While petting the lion with one hand, she quickly cut off the whisker with the other, careful not to hurt the lion in any way. “Thank you, my gentle friend,” she said.
Quickly, she ran to the medicine man's hut. Holding the whisker tight in her hand, she cried, "I have it! I have the lion's whisker!"
"You don't say?" said the healer, turning around. "From a live lion?"
"Yes!" she said.
"Tell me," said he. "How did you do it?"
She explained the steps.
With pride she handed him the whisker. The healer looked at it with care. Then he walked over to the fire and threw it in, where it burned up right away to a crisp.
"What have you done?!" Leeya cried. “What it took for me to get that!”
"Leeya," said the old doctor softly, "you don’t need the whisker. Tell me, is this child really more dangerous than a lion? If a wild beast will respond to your patient, loving care, don’t you think a child who misses his mother will, too?"
Leeya was startled. But she thought .. maybe? And by the time she got back home, she knew what she could do.