Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a king and a queen who lived very happily, but longed to be parents. After years of waiting, the queen gave birth to a boy. But the child was very unattractive and the queen being vain and superficial was disappointed by the appearance of her son. However, a fairy who was present at the birth gave the child the gift of wisdom, also endowed him with the gift of imparting to the person he loved the most, the wisdom that he himself possessed. This comforted the queen somewhat.
With the passing of time, consolation turned to pride, for as soon as the boy began to speak, he captivated everyone with his acts of nobility and words of wisdom. By the way, I forgot to mention that when the little prince was born he had a lock of hair on his head. For this reason everyone called him Riquete el del Copete, since Riquete was the family surname.
After seven or eight years, the queen of a neighboring country gave birth to two girls. The first daughter possessed a beauty without comparison. The queen was very happy, but the fairy who had attended the birth of Riquete el del Pompete warned her that the girl would not be intelligent. This greatly distressed the queen; but a few moments later she felt a much greater sorrow, because the second daughter she gave birth to was found to lack all beauty.
Moved, the fairy granted the girls two gifts: to the oldest, the gift of transmitting all her beauty to whoever loves her; to the minor, intelligence and talent.
Soon, the princesses grew up. The more they grew, the more their virtues and defects shone. While the eldest became more beautiful, she was also more clumsy and ignorant. She had many suitors, but her clumsiness and ignorance made them run away. On the other hand, the minor became intelligent and talented. Talk of his intelligence and talent spread far and wide. Very soon, the youngest daughter had many friends and suitors. The eldest had no one despite her beauty.
Heartbroken by her loneliness, the eldest daughter decided to go to the forest. Riquete el del Copete was walking through the same place where the beautiful princess was and noticing that she was crying, he approached her to ask her:
— How is it possible that, being so beautiful, you have something to regret?
To this the princess replied:
— I prefer to be as simple as you and have a little intelligence, than to be so beautiful and at the same time ignorant and clumsy.
— I think I have the solution for your problem! exclaimed Riquete the one with the Tuft. I have the gift of imparting my wisdom to whoever I want most and I know that you are that person. Therefore, it is up to you to receive my wisdom. The only condition is that you agree to marry me.
“I’ll marry you in a year,” the princess said without thinking, as usual.
The next day, the princess had forgotten her promise.
As time passed, the entire kingdom began to notice the extraordinary transformation of the beautiful princess. Her words reflected a deep wisdom with which she attracted many handsome and brave suitors. However, none were to his liking.
One morning, the princess returned to the forest to cry because of her loneliness, when she heard a ruckus. Dozens of cooks and royal servants were preparing a wedding banquet. Wondering what was going on, he bumped into Riquete el del Copete.
Suddenly, the princess remembered her promise to marry him.
“I can’t marry you,” he said apologetically. Before, I was ignorant and didn’t know what kind of promise I was making. Now that I’m wise, I don’t know what to do.
“I understand what you’re saying and I’m willing to cancel the wedding,” answered Riquete el de Copete, trying to contain his tears. But I want to know if there is anything about me, apart from my appearance, that you dislike.
The princess found no answer. Riquete el del Copete was not handsome, but he harbored in his heart the most beautiful virtues.
Then, the princess remembered the fairy and the gift she had given her:
“The fairy gave me the ability to make beautiful the person who loves me. All I have to do is think about its qualities!” the beautiful princess said to herself.
At that precise moment, Riquete el del Copete transformed into a handsome prince. The beautiful princess took him back to her palace and introduced him to her parents. With the consent of the king and queen, the princess and Riquete el del Copete were married and lived happily ever after.
Some people claim that the happy ending of this story is not the result of a gift from a fairy, but that love caused the transformation of Riquete the one with the pompadour. Well, it is well known: true love is not based on physical appearance.