The Golden Curse
When the light of the sun hit the eyes of the village lass, she cringed. A casual passerby would have thought it odd, but the people of the village knew why she did so: for when the sun hit the full length of her each day, she turned into a statue of purest gold.
On cloudy days, she was safe from the frozen harm. At night the curse was broken with the first light of the brightest star. But on days of sunlight, she was trapped in a form that was particularly problematic, for gold is the ever-desired thing by those who prize security and comfort above all else. For when she was in her golden state, she could very easily be broken into a hundred pieces and used for the very things for which gold has always had a purpose. And it could not be stopped, such was the nature of the curse, by being kept indoors, for one way or another the sun's rays drew her forth from her home at dawn and changed her.
The village was a peculiar one in some ways. The grandest way of all, however, was in their protection of the unfortunate village lass. They hid her form with a sheet whenever she would turn, and made sure that all visitors remained ill-informed as to the nature of what lay beneath the cloth.
Until the day when she was seen in the full essence of her gold state, for a stranger from a far off land had come traveling through the village at the very moment that the lass found herself transformed.
He stayed all night in the inn, wrestling with what he had seen, for he was overcome with a mad desire to steal the statue. He planned the direction of the whole affair: he would first get hold of a wagon with a large covering, and then he would tip the statue quickly into his cart at the moment dawn hit her and rush away. He would then put a fair distance between the wagon and the village before the dividing the statue into a hundred pieces, to ensure that it would not turn back into the village lass again. So great was the temptation, that he was able to obtain the wagon, and readied himself, just before dawn, to put his plan into action--for he could imagine all the things he might purchase with all his gold.
But just as the he was about to tip her into the wagon at the first stroke of dawn, she did not change to gold. Instead, it was the man who was struck with the rays of sunlight and found himself turned into a statue. Thus, did the curse pass from the village lass to the strange man.
If only it did the same for all those who craved harmful riches, for then we might better learn the truth of its value.