A hunter went out once into a wood to shoot, and he met a Snipe.
"Dear friend," said the Snipe, "don't shoot my children?"
"How shall I know your children?" asked the hunter; "what are they like?"
"Oh!" said the Snipe, "mine are the prettiest children in all the wood."
"Very well," said the hunter, "I'll not shoot them; don't be afraid."
But for all that, when he came back, there he had a whole string of young snipes in his hand which he had shot.
"Oh! oh!" said the Snipe, "why did you shoot my children after all?"
"What, these your children!" said the hunter; "why, I shot the ugliest I could find, that I did!"
"Woe is me!" said the Snipe; "don't you know that each one thinks his own children the prettiest in the world?"
Origin and Relevance
“One’s Own Children are Always the Prettiest” is a story from Norwegian folklore most famously told by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe (though it had existed in various forms for at least a century before Asbjørnsen and Moe published the story in 1843 in a book entitled “Norwegian Folktales”).
The main aspect of the story deals with the matter of perception. The things that are beautiful to one person may be ugly to another. Things cannot always be judged just off of the perception of a single person. Without taking other perspectives into account, there can be serious consequences.
I relate that particular aspect to my experience in college because I had several friends who were in school before I was, and they gave me a wide variety of opinions. They told me that certain classes were the most interesting, certain professors were the nicest, and that certain clubs were the ones worth being in. The thing is, I quickly realized that while it was important to take these opinions into account, I couldn’t put