In ancient china, It was tradition that a prince has to be married before he can become crowned emperor. There was a prince who was about to be crowned. So he needed to find a young woman whom he could trust and get married to.
So the Prince summoned all the young women from his kingdom in order to find a most worthy candidate.
There was an old lady who used to serve at the palace, who when heard the news she got sad because she knew her daughter nurtured a secret love for the prince.
When she got home, she told her daughter about the prince's decision
. Her daughter decided that she would go to the palace. The old lady got worried after knowing her decision.
The old lady said to her daughter, "What will you do there?? There will be all kinds of beautiful and rich girls from the kingdom present there.."
The Daughter replied, "Mother I know I will not be chosen but it's my only chance to spend time with the prince and that makes me happy. I will go to palace tomorrow."
The next day when young girl reached the palace, she saw that young women from all around kingdom were present there wearing beautiful clothes and jewelry, prepared to do anything to seize this opportunity to marry the prince.
In the presence of all the members of the court, and the girls, the prince announced a challenge.
He said, "I will give you each a seed. After six months time, the young woman who brings me the loveliest flower will be my wife and future empress."
The girls each took a seed and left.
The Poor young girl also took her seed and planted it in a pot. She nurtured and took care of it with love. She believed that her love is true and the flower will grow as large as her love for prince.
The girl saw that no shoot appeared even after three months have passed and nothing had grown in her pot. She consulted farmers, and peasants, but nothing happened. With each day she felt that her dream had moved farther away.
At last the six months were over and still nothing had grown in that pot. She knew she had no flower to show still she decided to go back to palace with that pot. She reached palace on the final day.
On the final day all court members and girls were present. She saw that all the other candidates had wonderful results and each one had lovely flower, she was the only one holding a flowerless pot.
Finally, the prince entered the courtroom and inspected all candidates pot and announced the result. He chose the Servant's daughter ... poor young girl as his would-be wife.
All the other girls present there got angry and protested that she had nothing in her pot and the prince had chosen someone who had not managed to grow anything at all.
The Prince calmed them down and explained the reason. "This young woman was the only one who cultivated the flower that made her worthy of becoming the empress: the flower of honesty. All the seeds I handed out were sterile and nothing could ever have grown from them."