The Kingdom of Wishland©

There once was a kingdom named Wishland, where a mighty wizard granted wishes. But strict rules were attached to such wishes. Upon reaching the age of sixteen, all children were allowed to visit the wizard and request just one wish for a lifetime. However, the wizard would not grant a wish unless the young person made a promise to him in return.

One day, on their sixteenth birthday, twin sisters visited the wizard to request their once-in-a-lifetime wish.

“Happy birthday, young ladies,” said the wizard. “You know the rules, so each of you may make your wish.”

The first sister stepped forward and exclaimed, “Oh, Great Wizard, please grant that I may have many riches, like gold and jewels, for the rest of my life.”

“Are you quite certain that is what you want?” asked the wizard. “There are many unforeseen troubles for those who gain great wealth.”

“I know this is true,” replied the girl, “but I assure you, I will manage.”

“Very well,” said the wizard. “I can make your wish come true, but only if you promise me that you will share your riches with those who are in need for the rest of your life.”

“Of course I will. I promise,” said the girl.

“So will it be,” replied the wizard. “Your wish is granted.”

The second sister then stepped forward. “Oh, Great Wizard, please grant that I may be the most beautiful maiden in the kingdom.”

The wizard replied, “Do you realize that those who are given the gift of beauty must do beautiful things?”

“I don’t quite understand,” responded the young girl.

“Well,” said the wizard, “the beauty you seem to seek is only on the outside. True beauty comes from the heart. If you promise me that you will display the other half of beauty, by showing love and kindness to everyone and giving help to others, I will grant you the beauty you wish.”

“Oh yes, I promise, Great Wizard. I will do that and even more.”

“So be it,” said the wizard. “Your wish is granted. You both may go now. But remember, do not fail to keep your promises.”

The sisters were very excited. They hurried home as fast as they could. Waiting at home for one sister was a large chest of gold and jewels, such as no one has ever seen. And for the other, there was a gold-framed hand mirror that reflected the most beautiful girl in the kingdom—so beautiful that she stayed awake all night, admiring her beauty in the mirror.

Many years passed. Both girls became well known throughout the kingdom. As promised, the first sister shared her wealth with all those who were in need. Everyone loved her.

However, the other sister did not show kindness or give help to anyone. She enjoyed being beautiful and spent most of her time looking in her mirror, which she carried everywhere she went.

Finally, the wizard heard about this and called her to his castle. “You have broken your promise to me and to yourself,” said the wizard, “and you must now pay the price.”

“Oh, please, Great Wizard, don’t take my beauty away,” she pleaded.

“Well,” replied the wizard, “in all these years you have shown only half of what is true beauty; therefore, I must take half of your beauty away. From now on, everyone who sees you must know that you are only half beautiful.”

Suddenly, there was silence in the great room. The frightened beauty slowly took out her mirror and looked at her face. Her eyes opened wide in shock! Half of her face remained beautiful, but the other half had the look of a hairy, green monster.

The wizard then quietly explained, “You have failed to remember: your looks are only as deep as your skin. True beauty and worth come from within.”

Promises you keep
Bring rewards by the heap.