THE HEART OF A MONKEY 51
quiet again she crept gently out, and stole round the corner.
' " Well, lion, have you killed her ? " asked she, running swiftly up the path.
' " Killed her, indeed ! " answered the Uon sulkily, "it is she who has nearly killed me. I never knew a donkey could kick like that, though I took care she should carry away the marks of my claws."
' '' Dear me ! Fancy such a great fat creature being able to fight! " cried the hare. " But don't vex yourself. Just He still, and your wounds will soon heal," and she bade her friend good bye, and returned to her family.
' Two or three weeks passed, and only bare places on the donkey's back showed where the lion's claws had been, while, on his side, the lion had recovered from his illness and was now as strong as ever. He was beginning to think that it was almost time for him to begin hunting again, when one morning a rustle was heard in the creepers outside, and the hare's head peeped through.
' "Ah ! there is no need to ask how you are," she said. " Still you mustn't overtire yourself, you know. Shall I go and bring you your dinner ? "
" If you will bring me that donkey I will tear it in two," cried the lion savagely, and the hare laughed and nodded and went on her errand.
' This time the donkey was much further than before, and it took longer to find her. At last the hare caught sight of four hoofs in the air, and ran towards them. The donkey was lying on a soft cool bed of moss near a stream, rolling herself backwards and forwards from pleasure.
' "Good morning," said the hare politely, and the donkey got slowly on to her legs, and looked to see who her visitor could be.
' " Oh, it is you, is it ? " she exclaimed. " Come and have a chat. What news have you got ? "