[88 PRINCE RICARDO.
skins as hard as nails, and bright red, like morocco.*
The prince did not lose his presence of mind ; hastily he threw the cake of crocodiles' eggs, millet-seed, and sugar-candy to the lions. This is a dainty which lions can never resist, and running greedily at it, with four tremendous snaps, they got hold of each other by their jaws, and their eight rows of teeth were locked fast in a grim and deadly struggle for existence !
The Dwarf took in the affair at a glance.
" Cursed be he who taught you this !" he cried, and then whistled in a shrill and vulgar manner on his very dirty fingers. At his call rushed up an enormous Spanish cat, ready saddled and bridled, and darting fire from its eyes. To leap on its back, while Ricardo sprang on his own steed, was to the active Dwarf the work of a moment. Then clapping spurs to its sides (his spurs grew naturally on his bare heels, horrible to relate, like a cock's spurs) and taking his cat by the head, the Dwarf forced it to leap on to Ricardo's saddle. The diamond sword which slew the king of the Golden Mines —that invincible sword which hews iron like a reed—was up and flashing in the air!
At this very moment King Prigio, seeing, in the magic globe, all that passed, and despairing of Ricardo's life, was just about to wish the * See the works of D'Aulnoy.