A Happy Ending

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess in a beautiful castle. She was kind and generous and everybody loved her.

In that same palace lived a lowly servant. The servant longed to be loved like the princess, but she was not beautiful. Somehow, she said all the wrong things. And no matter how hard she worked, she did not have enough to be generous. Everybody who didn't ridicule her dismissed her.

One day she asked the beautiful princess for advice. The princess shrugged. "Beauty," she said, "and kindness and wealth are natural gifts. If you do not have those things now, I really doubt you ever will."

Resigned, the lonely servant retired to her chambers. There she sat and thought and realized something: beauty, kindness, and generosity were unattainable. So what did she have? Ugliness, insensitivity, and squalor. And, conveniently, a knowledge of magic.

So she cursed the princess and the castle with a plague of spiders and hid in the woods to live as an evil witch forever.

She was no less lonely or loved, so she was content for the rest of her life.