On the Origin of Folk Tales

I am dreaming.

There is a little girl in a big, bright house with lots of windows. In a high room is a secret window guarded by a lion. Through the window is a garden, and beyond it, a city of light. The little girl goes into the room often to look at the garden and the city of light. Each time the lion opens its great eyes and looks at the girl, then lets her pass.

When the little girl grows up, she forgets about the room, the lion, and the window. Then one day she remembers, and she has a plan. She will go into that room and paint that garden and the city of light, and sell that painting. When she climbs up into the room, the lion opens its great eyes and looks at her. She thinks, "He knows me, he will let me pass." She walks out into the room with her easel and canvas and heads toward the window.

The lion roars, throws himself on her, and tears her into pieces.