Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A post where I am all preachy and from the future

I'm not really here. Currently, I am out gallivanting in California. If you should need immediate assistance, might I recommend calling a doctor? I don't really heal people or anything so anything super urgent would probably be best directed to a professional. Know what I mean?  So without further delay... 

Many of you probably know the story of the Eight Cow Wife. It's difficult these days to find a story that's ever been related in an email that hasn't crossed everyone's inbox at least once. For me it came in the form of a phone call from my sister describing the odd gift of 8 cow figurines from her husband. Below is a very brief section of the story. You can find a more in depth reading here.

And then I saw her. I watched her enter the room to place flowers on the table. She stood still a moment to smile at the young man beside me. Then she went swiftly out again. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. The lift of her shoulders, the tilt of her chin the sparkle of her eyes all spelled a pride to which no one could deny her the right. I turned back to Johnny Lingo and found him looking at me. 

"You admire her?" he murmured. 

"She...she’s glorious. But she’s not Sarita from Kiniwata," I said.

"There’s only one Sarita. Perhaps she does not look the way they say she looked in Kiniwata." 

"She doesn’t. I heard she was homely. They all make fun of you because you let yourself be cheated by Sam Karoo."

"You think eight cows were too many?" A smile slid over his lips. 

"No. But how can she be so different?"

"Do you ever think," he asked, "what it must mean to a woman to know that her husband has settled on the lowest price for which she can be bought? And then later, when the women talk, they boast of what their husbands paid for them. One says four cows, another maybe six. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one or two? This could not happen to my Sarita."

"Then you did this just to make your wife happy?"

"I wanted Sarita to be happy, yes. But I wanted more than that. You say she is different This is true. Many things can change a woman. Things that happen inside, things that happen outside. But the thing that matters most is what she thinks about herself. In Kiniwata, Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she is worth more than any other woman in the islands." 

"Then you wanted -"

"I wanted to marry Sarita. I loved her and no other woman."

"But —" I was close to understanding.

"But," he finished softly, "I wanted an eight-cow wife."

This story has never failed to make me smile. I hope in some way, if you've never had a chance to read it before or you're reading it again, that it reminds you of how simply showing someone how important they are to you can bring out the very best in them. 


Linda Medrano said...

What a gorgeous story! When I married my husband Alex, his mother was worried about how she could afford the 4 sheep and two goats that she needed to give my mother. My husband is Navajo. My mother lived in an apartment. I think my mother in law was somewhat relieved not to have to buy the sheep and goats after all.

Azra said...

Thanks so much for sharing that. I've never read it before and now I'm smiling too. Wish someone someday would pay eight cows for me ;P

Gorilla Bananas said...

What a clever way of making a woman blossom! It must have saved her a few trips to the beautician, that's for sure!

Left Coast Guy said...


Dont sell yourself cheap!


Angie said...

You all make me smile! <3 ya's

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