The Lion in Love is an aesopic fable found in various European collections.
A lion fell in love with the beautiful daughter of a woodman. One day he came to ask the girl’s hand in marriage. It was only natural that the woodman was not greatly pleased with the lion’s offer and declined the honor of so dangerous an alliance. The lion threatened the parents of the girl with his royal displeasure. The poor father did not know what to do. Finally, he said: “We are greatly flattered by your proposal. But you see, our daughter is a tender child, and her mother and I fear that in expressing your affection for her you may do her an injury. Would Your Majesty consent to have your claws removed and your teeth extracted before becoming a bridegroom?” So deeply was the lion in love that he permitted the operation to take place.
But when he came again to the woodman’s home to claim the girl, the father, no longer afraid of the tamed and disarmed king of the beasts, seized a stout club and drove the unhappy suitor from his door. Moral: Even the wildest can be tamed by love. The fable was told by Eumenes to warn the Macedonians against the schemes of Antigonus, called the One-Eyed. When the empire of Alexander the Great was divided at his death, Antigonus received Phrygia, Lycia, and Pamphylia. He eventually acquired the whole of Asia Minor. He was defeated and slain at Ipsus by allied forces in 301 b.c.e.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante