The Lion King IIX:
The Spirit of Uhäki
Uhäki is a great spirit that is said to have been the one to create the bridge between friend and enemy. Now, as little Quwin’go is trapped in an ancient glen, he must recognise those ways and find the way to freedom once more, for himself, and for others.
Note: The characters Mangel, Singa, Shyla, Timba, Runu, Aurora, Larka, Pala, Sithuka, Zaraku, Garofé, Sekeita, Kadio, Tanko, Onay, Baynarr, Monagbor, Kusa, Cheasala, Ariko, Bayngo, Russtet, Rayana, Hârdlayje, Corga, Quwin’go, Zariy, Uhäki, Thuraia, Kwennoir, Irawh, Medi, Kutu and Baytamba have been created by me and are not allowed to be used without my permission, so please email me first if you would like to use any of them. And I apologize if any are the same in other fan-ficts and I didn’t know, so I won’t change anything unless you email me. You can also email me at email@example.com if you would like to say anything about the stories. The characters, Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Sarabi, Sarafina, Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, Ed, Rafiki, Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa, Zira, Kovu, Kiara, Vitani and Nuka have been created by Disney.
Warning: You won’t get this if you haven’t read my first stories, The Lion King III: A Clash of Kingdoms, The Lion King IV: The Lost Trio (all three parts), The Lion King V: Attempts of the White Lioness, The Lion King VI: Pride Rock’s Heir and The Lion King VII: Kusa and Cheasala. Also, you obviously won’t get any of this if you haven’t seen The Lion King or The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, both created by Disney.
What it’s Based On…
This story wasn’t really based on anything. Though I tried to make this one very spiritual, yet it didn’t reach the place I wanted if you know what I mean. =) Not that it’s bad or anything.
1. Two New Ones (Pride Rock)
2. Heavy News (Pride Rock)
3. Distracting (Pride Rock)
4. Water in the Gorge (Gorge)
5. Telling of a Great Spirit (Pride Rock)
6. Zebras (Glen)
7. Sadness and Explaining (Pride Rock)
8. Moving of the Land (Glen)
9. Kutu (Glen)
10. Lioness (Grasslands)
11. The Spirit of Uhäki (Pride Rock to Pridelands to Pride Rock)
Original Characters from Disney
Simba (Once King of Pride Rock, son of Mufasa and Sarabi, father of Kiara, mate of Nala)
Nala (Once Queen of Pride Rock, daughter of Sarafina, mother of Kiara, mate of Simba)
Mufasa (Once King of Pride Rock, mate of Sarabi, father of Simba)
Sarabi (Once Queen of Pride Rock, mate of Mufasa, mother of Simba)
Rafiki (Once shaman of Pride Rock and the Boulder of Strength, brother of Garofé)
Timon (Once royal baby-sitter)
Pumbaa (Once royal baby-sitter)
Zazu (Once royal majordomo of Pride Rock)
Kiara (Once queen of Pride Rock, daughter of Simba, mother of Mangel and Shyla, mate of Kovu)
Kovu (Once King of Pride Rock, son of Zira, brother of Vitani and Nuka, father of Mangel and Shyla, mate of Kiara)
Zira (Mother of Kovu, Vitani and Nuka)
Nuka (Son of Zira, brother of Kovu and Vitani)
Vitani (Daughter of Zira, sister of Kovu and Nuka, guardian of Shyla)
Mangel (Once King of the Boulder of Strength, son of Kovu and Kiara, father of Aurora, Timba and Runu, older brother of Shyla, mate of Singa)
Singa (Once Queen of the Boulder of Strength, daughter of Zaraku and Sithuka, mother of Aurora, Timba and Runu, and mate of Mangel)
Zaraku (Once King of the Boulder of Strength, father of Singa, and mate of Sithuka)
Sithuka (Once Queen of the Boulder of Strength, mother of Singa, and mate of Zaraku)
Shyla (Daughter of Kovu and Kiara, baby sister of Mangel, and princess of Pride Rock)
Aurora- (Daughter -youngest- Mangel and Singa, sister of Timba and Runu, shaman of the Boulder of Strength and Pride Rock)
Runu (Son -middle one- of Mangel and Singa, guardian of Baynarr)
Timba (Son -oldest- of Mangel and Singa, King of the Boulder of Strength)
Garofé (Once shaman of the Boulder of Strength, brother of Rafiki)
Sekeita (Sister of Kadio and Tanko)
Tanko (Brother of Kadio and Sekeita)
Kadio (Brother of Tanko and Sekeita)
Pala (Guardian of Shyla, tigress in the Pride Rock pride)
Larka (Friend of Aurora’s and Runu, mate of Timba, Queen of the Boulder of Strength)
Baynarr (Son of Timba and Larka, prince of the Boulder of Strength)
Onay (Royal majordomo of Pride Rock)
Monagbor (Mate of Shyla)
Kusa (Son of Shyla and Monagbor, prince of Pride Rock)
Cheasala (Daughter of Ariko and Bayngo, sister of Rayana, Hârdlayje and the other lionesses, betrothal of Kusa)
Ariko (Father of Cheasala and Rayana and Hârdlayje and the other lionesses, mate of Bayngo, leader of his pride)
Bayngo (Mother of Cheasala and Rayana and Hârdlayje the other lionesses, mate of Ariko, leader of her pride)
Rayana (Sister of Cheasala, Hârdlayje and the other lionesses, daughter of Bayngo and Ariko)
Hârdlayje (Hare-d-lay-ha-hey) (Sister of Cheasala and Rayana and the other lionesses, daughter of Bayngo and Ariko)
Corga (Monkey, friend of Kusa)
Russtet (Hippo, leader of the hippos)
Tayquwya (Lioness of Shyla’s and Monagbor’s pride)
My New Characters
Quwin’go (Son -oldest- of Kusa and Cheasala, brother of Zariy, prince of Pride Rock)
Zariy (Zar-eye) (Son -youngest- of Kusa and Cheasala, brother of Quwin’go, prince of Pride Rock)
Kwennoir (Leader of zebra herd)
Medi (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd)
Kutu (Son of Medi)
Uhäki (Zebra, great spirit)
Baytamba (Once King of Pride Rock)
~Two New Ones~
The sun was up and bright, yet the air was frosty and cool. There were so many animals at Pride Rock. In the Kingdom, Aurora smiled down at two new cubs. One rested in the paws of its mother, the other, in the paws of its father. The lioness took some sand on her paw pad which faced upward, and sprinkled it upon each of the cubs. Then, she took some coconut juice and put it on both of their foreheads. After, she took both by their scruffs and walked slowly out to the tip of Pride Rock. There, she lifted both high at the very tip, while still standing on all fours. All the animals started to cheer and bow. The light from the clouds poured down on both the new heirs to Pride Rock. Seven lions appeared in the sky, looking down at the little lions and smiling. Down in the Pridelands and grasslands, there were even other lions from two different prides who bowed. It was all soon over.
