Many years ago, in a land not so far away, money was not yet invented. To transact, people used cows.
It was also during that period when it was still common tradition to pay a father for the amount he spent to rear up a daughter. It was not called dowry yet but it was pretty close except for the cows used as payment.
So in this story, there was a man with 3 daughters who were of the marrying age. The old man said that since his eldest daughter was the prettiest, smartest and the funniest of the three, he expected that he would get at least 100 cows when she got married. And he did get 100 cows. So he was happy.
When it was time for the second daughter to get married, the old man said to himself: "She is half as pretty, half as smart and not as funny as my eldest one, so I'd be lucky if I get 50 cows for her." And lo and behold, he did. And he was happy.
Now the third daughter, he loved too. But being the objective dad that he was, he knew she was not pretty, not smart and downright serious. So he silently thought: "If I got 10 cows for her, I would be happy."
This old man lived in a kingdom where the king and queen wanted to transfer their power to their son, the prince. And so they told the son to look for a wife. And the son did- going around the kingdom looking for a wife among the thousands who threw themselves at his feet. For wouldn't want to be married to this handsome prince and soon to be king.
Surprisingly, the prince chose the old man's youngest daughter. And he gave 10 cows to get her hand in marriage.
A year later, the prince was now king and the youngest daughter was now queen. Just like good royalty, they visited different parts of their kingdom until finally they reached the old man's home.
When the old man saw his youngest daughter, now the queen, come home, he was surprised beyond belief. For even the objective person he was, he saw his youngest daughter was now worth a 1000 cows.
So he asked the King what happened. How did you transform my daughter from 10 cows she was a year ago to the 1000 cows she is today.
Guess what the King answered?
(Note: There were no Belo medical clinics or Marie France treatments that were available that would allow such instant physical transformations.)
The King answered very respectfully: "Father, the reason I am King today and will be King for a long time is not only because my parents were king and queen..."
He continued: "I am King because a year ago, before anybody else saw it, I saw your daughter for the 1,000 cows she really was."
Morale of the Story:
If there is anyone who should know how many cows you are worth (and not just for marriage sir! or mam!), it must be you. If you rate yourself as only 10 cows, then everyone else will agree and pay you 10 cows worth of salary a month. But if you really are worth a 1000 cows, then know it first before anybody can see it- and let it out so that in a period as short as 1 year, your value too can increase a hundredfold.