A man came along through the woods, and we sprang out of the bushes. I roared loudly and bounded toward him. We meant to eat him but he and stooped and spread a cloth on the ground.

The cloth was woven by the little people and is revered by us all. My mate and I stopped and bowed our heads. We kissed the back of the man’s wrist and then we went our ways.

My cub stayed behind. I watched from the bushes as he rolled himself up in the cloth. I had to let him go. Let him grow up with the man who holds the cloth. Let him guard the man, and steer him safely, for he is a king.

Lion Mother in The Story of Manus, Orange Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

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