Onay flew overhead. She squawked, then landed in front of the new Queen of Pride Rock. Bowing, the hornbill said respectfully, "Good morning, Mistress."
"Hi, Onay!" replied Cheasala happily.
"I take it Cry Shyla has taught you your ways in being the Queen."
"Yup," The lioness nodded proudly. "She taught me about the Circle of Life and how we are one. And that our Kingdom is everything the light touches and whatnot."
Chuckling, Onay then asked, "So, where is she? I’ve got news from the Boulder of Strength."
"Oh." Cheasala blinked and her ears lowered slightly because the majordomo had wanted the Cry to give the news to instead of her. "She’s in the Kingdom. The rock one that is." she joked.
"Thank you." Onay flew up to Shyla in the royal cave. "Shyla. Cry Shyla?"
"Yes?" Shyla yawned and got up, stretching. "What is it, Onay?"
"News from the Boulder of Strength…Actually, it’s good and bad news."
"Well, Baynarr has found a mate and they got married just a few months ago. Now they have a cub."
"But he never told you or anyone in your pride because of your past with him."
Frowning, Shyla nodded gravely. "Oh…yes. I can’t blame him." She sighed. "I guess that’s the bad news."
Shyla blinked. "Huh? Then what’s the bad news."
"Well…" Onay seemed hesitant. "It’s about your brother and his mate."
"What? What happened to them?" the white lioness questioned frantically.
"They’re…Well, they’ve passed."
Shyla gasped. "No…" Her ice blue eyes started to water. "He can’t have. They couldn’t have!"
"I’m sorry, Mistress. I received the news just yesterday. They had had a ceremony for them. It was a beautiful one—"
"They had the ceremony without me?!" Shyla was now outraged as she roared this. "He was my brother! And she was like my sister! I can’t believe them!"
"What’s wrong, Shyla?" Monagbor asked as he walked in the cave.
"They had the ceremony of my brother and sister’s death without me!"
Shyla and Onay explained, which angered Monagbor, too.
"That’s not right!" he snarled.
"Of course not!" Onay started for the entrance of the cave and called back. "I’ll tell them of your complaint."
She was about to take to flight when Shyla stepped gently upon her tail, stopping her. "No." said the lioness firmly. "I, myself, am going over there. I mean, I know Baynarr is mad, and he has a right to be. Timba and Larka and all of them do. But they don’t have the right to do this!"
Roaring again, Shyla stalked out of the cave. Monagbor followed.
"Hun, if you’re goin’, I’m goin’." he said as they started down the main pathway of Pride Rock.
"Fine." Shyla breathed.
"Where are you going, Mom?" asked Kusa, who now was walking beside them.
The mates and bird quickly explained to him, Cheasala and the rest of the pride. Many were somewhat angered by this, so they didn’t complain as their Gry and Cry went.
"Why do grandma and grandpa have to go?" a little cub asked as he came up by Kusa and Cheasala, who were now sitting at the tip of Pride Rock and watching Shyla and Monagbor go.
"Because," said Cheasala, who nuzzled her son. "They’ve got something t’ do."
"Like what?" asked another cub. He pounced beside his brother and parents.
"They’ve got a duty to their hearts is all, Zariy." his mother replied.
The first cub was named Quwin’go. He was a small cub of gold and brown, looking somewhat like his father. His brother was named Zariy, who was more pale, like his mother. He was the youngest of the two. They were twins.
"Well we should go help ‘em!" Quwin’go exclaimed, almost excitedly as he jumped up.
"Yeah!" agreed his brother. "C’mon, let’s go!"
As both cubs were about to take off, racing toward the pathway, both their parents grabbed them. Cheasala laid down and started to groom them as Kusa stood over them.
"Quwin’go, Zariy," he said. "This is something they must do themselves."
"Quite right," Onay said as she landed beside them.
"But what if they need help passing the lands or something?" cried Zariy, almost pleadingly now.
"They don’t need help," chuckled his mother.
Both lions huffed. Then a monkey came over to them happily. "’Ello, ello!" he said cheerfully. "What’s up?"
"Nothing, Corga." Kusa replied, smiling as the monkey leapt on his back and looked out to the grasslands.
"It’s beautiful here. Better than even my own tree!" Corga laughed.
"Yeah. We shouldn’t let anything happen to these lands." Cheasala agreed, but in a serious tone, which made her cubs’ heads tilt.
"Nope." said Kusa as he sat down to stare at his empire. "Nothing bad should ever happen here…"
Just a half hour later, Zariy and Quwin’go were on the edge of the main pathway of the Kingdom, right in a bowl of rocks where, in the middle was a little water puddle. The small lions sat on the edge of the rocks, pawing at the water and amusing themselves by making faces at the water and staring at their reflection.
