word
A Beauty And The Beast
B Princess Moonbeam
Cover Illustration by David Chestnutt.
Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête) is a traditional fairy tale. The first published version of the fairy tale was a rendition by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in La jeune américaine, et les contes marins in 1740. The best-known written version was an abridgement of her work published in 1756 by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, in Magasin des enfants, ou dialogues entre une sage gouvernante et plusieurs de ses élèves; an English translation appeared in 1757.
Variants of the tale are known across Europe. In France, for example, Zémire et Azor is an operatic version of the story of Beauty and the Beast written by Marmontel and composed by Grétry in 1771. It had enormous success well into the 19th century. It is based on the second version of the tale.
Amour pour amour, by Nivelle de la Chaussée, is a 1742 play based on Villeneuve’s version.
A Woodman once dwelt with his wife at the edge of the forest, under the shadow of the Honorable Mountain. The two were industrious and good, but though they loved each other they were not happy. No children had come to bless them and this the wife mourned deeply.
The husband pitied her and treated her very kindly, yet still she was sad. As she gazed upon the snows of Fujiyama her heart swelled within her and she prostrated herself and said, “Fuji no Yama, Honorable Mountain, my heart is heavy because no childish arms encircle my neck, no little head nestles in my bosom. From thy eternal purity send some little white soul to comfort me!”
The Honorable Mountain spoke not; yet as she prayed, lo, from its heights there sparkled and glowed a tiny light. Fitful and gleaming it seemed, yet it had a silver radiance as of the moon.
The woodman’s wife beheld it, and she called to her husband eagerly, “Come hither, I pray you. See the strange light which comes from Fuji San. I seem to see a face smiling at me. It is the face of a little child!”
Then her husband smiled at her fancy, but, because he loved her, he said indulgently, “I will go and see what it is.”
“I thank you, my lord; go quickly!” she replied.
So, quickly he went to the forest, and as he neared a mountain stream, with Fuji gleaming cold and white in the moonlight, he saw the strange light, which seemed to hover and rest upon the branches of a tall bamboo. Hastening thither he found there a moon child, a tiny, fragile, fairy thing, more beautiful than any child he had ever seen.
“Little creature,” he said. “Who are you?”
“My name is Princess Moonbeam,” she answered sweetly. “My mother is the Moon Lady, and she has sent me to Earth because every Moon Child must do some good thing, else will its silvery light become pale and wan and be of no avail.”
“Little Princess,” he said eagerly, “the best of good deeds is to comfort a sad heart. Come home with me and be a child to my wife, who weeps for children. Thus will your beams grow bright.”
“I will go with you,” said the little Moonbeam, and, rejoicing greatly, he bore her tenderly to his wife.
“I bring you a treasure,” he said, “The Moon Lady sends you this beam of light to lighten your sad heart.”
Then was his wife much overjoyed and she took the little creature to her bosom and cared for her.
Lovelier grew the Moon Child every year and much she rejoiced the hearts of her foster parents. Her hair was like a golden aureole about her face. Her eyes were deep and tender, her cheeks were pale and delicate, and about her there was a subtle and unearthly charm. Every one loved her, even the emperor’s son, who, hunting in the forest, saw her lighting up the humble cottage with her heavenly light. He loved her dearly and she loved him, but alas! she could not marry him because her life upon the earth could be but twenty years. Then she must return to her home in the moon, for so willed her mother the Moon Lady.
At last the day came when she must go. Her parents wept, and could not be consoled; and her lover, who was now the emperor, could not keep her, although he besought High Heaven to spare her.
Her mother caught her up in a silver moonbeam; and all the way to the Moon the littlePrincess wept
silvery tears. As the tears fell from her eyes, lo! they took wings and floated away looking for the form of
her beloved, the emperor, who might see her no more.
But the silver-bright tears are seen to this day and yon about the vales and marshes of fair Nippon. The children chase them with happy cries, and say, “See the fireflies! How fair they are! Whence came they?”
Then their mothers relate to them the legend and say, “These are the tears of the little Princess, flitting to seek her beloved “; and over all, calm and eternal, smiles the Honorable Mountain.