Hunter with the Hunted:

 

 

What Happened to Quwin’go

 

 

 

This story takes place during The Lion King IIX: The Spirit of Uhäki. It’s supposed to be what happened to Quwin’go when he was actually living with the zebras. It’s quite long, but I thought there wasn’t enough information in my eighth lion king. This also tells a little more about the part in the story where it says, "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.’" for those of you who didn’t quite get that. This whole story is pretty much like the one it was born from (TLK 8: TSOU), just more detailed and taking place in the glen with the zebras, and less of what’s happening outside.

 

 

 

Note: The characters Quwin’go, Zariy, Uhäki, Thuraia, Kwennoir, Irawh, Icawh, Medi, Kutu (both), Baytamba, Mpenzi, Lateefah, Jiri, Wengel, Desta and Ashur 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 if you would like to say anything about the stories. The characters, Simba, Mufasa, Scar, Kiara and Kovu have been created by Disney.

 

 

 Warning: You won’t get this if you haven’t read my other story, The Lion King IIX: The Spirit of Uhäki. You should also read my other stories first, 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, The Lion King VII: Kusa and Cheasala, The Lion King IIX: The Spirit of Uhäki and The Lion King IIX: The Falling Stars (all three parts) but you don’t have to. 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, I just made it up. It is, though, as I’ve said, based during The Lion King IIX: The Spirit of Uhäki.

 

 

 

Chapters/Scenes

 

 

1. Zebras (Glen)

 

2. Predator and Prey (Glen to Jungle to Glen)

 

3. Meetings of the Foals (Glen to Flaming Pits)

 

 

4. Irawh (Flaming Pits)

 

5. Hormones (Flaming Pits to Glen)

 

6. Hunter Hunted (Glen to Jungle to Flaming Pits to Glen)

 

7. Savior (Glen)

 

 

Characters

 

Original Characters from Disney

 

 

Simba (Once King of Pride Rock, son of Mufasa and Sarabi, father of Kiara, mate of Nala)

 

Mufasa (Once King of Pride Rock, mate of Sarabi, father of Simba)

 

Scar (Once King -evil- of Pride Rock)

 

Kiara (Once Queen of Pride Rock, mate of Kovu, daughter of Simba and Nala, mother of Mangel and Shyla)

 

Kovu (Once King of Pride Rock, mate of Kiara, son of Zira, father of Mangel and Shyla)

 

 

My 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)

 

Irawh (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd)

 

Medi (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd)

 

Kutu (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd, son of Medi)

 

Thuraia (Lone lioness)

 

Uhäki (Zebra, great spirit)

 

Baytamba (Once King of Pride Rock)

 

 

My New Characters

 

 

Lateefah (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd, mother of Mpenzi)

 

Mpenzi (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd, son of Lateefah)

 

Desta (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd)

 

Wengel (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd, older brother of Jiri)

 

Jiri (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd, younger sister of Wengel)

 

Ashur (Zebra shaman in Kwennoir’s herd)

 

Icawh (Zebra in Kwennoir’s herd, father of Irawh)

 

 

One

 

 

~Zebras~

 

(Glen)

 

 

~~~ This takes place right after cub Quwin’go is running from the flood in the gorge. ~~~

 

 

 

 The sun was shining greatly, and came over in a warm blanket upon a small lion cub; Quwin’go. 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 to saw that he was on the edge of a great valley that was encircled 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 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 slid 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 for sure, was that if he were 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, then started out, heading to the east. Suddenly, 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, shaken a bit.

 

 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. Mostly 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, defensively. "I was just calling what he said stupid!"

 

Another zebra screeched, "Stop saying that!"

 

The leader sighed and shook his mane. Then 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 had 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, by 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!" …

 

~~~

 

The little cub had alas, quieted down. He laid by the river, batting his paws at the flowing water. It caused him to shiver, but Quwin’go didn’t mind as he saw the reflection suddenly appear above him of a zebra. It as the leader of the zebras.

 

"My name is Kwennoir." he said solemnly. "I’m sorry we got off to a bad start. So let us start it over, for Uhäki would want that."

 

It had only been an hour after Quwin’go had stumbled into this valley.

 

 Quwin’go sat up and blinked at Kwennoir. "I’m Quwin’go. Don’t ever call me Quwin. It’s what my brother does. I hate it."

 

Kwennoir chuckled. "Oh, you have a brother?"

 

The cub nodded. "His name is Zariy."

 

"Well, Quwin’go, would you like to attend a meeting tonight at the flame bowl?"

 

"What’s the flame bowl?"

 

"It’s an ancient pit in the ground, but it’s always covered in flames."

 

Tilting his head, Quwin’go asked, "Why?"

 

"Some say it’s because Uhäki himself put them there. But we’re not really sure."

 

"Hmmm…well why would I wanna go to a meeting?"

 

"It’s something very special. We adult zebras, and the higher ones in ranking, such as me, the leader and others, like the ones we call Watchers, come and do this once every full moon. We talk about the heard, and the coming of Og’niwuq."

 

"Who’s Og’niwuq?"

 

"Well, for many years, in fact, all the time our family has stayed here, all the generations of this heard have been talking about and telling about Og’niwuq, who would be our savior. The chosen one."

 

Quwin’go lifted a brow. "But I’m the chosen one at Pride Rock. I can’t be here. Besides, you said so yourself, that the chosen one was named Og’niwuq."

 

"Did I?"

 

"YES!"

 

"No." the zebra stated very calmly. "That’s just what we called him. But alas, here you are. Our savior. The chosen one. Og’niwuq."

 

"Quwin’go." meowed the cub, crouching low now.

 

 "Anyway, the meetings are very special. Twelve times a year. Pretty rare. The thing is, like I said, only zebras in high rankings are allowed to go. And in that, adults. That’s why you’d be pretty looked up to from the foals." He chuckled.

 

"Aren’t I already because I’m ‘Og’niwuq’?" Quwin’go spat, sarcastically. But that just made Kwennior’s smile grow. "Besides, I don’t care if I’m impression zebras, and babies at that. They’re—you’re all just prey. I should be with lions. I don’t care about going to a stupid meeting with my dinner surrounding me."

