The Knight and the Lion

"Yvain and the Lion"

Yvain cleaned his sword, mounted his horse and went on his way, but the lion would not be left behind so easily. He padded along by Yvain's side, for he did not want to part with the man who had saved him from death. Instead, he meant to serve and protect him whenever he could.

Before long the lion smells a deer not far off, and his nature tells him to track it and kill it at once. Yet he waits and looks first at Yvain, and Yvain sees that the lion wants to do only what will please. So he shouts to him, as he would to a hunting dog, and the lion speeds away in search of the deer which he soon finds grazing in a valley and kills with one bound.

Then he brings the deer to Yvain, who makes a fire of dry wood, and the two sit down while the deer roasts. Yvain eats the cooked meat, while the lion devours what is left right down to the bones.

Yvain lays his head upon his shield to rest as best he can, but the lion lies awake, keeping watch over the horse, who is munching the grass in the darkness.