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The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

When people think about great love stories, more often than not they'll think about Romeo and Juliet. These, of course, were no more than two hormone-sizzling teenagers whose major fascination for each other was their parents' opposition.

But here's a real love story.

A dusty, tired, thirsty traveller, far away from home, meets his cousin. It's one of those countries where, to help men be virtuous, women have to walk around looking like a sack of potatoes. But even the very little he sees and hears, gets his heart pumping. She's the one.

Her father, when approached, is far from receptive. Not too fond of needy relations at any time, he's not about to become an easy touch.

But the nephew wasn't born yesterday either.

'I'll work for seven years without pay,' he says, 'if at the end of those years you'll give me your daughter for a wife.'

As Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker would point out, this was an offer no uncle could resist. Before nephew finished speaking, uncle was ready to shake hands on the deal. By the by, the potential bride wasn't consulted in the matter. But then, could a woman ever be trusted to know her best interest?

Seven years later, true to his word, uncle prepared the wedding feast. To underscore her modesty, on the occasion of her wedding day the bride was even more mummified than usual. Consequently, it wasn't till the next day that the groom found out that he'd been having fun and games all night with the older sister of the woman he had actually wanted to marry.

'My dear boy,' flustered the uncle when confronted, 'you know out ways. It's unseemly for a young sister to marry first. As it is, the poor girl isn't much of a looker. As soon as any decent man finds out that her younger sister is already married and she's not, well, I don't have to draw you a picture, do I?'

'But it's not fair!'

'Fair, shmare,' says the uncle. 'You've got a wife, haven't you?'

'But she's not the one I want.'

'What can I tell you?'

A long, long pause.

'You expect me to work for another seven years for you, don't you?'

'You've got the touch, lad. I've never seen so much fruitfulness and multiplying than I have since your arrival here.'

'Have a heart, uncle.'

'Come on, now, you don't really think I expect you to work for another seven years for nothing, do you?'

'You don't?'

'What sort of a man do you take me for? No, my boy. Marry her today, and then work seven years for me for no pay.'

'I'll do it.'

'I knew you would.'

Vlady, an Australian Civil Marriage Celebrant, is an author of "The Complete Book of Australian Weddings", "The Small Organisation Handbook" and an ebook "Honeymoon! A Sizzle or a Fizzle?" which you can see on her webiste http://www.vlady-celebrant.com

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