 

~~~

 

At night, Kwennoir found Quwin’go still at the river. The cub hadn’t talked to anyone all that day. He was too mad and sad to get up and talk, even when others came over to try and arouse a conversation. He always just ignored them. Quwin’go, though, wouldn’t ever dream of the feelings he would experience later in life.

 

"Quwin’go," said Kwennoir. "It’s time."

 

Quwin’go hadn’t said yes to going to the meeting, in fact, he didn’t want to. But, there was something in Kwennoir’s stern voice that caused the cub to get up and follow the zebra, though he was glaring at the ground, ears folded back and tail low. He huffed at the foals he passed.

 

Finally, they came to a place away from most of the zebras. It was night, and so it was dark about, but the environment changed rapidly, growing warmer and lighter as Quwin’go and Kwennoir reached the bowl of flames. It was just a bowl of dirt, really, that surrounded many dancing crimson flames that licked the crisp air of the night. Each zebra—there were only about ten—was lying down, staring at the stars. Kwennoir laid by his herd, and the cub joined in. For awhile, they talked about things like the stars, and how they were the great spirits of the past. Quwin’go never mentioned the stories his mother and father used to tell him and Zariy, for he felt too pained, and so never talked during the first part of the meeting. But the council went on, and he even started to listen more as he heard what Watchers were; five of the zebras who looked out for the herd, mostly watching for either enemies that might find their way into the glen, or, watching for Og’niwuq. Finally, the meeting was over.

 

 

Two

 

 

~Predator and Prey~

 

(Glen Jungle to Glen)

 

 

 

"Mama! Mama!" someone cried, now waking up Quwin’go.

 

 

It was the next day, and the cub was just getting up, by the river again. At first, his sight was blurry, until he shook. And then, he gasped, just noticing the little colt who was staring at him.

 

 "Mama!" the colt called again.

 

"Stop crying out ‘Mama!’!" Quwin’go said, but when he said ‘Mama’ he had done it in a mocking kind of way.

 

"Sorry," and the colt giggled.

 

"Why, hello there." the colt’s mother replied warmly, walking slowly over to the cub, who looked back up at her. "I am Lateefah. This is my colt, Mpenzi."

 

"Yeah? Well tell him t’ get a life!" Quwin’go remarked, standing up, glaring at both the zebras.

 

"Hey!" Mpenzi neighed out, but his mother only snorted and trotted away. With one last glance, her son followed.

 

As the little lion sat down, glaring at the ground, tail curling around himself, two zebras from afar were staring at him.

 

"I don’t know what you see in him," exclaimed one.

 

"He is the one. I know it. I can feel it." That one was Kwennoir.

 

His companion sighed, but nodded. "If this is what you really think, then OK, my leader."

 

~~~

 

At a water hole in the glen, many foals were frolicking about, splashing and having fun. Because the glen, though huge, was much smaller than the savanna, and the zebras, especially the young, had always found ways to have fun, including in the water.

 

It had been about a week after Quwin’go had stumbled upon this place. Within that time, he had survived off of bugs, though he much rather have had the great taste of meat once more. Sometimes he’d even lay down in the long grass and stare at the herd, tail twitching and eyes wide, ready for anything…ready for the move. But of course, being only one lion, and a cub at that, he never did anything. He instead, spent his time practicing his hunts on the grub itself.

 

"Hey, wanna play?" cried a little zebra happily. It was Mpenzi.

 

 "Play with you? Why’d I want t’ play with zebras?" he asked, sitting up by the edge of the water hole.

 

 Mpenzi walked over as the other foals kept splashing and crying out in joy. "Well…because," the striped creature finally replied after a few moments. "You have no one else to play with."

 

"I don’t need anyone else." declared Quwin’go strongly, acting the way Kovu had when he had been telling Kiara about how he didn’t need anybody. "I can take care of myself and I do. But when it comes to playing, I say, ‘Pft. Who needs to play? Just cubs,’ and in your case, foals." He never mentioned all the playing he had done with his brother.

 

"Well, that’s not very fun."

 

 "Or is it?" Quwin’go snorted. "I prefer hunting. It’s my thing."

 

With that, Quwin’go started off toward the forest on the southwestern most part of the valley. It was like a miniature jungle.

 

 "Ooooh, we’re not supposed to go there." Mpenzi said wearily, following the lion.

 

"Pft, who cares?" Quwin’go replied over his shoulder. "Besides, you might not be able to, but I am. I don’t follow your herd’s rules. Why would I obey prey?"

 

And he disappeared into the trees. Glancing around cautiously, Mpenzi dipped into the small jungle as well.

 

 "C’mon," he said, stumbling over roots and fallen logs, pushing through bushes. "I’ll let you practice your hunting on me if we go back."

 

But Quwin’go was enjoying himself.

 

 "Shh," he said quietly, crouching down, and Mpenzi did the same with a gasp. There was a rustling in the bushes nearby, and a deep growl. As horrified as the colt was, the cub was very anxious. Suddenly, a great flutter of bats came from a hidden cave. "Just flying rats!" Quwin’go spat, watching them, though he couldn’t help a grin grow on his face.

 

 "We scared ‘em…they’re usually awake at night, Mama says,"

 

"So what, ‘Nzi?" Quwin’go replied, now walking along again. "I—Whoa—!"

 

"Quwin’go!" cried Mpenzi, horrified.

 

At first, Quwin’go was too shocked to do anything as he was pounced by a tiger. But, within moments, he got up, and watched the striped cat circle him, growling. He breathed shallowly, before taking off in the bushes. But the tiger, instead of going for the cub, looked back at Mpenzi and smirked. It started toward the colt, shoulder blades moving under its great fur. The colt backed up slowly, jaw dropped, giving frightened noises occasionally.

 

 Quwin’go sat near, in a bush, watching with some amusement, his eyes bright. He would be like a young, light Scar watching with awe as Mufasa struggled in the stampede to rescue Simba. But still, as the cub was young, and inexperienced, this expression was ment only for prey, and so it wasn’t dark.

 

"Go help him," something or someone whispered in the wind, that strangely blew in the jungle, into Quwin’go’s face. He watched as Mpenzi gave a cry and turned around to stumble/run through the forest, the tiger taking off right behind him. Right then, as something had whispered to him, Quwin’go felt presence and, as he shivered, he took off, too, running after his friend.

 

"Hey!" he finally cried out as he ran, trying to catch his breath, though the tiger and zebra weren’t in his sight anymore much of the time, as mostly bushes separated them from his limited view. "Leave…my…friend…alone!" he said, breathlessly. "Why don’t…you pick on someone…your own size!"

 

With that, the tiger stopped, causing Quwin’go to run into its back legs.

 

"Liiike you?" the tiger replied, turning around with a smirk, looking darkly down at the cub who gasped and started to back up.

 

 "Er…wasn’t really thinking that, ‘cause ya know I’m a lot smaller and…" he kept saying cheekily, now lying on his back as the tiger glared down at him.

 

The tiger raised his right front paw, claws extended, and, as he roared out, he slashed it down, only to have it break into a bush, Quwin’go scrambling away. He had luckily dodged, just in time. For a few moments, it was a chase. Carnivore after carnivore, and yet for once, Quwin’go experienced being the prey.

 

"AHHH!" he screamed, the tiger just on his tail.

 

And then, the cub crawled quickly under a root that came over the ground, causing the tiger, who had also tried to climb under, to get stuck. For a minute or two, as the tiger scratched the ground ruthlessly, trying to escape, Quwin’go leapt over a log. That was when the tiger finally, with a tremendous roar that shot through the jungle, broke the whole root and was about to jump over the log, too. But, he stopped just as Quwin’go had taken a branch in his paws and pulled it back and let it go, almost smacking the tiger hard in the face.

