Once upon a time there was a girl who, though of humble origin, was so incredibly beautiful that she was famed throughout the region. Knowing how much the young men of the Kingdom liked her, she rejected all her suitors, waiting for the arrival of some handsome Prince. Well, it didn’t take long for a handsome Prince to come by, and as soon as he saw the young girl he fell for her and showered her with compliments and gifts. The wedding was extravagant, and everyone said they made the perfect couple.
However, when the shine and excitement of the presents and the parties began to wear off, the young Princess found out that her handsome young husband wasn’t as wonderful as she had expected.He behaved like a tyrant towards his people, he boasted about his wife as though she was a hunting trophy, and he was selfish and mean. When she came to see that everything about her husband was a false appearance, she didn’t hesitate to tell him this to his face, but he answered her back in a similar vein, reminding her that he had only chosen her for her beauty, and that she could have chosen many others rather than himself, if she hadn’t let herself be carried away by ambition and her desire to live in a palace.
The Princess cried for days, seeing the truth in her husband’s cruel words. She remembered all the many good and honest young men she’d rejected only so she could become a Princess. Wanting to undo her mistake, the Princess tried to leave the palace, but the Prince wouldn’t allow her, since everyone talked about the extraordinary beauty of his wife, and this added to the Prince’s reputation as an exceptional man. The Princess made so many attempts to escape that she ended up locked away, constantly watched by guards.
One of those guards felt pity for the Princess, and in her captivity he tried to cheer her up and provide some company and conversation for her. As time passed they were becoming good friends. They came to have such confidence in each other that one day the Princess asked the guard to allow her to escape. But the soldier, who owed loyalty and obedience to his King did not agree to the Princess’ plea. Nevertheless, he answered her, saying:
–“If you so want to flee from here, I know how to do it, but it will call for a great sacrifice on your part.”
She agreed, confirming that she was willing to do anything, and so the soldier continued:
-“The Prince only wants you for your beauty. If you disfigure your face he will send you far away from the palace so no one can see you, and he’ll erase any trace of your presence. That’s just the despicable, miserable kind of man he is.”
The Princess replied, saying:
-“Disfigure myself? And where will I go to? What will become of me, if my beauty is all I have? Who would want to have anything to do with a horribly ugly and useless woman like me?”
the soldier answered, confidently. His daily talks with the Princess had led him to fall in love with her.
–“To me you are even more beautiful on the inside than on the outside.”
And at that moment the Princess realised that she too loved that simple and honest soldier. With tears in her eyes she took the hand of her guard, and with his dagger in both their hands, they made two long,deep cuts in her face…
When the Prince saw his wife’s face everything happened just as the guard had predicted. The Prince sent her as far away as he could, and he made up a tragic story about her death which made him even more popular among the people.
And so, disfigured and free, the girl with the beautiful face could finally be happy alongside that simple and loyal soldier. He was the only person who, looking at her, would not quickly look away, since in that face he always found the path to his heart.