No one would think of biting such a little thing, except a coward like me," continued the Lion sadly.
All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts.
But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do?
Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
He was in a particularly vicious mood, and he kept the lions
stirred up till they were all snarling, that is, all of them except old Augustus, and he was just too fat and lazy and old to get stirred up over anything.
Now listen, and I'll tell you something: the day may come when the lions get sick.
The lions are never IN trouble--they only MAKE trouble," said the Leader, turning up his nose.
By this time the lion's efforts had almost ceased--it was evident that he was being rapidly strangled and as that did not at all suit the purpose of the Tarmangani the latter swung again into the tree, unfastened the rope from above and lowered the lion to the ground where he immediately followed it and loosed the noose about Numa's neck.
Now, indeed, was Numa, the lion, reduced to the harmlessness of Bara, the deer.
That is true," said Don Quixote; "close the door, my friend, and let me have, in the best form thou canst, what thou hast seen me do, by way of certificate; to wit, that thou didst open for the lion, that I waited for him, that he did not come out, that I still waited for him, and that still he did not come out, and lay down again.
The keeper, then, in full detail, and bit by bit, described the end of the contest, exalting to the best of his power and ability the valour of Don Quixote, at the sight of whom the lion quailed, and would not and dared not come out of the cage, although he had held the door open ever so long; and showing how, in consequence of his having represented to the knight that it was tempting God to provoke the lion in order to force him out, which he wished to have done, he very reluctantly, and altogether against his will, had allowed the door to be closed.
Then he turned to see a huge, black-maned lion
racing toward him and even as he turned, Numa seized him.
Rabba Kega saw that the bait was gone, though there was no lion
within the cage, nor was the door dropped.
The feel of the long spear shaft in his hand and the sight of the tree beyond the lion
gave the lad an idea--a preposterous idea--a ridiculous, forlorn hope of an idea; but there was no time now to weigh chances--there was but a single chance, and that was the thorn tree.
And the great lion
lay and roared in helplessness, and at each prod exposed his nose more and lifted it higher, until, at the end, his red tongue ran out between his fangs and licked the boot resting none too gently on his neck, and, after that, licked the broomstick that had administered all the punishment.