 

"HA!" the tiger laughed out, though he had done it too soon as a branch from above the tree fell on his head.

 

 As great cat fell, out cold, Quwin’go took that chance and ran as fast as he could, back to the glen.

 

 He suddenly—after about five minutes—jumped out from the jungle’s edge in the southwest. The cub rolled down a small hill of dirt after springing from the bushes. For a moments, he lay on the ground, groaning and then, opening his eyes, he heard voices.

 

"Mama, we had gone in there and he’s gone now!"

 

 Quwin’go knew immediately that it was Mpenzi. But he heard other voices, too, and his stomach churned as he knew they were the herd, including Kwennoir. Putting his two front paws, one at a time, up on the dirt hill, he peeked to the east to see them a few yards away, standing at the edge of the forest, all gathered around, talking worriedly.

 

"I’ll go in, Lord Kwennoir." a great zebra suddenly declared. He stepped up, looking proud as he stood tall, black mane and tail waving in the air wildly. The zebra was huge, and he snorted, about to go in.

 

"No." Kwennoir said simply. "We’ll wait a few minutes and if he doesn’t—"

 

"I’m right here," meowed Quwin’go after gulping and getting the nerve to walk slowly over, tail and ears low.

 

"Quwin’go!" Mpenzi cried happily.

 

"What happened, dear?" Lateefah asked gently.

 

"Mama, we ran out into the jungle to play and—" the colt started.

 

"Why don’t you let Quwin’go tell us his story, please, Mpenzi, as you have already told us?" his mother suggested.

 

A few of the zebras nodded in agreement as the all surrounded the cub in a circle.

 

"Er, um…" Quwin’go started. At first, he was panicking and then, he thought of something and smirked to himself, exclaimed calmly, "Why, Mpenzi, what are you talking about?" He turned to the adults as Mpenzi looked puzzled. "It’s true, we went near the jungle, but not in it. We were playing near the edge of the trees when Mpenzi fainted. I went to go tell someone and he must’ve woken up when I was gone, thinking I had gone in."

 

"But he said you both went in." stated the big zebra who had offered to go in and rescue Quwin’go.

 

 For some reason, that zebra made him flinch, so Quwin’go had to look away before shrugging and replying, "Probably dreaming."

 

Lateefah snorted and looked at Mpenzi. "Is this true?"

 

"Er…" Mpenzi looked at Quwin’go, who was now sitting on a rock and grooming one of his front paws casually, then winked at the colt. Mpenzi, looked at his mother, "I…don’t remember, Mama. I guess that’s it. I dreamt it. I’m sorry…"

 

"No need to be sorry little one," the big zebra exclaimed.

 

"Icawh is right." Kwennoir added.

 

"After all," Icawh continued. "The cub is our way out. And if something happens to him, then we’re doomed to stay here."

 

Kwennoir said, "And because he is part of our herd, and we must look out for each other."

 

Quwin’go blinked, feeling touched…somewhat. And now, there was a great wave of guilt and shame washing over him. He glanced at the ground, feeling many eyes burn into him. Most of it didn’t hurt much, though the staring of Icawh sank into him, making him tremble in fear, and Kwennoir made him feel even more uneasy and guilty. Especially since he felt pity from many, but it pained him most as he felt Kwennoir knew his lie. Indeed the leader was looking at the scratches all over the cub’s body, and a few twigs and leaves on him, which Quwin’go quickly shook off. Plus, the little lion looked quite shaken, same with the colt.

 

"Oh, Mpenzi!" Lateefah grunted, out of the blue. "I told you not to stay up so late!"

 

"Don’t worry, Lateefah," Quwin’go suddenly said, jumping from the rock and starting to the west of the glen, near the water hole the other foals had been playing at before. "I’ll take ‘im t’ rest."

 

Lateefah sighed and nodded, watching Mpenzi follow the cub.

 

"All right, so what was that all about?" Mpenzi whispered down to Quwin’go.

 

Quwin’go didn’t answer until they were out of earshot from the others. "I’d like to keep that under wraps if ya know what I mean, Mpenzi," he replied.

 

"Why’d you lie?!"

 

"Because…I…please, Mpenzi. This is all so sudden for me. I’ve been here but like eight suns, and suddenly I’m attacked by a tiger and spoken to by a spirit?"

 

"Huh?" Mpenzi’s ears twitched and his little tail swayed in excitement. "What? Did you see Uhäki?!"

 

"No…er, I don’t know. I mean, I heard someone. It was in the wind, which is weird since the trees pretty much block most of the breeze. It told me to go help you."

 

"And you did!" cried the little zebra. "If you hadn’t yelled at it, I would’ve been dead!"

 

Quwin’go gasped and stopped suddenly.

 

 "What?" Mpenzi asked, tilting his head.

 

"Nothing," Quwin’go replied, now walking again and shaking his head, though he was smirking.

 

 At first, Quwin’go had thought that all the zebras were his prey, and not ment for him to talk to. That they weren’t even worthy of him, because he was a carnivore. But then, a new mask covered this place, and all the zebras in it. Quwin’go decided that, because he was stuck here anyway, he should find a way of enjoying it, and living it up. So, instead of thinking about these zebras and how weak they were, as he had pitied them before, and just minutes before they had pitied him, and he just saved a colt, Quwin’go decided that he should look at them in a different pitying way…that they were the ones to be protected, like cubs with their mother. And when he was old enough, he’d be able to protect them fully. In the meantime, he’d learn the skills in life.

 

 

Three

 

 

~Meetings of the Foals~

 

(Glen to Flaming Pits)

 

 

 

"But why?!" Quwin’go meowed out, growling and his claws started to extend. His fur was bristling and he was glaring up at the leader of the herd.

 

 

It was just a month later and, as he was a young lion cub, he grew fast. Quwin’go was still a fur ball, but he was about twice the size he had been the last full moon.

 

 Now he, as he was glaring up at Kwennoir, he couldn’t help the hunting feelings inside him. If I were big enough, he thought to himself, I’d rip his throat out! But just a split second after that thought, he couldn’t help the regret that flowed over him. Sighing, he sat down, ears and tail low.

 

Quwin’go had been begging Kwennoir to let him bring Mpenzi, the only foal, the only zebra besides the leader himself, that was his friend, to come with him to the meeting. But Kwennoir had refused. And, after many more times of asking, the leader just snorted and began ignoring him. Finally, the zebra couldn’t help it and stomped the ground angrily, crying down at the cub.

 

 "Little one, we have gone through this! Only adults, and the strongest of them at that, are allowed in the meetings!" he exclaimed. "They are not ment for the ears of a young foal!"

 

"Then why am I at the meetings?!"

