246 THE FROG AND THE LION FAIRY
whose sides waters slowly course — these were the tears of unhappy lovers — and nearer the gate were treei without either fruit or flowers, while nettles and brambles covered the ground. If the castle had been gloomy, what did the queen feel about this ?
For some days the queen was so much shaken by all she had gone through that she lay with her eyes closed, unable either to move or speak. When she got better, the Lion Fairy told her that if she liked she could build herself a cabin, as she would have to spend her life in that place. At these words the queen burst into tears, and implored her gaoler to put her to death rather than condemn her to such a life; but the Lion Fairy only laughed, and counselled her to try and make herself pleasant, as many worse things might befall her.
'Is there no way in which I can touch your heart?' asked the poor girl in despair.
'Well, if you really wish to please me you will make me a pasty out of the stings of bees, and be sure it is good.'
'But I don't see any bees,' answered the queen, looking round.
'Oh, no, there aren't any,' replied her tormentor; 'but you will have to find them all the same.' And, so saying, she went away.
'After all, what does it matter?' thought the queen to herself, 'I have only one life, and I can but lose it.' And not caring what she did, she left the palace and seating herself under a yew tree, poured out all her grief.
'Oh, my dear husband,' wept she, what will you think when you come to the castle to fetch me and find me gone ? Rather a thousand times that you should fancy me dead than imagine that I had forgotten you! Ah, how fortunate that the broken chariot should be lying in the wood, for then you may grieve for me as one devoured by wild beasts.
And if another should take my place in your heart------
Well, at least I shall never know it.'