I own The Lion King. I invented them, and I'm making loads of money from this story. See? No-one cares what I say here. Are you stupid or something?
Now, the hyenas are much better than the lions, so they have a much more straightforward way of telling their kids about respect and stuff. They don't waste their time on silly little metaphors and religious crap. This fanfic was meant to be funny, but I soon realised that talking about the meaning of life comedial style, isn't overly easy. I guess I still do have it in me to write serious fanfics...
"Shenzi! Shenzi! Wake up, you lazy little beast!"
"Oh, mother, just five minutes more," moaned Shenzi, pulling her tail over her nose to keep it warm.
Shetani sighed and looked down at her eldest daughter in despair, shaking her head, "Shenzi, today is the day!" she cried, dragging her to her feet, "It's the day I teach you all about respect and other animals!"
Shenzi groaned, got up, and left the cave with her mother, "This lesson had better be a goddam interesting one, mother," she said, "You woke me from the best dream ever..."
Shetani led her daughter through the Elephant Graveyard, "One day, my daughter, I will be weak - too weak to rule this clan. When that day comes, I want you to fight me and kill me. You are my heir, and that's how life goes. The weak don't survive. They don't deserve to survive."
"Even you?" asked Shenzi.
"Even me," said Shetani, sadly, "You must kill me when I am no longer strong enough to rule. No others may kill the matriarch, only you, my daughter, my heir."
Shenzi sighed, "Can't it wait until you die of natural causes?"
Shetani shook her head, "No. Anarchy would rule. Someone else might take over, and my wish, in fact, the wish of my mother, and many mothers before her, is for the matriarchy to remain in our family. We have run this clan since times immemorial. Why should it change now?"
Shenzi couldn't think of any reason why, "That's a good point, mother," she answered.
Shetani smiled sadly, "Dear daughter," she continued, "As you know, in ancient hyenic, the word for 'respect' is identical to the word for 'fear'. Respect is the most important thing in the world. Stars may explode into millions of fragments, oceans may dry up, and lions may eat your relatives, but as long as you have respect, you will survive."
"Have respect for what?" asked Shenzi.
"Oh, no, Shenzi. You're a female now, not a pup. You needn't respect anyone. In fact, it's a waste of time to look for you to look for anyone who is better than a female hyena. They are the ones who should be respecting you!"
"Oh," said Shenzi.
"But you must give them a reason to respect you. You must be the most powerful, cunning, strongest, smartest beast that they know. That's the way to earn respect - instill fear into both your friends and your enemies."
"What if someone doesn't respect me, even when everyonw else does?" asked Shenzi.
"There is only one thing to do," answered Shetani, "You must seek them out and pound their arrogant existance into a mushy paste on the ground. But you must never let them live, even if they beg for their lives. Because then, people won't respect you so much. They'll think that if they fight you and disobey your commands, you might let them live. And that's just not right."
"So what you're saying mum," said Shenzi, "Is that I should kill anyone who doesn't agree with me?"
"Yes," said Shetani, "Only when the whole clan agrees that you are the matriarch, are you truly the matriarch."
"But why is respect so important?" asked Shenzi.
By now, mother and daughter had reached the border of the Graveyard. Shetani gestured at the Pridelands, "Over there," she said, in a cold sneer, "Is the land where the lions live. They respect each other. They treat each other as equals. Whether ant or antelope, earwig or wildebeest."
"That doesn't sound too bad," said Shenzi.
"But for some, strange reason, they don't respect any peoples who might one day defeat them," said Shetani, "They don't respect us! They respect the other animals whom they kill, but they don't respect us!"
Shenzi's face hardened at this, "I always knew they were evil!" she said triumphantly.
Shetani nodded agreeably, "Well, to answer your previous question, respect is so important because respect and fear go paw in paw, bones in mouth, teeth in flesh. And if you haven't got no respect on your side, you haven't got no fear on your side, and you haven't got no nothing. So you'll lose."
"Ah," said Shenzi, "So that's why non-respectful people should die?"
"Two-hundred-and-fifty people had to die when my grandmother came to power," said Shetani. She watched her daughter's face, but Shenzi didn't flinch. She continued, "But they were unrespectful fools. And people are a lot more respectful nowadays. Only fifty people had to die when I came to power. With any luck, you'll only have to kill twenty objectionable idiots."
"So you think that one day, there won't be any killing needed at all to change matriarchs?" suggested Shenzi.
"Goodness, no!" said Shetani, laughing, "What respect would you earn if nobody had to die? You must always remember the three laws of importantness, my girl - 'Only the strongest survive', 'Respect is everything', and 'Always get the young man's name and address'."
They started to enter the Pridelands.
"Mother, why did you want to become matriarch?" asked Shenzi.
"Well, I didn't exactly want to," said Shetani, "But my mother made me into a wonderful matriarch, and it grew on me as it grew on her, and whether you want to rule or not-"
"I do want to rule," interrupted Shenzi, "Is it my destiny?"
"It's not your destiny," continued Shetani, "There is no such thing as Destiny. But it is your job. The Pridelands will never be mine. I'm too old for that silly conquering thing now. But perhaps, someday they will be yours. And then... Then you will be able to make every fool who lives there cower with respect."
"It sounds fun, mother," said Shenzi.
"Believe me, daughter," said Shetani, "The only time that ruling is fun, is when you're giving orders and killing people. The rest of the time, it's just a chore."
"Isn't that what ruling's all about?" asked Shenzi, "Killing people and giving orders?"
"No," said Shetani, "Ruling is about listening to people, then doing it your way. Taking advice from people is no better than taking orders from people, and I've never taken an order in my entire duration as matriarch. Except, perhaps, for the one about becoming matriarch. And I've never regretted it once."
Hey! It's my first serious story for absolutely ages! And in my opinion, it's not too bad either! E-mail me with your wonderful 'You are wonderful' e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org