"So when d’ ya think Mom and Dad are gonna tell us how to be the Kings?" asked Zariy. But when his big brother didn’t answer, he looked up and saw Quwin’go staring out into the grasslands. "What‘ch lookin’ at, Quwin?"
Quwin’go suddenly turned around and made a strange sound, like a cub snarl and replied, "I told you not to call me that!"
Smirking, Zariy went on, "Why not, Quwin?"
"Because if you don’t, Zary, you’re gonna be sorry!"
"Hey! My name’s not Zary! It’s Zariy!"
Right as Zariy was about to pounce his brother playfully, Quwin’go looked to the north in the grasslands once more, his tail tuff twitching.
"What are ya lookin’ at? Seriously." Zariy questioned again.
"About how we—or at least one of us, should go help Grandma and Grandpa."
Zariy pounced up and down suddenly. "Oo, oo," he meowed excitedly. "Me! Me!"
"Mom and Dad won’t let us…" Quwin’go whispered. Then he spoke up. "I’ve got an idea. But I’m going."
"Hey! How come you get to go?!"
"Because I’m oldest!" Quwin’go batted a paw at Zariy before they started to whisper to each other.
A few more minutes later, there was a cry in the distance. Cheasala and Kusa perked, before jumping up and running toward the noise, the pride right behind. Right on the side of Pride Rock, off the edge of the tip’s peak to the east, was Zariy, who was hanging from a rock.
"Mom! Dad! Help!" he cried helplessly, trying to keep from falling as he dug his claws into the rock.
"Zariy!" Cheasala yelled, frightened.
"Oh my goodness," said Onay to herself as she flew around.
"Just hold on, son!" Kusa yelled and he leaned over to grab his son by the scruff, just in time before he fell.
Purring soothingly, Kusa put the ball of pale fur down and everyone crowded around him, nuzzling him and asking him if he was all right.
"Oh Zariy!" said Cheasala. "You scared me t’ death!"
"I’m sorry, Mom." he meowed shamefully.
"Are you all right, kid?" asked Corga. The cub nodded.
Kusa then asked, "What were you doing there?"
"I-I was just following a flying bug. Then it landed on that ledge rock thingy and pounced there and got stuck."
"Well thank the gods you’re all right now!" Tayquwya said, relieved.
All of them were relieved. Yet they didn’t notice little Quwin’go, running off into the grasslands. He stopped at the place where Mufasa had told Simba about the Circle of Life when Simba was a cub. Smirking, Quwin’go looked back, then, went on, running south.
~Water in the Gorge~
Quwin’go looked around curiously. He was full of awe and wonder as his red eyes crawled throughout this strange place of monster rock walls of red. The cub had passed through the grasslands in the Pridelands. Later, he had come upon a great place called the gorge. The story of Simba had not yet been told to him, so he knew none of this ancient gorge’s history. But after he had found a ledge to climb down, he was just too excited.
As Quwin’go trotted farther west now, still in the gorge, he spotted a tree and a rock. It was the place Simba had been when he was cub when Scar had told him of the "surprise."
"This is so cool!" Quwin’go said to himself, happily.
But as he kept trotting, he didn’t noticed the sudden forming cracks in the rock walls. Soon, holes, too, started to appear, letting out spraying water. At the sound of this, Quwin’go tilted his head and looked behind him, right in time to see a great wave in the distance, that was racing toward him. His jaw dropped as he stood for a second in shock, watching the flooding water making its way closer to him. And then, he suddenly took off, running. For what seemed like hours—thought it was just a few minutes—the little lion ran as fast as he could, heart racing. He suddenly found an opening in the gorge on the side, leading north. Taking that rout led him to a dead end. He scrambled up the canyon wall furiously as the water came closer and closer. This was the place Simba had gone up from the hyenas after Mufasa’s death.
Right as the water hit the dead end and filled up the place, Quwin’go had made it to the top. Now he plopped down on his side, breathing heavily. After finding his breath, he stood up shakily and looked around, then gasped at what he saw; All the gorge and canyons were filled with water. It was like a giant rushing river. Thought it didn’t last long. As Quwin’go started east, taking his wrong turn and carefully making his way down the steep cliff Simba had ran down from the hyenas still chasing him, the water in the gorge soon all rushed away. It was left wet and dripping, though. Jumping off the lowest part of the cliff, Quwin’go kept moving on, through the sticker bushes.
~Telling of a Great Spirit~
"What?!" roared Kusa. "Where did your brother go, Zariy?!"
"Tell us!" Cheasala snarled.
Zariy remembered his brother’s word on not telling, yet the cub just curled up in a little fur ball and whined fearfully, cowering from his parents. Finally, he spoke up. "He went to go help Grandma and Grandpa!" he cried.
His parents gasped.
"I told him no!" Cheasala growled. "We’ve gotta go after him!"
"But he’s only trying to help!"
"Zariy." Cheasala looked down at her youngest and then sighed and softened. "Look," she said more gently now. "he could die. No young cub should be out there alone."
"I agree," said the majordomo at the entrance of the cave. "There are creatures out there that could do him, or any cub, harm."
"Well it looks like we’re on a cub hunt!" said Corga suddenly, who leaped on Kusa’s head. "What ‘d ya say, old pal?"
"Of course! He’s my son!" Kusa replied.
"Then it’s settled. All the pride will go out with us to look for him." Cheasala confirmed.
Kusa nodded, then said to the bird, "Onay, go out fly ahead. See if you can spot him."
Onay nodded before taking off into the evening sky.
"So I get to go?" asked Zariy hopefully.
Cheasala shook her head. "No. You and your brother have done enough help for now." she growled lowly, for he had told her about him distracting them. "You’ll stay here with Aurora."
