Leeya," said the old man with a smile, "I have good news for you! There is a potion that will change the child’s behavior toward you. But you should know that it needs a special ingredient. You must bring me a whisker from a live lion."
"A lion's whisker?!?” said Leeya with shock. "Such a thing is not possible!"
You want your stepson to turn around?!" he shouted. “Bring me a whisker from a lion.” Then he turned his back. "There is nothing more to say. As you can see, I’m a very busy man."
That night Leeya tossed and turned. How could she get a whisker from a live lion?
The next day, she left the house. In her hand was a bowl of rice covered with meat sauce.
Leeya went to a grove of shady trees where lion tracks had been seen and a lion was known to live. She walked up to a safe distance from the shady trees and very quietly set the bowl down on the grass.
Then as quietly and safely as she could, she backed away and went home.
The next day at the same time, she took another bowl of rice covered with meat sauce to the cave. When she saw that the old bowl was empty, she took it and put down the new, full one. Again she left quietly.
Every day, she did this. Months went by. Leeya never saw the lion. But she knew from footprints on the ground that it was the lion who was eating her food.
Then one day, she noticed the lion's head poking out from behind some trees. Being sure not to look the lion in the eye, she stepped very slowly to the same spot as always. She put down the new, full bowl of food, picked up the empty bowl, and stepped away.