The Fool, victorious over his enemies, is feeling arrogant, powerful, even vengeful. There are hot passions in him, ones he finds himself unable and unwilling to control. It is in this state that he comes across a maiden struggling with a lion. Running to help, he arrives in time to see her gently but firmly shut the lion’s mouth! In fact, the beast, which seemed so wild and fierce, is now completely at her command.
Amazed, the Fool asks her, “How did you do that?” One hand on the lion’s mane, she answers, “I asked the lion to do it, and it did it.”
“But-but-” the Fool stutters, confounded. “Why did it want to obey?” At that moment, the Maiden meets the Fool’s eyes; he sees in her warmth, gentleness, a heart so great that its generosity seems as infinite as its willingness to understand. And that is when the Fool understands exactly why the lion did her bidding.
It wanted to connect to that higher energy.
Yet there is still one thing that confuses the Fool. “But,” he says, much softer now, “Why would you, fair maiden, want to keep company with a beast?”
“Because he, too, is filled with a wonderful energy,” the Maiden says. “It is wild and fierce, but it can be banked, like a fire in a hearth. I knew if he would take direction from me, we could both be warmed.”
“So, too,” she adds, “are our passions. Let them run wild and they will do damage. But we can, with gentle fortitude, check and direct those passions. In doing so, we can get so much more out of them. And yet, still sate them.”
His rage quieted, the enlightened Fool walks away knowing that it wasn’t only the lion that was tamed this day by a Maiden’s pure and innocent strength.