oung King Arthur was caught hunting in the private forest of a neighbouring kingdom. The King could have killed him on the spot according to the rules of the land, but instead, moved with the youth and vigour of the young king, knowing he was a respected and gracious monarch, decided to offer him his freedom in exchange for an answer to a riddle. Arthur had one year to find the answer and to come back to the king with it.
The question was: what do women really want?
The same question would have left even the wisest men totally at a loss, and King Arthur felt no different. Though, he thought, this would be better than death and at least he had one whole year to try and find the answer.
Back to his kingdom he got to work. He asked the queen, all the princesses, prostitutes, monks, wisemen, even the court jester and no one could come up with a convincing answer.
One thing they all suggested though, was that he should consult one old witch that lived in the mountains nearby.
The price would be high as she was well known to charge horrific prices for her consultations.
As the last day approached in which he had to give his answer the king had no remedy but to go and ask the witch for advice. She agreed to give him the answer with a condition that he first should accept the price she asked.
She wanted to marry Gawain, the noblest, bravest and handsomest member of the round table, and coincidently Arthur's best friend. Young Arthur was horrified. The witch was terribly ugly, had one tooth only, let out a terrible stench which would nauseate even a dog, made horrible sounds... he had never seen such repugnant creature, how could he ask his friend to do this?
Still, Gawain agreed on the deed, saying no price was too high to save the king's life.
Once the marriage was sealed she gave the answer with her infernal wisdom: What women want is to be owners of their own destiny!
All those who heard knew in that instant that she had given the correct answser and that the king's life was safe. But what a sad marriage ceremony that was! The whole court was present and no one felt more anguish than Arthur himself.
Gawain was corteous, gentle and respectful. The old witch used her worst habits at the ceremony. Ate with her hands, made obscene noises and smelled worse than ever, but Gawain sat by her like a true nobleman while the whole court cringed and apologized leaving them alone at the table.
On the honemoon night, while Gawain was preparing to go to bed awaiting his wife she surprised him appearing like the most beautiful, charming and sexy woman any man could have imagined! He was dumbstruck and asked her what had happened. She answered with a sweet smile that as he was courteous and so respectful of her, which normally no man could, once been awarded such fate, she decided to give him a present.
Half the time she would be the witch, half the time she would be the beautiful damsel. Then she asked which he would prefer for the day and which one for the night? He would not be able to change his mind after that.
What cruel question! Gawain thought hard. He could have a lovely lady at his side for all his court functions and to introduce to his friends, but a horrible bed partner at night. On the other hand, have to put up with her horrible habits at his side during the day and be the laughing stock of his friends and then have a wonderful and sweet woman in his bed at night.
What to do?
What would you have chosen?
Scroll down for the correct answer.
Gawain told her he would let her make the choice herself.
At his answer, she said that she decided to be the beautiful young lady during day and night because he respected her and allowed her to make her own choice, and she choose to be her best for him.
Point of the story: It doesn't matter whether the woman is beautiful or ugly, deep down she is a witch... and she has the power to transform herself according to the way she is treated.