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Main > Dutch folktales > Fairy tale "The curly-tailed lion"

The curly-tailed lion

Then the artist made a picture of him in this condition, all curled and rich in ringlets, like a dandy.

By this time, the father of the lion family looked as if he had come out fresh from a hairdresser's parlor. Indeed, Mrs. Leo was so struck with her husband's appearance, that she immediately licked her cubs all over, until their fur shone, so they should look like their father. Then, having used her tongue as a comb, to make her own skin smooth and glossy, she completed the job by using the nail in her tail, to do the finishing work. Altogether, this was the curliest family of lions ever seen, and Daddy Leo appeared to be the funniest curly-headed and curly-bodied lion ever seen. In fact he was all curls, from head to tail.

Notwithstanding all his pains, the artist was not yet satisfied with his job. He wanted a circle of long hair to grow in the middle of the lion's tail. His curly lion should beat all creation, and in this way he proceeded.

His own daughter, being a young lady and having some trouble of the throat, the doctor had ordered medicine for the girl, charging her not to spill any drops of the liquid on her face, or clothes.

But, in giving the dose, either the mother, or the daughter, was careless. At that very moment the cat ran across the room, after the mouse, and just as she held the spoon to her mouth, Puss got twisted in her skirts. So most of the medicine splashed upon her upper lip and then ran down to her chin, on either side of her mouth. She laughed over the spill, wiped off the liquid, and thought no more of the matter.

But a week later, she was astonished. On waking, she looked in the glass, only to shrink back in horror. On her face had grown both moustaches and a beard. True, both were rather downy, but still they were black; and, until the barber came, and shaved off the growth, she was a bearded woman. Yet, strange to tell, after one or two shaves by the barber, no more hair grew again on her face, which was smooth again.

"By Saint Servatus!

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