194 THE WOUNDED LION
searched all up and down the wood. But it was no use; there was not a sign of the pigs.
At last she thought that perhaps if she climbed a tree she might see further. But no sooner was she seated on the highest branch than something happened which put the pigs quite out of her head. This was a handsome young man who was coming down the path; and when he had almost reached the tree he pulled aside a rock and disappeared behind it.
The maiden rubbed her eyes and wondered if she had been dreaming. Next she thought, ' I will not stir from here till I see him come out, and discover who he is.' Accordingly she waited, and at dawn the next morning the rock moved to one side and a lion came out.
When he had gone quite out of sight the girl climbed down from the tree and went to the rock, which she pushed aside, and entered the opening before her. The path led to a beautiful house. She went in, swept and dusted the furniture, and put everything tidy. Then she ate a very good dinner, which was on a shelf in the corner, and once more clambered up to the top of her tree.
As the sun set she saw the same young man walking gaily down the path, and, as before, he pushed aside the rock and disappeared behind it.
Next morning out came the lion. He looked sharply about him on all sides, but saw no one, and then vanished into the forest.
The maiden then came down from the tree and did exactly as she had done the day before. Thus three days went by, and every day she went and tidied up the palace. At length, when the girl found she was no nearer to discovering the secret, she resolved to ask him, and in the evening when she caught sight of him coming through the wood she came down from the tree and begged him to tell her his name.
The young man looked very pleased to see her, and said he thought it must be she who had secretly kept