Maria was a very happy young princess. She loved meeting people and chatting with them. Wherever she went she was always made welcome and people made a great fuss of her. Of course, since she was a princess, she had lots of pretty clothes to wear.
One day she began to wonder: "Do the people really like me, or is it just because I am well dressed and they know that I come from a rich family?" She decided to try an experiment.
Next day Maria swapped her beautiful dress with a beggar girl called Annie who lived not far from her father's palace. Naturally the beggar girl was delighted with her luck. Maria and Annie promised to meet next day and tell each other their experiences of the day.
Maria set off for the house of one of her well off friends where she had always been welcome, but they would not even let her in. All day she went from place to place, but it seemed that no one wanted to know her. That night she went home disappointed and sad. Next morning she called on Annie. She found her full of joy. "Look she said, I have finally managed to get a job, where I can earn some money to help my parents. No one would even listen to me before when I asked. Your dress must be a lucky one."
Maria went home and looked at all her pretty clothes. Strangely she started to talk to the dresses. "How lucky you dresses are. It seems to me that you are more important than the people who wear you. Why do people seem to see you more that they see the one who is wearing you?"