The Magic Lion

Once upon a time…

… I lived with my father, my mother, and my sister in the forest of the king.

We were happy, despite not having much money. But it was also a difficult time for me, because I was jealous of my sister. I was pretty, but she was prettier.

One day, I was in the forest, hunting with my magic lion. I had a lion that would catch rabbits for me. 

He would seize them in his ferocious jaws but he would not kill them. He would bring them to me to give to my family to eat.

 The lion would hunt for me only when I began to sing.

That day, the prince was also hunting in the forest when he heard my songs and saw me with my magic lion.

He said to me, “Young lady, young lady, beautiful young lady. Give me your lion. I will give you 2000 francs.”

“No, prince, I cannot. This is my magic lion. I cannot be happy without my lion.”

The next day, I was hunting with my lion and the prince saw me again. Again, he said to me, “Young lady, young lady, beautiful young lady, give me your lion.” But again I told him no.

This went on for a week. On the last day, the prince, who pleased me with his handsome face and sweet words, again demanded: “Young lady, young lady, beautiful young lady, give me your lion.”

I wanted to please the prince, but I looked at my lion, who regarded me with sweet and trusting eyes, and again I said, “No, my prince. I cannot. This is my magic lion. He nourishes me.”

The prince got down from his horse. He walked up to me.

“Here. This is yours. It is an emerald. If you give me your lion, I will give you many other jewels, some as blue as the ocean, others as red as your lips.”

But I could not give him my magic lion.

That evening, my sister found my emerald.

“Sister, sister! Where did you get such a jewel? Tell me! Tell me! This is the greatest treasure of our lives!”

“No, sister, I cannot. Because if you tell our parents, they will give my lion away!” I cried with sadness and fear.

The next day, I was sick with a high fever. I could not sing or hunt with my lion. As I lay in a feverish state, my sister, very curious, took my lion and ran into the forest. 

There, she encountered the prince. When he saw her great beauty, he was inflamed with love.

“Most beautiful young lady! If you give me your lion, I will marry you. Come with me to the palace and I will present you to my parents, the king and the queen!”

And so my sister mounted the prince’s horse, and together they rode to the palace, trailing my lion on a golden leash.

The king and queen were enchanted with the beauty of my sister. Happily, they accepted her into the family.

And so they were married. My father was so overjoyed at this great good fortune that he cried with happiness!

But I… I was very unhappy. My sister had the prince, great wealth, and many sparkling jewels. The only thing left to me was the green jewel from the prince. I did not have my magic lion and I could no longer sing. When I opened my mouth, no sound came out. I cried but I could not sing.

Time went by. The prince became discontent because my lion would not hunt for him or would devour the rabbits immediately.

My sister saw that I was unhappy.

“Sister, sister, what’s the matter with you?”

“I want my lion! I can no longer sing. I can no longer run in the forest! I have lost my voice and my spirit!”

“Oh, sister of my heart! I love you and I want you to be happy. So, I will give you your lion!”

And true to her words, she asked her husband to give me my lion. The prince was happy to part with the beast.

When I saw my old friend, my eyes filled with happy tears.

“Oh sister! In the past, I was jealous of your beauty. And then I was jealous of your marriage and your riches. But now, I know that the only thing that matters is our own magic. Everyone has their own magic, and my lion is my magic and my joy!”

“Sister! Sister! Here is the emerald of my jealousy. My heart is at peace. I embrace you!”

With that, I was free. I ran with my lion in the forest as in the past, but now he no longer hunted, as we had no need to kill the rabbits for food.

I sang like a bird.

And my songs, my songs, were stories like this one. Everyone loved my stories because, with my heart full of kindness and love, my stories were magical! My stories gave happiness and good luck to all who heard them.