I have read a legend about three fair maids who lived in a royal palace. One morning they were strolling in the gardens among the beautiful red roses and the trees loaded with luscious fruits. One of the maids raised the question as to which of them had the most beautiful hands. Eleanor was gathering the fleshy ripe strawberries and her hands were stained with the crimson juice of her berries. She thought her hands the most beautiful. Antoinette thought her were the most beautiful as the fragrance of the roses lingered on her hands. Joan seated beside the stream had dipped her hands in cool crystal waters. Looking at the clear sparkling drops on her dainty fingers, she thought her hands the most beautiful.
A beggar happened to be passing by seeing the maidens; she stopped and asked for alms. The royal maidens swished their flowing skirts and turned away from the beggar in ragged cloths. The beggar girl moved on with a forlorn face. In front of a nearby cottage sat an old woman with a sub-burned face and toil-stained hands. Filled with compassion on seeing the beggar girl she gave her some bread. The legend says that the beggar was immediately transformed into an angel and appeared at the garden gate, saying to the palace maids, the most beautiful hands are those which are found ready to bless and help their fellowmen.
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