 

For a minute, Kwennoir stared down at Quwin’go, now more calmly. His nostrils were flared and he blinked, when finally sighing. "Young one," he said gently. "I have misinterpreted things. Perhaps you yourself are too young for these. Yes, now I am seeing things clearly. When you are older, I might let you come and join us again. But alas, as these ancient meetings are not ment for the foals, they are not ment for the lion foals either."

 

With that, he tossed his mane and galloped off.

 

Quwin’go’s blood was now boiling in rage as he stared at the zebra running off into the distance. Kwennoir was obviously heading to the council, but leaving Quwin’go this time. This meeting would’ve been Quwin’go’s second. Yet, Kwennoir was now sure he was right on this one.

 

The little lion huffed, then turned and trotted over to Mpenzi and the other foals, who were scraping up what fun they could out of the rest of the day, for it was evening and the sun was setting. They were running around and crying out in playful matters.

 

"Mpenzi!" Quwin’go called, and his friend trotted over to him.

 

"Yes, Quwin?"

 

"Don’t call me that," Quwin’go muttered and then said, "Get the other foals over here."

 

"What? Why?"

 

"Don’t ask questions! Just do it!"

 

Mpenzi snorted, about to turn when Quwin’go added, "Please?"

 

The zebra nodded and gathered the other foals. Right then, they followed the cub over a few grassy hills. As night was coming, they kept going until they all gasped, reaching a brightened place. It was near the easternmost part of the giant glen. All around were natural pits in the ground, filled with natural flames.

 

 "This will be it!" Quwin’go cried.

 

He was not scared, nor surprised as he had seen fire before at the first meeting, and he had found these as well after that, not telling anyone. Now all the foals knew. They kept following him, though most were weary and slow, glancing around fearfully and staying close together. All together, there were twenty flaming pits.

 

Quwin’go jumped on a log, that had surprisingly survived all of this without being burnt.

 

"What will be what?" Mpenzi then asked as the foals surrounded him.

 

"For many years and generations, your herd has blocked the meetings and councils of the herd itself!"

 

"Huh?" the ten foals asked at the same time.

 

"Now, we will make our own meetings!"

 

"But what are in the meetings, Quwin’go?" a foal called Desta questioned.

 

Many of the foals had looked up to Quwin’go, for he was the only young one that actually had gotten to participate in the meetings.

 

"I wasn’t really listening before…Mostly about the stars, and Uhäki and how I’m going to rescue you and get you all out of here." he replied, but when they all cheered, he said, "Shhh! Listen, I don’t think I am the one."

 

"But, Quwin’go," Desta exclaimed. "You have to be. After all, Uhäki said Og’niwuq would be in the blood line of King Baytamba. And you are! Or most likely." she added.

 

"Well anyway…I must tell you about that day in the jungle." Quwin’go then said.

 

They all gasped.

 

"But," a foal named Wengel said. "You said Mpenzi had fainted."

 

"I lied. I didn’t want to cause attraction."

 

"Well you just did." grumbled Mpenzi sourly.

 

"Well, from the adults I mean…Anyway, I think from now on we should have our own meetings here."

 

"But about what?" a tiny foal asked.

 

"About life. About spirits. About the stars. About how I am your savior…in a way. Not Og’niwuq I don’t think, though."

 

"Then in what way?" said Wengel.

 

"In the way a parent protects its young."

 

"But you’re only a foal, too!"

 

"Cub…" the lion corrected. "And anyway, I am strong predator, and you are helpless prey. Whenever something happens, a lion out in the savanna runs after you, you all just run, and leave your young, your old, or you sick to be captured and die. Normally I wouldn’t care. Normally I’d be the lion." They gasped, but he continued. "But because I’m stuck here, I should make use out of my time. Having this meeting for one. In fact, we shall have meetings every full moon, just like the adults. We will show them who’s boss."

 

They all neighed in agreement, bobbing their heads.

 

The meeting lasted a bit longer as Quwin’go told them about what his parents had told him about the stars being the great Kings and Queens of the past in his family, of course, no one had really told him much about them past generations, as lioness shaman had been planning to before he had disappeared. They all stood interested and listening quietly to the stories he mostly made up. After, there was time for questions before they made their way back to the herd.

 

 Most the foals’ parents scolded them upon their arrival home, but none of those small zebras really cared. They even found ways of getting out of staying for the full moon nights so that they could make the meetings again. And the councils were such a big hit with the foals, that the only thing disappointed them—mostly Quwin’go himself—was that the meetings weren’t even half as long as the adults’.

 

 But for many months, each full moon, they would have their own meeting. They were all very entertaining, but most of the time, the councils turned from knowledge of the stars, to stories of the past. Each was a great social gathering, and soon, Quwin’go had softened up about the very small amount of adults who attended the other meetings.

 

 

Four

 

 

~Irawh~

 

 (Flaming Pits)

 

 

 

One night, Quwin’go had been done telling them the story of Simba, (as he had hear some of the story of Simba) when a colt stepped up and snorted, tossing his mane a bit and stomping the ground disapprovingly. Quwin’go sat up on his log, staring at the foal, ears twitching.

 

 

"What is this all about?" Quwin’go meow/roared out. He was near early adolescence now, and surprisingly, this was the first time out of the only ten foals he had actually seen this foal.

 

"That story is stupid," said the zebra, and everyone gasped as Quwin’go glared and started to growl, fur bristling.

 

 He leapt from this log, stalking over to the foal, his shoulder blades moving gracefully under his skin. Quwin’go acted as he had seen his parents and other adults when they were hunting, plus his own hunting instincts took over.

 

"And so are all the other stories you tell, you fuzz ball!" neighed the colt, stomping anxiously, almost leaping around. "And stop acting like that, you idiot. You have no reason to. After all, you’re just a cub and you will never be able to hunt, even when you are older, for, even though you may not know it, the prey is much more stronger than the predator."

 

"Then why does a zebra herd run, leaving parts of it to die and be eaten by the predator? Why does it flee in fright?" That is what Quwin’go would’ve said if had not made friends with Mpenzi and most of the other foals. But, he decided not to point it out, as it would hurt his friends personally, and the whole herd at that. Instead, he walked strongly over to the zebra, and though the colt towered over him, Quwin’go still looked very strong, and the others admired him for his bravery. "What is your name?" the cub asked simply.

 

"Huh?" the colt asked.

 

"Are you deaf, or just stupid? I said, WHAT-IS-YOUR-NAME?"

 

With that, the colt reared up and screeched. "That’s it!" he cried. "I’ve never liked any of your dumb meetings, for they were and are full of lies! I only came because Wengel, the one who I thought was my friend, dragged me here! But I’m going now and, just in the next full moon, Father says I will be old enough to attend the normal meetings for adults. Who are truly strong. Like my dad himself."

 

"Go then!" Quwin’go hissed, and he glanced at Wengel, who seemed somewhat hurt.

 

"Not without doing what I have been planning on doing!"

