There once was a princess who lived in a palace and had all kinds of pearls, agates（玛瑙） and other gems. Being an only daughter, she was pampered（纵容） by the king and queen, and was never in need of anything.
One day, as she was watching the rain from her balcony, the raindrops hit the surface of the nearby lake, creating myriads（无数） of bubbles that glittered in beautiful colors when illuminated by the sunbeams. Enchanted by this spectacle, the princess said to the king, “I want a necklace made of these bubbles!”
“That cannot be! If you want pearls, I can get you bigger ones. All right?” said the king.
“No! No!” exclaimed the princess.
“If you will settle for diamonds, I can also give you plenty,” said the king. But the princess refused to be compromised.
You know there’s no way you can coax（哄诱） such spoiled children, and being at a complete loss, the king summoned his officials, but no one could offer a solution. No one knew how to satisfy the princess’s adamant（固执的） demand for the bubbles. She then cried loudly and made a big fuss, refusing to eat or drink. Very soon, she became emaciated（憔悴的） and fell ill. Everyone was at their wits’ end. Not even the best doctor in the country could cure her. As a last resort, the king issued a public decree, stating, “Whoever can cure the princess will receive half of His Majesty’s kingdom.”
Then one day, an old man came forward with a solution and the king let him in to see the princess. When the old man told the princess that he could realize her wish by making her a bubble necklace, she jumped up in delight and her illness vanished immediately. Then the old man said, “I am old and my eyes are failing me. I cannot see which bubble is more beautiful. Would Your Highness please go down and bring me the beautiful bubbles so that I can string them into a necklace for you?”
The two of them – the old man and the child thus beguiled – went together to the lakeside. The princess tried in vain to hold the bubbles in her hands, while, afraid to laugh out loud (laughter), the palace maids by their side snickered stealthily. Embarrassed, the princess said to the king, “Father, I don’t want these bubbles anymore. I’m content with pearls and diamonds. I cannot hold these bubbles.” Looking at his lovely daughter, the king replied, “You’re right! They are merely bubbles.” They then returned to the palace, with the princess fully cured.