One tooth and two teeth

In the whole town there were no uglier women than One Tooth and her daughter Two Teeth. One Tooth was so called because she had only one tooth left in her mouth. Her daughter Two Teeth was given her name because one could only see two teeth when she smiled.
Though the widow One Tooth was rich and her daughter Two Teeth was helpful and kind nobody had ever come to ask for Two Teeth’s hand in marriage. Nobody had ever sent a go-between to propose a match between a young man and Two Teeth. This made the poor girl very sad indeed.
“Oh mother,” she often sighed unhappily, “I may remain an old maid my whole life. How lonely I will be later, when you have gone to the gods in heaven.”
Hearing her daughter’s words the old woman would sigh too, and often both of them would cry together.
One day, thecriers in town announced that on a certain day the young crown prince would pass through the town to visit the beach nearby. Everybody was asked to clean the streets and make the town as attractive as possible. This news excited all the people quite a bit, especially the young girls, for the young prince was known to be a very handsome young man. Though he was already in his twenties he was not yet married. No girl, even the prettiest, had found favour in his eyes. In fact, he was so particular in his wishes that his mother, the queen, was wondering whether she would ever see her son married.
While all the other young girls were making themselves as beautiful as pos­sible to catch the young prince’s atten­tion, poor ugly Two Teeth was sitting in her room crying her heart out .... She was also in love with the crown prince, but even a miracle would not make him smile at her. Instead, one look at her ugly face would send him running away!
The old widow One Tooth could not bear to see her daughter so unhappy. She though very hard to find a way to make her daughter smile. At last she said to Two Teeth, “Don’t cry, my dear. I know a way to make the crown prince look at you and think of you must do exactly as I tell you.”
“Yes of course, mother,” cried Two Teeth excitedly. On the day the young prince was to pass through the town. One Tooth prepared a basin of clear water in which she soaked handfuls of fragrant flower, roses, jasmines and gardenias. Their house hap­pened to stand on the road which the young prince had to take.Hours before he was supposed to pass, the two women were al­ready hiding behind the curtains. At last the prince, escorted by a group of nobles, rode slowly by. One Tooth suddenly threw the fragrant water out of the window, so that it splashed on the prince’s face and shoulders. Then she shouted.
“Oh, you careless child! How thoughtless you are! How could you throw out of the window the water with which you have washed your hands, just when our prince is passing by”? Look, the water has splashed his face. Now we shall certainly get into trouble!"
Two Teeth answered, “it was noble face that made me for­get everything, mother. In my confusion I upset my washing basin. I hope he will forgive me, though I will humbly suffer ev­ery punishment for my clumsiness.”
Of course the prince heard every word they said. Yet he did not get angry. He looked up to see the speakers, but could only see vague shadows.
“If the water she washed her hands with is so fragrant, how delightful she herself must be. The lady that lives in that house in certainly young and beautiful. I must ask my mother to make enquiries about her,” the prince thought. He smiled up at the window and continued his way.
When he was back in the palace the prince told his mother about the incident.
The queen was delighted to hear this news. At last she would get a daughter-in-law. She decided to go herself.
So one day the startled One Tooth got a message that the next week the queen herself would come to make enquiries about her young daughter. What was she to do now? Confess­ing everything would be the same as inviting disaster. It would be better to think up another way to escape the danger.
When the queen came, One Tooth received her with all the respect due to such a noble lady. She served her the best tea and the nicest cakes that could found in town. She did every­thing to please her. But when the queen asked whether she could meet her daughter, One Tooth extremely shy. She heard that Your Majesty was coming, she hid herself in the room and she has not come out since.”
The queen was agreably surprised on hearing this.
“Here’s a virtuous and mode girl,” she thought. “She does not seem to as rude as young girls are nowadays.”
Kindly, she said to One Tooth, “Can’t she just show me one of her fingers?”
“I will ask her to do that, Your Majesty,” answered One Tooth and hurried to her daughter’s room.
A moment later, the queen saw the door opening an inch or so and a slender, white finger appeared through it. A gold and­ diamond ring glistened on it.
“What a pretty finger she has and what a white and smooth skin!” Thought the queen. “The ring looks good too. Yes, the girl is certainly beautiful enough to become the bride of my son.”
