Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Treasures

Once upon a time, a beautiful princess was born. Her mother and father loved her very much. She had brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends all around. Each one of them brought her a jewel to mark her arrival. As she grew, her parents and the other wise ones around her taught her to love and treasure her jewels. They encouraged her to play with them, enjoy them, marvel at their richness, display them with pride. They explained each jewel's name, it's purpose, it's magic. If she ever grew careless with her jewels, someone helped her recover the ones she'd misplaced, and reminded her how special her treasures were. At times, she grew self-conscious about her jewels and thought about hiding them away. But her teachers helped her see that the jewels were a gift to be celebrated, not something to be ashamed of. As she grew older, she made many friends, and every once in a while, she would gift them with one of her jewels. Sometimes she traded, sometimes she simply gave a jewel away, but others reciprocated and added to her collection of jewels. When she became old enough to marry, she sought out a prince who appreciated her jewels as much as she did and who had a healthy collection of his own of which he was also quite proud. The two of them married and merged their collection of jewels. People came from far and wide to admire this jewel collection, the likes of which they had never seen.


Once upon a time, a beautiful princess was born. Her mother and father loved her and wanted to protect her from all harm. Friends and relatives brought the baby gifts of jewels, but her mother and father were wise and knew the jewels would attract unwanted attention, so they hid them. They meant to tell the princess about them and started to talk to her on several occasions, but never got around to it. One day, the princess, poking curiously through the castle, discovered the stash of jewels. She asked her parents about them and her father reprimanded her harshly. Still her curiosity persisted and finally they explained the jewels were hers, gifts she'd been given, but dangerous because they would attract unwanted attention, robbers, thieves and evil doers. Because her curiosity was so great, her parents agreed she could look at the jewels, but she must do it alone, and she must tell no one about them. One day, the princess disobeyed and took one of the jewels from the treasury. When her mother saw her with it, she immediately took it and punished the princess severely. They even enlisted others to try to explain to the princess how dangerous displaying or even admitting to owning the jewels could be. The princess continued to be drawn to the jewels, so eventually, for her own protection, the king and queen took some dull paint and covered all of the jewels, tarnishing their beauty. Still the princess was determined, and would sneak in and take a single jewel and scrape the paint off as best she could and carry it around with her. Once she had several with her and made the mistake of revealing them to a stranger. Immediately she was robbed and she began to understand the danger. As she grew older and wanted to marry, she asked her parents if she could use the jewels to help attract a suitable prince, but again they said no. Finally, after the princess searched for a long time with no success, they relented and gave her a few of the jewels. After much searching, she eventually met and married a handsome prince, who also had a few jewels. They combined their treasure, but made sure to keep it well hidden, and thought sadly about the riches that each of them had been forced to leave behind.

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