334 THE LION'S CASTLE.
you kave promised must be performed. I will go to this lion, and soften and appease him so completely that I shall soon come back to you safe and sound."
The next morning she got ready to leave home, and, after a sorrowful farewell, took her way to the wood with great confidence.
The lion was really a king's son under the spell of enchantment. By day he and all his servants were changed to the form of lions; but at sunset and until sunrise they were allowed to assume their proper shapes.
On her arrival at the castle, the maiden was received very kindly by the lion and the servants, and led into the castle. But what was her surprise as the evening came on to see the lion change to a handsome young prince, and the other lions to nobles and servants, who treated her with the greatest respect
"You must be my wife," said the prince, "for the enchantment will only be broken if the maiden who obtains a lark from my estate should consent to marry me."
There were still, however, some difficulties to overcome before the enchantment could be entirely dispelled. Yet the maiden consented to be married at once, and a splendid wedding took place at night, for during the day the lions all slept.
They lived happily together for a long time, till one day the prince told her that her eldest sister was going to be married, and that if she liked to go and join the festival with the rest, one of the lions should accompany her. So she said she should be delighted to see her father again; and then the lion was ordered to lead her to her home in safety.
When they arrived there was great joy, for they all supposed she had been torn to pieces long ago. But when she told them of the handsome prince whom she had married, and who was so kind to her even when in the form of a lion, they were all very happy, and she stayed with them till the marriage festivities were over, and then travelled back to the wood.
After a time, the marriage of her second sister was to take place, and she was invited to the wedding; but she told the lion she would not go unless he went with her.
" Ah," he replied, " that would be a great risk for me, for if trhile there one ray of a burning light should fall upon me, I shall