The Trouble With Vanity

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Literature Text

Once, long ago, there was a little girl born to a poor village. She was tender, quiet and beloved by the village for she was also wise beyond her years. From her lips there was only truth, from her hands only kindness.

One day, while walking home from a well she crossed paths with a palanquin. Inside sat a noble, their skin a radiant bronze, draped in a sari of shining silk, rings on every finger.

"Girl, they say you speak only truth. Tell me, am I not the fairest creature you have ever seen?"

The girl looked at the noble and in a quiet voice said,"The fairest creature I have known is my dog. She is soft and loving, loyal and true. She is truly beautiful, her spirit so ennobled by her actions."

The noble sneered at the girl. "Dirty sow! You insult me? If I am not the fairest then I am the deadliest! My guards shall slaughter your village."

The girl remained calm and shook her head. She wore a face of sadness, her eyes moist. "No. The deadliest creature I know is the cobra who has entered your palanquin. Charm him and see if he gives you more mercy than you would have given me."

A yelp came from the palanquin, panicked rustling, and then silence.

The guards nodded to the girl and took their departed master away. The girl turned and returned to her village, the cobra to his burrow.

The end.
Beware the haughty affections you think you deserve…
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