THE CAT WHO SERVED THE LION
FAR away in the North, on a mountain called Thousand-Crags, there lived a Lion named Mighty-Heart. This Lion was much troubled by a little Mouse that ran out of its hole and nibbled the Lion’s mane while he lay asleep in his den. The Lion would wake up very angry when he found that the ends of his magnificent mane were all ragged and torn; but the little Mouse had run back into its hole and he could never catch it. After much thinking the Lion went down to a village where he found a Cat named Curd-Ear, which, with a great deal of trouble, and many promises, he persuaded to go back home with him. He fed the Cat like a Princess on all kinds of dainty food, while he himself slept peacefully without fear that his mane would be nibbled—for now the Mouse never dared to venture out of its hole. Whenever the Lion even heard the faint scratching of the Mouse in its hole, he always took that as a signal for giving the Cat an especially fine dinner. But one day, the unhappy Mouse, who was nearly starved, found courage to creep timidly out from his hole, when he was at once pounced upon by Curd-Ear, and killed. After that the Lion no longer heard the scratching of the Mouse, and so quite forgot to give the Cat any more dinners.