Here is the story I told yesterday at the Green Dragon. Once there was a kingdom of men in a faraway land. It was a peaceful kingdom led by a wise king. The king and queen had only one child, a daughter, beautiful as the morning sky. Beautiful as she was, she wanted to be surrounded by beautiful things as well. Thus the castle was covered in decorations and other beautiful things. The king and the queen loved her deeply and respected her every wish. Time passed and the princess came of age. Soon the she would have to marry someone suitable. When the king asked her whom she would like to marry, she answered: 'I will marry the man who presents me the most beautiful thing in the world.' And so the king declared that any man who would bring the princess the most beautiful thing would become her husband and future king. All unmarried men saw their chance and wanted to rise to the challenge. They gathered beautiful jewels, clothes, decorations and paintings. Each wanted to impress the princess with their gifts. But as the princess was already surrounded by beauty, it was very hard to impress her. She turned away every suitor, saying: 'I already have something more beautiful than this in my castle.' It seemed that nothing would be enough for her. One day, a harsh-looking man arrived at the castle. He was a traveller with shabby, worn out clothes. His beard was unshaven and hair unkempt. Usually such a man would never have had access to the castle. But as he introduced himself as a suitor, he was led to the princess. When the princess saw him from her throne, she screwed up her face with disgust. 'What would you possibly have to present me, suitor?' she asked the man. 'The most beautiful thing, of course,' the man replied. He pulled something out of his pocket. Everyone gasped:the man was holding an onion, of all things! The princess stared at the onion, thunderstruck. 'Is this some kind of jape, mister?' she asked. 'Not at all', the man replied. 'This is not a usual onion.' 'It is a bulb that'll grow into the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.' And so, they let the man plant the bulb into the garden where he took care of it. The man spent long hours with his planting. The princess watched him in secret. She saw how the man sang to the plant and encouraged it to flourish. She saw how the man tended the plant, watered it and cherished it. It became clear how very much the plant meant for the man. The princess saw kindness and devotion in him like never before. Eventually the flower bloomed. It was a beautiful lily blooming in all shades of red, orange and, of course, yellow. The princess looked at the flower for a long time and returned to her quarters. Then she called the man to her. 'You said that you would bring me the most beautiful thing in the world,' she said. The man nodded but didn't say a thing. 'You kept your promise, dear sir. You showed me the most beautiful thing.' 'But it wasn't the flower,' she added. 'You have taught me that not only onions have layers, dear sir.' 'You might look a bit harsh on the outside, but inside, your heart is pure gold.' 'I saw how you tended the flower and cared for it with devotion.' 'You showed me the most beautiful thing, and it was love.' The man nodded and stepped forward. 'You are as wise as beautiful, my princess.' 'For love is a thing that needs tending and care, and above all, patience.' 'But when it blooms, it is the most beautiful thing in the world,' he concluded. The princess smiled. 'Now it's my turn to keep my promise. I will be your wife gladly.' And for the first time in her life, the princess kneeled and offered her hand to the man. Thus the man and the princess were married, and they ruled as equals. So remember: 'All that is gold does not glitter,' as Ronald Dwale writes. The end.