Aurora suddenly came in. "What? Don’t wanna be around the shaman, eh?" She chuckled.
Kusa and Cheasala licked their son and thanked Aurora before heading out with their pride into the Pridelands.
Zariy sighed and plopped down, looking around with boredom.
"Hey," said Aurora. "Do you know why your brother went out to help?"
"Yeah." said the cub dryly. "Like ya just said, t’ help."
"Well, I mean, Rafiki, the old shaman, had once told me a story about a great animal here. In fact, he was the reason why we help each other today."
Zariy blinked and got up, now looking curiously at her. "Really?"
Aurora nodded. "At least, that’s what’s been told."
"Tell me!" squealed the cub.
"Heh, I haven’t told this to anyone yet. I don’t even know if ol’ Rafiki himself has. Of course, he can’t now." Aurora laughed and nuzzled the cub, before going on. "There was a an animal here, once, many many years ago. So many, you couldn’t even count. For this Kingdom and its family is old, and has been living for a long time. Now, this animal’s name was Uhäki. He was a great King."
"King? That means he was a lion."
"He wasn’t a lion."
"Then what was he?"
"Can you guess?"
"Wrong again. Uhäki was a zebra."
"How can a zebra be King?!" asked the cub, very surprised at this.
"He was such a great zebra, that the pride here, made him King. In fact, he was one of the first Kings. Though there were a couple before him. The one right before him had made him King, since he and his mate had not been able to produce a cub. It was not known why. Anyway, he had made this zebra King, because of his ways."
"Yup. His actions. His personality. His ways. Uhäki was very nice, and wanted to help everybody. Indeed he did help a lot. All the time. But the thing that really made him King, was the day the old King, Baytamba, had gotten stuck in a large pit near a water hole, full of crocks. No one heard his roars, for he was practically in the Outlands."
"No one heard him?"
"Nope. No one but Uhäki. The zebra trotted over and thought. Then said, ‘King Baytamba. You are in grave danger, and the only way I can see to help you is to give my own life.’ "Before the King stop him with his words, Uhäki cried out, and ran into the water, then swam to the other side of the water hole, where there, he let the crocodiles have him as their meal."
"What?! Then how did he become King?" asked Zariy.
Aurora answered, "Because it was his spirit that was respected and called King. One sun, Baytamba and his mate finally had a cub some how. They say it was the spirit of the King that helped them bear the cub. The cub was named after this zebra. When Uhäki the lion was full grown, he became King, which was the end of the days for Uhäki the zebra in the days of his King time."
"But how come the crocodiles even dared to harm the King?!"
The shaman shrugged. "Who knows. He was practically in the Outlands after all, where mostly no animals there are loyal the rulers in the Pridelands."
"I know. They should respect—"
"No," interrupted the cub. "I’m talking about the zebra and Baytamba. Baytamba shouldn’t have made him King, even if he did help. I mean, Uhäki’s just a zebra. That’s prey! And he’s not even a lion at all! It was stupid for him to help the King. I mean it was good, ‘cause he’s supposed to serve the King, but it was stupid, too."
"Why is that?"
"’Cause he’s different!"
Aurora sighed, shook her head and rolled her eyes, before replying, "One day, little one, you will understand it is not stupid to help." She paused. "Have your parents taught you about how we are one?"
Zariy blinked and then shook his head. "No."
"Well, one sun soon, they will."
The next day, Quwin’go awoke with a little cough. He got up and looked around to find that he was now over the gorge in the east, looking down at it. When he turned around, he saw that he was on the edge of a great valley that was circle with giant rocks of red, pale brown and gray. The grass was small and green and there was a river that flowed through this glen. It must’ve been the thing that had started the flood in the gorge when it got too filled and probably flooded the glen, too, which was wet and soaked and many trees near the rock walls had fallen. The whole encircled glen itself was upon a great ledge just over the gorge itself on one of its own highest walls. Where Quwin’go was standing right now was on a ledge of the circling bowl of rocks in an opening where the river came through as a small waterfall.
He carefully stumbled away from the falling river and slide down the circling rocks, then came down in the glen itself. It went a long way, for he could just barely make out the other part of the bowl of rocks on the edge of the glen, way in the distance, a hundred miles it seemed. One thing was for sure, that if he was to walk all the way there, it’d take at least one whole sun and one whole moon.
At first, Quwin’go got a drink from the river, and then started out, heading to the east. And then, a rumbling came. He looked to the south where a great herd of zebras was running toward him.
"Ahh!" he screamed and started to run away. But then, a zebra, which seemed like the leader of the herd, did a very unusual thing. He lifted the cub up by his scruff and started to carry him with the herd.
The herd stopped atop a grassy hill and the leader dropped him.
"That’s it!" cried a zebra. "That’s the chosen one!"
"Yes!" said another zebra. "It has to be!"
"I’m a he, not an it, thank you very much," corrected Quwin’go as he got up.
The zebras gasped at this as they all surrounded him.
"Is it?" asked another zebra to the leader.
"I told you, I’m a he!" the lion growled.
"He might be the chosen one," replied the leader. "He might be. I mean, he is, after all, the first lion here. And just a cub. Very unusual. Yes. This must be it!"
"HIM!" He got up and huffed, then asked, "What are you guys talkin’ about, anyway?"
"Little one," said the leader as he leaned down to look Quwin’go straight in the eyes. "You must be brave and face our lord, Uhäki."
"Huh? Who? And how do I do that? Why would I wanna?"
"Just close your eyes and relax. Feel one with the wind."
"Now you’re startin’ to talk like that old lioness shaman!"
"Just try it."
