An Eight Cow Wife
Johnny Lingo lived in the South Pacific.
The islanders all spoke highly of this man, but when it came time for him to find a wife the people shook their heads in disbelief.
In order to obtain a wife you paid for her by giving her father cows. Four to six cows was considered a high price. But the woman Johnny Lingo chose was plain, skinny and walked with her shoulders hunched and her head down. She was very hesitant and shy.
What surprised everyone was Johnny’s offer — he gave eight cows for her! Everyone chuckled about it, since they believed his father-in-law put one over on him.
Several months after the wedding, a visitor from the U.S. came to the islands to trade and heard the story about Johnny Lingo and his eight-cow wife. Upon meeting Johnny and his wife the visitor was totally taken back, since this wasn’t a shy, plain and hesitant woman but one who was beautiful, poised and confident.
The visitor asked about the transformation, and Johnny Lingo’s response was very simple.
“I wanted an eight-cow woman, and when I paid that for her and treated her in that fashion, she began to believe that she was an eight-cow woman. She discovered she was worth more than any other woman in the islands. And what matters most is what a woman thinks about herself.”