Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to be Faithful: The Tale of the Prince and His Jewels

My blog entry this week will be a little different.  Upon waking this morning, I had an idea for a fable, like those written by Aesop.  While this reads like a children’s story, I believe the moral applies to people of all ages and both sexes.

With that, I humbly offer you The Tale of the Prince and His Jewels.

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Not so long ago, be that yesterday or two millennia gone by, there lived a handsome prince in a wealthy, wealthy land.  The prince was coming quickly upon his twentieth birthday, at which point he was required to choose a wife.

Being that this was a wealthy land, and being that the prince was royalty, you would imagine that the prince had servants… and you would be right!  Now, do you remember when I said that the prince was handsome?  Well, his servants were equally handsome, and the prince knew it.

The prince wanted to be sure the maiden he married would not be seduced by one of his servants.  After consulting with his advisors, he came up with a plan.  That day, a royal invitation was sent out to all the young maidens in the land.

On the day all the maidens arrived, the prince made an announcement.

“Greetings, lovely maidens of our great land!  On this day, I offer each of you a challenge.  All who choose to participate will receive a reward of precious jewels.  However, one will become my bride, the princess, and eventually the queen of this land!”

A loud murmur arose from the maidens.  “Jewels!”  “Become the princess!”  “What could the challenge be?”

Once the noise had died down, the prince said, “Over the next thirty days, each maiden who participates will spend the night with a different one of my servants.  During those nights, my servants will use all of their cunning to seduce you.  For each successive night you remain pure, my servants will give you a jewel of greater and greater value!  After the thirty days are over, I will choose my bride from those who have remained pure.”

Thirty days passed.  On the thirty-first day, the prince once more called together all the maidens of the land.  They were all giggling, whispering and comparing their newly acquired jewels.  The prince had his servants count the jewels of each maiden.  Among the crowd, they found two maidens who had thirty jewels each!  They even found one lovely maiden who had no jewels at all.

The prince called forward the two maidens with the thirty jewels.  At the same time, a cruel servant brought forward the maiden with no jewels in order to mock her.  The prince, being a kind man, did not wish to humiliate the young maiden.  He dismissed the cruel servant and called the maiden over to speak with him quietly.

“My dear girl, how is it that you have not even a single jewel?”

The maiden, tears brimming in her eyes, said, “The jewels were not what I wanted, your highness.  I only wanted to be your wife, so I did what I would have done if I were your wife!  I kept myself from being where my purity could be challenged.  I did not participate at all.”

The next day, they were wed.


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