All the animals in the Pridelands gathered around Pride Rock awaiting the presentation of the cub destined to be future king. A young mandrill, Rafiki, greeted King Ahadi and Queen Uru and looked down at two playful cubs, smiling.

 

"Which one have you chosen?" Rafiki asked eagerly.

 

Ahadi hesitated, looking down at the two cubs. Taka, the younger cub, was lanky with sleek, dark hair, and glowing green eyes. Mufasa, the older cub, was more well built and muscular with shiny golden hair and big brown eyes. Mufasa and Taka both looked up at Ahadi with bright eyes and hope. Ahadi paused nervously, thinking hard.

 

"Umm... Mufasa," Ahadi answered with a tone of uneasiness.

 

Rafiki scooped up Mufasa away from his playmate, Taka, and headed for the end of Pride Rock to present the cub. Taka started to follow after playfully, but he was held back by his motherís paw. She picked him up by his scruff and carried him into the den and dropped him before the other lionesses who would watch him temporarily until the ceremony was over. Uru walked out and joined Ahadi behind Rafiki, who was sprinkling sand on Mufasaís head. Taka looked out at his parents, trying to hold back tears of rejection. Mufasa was raised over the herds of animals, who stomped and snorted in rejoice, his parents nuzzling in pride at the sight of the new heir to the throne. Rafiki released Mufasa from his grasp and presented him to his parents. Taka saw them all embracing happily, and then he was carried off by one of the lionesses to the back of the cave where his crying lulled him to sleep.

 

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Ahadi rested in the den of Pride Rock beside Uru. Mufasa waited patiently as Ahadi slowly stirred and stared up at Mufasaís eager face staring back. Ahadi got up and stretched, and then nodded to Mufasa who followed him out of the cave to the edge of Pride Rock, which overlooked the seemingly endless Pridelands. Ahadi interrupted Mufasaís awe to tell him about the Pridelands. Taka pranced out gayly as Ahadi was finishing.

 

" ...and so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life."

 

"Good morning, Father," Taka started joyously, but stopped disappointedly when he saw that him and Ahadi werenít alone, "ah.... Iím gonna go wander around the Pridelands this morning," Taka finished with a sigh.

 

"Okay, son. I was about to show Mufasa the Pridelands up close. Would you like to join us?" Ahadi asked reassuringly.

 

Taka paused. "No, thanks," he answered looking at Mufasa, annoyed.

 

"Ok. Weíll see you later then," Ahadi replied walking down to the plains with Mufasa following, occasionally glancing back at Taka with a frown.

 

"Dumb Mufasa; I can never get a second alone with.." Taka paused looking at the horizon at a dark, shadowy place. "Whoa......." Takaís eyes grew wide at the sight of the mysterious looking place.

 

Taka galloped off in itís direction. When he got there, he looked from side to side at all the elephant skulls and other bones. He was so distracted by his surroundings that he didnít hear the footsteps behind him. Taka stopped and looked around suspiciously. He could here laughter, and slowly backed up, looking around in terror. All of a sudden, the laughing stopped, and Taka was completely frightened at this point. Then something tackled him from behind and pinned him to the dusty ground. He struggled, and the thing let him go, but he was already surrounded. He was overwhelmed by the sight he saw. A group of hyenas were his captors, and three of them stepped forward. They were bigger then the others, though they were still small, for all of the hyenas were pups. Two of the three were male, the other was a female.

 

"What are you doing here?" the female asked, breaking the silence.

 

"I....I was just exploring....." Taka answered nervously.

 

"You don't belong here, Pridelander!" the female replied, speaking as if Taka were the most vile thing on the planet.

 

Taka thought hard. Thoughts of the day when his brother was presented as King, and he was left to weep by himself in the den. All the times when he was left out, and Mufasa was in the limelight. Every single time Mufasa was described as "the perfect cub".

 

"I donít want to be a Pridelander anymore!" Taka shouted angrily.

 

"You canít just not be a Pridelander!" one of the males said as he circled Taka.

 

"Yeah, you gotta be put to the test" the female added as she sat and thought.

 

"Like what?" Taka asked.

 

"Prove yourself to be brave and that you arenít afraid to do what it takes. Something that could scar you for life!" the male lunged at Taka as he said the last few words. This was followed by a chorus of laughs and howls by the other hyenas.

 

"You have until tonight. Now get out of here!" the female shouted as the hyenas were pushing Taka out with their growls.

 

"How will you know if I did something or not?" Taka asked as he backed away from the jaws of the pack.

 

"Donít worry, weíll be around!" the female yelled.

 

Taka was now at a full sprint with the hyenas following close behind. They were a bit out of the Pridelands when the hyenas caught sight of Ahadi and took off just as fast in the opposite direction.

