There was once a girl who was so beautiful that she was known throughout the land. Her skin was fair, her eyes like those of doves, and her voice was like an angel’s. Her father provided for her, dressing her in the best clothes, giving her gifts often, and making sure that she was never in need of anything. Not only was this maiden stunning in her physical beauty, but her kindness and compassion were well-known. All the children in her village flocked to her, and she made time for each of them.
When it came time for her to marry, she had no shortage of suitors. In fact, there were so many that it was difficult to even begin the process. So she and her father came up with a solution. They enlisted some trusted friends and relatives to narrow down the suitors to just a handful. But even then it was hard.
As the girl agonized over her decision, her father thought of the carpenter in the village. He was a humble man who did not have much, but he was kind and gentle, much like the girl. The father introduced the carpenter and the girl, and they were an instant match. The father was sure that an engagement was near.
But then a king came to the village. He had heard rumors of the girl’s beauty, and had come searching for a wife. The king was tall and handsome. His clothes were fine and colorful. With him came attendants and wagons of jewels. He promised the girl the world. He would give her fine food, beautiful clothes, a majestic home, and anything else she could dream. After learning of the girl’s good heart and all that she did for the poor and helpless, he promised to help her with those endeavors. With his support, she could provide for even more people than ever before.
It did not take the girl long to choose the king. Soon there was a royal wedding, and it was grand. People came from all around to be witness to the marriage. The girl was now a queen, and the king lavished her. She was given handmaidens and her own home in the country. She had the best foods, brought from all over the world. Now that she was no longer burdened by the problems of everyday life, she had plenty of free time to practice her compassion on the poor and needy.
But this was when the girl, now a queen, began to realize that there was a problem in her perfect world. The king, who had promised to support her ministries to the needy, was nowhere to be found. He was always away on some crusade, conquering another nation. She found that the money and support he had promised her began to dwindle, as they were needed to fund his wars and conquering.
The only time the king paid her any attention was when he needed to garner support for his rule. He demanded that she be on his arm at every banquet and ceremony. All the common people swooned, because they made such a lovely couple. It made them swell with pride that they lived in a country that had such a beautiful, noble king and queen.
The beautiful queen lived in her mansion, trapped in a prison of her own wealth. She had to support the king, no matter what he did, because she depended on his money to support her care for the poor, as well as herself.
Eventually the beautiful queen became bitter and despondent. She soon only cared for buying things for herself, as it was the only thing that gave her short bursts of pleasure. As she turned inward, she became ugly and scarred. It wasn’t long until she was just a wrinkled old lady clad in gaudy jewelry. To the poor of the country, she had become a disgusting reminder of what wealth and privilege had done to them.
She died long before the king did, and those who didn’t find her disgusting thought that she was just irrelevant.