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Lily and the lion.
Start of Story
At last the princess agreed, but she told her chamberlain to give the
prince a sleeping draught, that he might not hear or see her. When
evening came, and the prince had fallen asleep, she was led into
his chamber, and she sat herself down at his feet, and said: 'I have
followed thee seven years. I have been to the sun, the moon, and the
night-wind, to seek thee, and at last I have helped thee to overcome
the dragon. Wilt thou then forget me quite?' But the prince all the time
slept so soundly, that her voice only passed over him, and seemed like
the whistling of the wind among the fir-trees.
Then poor Lily was led away, and forced to give up the golden dress; and
when she saw that there was no help for her, she went out into a meadow,
and sat herself down and wept. But as she sat she bethought herself of
the egg that the moon had given her; and when she broke it, there ran
out a hen and twelve chickens of pure gold, that played about, and then
nestled under the old one's wings, so as to form the most beautiful
sight in the world. And she rose up and drove them before her, till the
bride saw them from her window, and was so pleased that she came forth
and asked her if she would sell the brood. 'Not for gold or silver, but
for flesh and blood: let me again this evening speak with the bridegroom
in his chamber, and I will give thee the whole brood.'
Then the princess thought to betray her as before, and agreed to
what she asked: but when the prince went to his chamber he asked
the chamberlain why the wind had whistled so in the night. And the
chamberlain told him all--how he had given him a sleeping draught, and
how a poor maiden had come and spoken to him in his chamber, and was
to come again that night. Then the prince took care to throw away the
sleeping draught; and when Lily came and began again to tell him what
woes had befallen her, and how faithful and true to him she had been,
he knew his beloved wife's voice, and sprang up, and said, 'You have
awakened me as from a dream, for the strange princess had thrown a spell
around me, so that I had altogether forgotten you; but Heaven hath sent
you to me in a lucky hour.'
And they stole away out of the palace by night unawares, and seated
themselves on the griffin, who flew back with them over the Red Sea.
When they were half-way across Lily let the nut fall into the water,
and immediately a large nut-tree arose from the sea, whereon the griffin
rested for a while, and then carried them safely home. There they found
their child, now grown up to be comely and fair; and after all their
troubles they lived happily together to the end of their days.