A princess had set her heart on marrying one of her slaves. Nothing the king said or did succeeded in moving the girl from her resolve. And none of the king’s advisers could tell him what to do.
Finally a wise old man appeared at court and on hearing of the king’s predicament said, “Your Majesty is ill advised, for if you forbid the girl to marry she will only resent you and be more attracted to the slave.”
“Then tell me what to do,” cried the king. The wise old man suggested a plan of action. The king was skeptical but decided to give it a try. He sent for the young woman and said, “I am going to put your love for this man to the test. You will be locked up in a tiny cell with your lover for thirty days and nights. If at the end of that period you still wish to marry him, you shall have my consent.”
The princess, beside herself with joy, hugged her father and delightedly agreed to the test. All went well for a couple of days but boredom soon set in. Within a week she was pining for other company and was exasperated at her lover’s every word and action. After two weeks she was so sick of the man, she took to screaming and pounding on the door of the cell. When she was finally let out she flung her arms around her father in gratitude for having saved her from the man she had now come to abhor!
Too much familiarity breeds contempt whereas absence makes the heart grow fonder.