In the eighteenth century, there was a village in Eastern Europe which was inhabited by peasants. It was far from the capital.
The villagers worked in the fields and lived a life of hardships. They wished for a miracle which could change their lives. Despite the hard life, the villagers were full of compassion for each other and their visitors.
One summer day, a magician arrived in the village and stood near the fountain.
“People of the village, can you see this fountain?” the magician asked.
“With my magic, I can turn the water of the fountain into an elixir which will make any young woman beautiful. I have heard that the prince, who will soon become the king, is looking for a beautiful bride for himself.”
On hearing the magician’s words, all young women gathered around the fountain, waiting for the miracle.
“Whoever drinks from the fountain will lose her most precious virtue,” said the magician.
All young women thought it was an easy bargain.
They drank from the fountain and immediately transformed, looking beautiful as never before. But in exchange, they lost their virtue of compassion.
Everyone except one woman, Sara, refused to part with her virtue for outward beauty.
To those who ridiculed her, she said: “I cannot become someone else at the cost of who I am. If I do so, I can never be beautiful no matter how good looking I am.”
Since that day, the beautiful women of the village, who had had the elixir, waited for the prince.
After some months, villagers, on a winter day, saw a horse drag a wounded hunter through mud. The man was unconscious and bleeding.
Peeking through their windows in anticipation of the prince, the women saw the hunter, but no one came out to help him.
As soon as Sara saw the man, she rushed out to help him. She took the hunter home and cleaned his wounds. She then covered him in a blanket as he lay on the bed.
Sara tended to his wounds till he regained strength. One day, the man decided to step out as he was fit to walk again.
The hunter noticed the beauty of the women in the village and also their indifference. Soon, he learned about their story.
Before it was time for the hunter to return home, he asked Sara to accompany him to the fountain.
As they reached near the fountain, he shouted out loud, “Villagers, I am the prince you have been waiting for. I have found the most beautiful woman of this world and I am going to marry her.”
All villagers, including all the beautiful women, came out running.
The prince walked up to Sara and asked her to marry him.
“You are the most beautiful woman of this world,” he said.
Both of them rode off to the castle where they were married off by the king himself.