THE BEAUTY SECRET
A beauty. Drawing in an artist's sketchbook. Austrian, early
15th century. Nürnberg, germanisches Nationalmuseum, Hz. 41.
A lot of funny things happen in this world. In fact, people often don't want to believe many of the tales they hear. I'm going to tell you about something that really happened, though, something I myself know from my own eyes and ears, so I'm sure you'll believe me.
There was once a maiden whose most prized possession was a lovely garden, which she trimmed and watered with care and pleasure. Over the garden spread a great white rosebush, higher than a man, whose thick boughs were arched to form a secure and shady arbor.
Now, the secret of the girl's beauty lay in the herbs and roses from her garden. She distilled special waters out of them, and every morning, without fail, she went a little before dawn into the bower, completely naked, and rinsed herself with these herbal essences, which then ran down from her smooth limbs and moistened the fresh, green grass that carpeted the ground there.
Early one morning, I came quietly to the bower to steal roses. Finding a small opening through which I could look in, I quite forgot my errand over what I saw and heard there, which I will now relate to you.
Everyone knows that there are certain plants which, when laid in the mouth of a dumb person, give the power of speech. Some such plant must have caused the events I saw that morning. The girl came from her chambers into the bower, as was her custom, bringing the special rose waters with which to shower herself, and sat down.
Suddenly her cunt spoke. "You certainly take better care of the rest of your body than you do of me," complained the cunt. "I get no attention at all."
Very surprised, the girl looked down. "I didn't know you could talk!" she exclaimed.
"At the moment," it replied, "I have an herb in my mouth that makes me able to say whatever I wish. And I think it's a shame that I get so little of the attention you lavish on yourself. After all, it is to me that you owe all your attractiveness. Nobody would care a fig for you, if it weren't for me."
"Oh, indeed?" said the girl. "I don't see what you have to do with it. It's for my beauty that the men all praise me and serve me. What do you think they'd say if they got a look at you, all brown and fuzzy, with your big, ugly mouth? Why, I'd be ashamed to let anybody see you. No, you're not at all like what it is they see in me."
Believe it or not, the girl and her cunt got into quite an argument. "Of course you're pleasant to look at," replied the cunt. "Brown I may be, but a very nice brown. Everything has to be judged on its own merits. I'm supposed to be dark and rough, and my mouth is supposed to be big and thick, and run up and down instead of sidewise. I'm just as I should be. You are supposed to shimmer rosily, and be slim and graceful, but all the praise you're paid is due to me! My dear mistress, do you suppose your beauty is everything? I'll wager there'd be very few who'd court you for your beauty alone, no matter how fine you look, if you didn't have a cunt. Yet you keep me tucked away under the meanest of your garments, and hang a little clasp in front of my snout to make certain I can't share any of the compliments you get!"
"Bah! You expect me to put my finery on you?" the girl retorted, looking down her front. "Shut up, you lousy little bit of stubble! I can get along much better without you than you can without me—in fact, I'm so angry at you for that outburst, you can just take your dirty little self elsewhere. We'll see whether men prefer me or you!"
And so the girl and her cunt parted company, wasting no tears. The cunt headed for the meadows, wild and free, while the girl sought the company of her admirers. Among them was a scholar who had paid much attention to her, and it was to him that the girl went first, ready to do as he might wish in order to find out what it was that attracted him, her youth, her beauty, her virtues, or her cunt. The scholar quickly discovered what was missing, and his long pursuit of her came to a halt. Soon the news got out, and now, wherever the girl went, people pointed at her and jeered, "look, there's Cuntless!" After a while, no man took any notice of her at all. Her life was thoroughly miserable.
The cunt had not fared very well either. It made sure that plenty of men saw it, but they usually took it for a hedgehog, and instead of a charming compliment, gave it a kick.
"Ah, me, how badly I'm treated," the poor cunt lamented. "Fool that I was, to think of parting from my mistress—I was so much better off with her. She was right! Nobody respects me. I must see if she will have me back."
The girl, too, had begun to think along these lines. "I'd be so glad to have my cunt back," she mused. She went out into her bower, where they had parted, and the cunt came back, across the meadow, and was joyfully received by its mistress. They told each other at length of the troubles each had experienced while separated, but I will be brief and say only that they were back together again.
Then the girl sent for me. "Give me your advice," she said. "I don't know what to do. My cunt ran away. I got it back, but you must tell me how I should let it be known that I have it now. And maybe you can help me to keep it from running away again."
I suggested that she ought to have it nailed on tightly. She asked me if I would do that for her, and I was pleased to oblige. I put the cunt right back where it belonged and drove a big nail through it, good and firmly, and it hasn't come loose since. In fact, I think it would be well for every man, as a sign of his concern for his lady, to nail her cunt on, so that there's no danger of its running away.