 

And with that, the colt reared again, and kicked his front hooves in the air. Everyone gasped, but Quwin’go stepped up to this challenge and gave a meow/roar.

 

 "Doing what? Neighing?!" Quwin’go cried out sarcastically, smirking.

 

But then, the foal came down on Quwin’go, forcing his weight onto the little cub. There were a few cracks as he felt his bones snap, and then, before the other foals could do anything, the young zebra ran off, back to the herd.

 

 "Quwin’go!" they all cried.

 

Yet Quwin’go was in too much agony and pain to even here them. He quickly fainted.

 

 

Four

 

 

~The Colt’s Punishment~

 

(Glen)

 

 

 

"Who was that?" Quwin’go choked the next morning.

 

 

 He was brought back to the herd after the attack.

 

"Irawh is his name. He’s always been somewhat messed up, sorry to say," Lateefah replied, nudging the cub with her nose. She was now acting very motherly toward him. "But his father is Icawh, who is also messed up slightly."

 

"Huh?" Quwin’go tilted his head. "Icawh…he was that zebra who offered to rescue me."

 

Lateefah sighed and nodded. "Yes…probably to show others how strong he is. He has always wanted to take Kwennoir’s place in the herd and be the leader. Now he is teaching his dark ways to Irawh, his son. I mean, I know it is natural for males to be like this, but still, there is something with Icawh. He has never been right in the head."

 

A zebra walked hurriedly over to Lateefah and Quwin’go, two foals behind her. One of them was Mpenzi, the other was Desta.

 

"Oh, Ashur," Lateefah said, pleased, looking at the other zebra. "You brought the medicine."

 

"Yes. Thanks to Desta and your colt. They were hard to find, you see," Ashur replied.

 

Ashur was the wise shaman of the herd. She was an old zebra, and had had many foals in her time. Now she mended the hurt, which was extremely rare for zebras…or even lions at that.

 

Leaning over, Ashur wiped a green and damp substance on Quwin’go’s back. He flinched, but tried not to show it. Ashur straightened up and smiled. "He’ll be all right. A couple bones were fractured in the back, but none actually broken. This should seep into his fur and skin and held him, making its way to the bones themselves. We’ll have to give it to him every sun, though."

 

 She looked at Desta, her daughter, and probably her last foal she’d bore, and Mpenzi.

 

 "Would you two help me in the next sun rises to find more of this plant?"

 

They nodded eagerly.

 

 The suns went on, and Quwin’go healed slowly. He wasn’t walking straight at first, but got through it somehow. He even managed to make it to his meetings.

 

One morning, after Ashur gave him his medicine, Desta and Mpenzi were grazing near the cub when Wengel came trotting over, happily.

 

"Did you hear what Kwennoir did to Irawh?" he neighed.

 

Quwin’go shook his head as Desta and Mpenzi came over and listened, too.

 

"Kwennoir made sure he was punished by taking away his Watcher future."

 

The two other foals smirked, but Quwin’go looked puzzled.

 

"Huh?" he asked, tilting his head.

 

"Well, you know what a Watcher is? You know, those zebras who go out from the herd to watch out for anyone who might be able to find their way into the glen. Mostly predators. I’m surprised they hadn’t seen that one tiger that chased you that one sun awhile back. Anyway, they, the Watchers, always come back for the meetings, and they’re always honored. In fact, Irawh wants to be one. His father was making sure he’d get his way there ‘cause," and he said this mockingly. "Daddy’s gotta help him in his life since he’s just a baaaaby." They all laughed as he continued. "But Irawh’s future in being a Watcher is gone. And it is great to be one. You’re always in high rankings and like I said, always honored and looked up to."

 

"Well I’m glad then," Desta exclaimed. "He shouldn’t be one anyway. He doesn’t deserve it."

 

"Yeah, he sucks," Mpenzi replied.

 

Quwin’go couldn’t help but notice the look Mpenzi gave Desta. He could see the shimmer in his eyes, as well as hers. But they both looked away from each other, quickly, somewhat embarrassed. Quwin’go giggled.

 

"What?" they both asked.

 

He shook his head with a smirk. "Oh, nothing."

 

Later, the young ones found out that Irawh had been sentenced to an even worse punishment as he had again, attacked Quwin’go, taking his anger out on him…He, Irawh, was banned from the herd, and sent to the other side of the glen…forever.

 

 

Five

 

 

~Hormones~

 

(Flaming Pits to Glen)

 

 

 

Over the course of the next few full moons, Quwin’go healed, and the meetings went on without any disturbance from Irawh or his father. And Quwin’go’s back successfully healed all the way.

 

 

 And, in the meetings themselves, Quwin’go and the others had made plans. Four of the foals, two female and two male, became Watchers in their own little ways. They’d make excuses to their parents about how they were busy, learning from Quwin’go as he was their savior, and then they would run out to follow the real Watchers themselves. Of course, they only stayed out a couple suns before returning, and took turns so they weren’t missing all at the same time. Also, that way, they would stretch out the span of watching for any prey or predator that might stumble into the glen. All together, they watched only for about eight days, but it was still worth it. Plus, even though the foals would’ve left the ways of being under their parents’ commands soon anyway, this way it just went sooner for those four, as they, including their own parents, were getting used to their absence. One even announced just last meeting that his mother and father let him go whenever he wanted. He  was in his adolescence then. And the others were nearly there. In fact, Quwin’go himself was in early adolescence now.

 

 Quwin’go was much bigger than before, and obviously very healthy as his wounds were gone, and still, he ate but bugs and fish and even birds if he could catch them. He had grown strong and even though still very young, was great at hunting, even if he was a male and the only lion. Only once had he hunted something big, and it was an antelope that had found its way into the glen. He was very proud of this, even if it did freak the zebra herd out, including his friends. Quwin’go had a part of a mane, growing along his neck now, falling over the sides. And now, being emotionally healthy was not as hard, for though he was still homesick at times, he had grown used to the this place. It was his home after all, and he knew that.

 

Back to the meetings…Wengel and Quwin’go were the story tellers, and Quwin’go was also the leader of it. Mpenzi was second in command, and then Desta. Those two always stayed together.

 

 The youngest of the meetings was a foal, who had been born not too long ago, and so she wasn’t near adolescence, and could make the meetings rarely as she was kept under close eye of her mother and the herd itself. She was the younger sibling of Wengel in fact. Her name was Jiri, and her job was to keep her ears perked, listening for anything in the herd that she could bring up in the meeting. Anything strange or important to tell the other foals. Of course, nothing did happen. Nothing interesting that was…until one sun when they were at the meeting pits.

 

"What is it?" Wengel asked his little sister as she came running up, hurriedly.

 

"Something’s gonna happen!" she screeched, out of breath. When she caught it, and everyone was listening, she went on. "Most of the adults fear something. They feel something in the earth. In the wind. Something’s gonna happen, but I don’t know what. I don’t think any of them do."

 

The foals shuddered, but Quwin’go simply and calmly nodded. Indeed, he himself had felt something that made his blood tremble and heart beat increase at times. But he did nothing about it.

 

~~~

 

Desta and Mpenzi were grazing one day. Both their parents had let them live on their own now, of course still in the herd. But they were never told what to do in the parent ways, but more so in dominant matters. Though both were younger, and so grew stronger than most of the old ones, even if they didn’t have experience.

 

 Almost all were in their mid adolescence by then. And Quwin’go’s mane still had some growing to do, though it was still much more full than it had been.

 

 He was laying on a grassy hill, watching his friends from afar. His half mane was swaying in the gentle breeze as he stared at them. Desta and Mpenzi seemed like soul mates. The two looked at each other, and slowly closed in, until they were grazing side by side. A few minutes later, the two nuzzled, and in that instant, Quwin’go knew they would be mates. He was very happy for them, and when they would tell him about their courtship, he would smile, nod and act surprised. But really, his heart was leaping out. He felt so sick as his stomach did a flip and his throat tightened.

 

 Gulping, he got up and staggered to a water hole. It wasn’t that they were mates, but that he knew he would never have a mate himself, for he was the only lion in that glen. And in the whole time he was there, even looking for ways out, he had never discovered his way back home. He missed his family. His father and mother. His brother. The shaman and the other lionesses. He missed the wide open savannah and the great grasslands, and he missed even the majordomo. He missed his Kingdom, and he missed nuzzling into his mother’s fur. He missed hearing her calm, gentle cooing and purring. He missed listening to his father’s wise words about how to be King. He missed wrestling with his brother. This all came at once. It was like a rock hitting him with much force. For awhile, Quwin’go had not been homesick as he had been used to this place for suns, but right then, he felt as if he could cry.

 

 Then he straightened up as his friends came over. There they were, trotting to him, side by side and smiling. He quickly hid his grief and smiled weakly at them.

 

"H-hey," he stuttered.

 

"Is something wrong, Quwin’go?" Desta then asked with concern.

 

Again, the lion smiled and shook his head slightly. "No."

 

"Well, in that case…we’ve got something to tell you, Quwin." Mpenzi said.

 

"Shoot."

 

"Huh?"

 

"What?"

 

"Quwin’go, I just called you Quwin. You would at least growl at me. Now there is something wrong, isn’t there?"

 

Again, the lion shook his head.

 

"Tell us, please, Quwin’go." Desta pleaded.

 

"There is nothing wrong." declared the teen cat. "Now tell me what you came here to tell me."

 

Desta was going to protest, but Mpenzi knew better, and nodded.

 

 "Well," Mpenzi said. "Desta and I have decided to become mates."

 

Once more, Quwin’go smiled. "That’s great!"

 

For awhile, he forgot about pain again, until he was alone that night.

 

 ~~~

 

The lion was pacing around in the grass, growling to himself. It was dark, but he could see great. It was cold, but he didn’t shiver a bit. Right then, Quwin’go seemed dangerous to anyone, and the truth was, that he was dangerous. Hormones were racing through him. He felt like he would explode with all this pressure. It would’ve been much better if he was at his home with his family. Learning how to hunt, and practicing. Getting a mate.

 

 Suddenly, he took off to the south, running as fast as his legs could carry him. But atop a nearby hill, two zebras were watching him leave.

 

"Oh, we’ve got to go after him!" Lateefah cried, taking off, too, but Kwennoir stopped her before she even go to the base of the hill.

 

"No." Kwennoir replied sternly.

 

 "But he’s going out there alone!"

 

"Lateefah, you have forgotten this glen is filled with predators only rarely. He himself, is a lion. And almost an adult. He can obviously take care of himself."

 

"Oh, I suppose you’re right." she said wearily.

 

They started up the hill again.

 

"It’s funny, but Lateefah, you’re mothering him more than you would you’re own colt."

 

"No…it’s just, Quwin’go has had no parents. I mean, he does, but not anymore…well you know what I mean."

 

The leader nodded.

 

"Well," Kwennoir exclaimed. "We must get back. Your own son is celebrating his courtship to his new mate. You wouldn’t wanna miss that, now would you?"

 

She shook her head and they went back.

 

Quwin’go kept running, on and on into the dark night. The grass was long and green, swaying in the cool breeze. He stopped only when he got to a water pool and laid on the edge, glaring down at his own reflection.

 

 Then, someone came up behind him. He didn’t look, just twitched his ears.

 

"Go away, Jiri." he demanded forcefully.

 

The little foal snorted and cried out.

 

 "But, Quwin’go…"

 

"I said go away."

 

"What’s wrong?"

 

Suddenly, the lion leapt up and ran to her, roaring out as he yelled, "What don’t you get about go away?! Hurry and leave before I do something I can’t help, and we’ll both regret it!"

 

The zebra reared and cried out in fright, running back. But, as Quwin’go turned back to his reflection, he didn’t regret at his threat, for he knew something bad would happen if Jiri had stayed. Though he couldn’t help his feelings or rage and pain and sometimes even lust toward nothing.

 

~~~

 

In the morning, Quwin’go was feeling much better. He was sitting on a hill, watching the herd pass by. They were running. He sighed. Always running, he thought. Why are they always running? It’s like they’re constantly fleeing from something. And that’s when his protecting feelings increased, and he licked his lips. For a moment, he felt ashamed from last night, for he could’ve killed one of those zebras, and dug into its carcass without a care. But now, he remembered, that that was what he was protecting them from.

 

 He sighed and laid down in the grass once more.

 

 

Six

 

 

~Hunter Hunted~

 

(Glen to Jungle to Flaming Pits to Glen)

 

 

"Do you mind watching my colt and his playmate?" a zebra asked Quwin’go one day.

 

 

He sighed, and didn’t feel like being a baby-sitter very much, but agreed to it, as that what he was in the herd; the protector.

 

 Medi, the zebra who had asked, thanked him and ran off. Her colt was Kutu, and his playmate was Jiri.

 

"Oh no!" Jiri cried, about to run off as she saw Quwin’go.

 

"Wait, Jiri!" Quwin’go said, running in front of her. "I’m sorry for what happened yesterday. I didn’t mean to act like that."

 

Jiri hesitantly made her way back to Quwin’go and Kutu.

 

 "Why? What happened?" Kutu asked eagerly.

 

Quwin’go shook his head. "Hormones is all, little one."

 

"Huh?" they both asked.

 

Again, he shook his head, mane tossed a bit. "You’ll understand one day. But because you eat plants and not meat, it will not be as strong…Anyway, let’s go play. What do you two want to do?"

 

"Let’s go to the water hole!" Kutu exclaimed.

 

They agreed and set off there. They met up with Wengel, and Jiri ran to her brother, crying out happily. He and Desta and Mpenzi were all watching the foals play with joy. Occasionally they’d join, being still young, but they most reflected on their foalhood memories.

 

 At last, they set off to the edge of the jungle, walking beside the trees, but not dare entering it.

 

"So, how was your day, love birds?" Quwin’go asked, chuckling.

 

"Great!" Desta exclaimed. "We mostly grazed and reflected on our foal days…And, how was yours…Quwin?"

 

"Don’t call me that!" he whined, and snorted.

 

They laughed.

 

"Just fine, but like I said, I’m watching Jiri and Kutu for Medi…Er, where are they?"

 

All of them gasped, looking around, but the foals were gone.

 

"Jiri!" Wengel called out. "Jiri, come back please."

 

But no one answered. Finally, Quwin’go groaned. "They must’ve gone into the forest."

 

"How do you know?" asked Mpenzi.

 

"Because I had told them about when we went. I told them this morning."

 

"Oh great," Desta replied sarcastically, groaning.

 

Finally, they started in. Just a few minutes later of stumbling through brush, they heard laughing.

 

"Jiri!" cried Wengel. "You…!"

 

They stumbled into a clearing where the little one had been playing. And there were hoof marks all about the soft soil. After a bit of scolding, the teens started to take the foal back.

 

 "Where is Kutu?" Mpenzi questioned.

 

"I don’t know." Jiri replied. "He went out into the bush. I told him not, honest I did! But he didn’t come back."

 

Before anyone could say anything, there was a roar, and everyone was quiet, listening.

 

"The tiger!" Mpenzi yelled, frightened.

 

"C’mon, hustle back," Desta ordered.

 

They started to run, when suddenly the striped cat jumped from the bushes.

 

"I’ll take care of this," Quwin’go whispered to the others. "Just run."

 

And they did.

 

He swirled around and stared the tiger in the eyes, his own eyes narrowing. "Not you again!" he scoffed. "I thought you’d be dead by now!"

 

With that, the tiger roared out and pounced to the lion, saying, "The little fur ball has grown into a fluff ball!"

 

But Quwin’go leapt to the side, causing the old tiger to stumble as he landed. Quwin’go smirked as he turned around and started to lead the tiger. For a few more minutes, the hunter was hunting another hunter, but Quwin’go was much faster than before and, before he knew it, they were out of the jungle, and in the northeast of the glen.

 

 There, he ran about in the flaming pits, dodging each one. The tiger hesitated, staring, wide eyed at the flames, before roaring and running after him. This went on forever it seemed. And then, suddenly, Quwin’go leapt on a log, turned around and made a face at the tiger.

 

"You little…!" it started angrily.

 

The thing was, that Quwin’go was sitting on a log that was about to fall into a burning pit. Right then, the tiger roared and pounced. That’s when Quwin’go ducked and moved forward, causing the tiger to land on target. For a moment, it stood still, before the log fell into the flames below.

 

~~~

 

Quwin’go came back to the herd. They were all very scared and were huddled around Desta, Mpenzi, Jiri and Wengel. The lion was slightly limping, but smiling.

 

"I got ‘im." he declared to everyone.

 

But everyone still looked very sad. In fact, some were mourning.

 

"What is it?" he asked.

 

"Quwin…Quwin’go…" Mpenzi started, but he looked down and fell silent.

 

Quwin’go nodded, and looked to others for the answer. Then, Kwennoir stepped over to him.

 

"Quwin’go…we thank you for slaying that tiger. It’s been long passed his welcome. But, alas, there was one who didn’t make it."

 

"Huh?"

 

"Kutu!" Medi then cried out. "The tiger had gotten him before you came into the trees!"

 

~~~

 

Within the next week, Quwin’go felt awful. He didn’t talk to anyone, and always moped around, just as Medi did. But then, as laid on a hill, thinking to himself, he looked up to see Irawh, who laughed.

 

"So…now you know how it is." he said.

 

"Huh?"

 

"You’ve lost someone. And so have I. My dad was the most important in the herd, and he died just a couple suns ago!"

 

"I am very sorry." and Quwin’go turned away.

 

"Look at me when I’m talking to you!"

 

But Quwin’go didn’t.

 

"Do you want what you had before as a cub?!"

 

"You should be to the east right now, Irawh. You were banished from the herd, and since I am part of the herd, for I am their protector, you must leave me alone."

 

Irawh gave a sneer and a fake laugh. "Some protector you are! You couldn’t even look after a frikin colt!"

 

Right then, Quwin’go jumped up with a roar, but Desta and Mpenzi came galloping over. As they did, Irawh saw that he was out numbered. So, he turned and ran to the east.

 

 Quwin’go laid back down, his fur flattening as he glared at the running zebra.

 

"Ignore ‘im," Mpenzi snorted. "He’s not worth dirt."

 

Quwin’go grumbled to himself, ears folded back.

 

 "It’s not your fault, Quwin’go." Desta said, nudging him with her snout.

 

He got up and nodded with a sigh, curling his tail about him.

 

"Yes I know," he replied wearily. "But I can’t help think it was."

 

"Well it’s not."

 

And then Medi came walking over to them. The younger zebras left, and Medi smiled at Quwin’go. He blinked, for he hadn’t seen her smile since her son had died. And then, he too, smiled back. The lion hadn’t smiled since Kutu had been killed either.

 

"Quwin’go…I have good news. When my mate and I decide to have another foal, we will name it Kutu, after our first son. It will be a delight. I know it won’t be him, and of course we’re not replacing the colt I lost, and he will always be in my memories. But Ashur has said that Kutu’s spirit spoke to her and told her to give life again. After Kutu had died, I thought I would never have another cub. Heck, I thought I’d die. But Kutu wants me to go on, and to give life to new foals."

 

"That’s nice," Quwin’go replied, still smiling, though his voice cracked.

 

"Also, Ashur said that Kutu had told her it was not your fault he had died."

 

With that, Medi smiled and ran off.

 

Quwin’go blinked to himself. And then, he sighed with relief. He looked up.

 

During their next meeting, the foals, who were almost completely adults, had a ceremony for Kutu.

 

 

Seven

 

 

~Savior~

 

(Glen)

 

 

 

~~~ Read The Lion King IIX: The Spirit of Uhäki Chapter Eight: Moving of the Land to

 

 

to get this. This takes place while Irawh is hanging on the edge of the hole that was formed from the earthquake. ~~~

 

 

 

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.

 

 

The lion was full grown now. His mane was great and dark gold, and quite bushy at that. All of himself was much bigger than before and now, he was a young adult. It was less than a year later, but within that time, he, and all the other zebras had continued to have the nauseating feelings. This earthquake, had probably been why.

 

 

What should I do? he pondered. For only a split second, memories of all his life came rushing through his head, most of it being here with the zebras and, as he thought, Quwin’go knew that, even though he didn’t much care for Irawh, he still had to save this zebra for he was their protector.

 

 Then, he suddenly leapt to the cliff, digging his claws desperately into its rock wall. 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 along 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, it 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 front legs, right above the hooves, and 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 Wengel, amazed.

