Dear Beast,

I just want you to know that it’s not you. It’s me. I’m writing you, Beast, to tell you I could never be in a long-term relationship with a mild-mannered Yak-man, or Buffalo-headed goat-bear, or whatever you are.

When I first met you, I was aroused by your fierce growling, your roughness, and the way you locked me in my room and denied me food. It was electric. But then you started to change.

As far as man-buffaloes go, you are a real beefcake, but that’s part of the problem. When I kiss you, I taste steak. When you’re around me, it’s awkward because I want you—but only as delicious cuts of meat, which is not how you want me to want you. I’m sorry, but we both know this, Beast. When I’m close to you, I feel this inexplicable urge, and it’s not a desire to possess you. It’s the urge to gently lead you to a pasture to fatten you up, or to squeeze milk from your udders, which is troubling because you have no udders, but it seems like you should. I need a strong, carnivorous lover, not a submissive creature of the field.

You said you felt something between us, something remarkable. Here’s the truth, Beast. I was only pretending to be scared of you. For a while, I thought you were ferocious, but then I saw those wolves kick your sorry ass. You tried to act all “tough-cow,” but it just wasn’t convincing. You’re supposed to be this terrifying beast, but I had to bring you home on my horse.

It was a sad and silent walk home to the castle that night.

By the way, you were way bigger than my horse in the previous scene, and then all of a sudden you’re injured, riding my horse like a tiny, hairy, ambiguous, cow-freak on a pony ride at the county fair.

Later, when you were shirtless in bed, I could see you thought that something was about to happen. I was dressing your wounds, wounds that no real beast would have gotten from a wolf fight, and you tried to growl at me, but it came out as a grunt, a big man-baby ox grunt. That was a real turnoff for me. Instead of ravaging your naked but hirsute body, I just wanted to put a yoke on you to pull a cart for a hayride, a hayride for young children.

I know this is hard for you, Beast, because I’m such a beauty, but it has to be this way. This is hurting me too.

I keep running over that night in my mind, the night of your epic battle with Gaston. I screamed at you, pleading with you not to kill Gaston when you had the chance—and you listened to me! Why? A real beast would have killed that asshole.

I know that Gaston shot you right afterward and that it must have hurt. But I bear wounds too, invisible wounds from our days together, and I need for you to be understanding during this difficult time for me. Tell the household items the truth, Beast—the clock, the candelabra, that annoying cup, and the blathering teapot—they deserve to know.

But please don’t tell them that when they were performing “Be Our Guest,” I could only see myself tucking into a buffalo steak (from your body) with those dancing forks and knives.

With Regards,

Belle (The Beauty)