Grumbling, Quwin’go closed his eyes and tried to relax, trying to feel the wind. Suddenly, he heard the zebras chanting something in a different language, but he didn’t open his eyes. Most because of fright, for those strange, unfamiliar words gave him shivers that snaked down his spine slowly. Finally, something started to swirl up in his vision. At first, it was all black. And then, his eyes still closed, he saw a beautiful mixture of colors. They swirled around a bit as Quwin’go shivered, not only from the chants, but from the wind itself. Suddenly, the colors turned black and white, and they took the form of a zebra in the distance. It was running toward the cub, who gasped, and tried to open his eyes, but he couldn’t. Something, like his own soul he felt, was keeping them shut.
"What’s happening?!" he finally cried out.
Then the zebra in his vision spoke gently. "Little one, use your future powers to help others." it said. "And one day, it all will come back to you."
Suddenly Quwin’go opened his eyes and fell over. He got up and shook, then thought and said, "I saw a zebra! It told me something…to help others? Something stupid like that."
The other zebras gasped. "How dare you call our lord stupid!"
"I wasn’t calling him stupid," said the cub. "I was just calling what he said stupid!"
Another zebra screeched, "Stop saying that!"
The leader sighed and shook his mane. The nudged the cub with his nose. "The only way you will get out of here, is if you complete what he said. And the only way we can get out of here, is if you complete it."
"What? You mean I have to help others t’ get out of here! Pft, yeah right. I’m not staying! I’m getting out of here now!" Quwin’go growled tough like.
"OK." said the leader. "But…how?"
"Well that’s easy! I just go the way I came in!" He turned and gasped to see that the whole glen was closed up by the circling rock walls. Even the place where the river had fallen down in a waterfall was closed. "Hey! Where’d that opening go?"
"Lord Uhäki has put the beginning of our family here the day he died for King Baytamba. He said we had to learn our lessons in life and pass them on to others. Why he picked us, I do not know. But, he said, one day, our family will be free again, from the chosen one. The chosen one was of King Baytamba’s family." exclaimed the leader.
"Wait, why would he do this?"
"After King Baytamba and Lord Uhäki both died, zebras and lions looked to each other as enemies, more than just parts in the great Circle of Life. Yet I know they only eat our kind because they have to, and we only eat their grass because we need to."
"Well…it’s not my problem we can’t get along! I don’t even know why you’d want to if we’re just gonna eat you anyway!"
Once again, the zebras gasped. But the leader just shook his head and sighed gravely. "Fine. But it’s your problem that you’re stuck in here. Now, the only way to get out is to complete what the great spirit tells you."
"What? You mean I’m stuck in here with zebras?! Ah! I have a family! And I don’t want to be known as the lion who lived with zebras!"
But alas, the little cub quieted down. He found out the leader zebra’s name was Kwennoir. Most of the zebras were nice to him. Yet there was one named Irawh who didn’t much care for the cub. If ever Quwin’go got too close, the zebra would buck and kick and shake. He once even nipped him and kicked him. Kwennoir was not fond of this and so he sentenced Irawh to the other side of the hill for the night, away from the herd. In the morning, Irawh was even more irritable, and once charged after poor little Quwin’go. Suns and moons passed. Quwin’go had not found a way out. Irawh had been sentenced again, only this time, he was banished from the herd completely, and hand to stay on the other side of the whole glen.
"How do I do this?" asked Quwin’go to himself one day as he started to enter his adolescent years, for he was bigger than when he first came to this glen, and his mane started to sprout and grow. He new right away that it was totally black. How he survived here without eating zebras, was fishing in the lakes and river.
"Please, Lord Uhäki," he whispered. "Let me go…I miss my family."
Right then, the wind started to blow within the glen.
~Sadness and Explaining~
At Pride Rock, everyone was very saddened. Zariy always felt bad for this, and always blamed himself for his brother’s disappearance. When Shyla and Monagbor returned, they, too, felt grief as they were nervous for their grandson, for they had not seen him. When they told Cheasala and Kusa, the pride and King and Queen really started to become nervous and said. But it was Zariy who mostly beat himself up for it.
"Why did I let this happen?" he asked himself gravely as he sat at the tip of Pride Rock, looking at the grasslands. The wind blew in his face. He, too, was now an adolescent. And after those many suns, he still couldn’t get this thought out of his mind; that he was the one who let his brother die. "If I hadn’t gone along with his plan…" He lowered his head and sighed.
"It’s all right," said Aurora gently as she padded up to him and sat beside the teen.
"No. It’s not all right." he replied.
"What I mean is, it’s not your fault." She nuzzled him and sighed. "It was the spirit of Uhäki who brought him to this. To try and help his grandparents."
"Enough with this Uhäki thing!" Zariy suddenly said, growling and standing up. "You and I both know it’s just a legend! No. It was me who let him go. It was me who let him die."
He turned around and started for the cave when Kusa suddenly showed up in front of him. "Look son," he said. "Your brother isn’t here and…Well, I thought I was going to do this earlier. In fact, I was going to the day he…" He trailed off and then sighed. "Anyway, you’re the only one left now to rule the Kingdom. And I haven’t taught you how to be King yet. So c’mon up."
Kusa nodded to a path passed the royal cave on the side of Pride Rock that led around to its back and up to the very top. A small, very faint grin appeared on Zariy’s face. This was the day he had been waiting for for a long time. He thought this would be a time when all knowledge of life was revealed.
Slowly, father and son made their way up to the top. They sat, side by side, staring at the Pridelands.
"Son," Kusa started. "Everything exists in a delicate balance…"
He explained to him about the great Circle of Life and how they are one. About the Pridelands and animals and subjects. About how to hunt and how to rule. About what his Kingdom and empire was. About how the great Kings and Queens of the past are the stars. And then, when it was all over, Zariy couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed, for he had expected this and more. And, to hear it all with his brother, which he knew wouldn’t happen. Later that day, a mixture of sorrow and excitement swept over Zariy, for, though he still grieved about Quwin’go, his parents took him out into the grasslands to teach him how to hunt.
