Once upon a time, there lived a merchant with a beautiful daughter. When he passed through the woods one day, he came upon a lion who had just killed an elephant.
"What the heck is an elephant doing here?" the man exclaimed. "We don't have any elephants in this country!"
"I am a magic lion," the lion told him. "So I can hunt and eat anything I want, anywhere I want—including you!"
And he sprang forward, ready to devour the merchant.
"Mercy!" the merchant cried. "If you will spare my life, I will give you anything you want!"
"I will let you live," the lion said, "but only if you give me your beautiful daughter."
"My daughter? My beautiful, beloved child? Never! Never, ever! I could never make such a terrible sacrifice! Well...unless you were to throw in the tusks of that elephant. Ivory catches good prices on today's market."
"Done!" the lion said.
The merchant gave a sigh of utter bliss. "Wonder of wonders! I've been waiting for a way to get rid of that annoying brat, and now I'll be rid of her and make a profit into the bargain!" Walking over to the elephant tusks, he examined the costly ivory.
"Are you going to eat her?" he inquired, just out of curiosity.
"I might just decide to eat you," the lion growled, "if you don't get out of here quickly!"
The merchant took his advice, packed up the ivory, and ran.
Not long after, he returned home, carrying the precious elephant tusks.
"Father!" The daughter exclaimed when he came into the house, laden with treasure. "Where did you find that beautiful ivory?"
"That doesn't matter," he said, beaming. "I've got much bigger news. Guess what? I've found a husband for you!"
"Yes! A really impressive male specimen! He's waiting for you out in the forest."
"Is he handsome?" the daughter asked hopefully.
"He's beyond words. Trust me, when you see him, you'll be floored."
So the daughter ran out into the forest to meet her new husband. When a lion stepped out from behind a bush and faced her, she stopped in her tracks, going white as a sheet.
"Don't be afraid," the lion said. "I'm your new husband."
Slowly, the daughter looked back over her shoulder, where the trees concealed the distant house of her father.
"That bastard!" she murmured. "I'm going to kill him!"
"Climb onto my back!" the lion commanded. "I'll bring you to our new home."
And, on the lion's back, the beautiful girl rode off into the forest. It wasn't long before they came into a vast clearing, and in the clearing stood the most beautiful castle anyone had ever seen, with towers high as mountains, sparkling stained glass windows, and golden doorknobs.
"What's a bedside rug like you doing in a place like this?" the girl demanded to know.
"All shall be revealed when the sun sets," the lion said. "And don't call me a bedside rug."
The inside of the castle was as magnificent as the outside. There were uncounted halls with mirrors on the walls, dress chambers with the most beautiful gowns imaginable, libraries with thousands upon thousands of books, and servants who provided the girl with everything she might desire. The girl began to feel that being married to a lion might not be as bad as she had imagined. Still, she waited impatiently for sunset.
Just before the sun touched the horizon, the lion entered the great bedchamber, where the girl was standing at the window.
"Look at me," he told her.
She looked, and, as the light of the sun vanished from the window behind her and the moon rose to shine on the world, the lion was suddenly changed into a handsome prince with dark hair and a seductive smile.
"Holy cow!" she exclaimed.
"No, no." The prince shook his head. "I was a lion before, and now I'm a prince, but I was never a cow."
"How is this possible?"
"It's simple. You just don't grow hooves and two horns on your head."
"The lion thing, you idiot!"
"Oh." He cleared his throat. "Well, you see, this old witch came by the castle, and she thought it might be a good idea to enchant me so I would turn into a lion every day and back into a human at night, only to be turned back into a lion the next day. Don't ask me why she did it. Maybe she thought it would be a character-building experience."
The girl nodded, thinking this over. "Ah. Thanks for explaining."
"So you see, my bride," the prince said sadly, "we cannot spend our time together during the day, as normal people do. We must stay awake at night when I am human and you must go to bed in the morning, when I am a lion and go hunting in the forest."
"I have a better idea," the bride said. "Why don't we go to bed and stay awake during the night when you're human? There's plenty to do under the covers, after all."
And, having said this, she grabbed the handsome prince by the collar, dragged him into bed, and did wild, wicked things with him that can't be discussed here because this is a fairy tale for all ages. The following evening, just after sunset, a happy bride and a slightly dazed and exhausted prince were married in the castle chapel.
Sometime later, the witch who had enchanted the prince so he turned into a lion every morning came by to see how he was doing, and the young wife welcomed her heartily.
"Thank you! To you so much, I owe the eternal happiness of my marriage," she exclaimed, embracing the witch. "Thanks to you, my husband doesn't sit around complaining all day, hasn't touched a drop of drink in his entire life, scares off any women who want to make a move on him, and eats all the annoying neighbors!"
The witch, touched by the young wife's gratitude, gave her as a present a silver leash for the lion and moved into the tower chamber of the castle, serving as a vet for the prince. And if they haven't died, they still live there happily today.
And the moral of the story is: forget about the marriage counsellor! Get yourselves a wicked witch, and have your husband enchanted!
My dear Lords, Ladies and Bewitched Princes,
My sincere apologies for the shortness of this story. I thought I'd rather keep it short and to the point, especially since this time I had such an important moral to convey that could help unhappy couples across the world! ;-)
But don't you worry - next time I have a special treat in store for you. Not just an extra-long story, but an extra crazy one... (drumroll)
Two words: Snow White!
Are you excited?
If you have enjoyed this volume of fairy tales so far and can spare a minute or two, please LEAVE A REVIEW on Goodreads, Amazon or iBooks! It would be wonderful help in spreading the word about the wicked witch method of marriage counselling! ;-)
Sir Rob (enchanted lion in writer-disguise)
In case you are interested, this story was inspired by The Singing, Springing Lark by the Brothers Grimm.
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WARNING! Fairy TalesFantasy
WARNING! Please be advised that this is not a bedtime story about sparkly fairies and pink unicorns. This book may contain graphic descriptions of poisoned apples and witches' ovens. It is not appropriate for supernatural beings under the age of 377...