Now the queen was rather near-sighted and, besides, the room was also rather dark. Therefore, she did not notice that what she had seen was not a real finger, but a piece of white candle shaped like a finger and decorated with a gold ring.
Back at the palace, the queen told her son what a good choice he had made. The young lady was as beautiful as her character was good. The wedding could be held without delay.
How confused One Tooth and Two Teeth were when a few says after the queen’s visit a messenger came to tell them that Two Teeth was chosen to be the bride of the crown prince! The wedding would be held the next evening and an escort would come to fetch her the next day. Now there was no way out for them. One Tooth dressed her daughter in the most beautiful clothes. She gave her the richest jewels to wear. But the rich clothes and the glittering trinkets made Two Teeth look even uglier than before. Fortunately the thick bridal veil covered her completely, so that not one of the nobles who came to accom­pany her to the palace could see her face. When the procession was out of sight, One Tooth went to her room and prayed to all the gods that the prince would not be too hard on her daugh­ter.
In the palace all the lamps were lit. The rooms and garden were as bright as day. Hundreds of guests, all splendidly dressed, were crowded in front of the gates to see the bride ar­rive. The King and the Queen stood side by side ate the top of the stairs that led to the big audience hall. In the gaily deco­rated audience hall, the prince himself was waiting impatiently for his young bride. All through the wedding feast. Two Teeth did not lift her bridal veil. As all the guests had been told that she was extremely shy, they did not think this strange. But when the feast was over and the prince was alone with his bride in their room, Two Teeth had to The poor prince was rudely shocked when he saw her ugly face.
`You are not my bride!” he cried out, “You are an evil spirit that has taken her place. Out with you!” He grabbed poor Two Teeth by the arm and threw her out of the open window. The girl fell head first into a flowerbed and was stuck there among the flower, with her head buried in the soft soil and her two feet sticking up like two straight sticks.
Now that flowerbed happened to be the dwelling place of the king of the Flower Spirits. At midnight, this king came out of the big lily which he used as his palace. He could not be­lieved his eyes when he saw Two Teeth’s thin legs waving slowly in the air among the slender flower stems. After a while, however, he began to smile. A few minutes later his smile turned into a laugh and soon he was roaring loudly. At the sound of his laughter the queen of the Flower Spirits and her six beautiful daughters came running out of different flower to see what had happened. The fact was that the spirit king had been sick for quite some time. It was a long time since his family had heard him laugh. They were very glad to see him so gay. They were even happier when, a moment later, the spirit king told them that his illness had just been cured by this un­expected fit of laughter. After congratulating him, they all went to Two Teeth who was still stuck in the soil waving her legs in the air. They took pity on her and put her on her feet again. Then they asked her what she was doing there. Sobbing, Two Teeth told them the whole story.
“We shall help you,” said the spirit king.  “After all, it was you who cured me. What do you want.”
“I wish to be beautiful so that the prince will love me,” an­swered Two Teeth.
“I will give you the beauty of my eyes,” said the queen im­mediately. At once Two Teeth’s eyes began to sparkle like starts in the sky.
“May you hair become as thick and black as mine,” said the eldest daughter of the spirit king. Immediately Two Teeth’s thin hair began to grow and soon it was lying like a soft, black blan­ket over her shoulders.
“May your smile become as bright as mine,” said the second daughter. Sparkling white teeth spouted into Two Teeth’s empty mouth and at last she could smile without shame.
“May your skin become soft and white,” said the third daughter. And Two Teeth’s rough, dark skin became white and smooth.
One by one the other three daughters of the spirit king gave her their special gifts. In the end Two Teeth was not only extremely beautiful, but she could also sing sweetly and dance gracefully. She did not know how to thank them. The flower spirits waved her thanks away and one by one they returned to their own flowers again.
Morning came, and the prince, who had slept very badly that night, looked out of the window. And what did he see there sitting gracefully on the grass beside the flowerbed? The most beautiful girl in the world! The prince was beside himself with joy.
“My bride has come back! The evil spirit has left her!” he called out happily. In a second he had jumped out of the win­dow, right beside Two Teeth who, of course, did not deserve that name any longer.
For the rest of their lives the two lived happily together. They had six children as beautiful as their mother, and nobody was prouder of them than their mother, and nobody was prouder of them than their grandmother One Tooth.

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