THERE was once a very beautiful little Prince born in Uganda. One day when his nurse had put him to sleep under a cedar-tree in the garden a great eagle swooped down and carried him away to her nest on the distant purple hills.
The eagle had meant to eat him, but when she saw what a beautiful child he was she pitied him, and kept him to play with her little eaglets in the nest, and the eagles became his friends, and he learnt their language and many wonderful things about the birds and beasts and flowers.
One day the eagle brought two kids to the nest, and the Prince begged her not to eat them, so the eagle gave him the kids, and they grew up in the nest too.
When they were quite big goats the little Prince took them to the hill-side every day, and they played there with the other animals.
When the spring rains came the forests and jungles and swamps and hills were covered with flowers. Great white lilies, five on a stalk, and tiger-lilies of yellow and red, and ground-orchids purple and yellow and white, and some so queer that they looked like bumble-bees, and little rock-flowers, and water-lilies pink and blue and mauve, and many other beautiful things; the little Prince knew them all by name.
One day he was out on the hill-side and he trod on a sharp stone and cut his foot very deeply. The blood poured out, and he could not tie it up to stop the bleeding. All his friends hurried up and tried to help, but none of them could stop the bleeding.
Then the tall lily took her pure white petals and laid them on the wound and the bleeding stopped, but the petals were stained with blood, a broad crimson streak.
Then they called the eagle and told her what had happened. "Little Prince," she said, "you have been with us long enough; it is time you returned to your own people, for what should we do if harm came to the son of the King?"
So the Prince said good-bye to his friends, and the eagle carried him away to Mengo, where the King lived. The King and his chiefs were in the Council when a messenger came to say that a great eagle was circling round the house with a child in her talons. They all went out to see, and the eagle laid the little Prince at his father's feet, and the people called him "Prince Eagle "from that day.
There was great rejoicing, and the King sat up all night listening to the stories about the jungle which the Prince told him.
Then the King said: "It was the lily that saved my child's life; let me go and thank her myself." So they went to the distant purple hills and found the lily, and the King said:
"I have heard what you did, and I have come to thank you. For ever and ever you shall wear a broad crimson stripe on every petal, that all the people may remember that you saved the life of the King's son."