 

"Hello Son, why are you so out of breath?" Ahadi asked.

 

"I..I was chasing a bug?" Taka answered unsurely.

 

"Umm...ok," Ahadi replied. The hyenas laughed in the distance and Ahadi ran off to investigate. "You two, head back home!" he shouted as he ran off.

 

"Did you catch the bug?" Mufasa asked.

 

"The bug? Oh, the bug," Taka said catching his mistake. "Almost, but it flew off, yeah, so thatís why I was running," Taka justified himself.

 

"You wouldnít believe the day I had! Today Father and I went to the watering hole and he introduced me to all the animals, and it was so cool, and..." Mufasaís voice trailed off as Taka got distracted trying to think of how to be accepted by the hyenas. His thoughts turned towards the gorge, and he plotted how he could use the amazing site as a tool to help him join the hyenasí group.

 

"Are you listening?" Mufasa asked playfully.

 

"Oh, yeah. Iím listening. Well, thereís Pride Rock. Iím gonna hang out here for awhile," Taka gestured towards an acacia tree and headed towards it.

 

"Donít stay here long. I donít wanna get into trouble for you running off. Father says I have to look out for you," Mufasa straightened out his body to look more mature.

 

Taka walked faster towards the tree. As he plopped down to the earth and placed his head on his paws, a disgusted look formed on his face.

 

"Heíll look out for me?! The nerve of him! I donít need a cubsitter, especially one whoís a cub himself! Everyone thinks that since heís a couple minutes older than me means that heís the leader, heís the mature one, all because heíll be the stupid King!" Takaís angry mood led him to think up sadistic plans that he wanted to take place in that gorge.

 

"All I want is to be accepted, to be noticed for once!" Taka whispered to himself as hot tears rolled down his cheek. Taka looked up to see the sun slowly descend below the horizon.

 

"Well, thatís it; Iíll never be part of their group!" Taka stood up and kicked the dirt with his front paws as the hope drained from him and he became more upset and depressed.

 

Taka ran towards the gorge as fast as he could. "Iíll get you to notice me! Iíll get you all to notice me!" he yelled as he ran faster and faster leaving a trail of tears behind him.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

Ahadi had chased the hyenas back into the Elephant Grave yard and was heading back to Pride Rock when he heard cries and hoof beats coming from the distance. He frantically scanned the savannah looking for the source of the noise.

 

"Youíll be looking for young Taka; I saw him running towards the gorge!" Rafiki yelled down to the distraught lion from a large baobab tree.

 

"Oh no!" Ahadi gasped and took off for the gorge. He was met by a horrific sight that was Taka grasping a rock for survival whilst a stampede of gazelle, zebra, and wildebeest made a cloud of dust hoof beats beneath him.

 

"Help me, Father!" Taka screamed as he was losing his grip from the wall of boulders.

 

Ahadi ran out of Takaís sight and Taka let out a grin.

 

"If I can just make it look a bit more horrific..."Taka pondered, unshaken by the ocean of danger a short distance away from his location on the rocks. He noticed a group of hyenas looking down at him from atop the edge of the gorge. They looked suspiciously at him, and Taka replied to their looks with a wink. The hyenas understood that he was actually doing his task that they had given him and they laughed hysterically and took off to get a good spot where they could get a better view. Ahadi finally appeared and by his side was Uru. They both carefully climbed from rock to rock, trying to reach Taka with a stick or anything they could find to help get to him. Takaís plan was coming into effect when he saw Mufasa come down to meet his parents. They motioned for him to turn back, but he insisted on helping his brother.

 

"Wait, Father!"Taka shouted over the sound of the stampede, "Maybe you can use Mufasa to help reach me!"

 

Ahadi frantically searched his mind for another option, but before he could stop him, Mufasa was already ahead of Ahadi and Uru and trying to reach his brotherís paw. Ahadi grabbed Mufasaís foot as they both climbed closer towards Taka. Uru was struggling to hang onto the rock with one paw and support Ahadi with the other paw. Mufasa was inches away from reaching Taka as the stampede grew louder in the gorge. Taka reached out to Mufasa with his paw. Mufasa made a final effort to lunge his body forward to reach Takaís outstretched arm. Taka pulled his paw away which sent Mufasa flying out of Ahadiís grasp. Taka let out a wide grin, but it faded away as Ahadi snatched up the falling cub with his free paw. The lunge forward caught Uru off guard and she let out a terrified scream as she fell with a thud into the ocean of beasts below.

 

"Noooo!"yelled Ahadi, full of anguish.

 

"Dad, we have to save Taka!" Mufasa reminded Ahadi. Ahadi looked down at the stampede in the direction Uru had fallen and then at Taka, whoís calm eyes were replaced by terror-filled ones.

