The Golden Ring

Once upon a time, in the quiet little town of Lorim, lived a gardener and his family. His youngest, Rose, a dark-haired beauty, was the most beautiful in the village, and her mother had high hopes for her. Her mother was constantly attempting to bring Rose to the attention of several of the richest men in Lorim, but Rose preferred the quiet stillness of the church to the hustling fluster of high society and refused them all. Her mother was furious, how could her daughter refuse such handsome, rich men? It was preposterous! But for Rose, she found it quite easy to refuse; her real interests lay in the hidden jewels of the Church, not the obnoxious wealth of the world, especially with such greedy and selfish men. She stayed home with her family for several years, doing chores around the house, sewing, and helping her father with his gardening, and was never happier. Until the day came that news of the prince of Lorim had passed. The King and the Queen of Paralea came to the funeral as the prince had no heirs, having been a priest. They stayed for a while, testing the most eligible men and women, Rose among them. Her mother thought that this was Rose’s chance to rise as she was clearly the most beautiful of the women. And though Rose was clearly the most qualified, the one the King and the Queen agreed upon, Rose declined for she had no desire to rise nor did she have the leadership skills required. But her mother was determined that Rose should have the role of princess, and beseeched the King and the Queen to force the position upon her. The King and Queen too desired that Rose should be princess, but they had a different idea of how to do it. They asked her to travel to the northern city of Polinia to find a suitable man to govern Lorim. Rose eagerly accepted, and was given a golden ring by the King as a sign to others that she was on royal business.

Once in Polinia, Rose began her search for a suitable man to govern Lorim. She soon found him in the guise of a young noble named Hyacinth. He was a kind and wise man who enjoyed helping others. Rose told him of the business she was on, showing him the ring in the process, and asked that he come to Lorim and become its prince. Hyacinth was reluctant, the news having come as a shock to him, and asked for some time to think it over. Rose granted it, but when they shook hands on it, Rose’s ring began to glow. Startled by the change, they began to wonder if the King had enchanted it to help Rose find the right man to be prince of Lorim. However, someone else saw the ring glow as well, and news of the magical ring spread like wildfire. Many who had refused the offer of the princedom of Lorim returned to Rose, hoping to get a second chance. She eventually suggested that each man be put to a test she devised for the next day. But later that night, a gang of thugs stole the ring from her, intent on getting their own man on the throne. Hyacinth alone offered to help Rose get it back, and the two chased them back to Lorim, catching up with them as they entered the town. Fortunately, the King and the Queen were still there with their soldiers, and the thugs were promptly arrested. Hyacinth accepted the position of prince of Lorim, and surprised everyone by asking Rose to marry him. Rose, in turn, surprised everyone by accepting. The two were soon married, and ruled over Lorim with kindness and wisdom till the end of their days.

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