It isn’t every day that you find a pearl necklace just lying on the ground. You might find dollar bills, coins, rings, gloves, or small toys lying on the ground, but a pearl necklace is an incredible rarity. And even if you were to find a pearl necklace lying on the ground, it would most likely be artificial, broken, ruined, dirty, or otherwise out of shape. You wouldn’t expect perfect condition, with eyecatching, perfectly round pearls as smooth and white as the petals of a magnolia blossom and not a sign of wear or tear.
That’s why when Dani found such a necklace lying on the ground, she pocketed it without any further thought. She was not usually so dishonest, but she had very low self control when it came to pretty baubles. She did not own many precious stones, but she was obsessed with them. Her personal visions were akin to those of a queen sitting atop a golden throne or a dragon sitting high on a pile of jewels. Happiness, to Dani, was being surrounded by gold, jewels, brocades, and silks, and not necessarily living just like a queen, but looking like one.
Dani had never owned a pearl necklace, and it was a matter of excellent luck that she found one with such large and splendid pearls, that were so clean that Dani could smile at her reflection in each one. The clasp was shining silver filigree twisted into the shape of a rose. Who on Earth would lose this? Dani wondered in astonishment. It must have belonged to royalty, or else someone so rich that they had hundreds of other things just like it or even better. If they even noticed that it was gone, they probably wouldn’t miss it much.
If Dani had donned the pearls right there and walked around wearing them, she might have run into the owner by chance, and she might have learned that she was wrong in thinking that they wouldn’t miss them. So she waited until she arrived home before trying on the pearls. She looked at herself in her big vanity mirror and gasped with delight. She had never been as beautiful as she was when she was wearing those pearls! She smiled at her reflection, and the woman smiling back at her seemed to be a queen, a princess, a countess, anyone but plain old Dannica Halliwell. But she felt awfully foolish wearing the pearls with a t-shirt. She searched through her closet and brought out a short, soft pink velour dress. Tomorrow, she decided, she would wear this while showing the pearls off at her favorite bar. She figured that by then, the owner will have completely forgotten about them.