~Moving of the Land~
One day, as Quwin’go was sitting upon a grassy hill, he watched his herd running by. Yes, his herd, for they had accepted him in, and he, too, accepted himself in. He was watching them almost sadly, his black mane waving in the breeze. And then, as the zebras stopped to drink at a lake, the ground started to shake and rumble.
"What the…" Quwin’go started.
But as the zebras cried out frantically, the lion gasped and looked under him as a great crack in the ground formed. He jumped to the side quickly as it grew into a vertical hole. But there were many more cracks in the ground, and even in the rock circle. All about the ground started to rise and fall, cracking and breaking apart.
The zebras and lion were mostly toward the northeastern most part of the glen. Suddenly, the ground started to break so much, that there was a large hole, about half a mile long, and so deep, no one could see where it lead. The ground kept moving and shaking as most zebras managed to make it the side without falling in. But Quwin’go gasped as he saw Irawh screeching out and rearing up upon one part of land that hadn’t fallen. Yet it was the only piece of land within the hole. Quickly, Quwin’go spotted a ledge on the northeastern most part of the glen’s rock wall and he leapt there, digging his claws desperately into the rock. He looked down to where the zebra was, and, after a moment of hesitation, he jumped from the ledge to the left where there was a single tree standing alone an the outer part of the hole where there was still land beside the rock wall. The lion had landed on it, and it was already tipping over, so when he landed, i t fell over to make a bridge from the wall, to the edge of the gap of land. As everything still shook, Quwin’go jumped to the small piece of land where Irawh still was. Without any words, the zebra jumped to the tree and made it. He ran over it to the edge of the gap and Quwin’go leapt back to follow him. And then, when they were both about to get on solid—though still shaking—land, the tree started to fall slightly. Irawh reared up and then quickly climbed atop Quwin’go and got out onto land. He turned around, blinked at the lion, but then ran off, not bothering to help. Quwin’go, though, managed to get out.
Now he ran after Irawh, who was trying to find the herd. But the earthquake went on. Suddenly, Irawh fell into a crack in the ground. Quwin’go stopped and thought, but he dug his claws into the zebra’s lower legs, right above the hoofs, and pulled managed to pull him up right before the land pressed together and literally would’ve squished the zebra.
At last, the earthquake stopped.
"Is everyone all right?" called Kwennoir.
Everyone nodded shakily in response. Then, they all gasped.
"He did it!" cried a zebra, amazed.
"We can get out!" another one said.
"Quwin’go!" Kwennoir said to the lion.
"Yeah?" the lion said, getting up slowly and shakily.
"Quwin’go you did it! You completed Lord Uhäki’s words! Now we can get out!"
"How? What did I do?"
"Look behind you!"
Blinking, Quwin’go turned around and gasped, seeing an opening the northeastern part of the circle of rocks. Though they’d have to climb two miles up to get to it.
"Because you saved an enemy, Uhäki finally let us go!" said one zebra.
"Huh?" Quwin’go questioned.
"Irawh! We saw what you did! You helped Irawh out, twice! Even after he left you!"
Quwin’go growled lowly at Irawh, who now stood, but said nothing as he looked blankly at the lion and herd.
At last, Kwennoir said, "Well, now that this is over, we can move on!"
They cheered, and then, everyone started up the slopes and edges of the rock wall. As they started, Quwin’go glanced behind him and spotted a zebra who’s head hang low.
Walking over, he asked, "What is it, Medi?"
The zebra named Medi looked up and said, almost crying, "It’s my colt, Kutu. I saw him be pulled away by a cracking piece of land. Now I don’t know where he is!" She started to cry. "I’m not even sure if he’s still al…" she trailed off and continued to cry.
Slowly, Quwin’go took a paw and lifted up the zebra’s chin to stare her in the eyes. "It’s all right, Medi. What you need to do is go on with your herd, out of this glen and live a new, free life. A happy one. I’ll stay here and search for your colt. When I find him, we’ll travel together out into the wide grasslands and track ya down."
After a few more moments of sobbing, Medi nodded. "But how could you do something like this? Don’t you want to get out of this place and go back home to a great family and Kingdom and live free? Live the predator life you once lived and always dreamed of living and hunting. Live like the predator you are and want to be instead of with us zebras?"
Quwin’go nodded. "Indeed I will go home. But this can wait. Besides, your herd already is almost out of the glen." He glanced up to where the zebras were disappearing within an opening to the grasslands. "They’ll want you with ‘em. And you will be safer with them, and Kutu will be safer with me once we’re outta here. After all, many other predators are much more likely to go after a colt and his mother without the herd, verses a colt with an adult lion."
So, after more convincing, Medi agreed. She traveled out with her herd while Quwin’go stayed behind, searching.
And so Quwin’go, out of freewill, stayed behind, and searched for the colt named Kutu. All day he did, in the ravaged glen. Most of the land had pulled together to become solid again, but there were many holes and cracks here and there. And a great part of the northeastern wall had fallen from where it opened up at the top. For one good sun Quwin’go searched nonstop. Finally, when the moon rose, he felt tired, and rested at a water hole and drank up thirstily. And then, he heard a rustling in a nearby bush.
"Who’s that?" Quwin’go asked. "C’mon, speak up. Show yourself. I’m not afraid."
He stood up, fur bristling as he stared at the bush. And then…a little zebra stumbled out it. He looked wearily at Quwin’go.
"Quwin’go!" he called and collapsed.
"Kutu!" Quwin’go got up and ran over to the colt. "Just lie here and rest."
Gently, the lion took the colt’s neck in his mouth as if he was carrying a baby lion instead of prey, and started to drag him to the water hole. There, he let the colt still lay and drink.