 

"We can get out!" another zebra 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?" Quwin’go was astonished.

 

"Look behind you!"

 

Blinking, Quwin’go turned around and gasped, seeing an opening the northeastern part of the circle of rocks. Quwin’go felt somewhat confused, but a great wave of relief washed over him and a smile grew on his face, hearing the words of explanation from the herd. His herd. It was time to go home.

 

 

 The End…

 

 

OK, well, this is the end of what happens to him and the zebras in the glen…right? What about Kutu? Sure, here’s a more detailed part of rescuing the little colt.

 

 

~~~ This comes right after Quwin’go convinces Medi to go with the herd so that he himself, will stay and look for Kutu, the second Kutu of course. He is right by the water hole now. ~~~

 

 

"Who’s that?" Quwin’go asked, wearily. "C’mon, speak up. Show yourself. I’m not afraid."

 

He stood up, fur bristling as he stared at the bush, his front paws in the water. Quwin’go didn’t feel like fighting, but, as he watched, tattered ears twitching, cracked paw pads dampening from the water hole, a little zebra stumbled out of it. He looked cautiously 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, after trotting to him, 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 had 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."

 

 

The End…

 

 

OK, still not the end. Well, it is with the glen which is what all this story is supposed to be about. But here are a couple parts I added for when Quwin’go is out of the glen.

 

 

~~~ This is where Quwin’go is bidding his goodbye to the herd. ~~~

 

 

"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 harm you…I will make sure of that. Farewell, friends. Farewell, family…Farewell." He glanced at Mpenzi, Leetifah, Desta, Wengel and Jiri, and said a silent goodbye to his dear friends, his heart sinking as their absence was just in a few moments. They all nodded to him, grave smiles on their striped faces.

 

With that, Quwin’go took off in a run to the south, toward his home. His heart longed for his family and Kingdom, and he was incredibly curious about what had happened when he was gone and what would happen when he got back and how everyone would react. A smile spread over his face.

 

 

~~~ Here is taking place during Chapter Eight: Lioness. ~~~

 

 

"My name?" The lioness chuckled. "My name is Thuraia."

 

~~~

 

That night, Quwin’go laid by a water hole. The grass was swaying as his tail was. He looked down at his reflection. Indeed he had grown much. He was strong and buff—not the least bit fat or chubby of course—and Quwin’go couldn’t wait to show himself to his family, to show his strength to them and test it on his brother, and then, if he was lucky, show himself off to a few lionesses.

 

"I’ve seen that look before," Thuraia said. She was laying down in the grass nearby and she sneered. "That is how all males look when they want a mate."

 

Quwin’go sneered back, but laid his head on his paws. He didn’t close his eyes, but instead let them wander, up to the stars where he was told the great King and Queens of the past were. He sighed, and felt such depression right then, for he knew he had missed out on the life of being a prince, then a king, but most of all, he was pained by the feeling that he had missed out on his family and pride.

 

"Don’t look so down." Thuraia meowed, now gently. "Your zenith will come. And then, you will feel and be great."

 

Even though the lions didn’t know each other, Quwin’go smiled, and felt much relief. He sighed, calming down. That night, he didn’t even shed a tear.

 

In fact, he felt a longing more to this lioness than ever. After all, it was the first of his kind he had seen for almost all his life!

 

Later, when he was half asleep, he felt a shiver run down his back, feeling the warm breath and hearing the gently purring of Thuraia. She put a paw on his, and he accepted that, then fell into a deep and restful sleep. It was one of the best sleeps he had had for a long time. Really, it reminded him of mother, nuzzling and cuddling him, crooning him with her purrs to settle him down and yet, this was still much different. There was indeed, a great level to this snuggling.

 

That night, as he slept, he smiled, for Quwin’go knew he would arrive home soon. And perhaps…this lioness would come.

 

 

 ~~~ And now, here is one last added part. ~~~

 

 

 

 Quwin’go sighed, sitting beside his brother on the very top of Pride Rock. For once, in all these full moons, he was back with his family. His head dipped gratefully as he felt the warm African breeze graze his beautiful and great mane of dark gold. Again, he sighed. Then a question, born in the mind of a long lost lion hatched, and he couldn’t help but ask his brother, "So…" Quwin’go paused. This lion, the one he was sitting by, Zariy, his brother, made him very nervous. It was like speaking with a stranger more than a sibling. Soon, Quwin’go caught his breath, and his nervous feelings took their absence as he figured how stupid it was for him to be like that. And so he continued the question. "…Who’s the King?"

 

"What d’ ya mean? We’re both Kings now. Like it was gonna be all along." Zariy replied happily, tail swishing as if he and Quwin’go had never been separated. As if Quwin’go had been there, at Pride Rock, in the family, all their lives.

 

"That’s great." Quwin’go sighed.

 

"Uh huh."

 

His ears twitching, Quwin’go brought on the conversation. "I hope Dad gets here soon. I’m dyin’ t’ find out more about life and this King stuff ‘n all."

 

"It’s not as much information as you’d think!" laughed Zariy.

 

"Heh. Oh well." He was a bit disappointed as he had always thought it would be a great surprise to know the secret of being King, and then, he just found out there was none.

 

 "Yeah…" Zariy thought, then asked, "So you were really friends with zebras?"

 

Quwin’go noticed a grin on his brother’s face. "Yeah, like family. Why?" And he, too, was grinning.

 

"Well…I see now that we really are one and it’s not stupid."

 

"What’s not stupid?" He blinked, somewhat surprised as he had excepted his brother to say something much different.

 

"Never mind." Zariy shook his head. And Quwin’go nodded, knowing he would never find out what Zariy ment, as he at least did know that there was some deeper meaning in his words. "Ya know, Mom and Dad are gonna teach ya how to hunt. After that, tonight, Aurora’s gonna catch ya up on the past generations and whatnot."

 

"Hmm?"

 

"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.

 

Something did a flip in his stomach just thinking about her, and he smiled. "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…"

 

 He nodded.

 

"No way! You 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!"

 

"I’m not!"

 

They laughed and, before their parents came, Quwin’go suddenly said out of the blue, "’…use your future powers to help others.’"

 

 "Huh?" his brother questioned, tilting his head like a cub.

 

"That’s what Uhäki said to me…I mean, I know it sounds weird and doesn’t make sense…or I mean it didn’t. Now I understand…I had once lost my family, and I’ve got them back now."

 

"You mean we’ve got you." Zariy added.

 

"And that’s how it all came back for me. Just like I gained the free land all back for those zebras."

 

"Yeah well," Zariy said as their parents came up. "You’re a hero, then, Quwin’go."

 

He smiled inwardly. "I can’t believe you’re actually here, Uhäki," Quwin’go whispered to the wind. "Thanks."

 

 

Now The End

 

 

Baby Fire Wolf

 

wolfcub_gemini@usa.com