250 THE FROG AND THE LION FAIRY
crept in and terrified her so that she ran away, which was just what the dragon wanted!
The poor queen crouched under a rock for the rest of the night, and the next morning, when she woke from her troubled dreams, she was cheered at seeing the frog watching by her.
'I hear we shall have to build you another palace,' said she. 'Well, this time we won't go so near the lake.' And she smiled with her funny wide mouth, till the queen took heart, and they went together to find wood for the new cabin.
The tiny palace was soon ready, and a fresh bed made of wild thyme, which smelt delicious. Neither the queen nor the frog said anything about it, but somehow, as always happens, the story came to the ears of the Lion Fairy, and she sent a raven to fetch the culprit.
'What gods or men are protecting you?' she asked, with a frown. 'This earth, dried up by a constant rain of sulphur and fire, produces nothing, yet I hear that your bed is made of sweet smelling herbs. However, as you can get flowers for yourself, of course you can get them for me, and in an hour's time I must have in my
room a nosegay of the rarest flowers. If not------! Now
you can go.'
The poor queen returned to her house looking so sad that the frog, who was waiting for her, noticed it directly.
'What is the matter?' said she, smiling.
'Oh, how can you laugh!' replied the queen. 'This time I have to bring her in an hour a posy of the rarest flowers, and where am I to find them? If I fail I know she will kill me.'
'Well, I must see if I can't help you,' answered the frog. 'The only person I have made friends with here is a bat. She is a good creature, and always does what I tell her, so I will just lend her my cap, and if she puts it on, and flies into the world, she will bring back all we want. I would go myself, only she will be quicker.'