THE WOUNDED LION
found the lion, she heard a groan which sounded quite human. She went straight to the place from which the noise came, and, to her great surprise, beheld the same lion stretched on the ground writh a deep wound across his face.
This time she was not afraid at all, and ran towards him, washing the wound and laying soothing herbs upon it; and when she had bound it up the lion thanked her in the same manner as before.
After that she returned to her flock, but they were nowhere to be seen. She searched here and she searched there, but they had vanished completely !
Then she had to go home and confess to her master, who first scolded her and afterwards beat her. ' Now go,' he ended, ' and look after the pigs!'
So the next day she took out the pigs, and found them such good feeding grounds that they grew fatter every clay.
Another year passed by, and one morning wiien the maiden was out with her pigs she heard a groan which sounded quite human. She ran to see what it was, and found her old friend the lion, wounded through and through, fast dying under a tree.
She fell on her knees before him and washed his wounds one by one, and laid healing herbs upon them. And the lion licked her hands and thanked her, and asked if she would not stay and sit by him. But the girl said she had her pigs to watch, and she must go and see after them.
So she ran to the place where she had left them, but they had vanished as if the earth had swallowed them up. She whistled and called, but only the birds answered her.
Then she sank down on the ground and wept bitterly, not daring to return home until some hours had passed away.
And when she had had her cry out she got up and