"Where’s Mama and the herd?" Kutu then asked.
"Kutu, they’re already out in the grasslands. Free."
"You mean, you opened up a way out of here?!" he squealed in excitement. Quwin’go nodded. "How?" the zebra questioned.
"By saving an enemy, Irawh."
Kutu gasped and his eyes widened. So, the lion told the zebra what happened. Then he told him of his and his mother’s plans. "But right now," Quwin’go said, finishing up as he yawned with a joined in roar. "We should get some sleep. In the morning we’ll head out and I’ll introduce you to the grasslands."
In the morning, they climbed up the rock wall. Quwin’go gave one last glance at the glen, which had once been his home for years, and most of his life. He sighed, then looked back at the grasslands and sighed again, only this time with relief. A smile grew on his face.
"C’mon," he said to the young zebra, and they both climbed down the other side of the rock bowl, down the grasslands. There, in the savanna, the two traveled for awhile. Actually, for two more suns and two more moons they did.
(Grasslands to Pridelands)
On the third sun, Kutu and Quwin’go drank from a water hole. They looked about then, still excited for what lay ahead. Suddenly, they heard a twig snap, and Quwin’go turned around to see a single lioness standing just a few yards away, and staring at them.
"You gonna eat that?" she asked.
Kutu scrambled behind Quwin’go fearfully.
"No." replied the lion. That was all he said as they started on.
The next day, the lioness was still with them, for she had been following them.
"Why do you travel around with that piece of meat and yet you don’t plan on eating him?" she asked.
"Leave us be." growled Quwin’go, but the lioness was determined.
On the fifth sun, Kutu’s herd was discovered near a water hole. They met up and Medi seemed in tears. She had trouble, but thanked Quwin’go through her joyful sobbing. With the herd reunited, Quwin’go stood proudly and looked at them all.
"I must be on my way to my own home and family now." he said, gravely.
"Have a good time," said Kwennoir. "We will miss you much. And we thank you for all that you have done. May Uhäki’s spirit be with you."
Quwin’go nodded and bowed. "And you. All of you." He straightened up and turned around, then, looked back over his shoulder. "But I must warn you of the dangers out here, for there are many. Like the strong leopard, the swift cheetah, the hungry hyena, and even the fearful lions themselves. But, around me, be at peace, for I, and no one in my pride will dare to harm you, I will make sure of that. Farewell, friends. Farewell, family…Farewell." With that, Quwin’go took off in a run to the south, toward his home.
"I heard all that you said!" someone called. It was the same lioness. She then came up, running gracefully beside the anxious Quwin’go. "It was nice. Though I don’t know how you could’ve possibly made friends or even family with prey."
"Long story." Quwin’go replied, panting. "Soon I will get to my lands, and you will have to leave."
"Real shame. I was starting to enjoy you, even if I just met you a second ago."
"We haven’t met yet. I don’t even know your name."
"My name?" The lioness chuckled. "My name is Thuraia."
The next sun, Quwin’go made it to the northern borders of the Pridelands. He stood for a moment, not breathing or blinking as he stared at the distant Pride Rock. And then, he took off again in a run. But Thuraia still followed.
"I warn you, lioness, that my pride is strong. It can harm any who dare to harm us." Quwin’go growled lowly.
"I don’t want any trouble," Thuraia replied.
"Then stop following me."
"I simply wish to find out more of a lion such as yourself."
"Such as myself?" Quwin’go raised a brow as the lioness nodded.
"Yeah! You’re much different than any other lion I have ever met. It makes me very curious."
They said nothing more as they kept on running.
~The Spirit of Uhäki~
(Pride Rock to Pridelands to Pride Rock)
"Are you sure?" Cheasala asked frantically.
"Yes, Mistress! Very sure! I saw them myself!" Onay screeched.
Onay had been flying around when she spotted Quwin’go.
"Well then what are we waiting for? C’mon!" Kusa roared.
And he led the pride down the main pathway into the Pridelands. Onay flew overhead, Corga sat on the King’s back, and Shyla and Monagbor ran behind their son and daughter-in-law.
"Oh yeah! We finally got the new King back!" Corga said happily, yet they hadn’t even seen Quwin’go yet.
For awhile they ran. Even passed the Tree of Life. Aurora was busy making the manes on Zariy and Quwin’go when she saw them pass. She blinked, then leapt from the tree and followed.
"Stop following me!" roared Quwin’go.
But Thuraia just giggled and sat next to him. As they sat there, the lioness smirked and the lion glared. But then, something happened. There was a loud cry, and suddenly a large zebra was charging at them.
"What the hell?!" Thuraia roared, then laughed. "It’s dinner!"
Quwin’go gasped, then said, "No, Thuraia, that’s not just any zebra. That’s Irawh!"
And then Thuraia took off into the grass to crouch down low as Irawh made his way to Quwin’go. The lion took a step to the side, letting the zebra pass, who then turned around and reared up to cry out, "I will never be a part of a herd again! I will probably die out here! And that’s all because of you!"
The zebra’s eyes were flashing with rage. Such rage, Quwin’go had never seen before. And then, the zebra, kicked one of his giant front hoofs into the lion’s face. The lion fell back with a loud snarl or pain. He got up.
"I don’t want to fight you, Irawh!"
"That’s because you know you’ll lose! You know you’re not good enough to be in my presence!"
The zebra kicked him again.
"Oh my God, this zebra’s senile." Thuraia whispered to herself. "He really isn’t just any zebra."
But then the lioness leapt out from the long grass and landed on Irawh’s back. The zebra cried out and bucked, but Thuraia dug her claws into him. The zebra ran around, bucking and rearing up and crying out, trying to get the lioness off. Finally, she was thrown off. Her head hit a stone and she was out cold.
"Thuraia!" cried Quwin’go.
