The Yellow Dwarf
" she cried; "I shall be eaten up," and being too frightened to run a single step, she began to cry, and leaned against the tree under which she had been asleep.
Just then she heard some one say: "H'm, h'm!"
She looked all round her, and then up the tree, and there she saw a little tiny man, who was eating oranges.
"Oh! Queen," said he, "I know you very well, and I know how much afraid you are of the lions; and you are quite right too, for they have eaten many other people: and what can you expect, as you have not any cake to give them?"
"I must make up my mind to die," said the poor Queen. "Alas! I should not care so much if only my dear daughter were married."
"Oh! you have a daughter," cried the Yellow Dwarf (who was so called because he WAS a dwarf and had such a yellow face, and lived in the orange tree). "I'm really glad to hear that, for I've been looking for a wife all over the world. Now, if you will promise that she shall marry me, not one of the lions, tigers, or bears shall touch you."
The Queen looked at him and was almost as much afraid of his ugly little face as she had been of the lions before, so that she could not speak a word.
"What! you hesitate, madam," cried the Dwarf. "You must be very fond of being eaten up alive."
And, as he spoke, the Queen saw the lions, which were running down a hill toward them.
Each one had two heads, eight feet, and four rows of teeth, and their skins were as hard as turtle shells, and were bright red.
At this dreadful sight, the poor Queen, who was trembling like a dove when it sees a hawk, cried out as loud as she could, "Oh! dear Mr. Dwarf, Bellissima shall marry you."
"Oh, indeed!" said he disdainfully. "Bellissima is pretty enough, but I don't particularly want to marry her--you can keep her."
"Oh! noble sir," said the Queen in great distress, ado not refuse her. She is the most charming Princess in the world."
"Oh! well," he replied, "out of charity I will take her; but be sure and don't forget that she is mine.