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Two sisters live alone with their elderly mother. The younger sister works hard, always gives as much as she is able to other people, and never fails to place others before herself. In contrast, the older sister does no work, steals frequently from her younger sister, sells her sexuality to men in the village, takes everything for herself, refuses to share anything with anyone, and generally considers herself superior to everyone. In time, the older sister is found out by the local prince, and is punished brutally.

Submitted:Sep 11, 2011    Reads: 57    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   

1: There was once an old and poor woman whose husband had died some years ago. She was too old to work or to marry, and she had no family to care for her save for her two young daughters.
2: The elder daughter was very lazy and selfish, whilst the younger daughter was very diligent and selfless. The younger daughter worked as a wash-maid, to earn money to feed her mother and elder sister.
3: From the rising of the sun unto the setting of the sun, she worked without rest. The work was very hard, and her hands were continually chafed.
4: At the end of each day, she received from her master a loaf of bread which she took home and divided between her mother, her elder sister, and herself. The younger sister was very thin and weak from being overworked and underfed.
5: While the younger sister toiled thus, the elder sister continually sold herself sexually to wealthy men from nearby villages, in exchange for good food and fine clothing.
6: She told neither her mother nor her younger sister of this, nor did she share with them any of the good things which she thus acquired.
7: There was then in that land a young prince, a son of the lord of the county, and the time soon came when it was good for the young prince to marry.
8: The lord made preparations to summon all the young maidens to a dance at the castle so that his son could choose a bride from among them, yet before the lord had sent the summons, his son approached him and asked him to cancel the dance.
9: "Why do you wish me to cancel the dance?" the lord asked his son. "Do you not wish to be married? You are the son of a wealthy and powerful lord. Surly you may have any girl you desire."
10: "Perhaps," said the prince. "but I do not think that the sort of girl whom I desire is to be found at any sort of party or dance."
12: "There are a great many selfish women in the world, usurping the profits of their husbands' labors while doing little in return, and caring far to much for their own appearance."
13: "If you send out a summons saying 'All girls come to a dance at the lord's castle so that the prince may choose a bride from among you, then all of the most proud, lazy, and selfish of the girls will say to themselves 'This is my chance to live a life fit for me. If I marry the prince, I will live in luxury for the rest of my life and will never again be obliged to do any labor.'"
14: "So will they will all come to the castle wearing their finest clothes and their sweetest scented herbs, and they will all conduct themselves very kindly and politely in hope of being chosen as my wife. In such way, it will be impossible to judge their true character."
15: "You are very wise, My Son." said the lord. "If you would seek beauty of the soul rather than beauty of the body, then here is what you must do: Lay aside your fine, princely garments, and dress yourself in rags and sackcloth. Wallow in the mud and throw dirt in your hair until your appearance is most deplorable. Then go into one of the villages, lay down by the village's well, and sleep there during the night."
16: "In the morning, when all the girls are sent down to the well to draw water, they will take you for a poor, pitiful beggar, and you shall judge them by the compassion which they show for you."
17: "You shall do so at each village, and in the end, the girl who shows you the most compassion will be summoned to the castle and you shall marry her. Does this suit you?"
18: "It most certainly does, Father." said the prince. "You have much wisdom. I will do as you have said." So the prince went and did as his father had said.
19: Coming to the first village, the prince laid himself down beside the well to sleep. When dawn arose, the young women of the village went down to the well to draw water, and beheld the prince sleeping.
20: Dressed only in rags and sackcloth, and covered with mud and dirt, all the girls took the prince for a hapless beggar and some questioned whether or not he was alive. One of the girls began to prod him with a long stick, but she was stopped by the others.
21: Walking carefully around the prince, the girls each went on to draw the water from the well before returning to their homes in the village. The prince went to another village and then another, and the result was the same.
22: When the prince came to the forth village, he laid himself down to sleep beside the well just as he had done at the other villages. Now it so happened that it was this village wherein lived the two sisters afore spoken of.
23: When all the girls came to the well to draw water, the younger of the two sisters was with them. All the other girls made no notice of the prince, but the younger sister saw him and immediately took pity on him.
24: She also drew water from the well and then kneeling beside the prince, she awoke him and gave him water to drink. When he had drunk, the younger sister said to him "You must very tired and hungry. Come to my mother's house and I will give you food and rest."
25: The prince saw that the younger sister was thin from starvation, and thus it did not sit well with him to accept charity from her. The prince kindly refused the younger sister's offer, even though she was very insistent.
