Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy merchant and his three very different daughters. He often travelled to faraway lands, beyond the blue-green sea, to buy his various goods. One day he was preparing for such a voyage and before he left, he went to say a sad goodbye to his family.
“My dear, sweet daughters, what can I bring you from my trip? Tell me, what would make you happiest?” he asked.
His two older daughters didn’t have to think long. One of them asked for a beautiful expensive dress made of satin. The other wanted a gold ring inlaid with precious stones like rubies and sapphires. Only the youngest daughter, who rarely made a peep, stood silently and didn’t ask for anything.
“And what can I bring for you, my quiet one? Tell me,” asked her father.
“My dearest papa, just make sure to come safely back home to us. That will make me happier than anything in the whole wide world,” the girl told him as she hugged him.
But the merchant insisted, saying he wouldn’t leave until she asked for a gift.
“Then bring me three rose blossoms growing from a single stem, if you happen to come across one on your travels. It would give me joy to see such beauty!”
Her sisters laughed at her. What a worthless thing she was asking for! But as long as they got their trinkets, they didn’t really care what she wanted. Their father promised all three of them he would be back with their gifts: the dress, the ring and the three-blossomed rose. They said their goodbyes and he went out to sail across the sea.
After the merchant had bought all sorts of odd and unusual goods in the distant lands, he headed…