 

"Iíll find a way on my own!" screamed Taka who was anxious to see if his Mother had survived the fall. He jumped up at the wall of boulders and pulled himself up over the edge. He ran down a less steep hill into the gorge, where the stampede was still active. In the cloud of dust and debris he couldnít see what was coming at him. He finally saw his motherís body on the ground a couple feet away and he ran towards her. He was met by a clutter of hooves that sent him flying back. He hit a pile of branches and jagged rocks, which knocked the cub unconscious.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

"Hey, man! That was great!" said a blur of gray when Taka came to.

 

"Where am I?" Taka asked, dazed.

 

"Why, youíre home," replied another gray figure. Taka sat up and saw the pack of hyena pups sitting around him in the Elephant Graveyard.

 

"What happened? Whereís Father and Mufasa? What happened to my Mother?!" Taka shouted in an alarmed state.

 

"Well, we stepped in when we saw you just lying there and a bunch of antelopes trampling you. Your dad and the other cub took your motherís body and buried it. I donít know what they did after that because we took you back here." replied the lead female.

 

"And you even got yourself a little battle wound. Check it out!" the alpha male pointed to a small puddle.

 

"Made out pretty good, if you ask me!" added one of the females of the pack as Taka looked the puddle and saw a red, fleshy scar over his left eye.

 

"So, now youíre part of the group!"the lead female announced. "Now you need a killer name to go with your killer look" she added as she pointed to the distinctive scar on his face.

 

"Letís make it simple. Scar," the alpha male suggested. The other hyenas howled and giggled in approval.

 

"So, Scar, my name is Shenzi. Iím the lead female. And this is my mate, Bonzi, and...thatís Ed" Shenzi said with little emphasis when introducing the last hyena.

 

"Nice to meet you all" Scar said politely.

 

"So, wanna go on a hunt or something?" Bonzi asked

 

"Iíd kinda like to see what going on in the Pridelands..." Scar timidly suggested.

 

"Sure, thatís a great idea! Iím kinda wondering whatís going on there myself!" Shenzi replied. With that, all the hyenas took off towards the Pridelands.

 

"Hey, Ed. Can I talk to you and you wonít rat me out?" Ed stuck out his tongue and nodded his head. He sat there with a blank face as Scar started.

 

"Well, I didnít actually want my Mother to die. I feel so bad now, I just wanted Mufasa to go away so bad, and now I regret feeling that way. Do you understand?" Scar asked. Ed made no response, so Scar snapped his fingers in his face and Ed fell backwards.

 

"Ugh, heís asleep..." Scar made the connection and ran towards Shenzi to start some small talk. When they arrived to a hill where they could see the Pridelands, Shenzi gestured for Scar to go ahead, since he was allowed in the Pridelands, unlike the hyenas. Scar galloped down, and looked around nervously. Mufasa yelled from atop Pride Rock.

 

"Itís Taka, heís come back!" Ahadi jumped up and ran out to Scar.

 

"Taka where were you?!" he asked, shocked.

 

"I got scared and ran off. And my nameís Scar. Ya see?" Scar pointed to the Scar on his face. "Whereís Mother?" Scar asked with a lump in his throat. The color drained from Ahadiís face and he turned around and headed back towards the cave.

 

"Momís dead. Father was terrified that heíd lost you, too." Mufasa replied solemnly. Scar wondered off to look around. All the animals were grieving over the loss of the Queen. Scar saw his crush, Sarabi, and said hi in a cheerful tone.

 

"Go away, you murderer!" Sarabi shouted in anger and took off. Scar felt heartbroken and followed after her.

 

"Tell me how I can change!" he tried hopefully.

 

"Thereís no changing the past!" Sarabi replied and ran off again, but this time Scar didnít follow her. He was walking back towards the hyenas, when he saw Sarabi in Mufasaís paws as he was comforting her. Scar was hot with outrage and ran off towards the hyenas.

 

"Iím never going back! Itís all stupid Mufasaís fault that Motherís dead. If he hadnít jumped forward, then she wouldnít have fell!" Scar tried justifying himself.

 

"So, whatís up?" Shenzi asked Scar when he reached the hyenas.

 

"Nothing!" replied Scar, holding back tears. "Letís go home!" and with that the hyenas headed back to the Elephant Graveyard.

 

Later that night, Scar explained to Shenzi what was wrong wand what happened that day in the Pridelands.

 

"The only way is to, kill Mufasa! Heís always been the problem! He took Sarabi, the only thing I ever loved! Heís the Prince and has always been in the limelight! And worst of all, he killed our Mother, and now Iím the one being called a murderer! Iíll get him one day, and youíll help me, right?" Scar asked the hyenas.

 

"Weíll help you get that little Prince !" the hyenas made their promise and filled Africa with a chorus of howls and laughs as sun went down over the savannah.