The shocked merchant stammered on quickly, “I–I’m ss–s–sorry, I simply wanted to bring my youngest d–d–daughter a rose. I promised to return to her safely and I am so g–grateful to you for helping me.”
“I could punish you for this; however, I have a better idea. Bring me one of your daughters. She will live here with me and keep my company until the end of her days.” the beast explained. “Go home to them now, and if you do not return in a month, I will come and punish you instead.”
The merchant travelled home quickly, clutching the rose he had stolen from the Beast”s garden.