There once was a beautiful young woman, with flawless locks and moon-jewel eyes, tall and fair and slim. The envy of every man and woman in the whole country. And she knew she was beautiful because every window she walked by, she could see herself, too. And every mirror in her house looked back with young and gorgeous face.
But, soon, the jealousy of an older woman in the town became uncontrollable and she put tarps over every window in town so that when the young woman would walk by, she could not see herself or her beauty. She burned down the woman’s house, so she had no mirrors, and she convinced all the town people of horrible rumors about her that weren’t true, so that they all jeered at her as she would walk by.
Now, this young woman’s gait was always in confident stride, her chin held level, but not pompously (for she was a moral and humble woman, even with her beauty). But, after months of mockery from every person on the street and from every person she would meet, she began to wonder if something had become wrong with her. And she was forgetting her beauty because she could no longer see it without any reflection of it.
She became frantic to find a place where she could see herself to see what had happened. But there were no windows or puddles or mirrors to be seen. For the jealous woman had even hired a master mopper and his team to mop dry every inch of town after every rain.
No matter how far the woman ran, there was not a sight of herself at all, and she’d forgotten that she was beautiful. She could no longer see her flowing locks or her moon-jewel eyes. For the woman had taken her own reflection from her, she stole it away because she did not want this young woman to know how beautiful she was. If she couldn’t have this beauty, then at least no one should think that they do, at all.
So, upon searching for a long while, she sat down in a forest against a tree and cried. She cried so hard for so long, heaving and weeping, that a river began to form where she sat and soon, the river was wide enough and deep enough to carry her downstream. The water stopped and pooled many miles away among a green valley. Standing at the bank was a white horse. She got out of her river of tears and went up to the horse, “What do you see in me?” She asked.
“Well,” replied the horse, “why don’t you look into my eyes, and see your reflection for yourself.” So she tried to peer into the horses beautiful eyes, but her reflection was so small there that she could barely see it.
“I cannot see myself through your eyes.” The beautiful young woman said. “I need to see myself for myself.”
“Well,” replied the horse, “what do you think of yourself?”
“I don’t remember.” Stuttered the girl, “A long time ago, I remember thinking myself to be beautiful, but then the tarps in the windows prevented me from remembering, and the mirrors in my house were burned with it. I had no way of reminding myself or remembering. And that was many months ago!”
“So, someone has stolen your reflection from you. They must be very jealous.” Said the horse. “I am here for the same reason. I was forced out of my herd by all my friends and all the forest, so I’ve stayed here, in this valley, alone, until you came here in this very salty water.”
The girl laughed, “It’s my tears. I cried me a river, and I suppose I needed it to escape and carry me away from there.”
“It is a good thing you are here, it certainly would have destroyed you if you’d stayed.”
“So what am I?” The young woman asked.
“If someone was very jealous of you, even to destroy your own view of yourself, how beautiful do you think you must be for them to have been so burningly jealous?” Posed the horse.
“Very, I suppose.”
“Very indeed.” Said the horse and she smiled.
Looking down at the river then, the horse said, “Now you know you are beautiful, but look and see as well. Your reflection is back.” The girl turned toward the pooled water and gently ebbing and flowing ripples and there she saw her beautiful locks, all the same as before, but even longer; and her moon jewel eyes, only this pool made them look stronger; and her skin was even smoother and softer after her ride in the river.
“Am I more beautiful than before?” She turned and asked the horse, delighted at seeing her own self clearly again.
“Maybe it is that you see it better now. Your beauty will always keep growing.” Said the horse, “This possibly is why jealousy grows. Certainly this jealous person was indeed very ugly and they must hate their own mirror. They will always be more and more horrible to you the more and more beautiful you are and the uglier and uglier they are. For, certainly, ugliness grows, too.”
And so, the girl and the horse made home in the green rolling hills of the valley and met other beautiful creatures to add to their circle, of all beautiful and good people, for they all escaped their jealous enemies. And now, they all are stronger than before, and they only keep growing, both in number and in beauty every day. Each river of each of their tears all served as mirrors, stretching across the valley. Though, they no longer needed the mirrors anymore, they all knew it in their heart that they were beautiful and they reminded each other of it and lifted each other up and this made them more and more beautiful.
One must have extreme jealousy to take one’s reflection. You may be battered for your goodness, but that doesn’t change it. You must always remember at your heart who you are, so that no one may steal your reflection from you, even if there are no mirrors of your beauty around to see it.
People will always try to steal your own knowledge of your beauty, if they can’t take your beauty away (and if they hate their own ugliness in their reflection).
View all my works here