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Ten-Cow Wife

A long time ago, on the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands, an unusual custom was observed.  For a daughter’s hand in marriage cows were paid by a prospective husband to her family. The regular rate was three cows for a wife.  If the girl was very special, four cows would be given, and there was an unconfirmed story that a young lady a very long time ago had gone for the amazing sum of five cows. 
Now the story goes that there was one father who had two daughters.  The younger one was very pretty, the older one was what our society would call a "reject" or a "loser."  Her father had determined that he only expected to receive two cows for his older daughter, and if the suitor was a good bargainer, he was willing to let her go for only one cow.  The truth is Old Dad was willing to rid himself of the burden of having to feed her all her life for no cows at all.

When Johnny Lingo, the richest man on the island, came to his home, there was no doubt that he had come to see the younger daughter.  Everyone was stunned when he called on the older daughter.  Old Dad was overjoyed.  Since Johnny was a wealthy man and known to be generous, Old Dad expected him to pay at least the standard sum of three cows or even four cows.  You can imagine his utter shock when Johnny came to claim his bride and brought ten cows with him!  Old Dad almost had a heart attack!  He quickly called the tribal chief to perform the ceremony, before Johnny could change his mind.

Then it was the custom for honeymoons to last one year.  However, with a ten-cow bride, you do not take a three-cow honeymoon.  So two years later, the couple was welcomed back with great excitement.  The groom was instantly recognized by a lookout, but the bride had changed dramatically and he did not recognize her at first. Instead of a shy and homely girl, she was now a beautiful and confident young lady; her charm was so great, that some thought that Johnny had gotten a bargain by paying "only "ten cows.

Now you may think this is just a fairy tale, but think of it this way: “Give your mate something to live up to, not down to, and you will have a better mate, which is the key to a better marriage.”

Source: Courtship after Marriage:  Romance Can Last A Lifetime. Zig Ziglar

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