26: It so happened that the elder sister was nearby, and upon hearing the younger sister's conversation with the prince, she came and, also mistaking the prince for a beggar, seized the younger sister by the arm and dragged her away whilst saying unto her "How dare you associate with that filth! Why do you befriend a beggar such as him? What do you think he will ever do for you in return?" The two sisters then departed.
27: The then prince arose and secretly followed the younger sister to her home, so that he might be able to find her upon his return. The prince also enquired of the men of the village concerning the two sisters.
28: They told him of how the younger sister worked hard to care for her mother and elder sister, often depriving herself in order to help them.
29: They told him also of how the elder sister refused to do any work, and instead sold her sexuality to wealthy men, keeping all the profits thereof for herself and giving none to her mother or younger sister.
30: The prince then returned to the castle and told his father, the lord, of the younger sister. "Do you wish to marry this girl?" asked the lord, speaking of the younger sister.
31: "I do." said the prince. "Though she is lean from hunger, her hands are chaffed from work, she is covered in filth, and her family in neither rich nor well respected, nonetheless she has a good heart."
32: "She is kind and cares greatly for other people, with little regard for herself. Although she is thin, dirty, and smells of sheeps' dung, I believe that good food, rest, and a thorough washing may easily amend these things."
33: "I believe surely that any man, woman, or child could be made to act with kindness if only they were first bribed with a great enough reward or threatened with a great enough punishment."
34: "People will do almost anything if it benefits them, but what is it that causes someone to reach out to others in kindness, when it would to all appearances be more beneficial to them not to do so?"
35: "This girl is like a beautiful flower in an otherwise dry and desolate land. It would be unwise to allow her to waste away in the harsh life which she currently leads." The prince then began to tell the lord of the elder sister, and of what he had heard concerning her.
36: On the face of the lord, on which a gentle smile had afore rested, a dark frown now appeared and grew continually larger as the lord heard more of the elder sister.
37: When the prince had finished speaking to the lord, the lord arose and said to the prince "Come, my son. Let us go down to the village, and bring both of these sisters and their mother hither."
38: The lord and the prince, accompanied by an escort, went down into the village and found the old widow and her two daughters. The lord then brought them back to the castle, where he spoke to the old widow about arranging for her younger daughter to marry the prince.
39: After the marriage was arranged, the lord then went and enquired of the men in the village concerning the elder sister, and they told him also all that which they had told the prince. The lord was then very wroth and had the elder sister brought before the court.
40: "Why have you done these things," he demanded. "refused to do any work, sold yourself to wealthy men, and kept the profits for yourself while your mother and sister worked hard and went hungry?"
41: Kneeling before the lord, the elder sister looked up at him with a most surprised expression. "I have done no such things!" she exclaimed. "Who has told you these lies?"
42: "Half of the men in your village have told me these things." said the lord. "Do not think that you can deceive me. You shall be punished all the more harshly for having lied to me."
43: Suddenly, all of the color drained from the elder sister's face and she began to sob, for she knew the lord to be a cruel judge.
44: "Please do not kill me!" she begged. "I am very sorry! I will never do any such things again!"
45: "You say that you are sorry for the things you have done," said the lord. "but I do not believe you. I believe that you do not regret your actions, but rather only the fact that you must account for them." The lord was then silent for a time.
46: "I will not have you killed." he said at last. "That would be too merciful. There are too many others like you in the empire."
47: "If I were to have you killed, your death would soon be forgotten and those girls who are like unto you would continue in their evil ways without fear."
48: The lord then spoke to his guards. "Have the servants build a large fire in the courtyard, and when it is sufficiently hot, you shall take this girl and hold her face in the midst thereof, so that the flesh of her face is burnt away. You shall then take her outside the castle and release her to her fate."
49: "In this way, all who see her shall know that this land does not tolerate women such as her. Let us hope that this child will repent of her sins, and so upon her death will be saved from the place of eternal torment."
50: When the guards made to take the elder sister, she screamed in terror and attempted to run away, but the guards seized her and did unto her as the lord had instructed.
51: Upon being led out of the castle and released, the elder sister rent a large piece of cloth from her dress and wrapped it around her face to hide her now hideous appearance.
52: Her eyes having been blinded by the fire, she than staggered away, never to be seen or heard from again.
53: The old widow and the younger daughter then lived in the castle in luxury for the remainder of their lives, but were always saddened for the sake of the elder daughter.


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