But Irawh rammed into the lion. He was pushed over on his back. The zebra was about to stomp him, when he rolled over so that the hoofs met the ground instead. Quwin’go got up and roared, then slashed the zebra.
"You will be my first zebra after the glen!" Quwin’go roared.
For some reason, he felt so outraged about Irawh hurting Thuraia, that Quwin’go felt as if he could kill him.
So, the two fought. It was a very unusual fight; prey against predator. It doesn’t sound unusual, but it was since the prey had picked the fight in the first place. Quwin’go roared, bit, slashed and sometimes pounced. Irawh reared, bucked, kicked and nipped. Once, Quwin’go thought he had Irawh as he was now on his back. But in a split second, Quwin’go was rolled over and laid on his back again. This time, his tail got stuck in a small hole in the ground. As he tried to get up, Irawh cried out and reared again, glaring down at the now helpless lion. Quwin’go gasped, but then another zebra suddenly pushed Irawh over, just in time.
Now both zebras reared and cried out, but the zebra who had pushed Irawh over, kicked him in the face. Suddenly, Irawh lowered down and started to make strange sounds, as if whimpering. He felt weak and then, he took off, running. The zebra snorted, his nostrils flared. Then he looked to Quwin’go, before suddenly vanishing in thin air, like a candle flame would. Then, he fell asleep suddenly.
As Quwin’go awoke, he looked up and saw Thuraia. She was grooming him. He blinked.
"What happened?" he asked, weakly.
"I don’t know," replied Thuraia. "You were right, though. He isn’t like any zebra."
For awhile, the lioness kept grooming the lion. They purred. Now, Quwin’go noticed how beautiful Thuraia really was. She was a light orange/gold color, like Kiara. Feelings Quwin’go had never felt before rushed over him and he suddenly licked the lioness.
"Quwin’go!" someone called in the distance.
The two lions perked and saw a pride of lions, along with a monkey and bird, coming near.
"My family!" Quwin’go got up and ran to them.
They all nuzzled. This was such a great moment for them, it’s hard to explain. So let’s fast forward to the part where they all get back to Pride Rock, including Thuraia.
"Zariy?" Quwin’go whispered as he noticed his brother who was laying at the tip of Pride Rock. Quwin’go pawed him. Zariy had been the only one who hadn’t gone out to meet Quwin’go, for he had been sleeping. As he looked down at him, Quwin’go saw that Zariy was still pale, and now his mane was a light gold.
"Huh?" Zariy opened his eyes. He blinked, bewildered as he looked up at his brother. "Quwin’go!" he cried, jumping up and nuzzling his brother. "What happened? Where were you? Are you OK? How are you alive? How’d you get here?!"
"Enough with the questions," Quwin’go said, then laughed. "I’ll tell ya."
That night, the family gathered around in the royal cave. Quwin’go and Thuraia laid by each other as Quwin’go told his story.
"What? But Aurora told me the story of Uhäki or whatever!" said Zariy, more surprised than ever.
"Perhaps it’s true then," suggested Cheasala.
Shyla whispered, "Maybe."
"Oh my," said Onay.
"That would be so cool!" bellowed Corga.
"But, Aurora," said Kusa. He turned to the shaman. "Tell us the story of Uhäki."
So, she did.
"Now this isn’t as confusing!" cried Quwin’go after she was done. "Well, not as much."
Some lionesses giggled.
"So then," said Monagbor. "Was it a spirit that he saw? That rescued him and Thuraia?"
"I still don’t know how you were almost beat by a lion." grumbled Zariy.
"Hush," Cheasala snapped.
"Hey now," said Thuraia as she pawed at Zariy playfully. "That’s not your average zebra!"
There was more laughter.
That night, they all huddled together in the cave.
The next day, Zariy and Quwin’go were sitting side by side on the very top of Pride Rock. Kusa was making his way up.
"So…who’s King?" asked Quwin’go.
"What d’ ya mean? We’re both Kings now. Like it was gonna be all along." Zariy replied happily, tail swishing.
"I hope Dad gets here soon. I’m dyin’ t’ find out more about life and this King stuff and all."
"It’s not as much information as you’d think!" laughed Zariy.
"Heh. Oh well."
"Yeah…" Zariy thought, then asked, "So you were really friends with zebras?"
"Yeah, like family. Why?"
"Well…I see now that we really are one and it’s not stupid."
"What’s not stupid?"
"Never mind." Zariy shook his head. "Ya know, Mom and Dad need t’ teach ya how to hunt. After that, tonight, Aurora’s gonna catch ya up on the past generations and whatnot."
"Well it’s better than ya think. Simba’s pretty cool."
"Yeah, I’d like t’ hear about the past all right." He yawned. "You know what?" Quwin’go said.
"What?" Zariy replied, smirking.
"I know we’re gonna be Kings ‘n all…and I think I know who one of the Queens is gonna be."
"Huh? You don’t mean…"
"No way! Just met her!"
"Yeah but," Quwin’go went on. "There’s something about her. I mean, after the fight, she was actually taking care of me and whatnot. And before then, when the zebra attacked her, I felt an urge to protect and avenge."
"Hopefully that’s not fatherlyness you’re talkin’ about!"
They laughed as Kusa came up with Cheasala.
"I can’t believe you’re actually here, Uhäki," Quwin’go whispered to the wind. "Thanks."
A voice came into Quwin’go’s head. It was Aurora’s, and she was telling about Uhäki. The exact words from what she said about him yesterday. "Uhäki is a great spirit. It’s said that he’s the reason the meanest person and the nicest can get along, and help each other. It’s said he’s the one to have brought most kindness to the world…" Her voice faded. "Thanks." he whispered again as the wind blew in his face and he closed his eyes, his mane waving wildly. "Thank you."
By Baby Fire Wolf