Romantic relationships and the 10 cow story

Have you ever heard of the 10-cow story? Well, the story goes a bit like this: back in the Island of Oahu in Hawaii, when a man wanted to marry a woman, it was a custom to offer cows to the girl’s father, in exchange for her hand in marriage. During that time, the average offering was 3 cows per woman, meaning that most fathers would receive 3 cows for their daughters. Under particular situations, certain girls would go for 4 cows; this would usually occur when the female was considered to be very beautiful and/or knew plenty of skills that were considered essential to have in the home (i.e. cooking, washing, cleaning, etc…). However, just like certain girls could possibly be worth 4 cows, others might only be worth 2 cows, indicating that they were less attractive, possibly over weight, or simply did not know how to do many essential tasks or chores around the house. Okay, back to the story, so the story goes that there was a man, who had two daughters; one of which was young and the most beautiful girl in town, not only that, but she also had plenty of valuable skills to bring to a household. The father knew he could definitely get 4 cows for her, maybe even 5. The man’s older daughter was overweight, considered ugly, and was very inept; at best, all the father hoped was that someone would at least give him 2 cows and he could possibly even be willing to let her go for 1 cow. During this time there was also a very wealthy bachelor in the island of Oahu named Johnny Lingo.  One day, he visited the house of the father to make an offer for one of his daughters; the father surely thought that Johnny Lingo would make an offer for the beautiful younger daughter; to his uttermost surprise, the man said, “I came here for your oldest daughter.” The father, in shock, though to himself, “Well, maybe I can get 3 cows for her since he is so wealthy, and he already had this particular daughter in mind.” So the father said to Johnny, “She can be your wife only if you give me 3 cows.” The father was further surprised, when Johnny Lingo said, “I will not only give you 3 cows, I will give you 10 cows.” The father, astonished, quickly agreed.   The next day his daughter married Johnny and they left on a honeymoon soon after. The newlyweds were gone for over a year and when they returned, the daughter was unrecognizable. She was the most beautiful girl anyone had ever seen! She returned competent, attractive, and with such poise that the whole town could not believe that it was actually her. Finally, when they asked Johnny Lingo what had happened to the daughter? How had he had managed to drastically change her? Lingo, calmly and firmly said, “If you want a 10 cow wife; you TREAT her like a 10 cow wife.”

I thought this was a beautiful story that we can all learn a great deal from. In my point of view, our culture always puts all of the pressure on women; Women are the ones that can’t be fat, women are the ones that always have to be sexy, women can’t do this or can’t do that. However, what about the men? The relationship must be reciprocal, if you don’t want your girlfriend/wife to get fat, then you can’t be fat either. If you want your girlfriend/wife to do this or that for you, then you have to do this or that for her.  Sometimes the men make the women feel so self-conscious, when they, themselves, might need work in certain areas of their lives. So my advice is the same advice that man in Hawaii had, “If you want a 10-cow wife, then you treat your woman like a 10-cow wife,” and guess what will eventually happen? She will become that 10-cow wife.


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One thought on “Romantic relationships and the 10 cow story

  1. Interesting story…

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