Hari kept on, penetrating deeper and deeper into the forest. After a
while the sun rose and light splattered through the leaves. He must
have been jogging along for almost an hour and must surely be near
the heart of the forest, where the lion lived. Then a new kind of
fear came upon him: What if the lion had forgotten? What if he
should laugh? For the first time Hari stood still in his tracks. 'I
am a fool,' he thought. 'Why on earth
should a lion want to talk to a sheep? He was only making fun of me.'
And at once all power to move drained out of him. He trembled from
head to foot in a paralysing chill. The clover in his mouth seemed
absurd. 'He will laugh. Oh, I am a fool sheep.
A fool, fool sheep.' But still he longed so to see the golden
eyes of the lion just once again that he forced himself to take ten
more blind steps. 'What if he does laugh,'
he thought; 'I still will have seen him.'
Then, as though
formed by magic out of sunlight and shadow, the lion stood before
him, beaming and more, beautiful than Hari had remembered.
well,' he said. 'So you have come. Very
At once the joy
flared up in Hari's heart and all his fears vanished as though they
had never been. He bowed down and laid the clover at the feet of the
is for you,' he said shyly.
is very nice.' The lion smiled, and he ate the little pile of
clover to the last leaf, while Hari watched and felt infinitely more
satisfied and pleased than if he were eating it himself.