Said Trouble to a child with her golden ringlets,
Lest sorrow beset us, let us also befriend Malice
But that he may know you are trustworthy
You must first offer him the finest lock of hair upon your head
The child, with her plain face and grey eyes, was dreadful
However, she mused to herself, that if it was only one ringlet,
She had many more golden locks in which she could offset it.
I will do just so, She agreed, but then added plaintively,
As I have nothing finer in which to give,
Let me, in return, receive something from Malice
Trouble was not at all taken aback by the child's request,
Yet he thought to put her to the test.
If you shall let Malice reside within an alcove of your home,
Then there are many great things he should bestow upon you
Whether you wish to accrue riches or a name for yourself,
But you must also allow him to nestle in your finest silver linen.
The child, who thought naught of it replied, If it is linen he wants,
Then such he should be given. But as I am very poor,
Malice may find even my best to be deplorable.
So as compensation for his loss, I shall give him another golden lock.
Trouble, who had gained more than he had sought, was ecstatic
And told the child, Let us then cut off your ringlets so when Malice arrives,
He might not find us empty-handed.
He then yanked two beautiful tresses from the child's hair
And though the amount that he took was despairing,
She was grateful that Malice would be pleased with her and did not quiver at her loss.
She retrieved the silver linen in which her name was embossed and began making a bed for Malice.
And though Trouble's tale had been fallacious, she did not see through his lies.
In fact, the child thought only of how she should present herself when Malice arrived.
Her heart was vexed when she thought, If Malice lies upon the linen alone,
He shall be most uncomfortable. And though it pained her, she tore out two more ringlets,
Placing them upon the floor where Malice was to make his bed.
Alas, she had done so until there was only blood flowing freely from her scalp
But then quite mischievously, Trouble announced:
Malice shall not enter into this house until tomorrow, so tonight I shall take his place,
And he lay himself down on the mattress the child had made.
Seeing that she had been deceived, she wept.
But Trouble told her once again, Lest sorrow beset us,
Dry the tears from your eyes for tomorrow, without a doubt, Malice will bestow upon you all you desire.
And the child, who was plain in the face and dull in the eyes, realized that though this was true
She would accrue neither riches nor a name for herself.
She would wish for the golden tresses of hair upon which Trouble was nestled.
Furthermore, she felt that Malice had already entered into her chest and that it was Trouble she detested.
So when it came to pass that he fell asleep, replete with anger,
She plunged a knife into his heart and embarked upon a journey to find the innocence she had lost.
But having been deceived, she was quite unwilling to surrender the cost.
Thus the child with the golden ringlets became good friends with the so-called Malice.