The rishi Narada visited Valmiki in his ashram.
"You're the man I almost killed!" Valmiki exclaimed.
"I'm glad you didn't," said Narada, smiling. "And now, we meet again."
"In your wisdom, perhaps you can tell me: who is the perfect man?" Valmiki asked. "What man possesses strength and a sense of duty? What man is truthful and steadfast in his vows, compassionate and wise, handsome and powerful, free from anger and envy but fearsome when he is roused to righteousness?"
"That rare person is Rama," replied Narada, "the son of King Dasharatha..."
Narada then told Valmiki the story of Rama.
Inspired by: The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version by R. K. Narayan
Notes: This is from Narayan's preface to the book. For more about Narada and Valmiki, see Wikipedia.