By: Theresa Hoyer
The sun rose over a desolate desert. No one lived in such a place. There were cracks in the ground where the Earth had shook and made its scar. Water holes were bone dry and the acacia trees gave no color. The only thing that made this land stand out was the rock formation in the background soon to be recognized as Pride Rock.
†Dark clouds formed in the sky as a male lion strutted forward in search of a home to live in. On his back lays a female lion; burned and unconscious. The male had a mane as dark as a zebraís stripe and he was known as Mohatu. The female was his mate and her name was Ezra. Mohatu entered the desolate desert and wandered over to Pride Rock. He climbed to the top of Pride Rock and stood at the tip, looked over the end and whispered quietly into Ezraís ear. "This will be our new home," he said. "The tragedy is over and we have the Great Kings watching over us. We will turn this into our new home. We will rule this land with love and with peace. We will turn this land into the Pridelands." As Mohatu turned around, the rain fell from the sky as if the Great Kings were answering his prayers. Mohatu saw a cave behind him at the tip of Pride Rock and thought it would be a good place to set Ezra down to rest. Inside the cave, it was dry and dark. Mohatu laid Ezra on the cave floor. Thunder rolled and lightening flashed outside. Mohatu walked back out to the tip of Pride Rock and sat there in the rain. The land seemed to be looking better than what it did look like when they had first arrived. The river bed started to flow with a thin stream of water. The acacia trees started to gain some green on their branches. Even the scars on the land began to heal and form a beautiful savannah. "Mohatu,"called Ezra from the cave in a faint voice. Mohatu ran into the den and watched as Ezra tried to get up. "Ezra,"he pleaded. "Please dear donít try to get up. You need to regain your strength." Ezra did not listen to Mohatu and stood up. Underneath Ezraís paws laid six cubs one of whom would be the new King. Mohatu looked down at the cubs and then looked up at Ezra with a wide grin on his face. Mohatu walked over to Ezra and licked her cheek in amazement. He was a Father of six beautiful cubs who would follow in his footsteps when they were old enough to understand the way of the land. Mohatu looked back down at his cubs and saw that there were five females and only one male. "We have such beautiful cubs,"he said as he grabbed the male cub by the neck and held him close. Mohatu looked down as the little cub began to stir and open his eyes for the first time.
†"This is our new home,"Mohatu said. "We will make this new land the land of our pride; the Pride Lands. We will make this cave our den and this rock. This rock will represent our pride; Pride Rock. Our pride will grow and the land will soon flourish with animals of all species coming to this land to bring hope and prosperity to our pride. We will rule this land. We will rule it with love and peace. And I proclaim myself King! I Mohatu am the King of Pride Rock, King of the Pride Lands, King of the land the light touches and sheds its rays onto to make the Pride Lands bright. I crown you Ezra my Queen and your five daughters are the hunters of our pride. They are the ones who will protect and keep the pride alive. And you, cub I hold in my paws, you are my heir to the thrown. You are no longer just a cub, but you are prince; Prince Ahadi." Little Ahadi looked up at Mohatu and smiled. The little prince yawned and nuzzled his body against his Father to keep warm. Mohatu and Ezra looked at their cubs and smiled. The large family snuggled together to get warm in the rain. Mohatu looked down at Prince Ahadi one more time and whispered into his ear "Welcome to the Circle of Life Prince Ahadi."
The rain began to cease and the stars came out in the sky. The moon glowed in the night. Mohatu dreamed that night of the land and the pride that he had always wanted. The new pride slept in their den unaware that they were the beginning of the Circle of Life.
The First Prideland Pride
The once used to be desert flourished in flora and fauna. Mohatuís dream
had come true. He sat at the tip of pride rock with Ezra by his side. The King and Queen were very proud of their new home. Each of their cubs were known throughout the land. The five sisters, Hondari, Skadu, Jua, Liefde, and Leeu were little hunters by nature. Ahadi, the new Prince, was a dreamer.
†"When I am King Father, I will be the greatest King there ever was,"he said as he pranced around. Ezra took the girls hunting while Mohatu took Ahadi around the Pridelands and explained to him what it takes to be king. "Ahadi, to understand the role of King, you need to understand the Circle of Life. A Kingís time as ruler, rises and falls like the sun. When the sun sets on my time here, it will rise with you my son as the new King. Everything you see before you exists together in a delicate balance. As King you need to respect all of the creatures even though some of them are so small like ants and others we kill to survive such as the leaping antelope. When we die our bodies become the grass and the antelope eat the grass. In one way or another Ahadi, we are all connected in the great Circle of Life." Ahadi stopped prancing around and started to get concerned and not willing to be King. "I understand Father but how will I know when I am ready to be King? I am so used to having you here to guide me. How will I know when it is my turn?" Mohatu grinned at his son. "You will know son. It will just be a natural instinct." "We will always be together, wonít we Father?" Mohatu stopped in his tracks and put his head down and looked at the ground. Ahadi strutted back over to his Father and nuzzled his fur. "Ahadi, it is time I told you the story of the Great Kings. Watch as the stars come out right above us." The stars appeared in the sky all over the savannah. One by one the stars came out and each one with a tone brighter than the other. Mohatu and Ahadi walked back to Pride Rock and sat at the tip underneath the stars. Mohatu looked at the stars and started to tell the tale of the Great Kings.
"Ahadi, let me tell you something that my Father told me. Every King that has come before us is now a star in the sky. The first King, Koning, is the brightest star in the sky. Many of the other Kings are up there as well including my Father; your Grandfather. His star is always the one closest to the moon. My Father, Mfalme, was a great King and I hope to follow in his footsteps. The Great Kings of the Past are looking down on us from those stars. One day Ahadi you and I will be Great Kings of the Past. When I am gone, remember that those kings will always be there to guide you; and so will I." The clouds grew dark and the winds picked up and blew leaves throughout the Pridelands. Ahadi stood tall and proud at the tip of Pride Rock as Mohatu walked back into the den. "I will be a great king,"Ahadi said. "I will be one of the Great Kings just like my Grandfather." He stood there tall and proud and looked at the stars above him. "I will be the best king ever,"he said triumphantly. Determined to be the best king he could be, Ahadi walked into the den and slept next to his Father. "I want to be just like you Dad; a great king."
Many days and nights passed throughout the Pridelands. All of the young cubs grew to be fabulous adults. The five girls had sleek golden fur that glowed in the sun like the sand in the desert. Ahadi grew a sleek black mane as dark as a ravens feathers. Mohatu and Ezra were so pleased to see their children grow into mature adults.
†Mohatu and Ezra lay inside the den resting while Ahadi wandered around the Pridelands observing the beauty around him. Ahadi stopped by the watering hole and lapped up a good taste of water. As he had his head bent down he could see the reflection of another lion standing right behind him waiting for her turn at the watering hole. Ahadi turned around and saw the most beautiful lioness he had ever seen. He stopped dead in his tracks and looked at her eyes; deep blue. He looked at her fur and saw the sleek shiny coat; almost a shiny white from a distance but clear up close. "Excuse me,"she said. Ahadi didnít reply. Her voice was a hypnotizing high pitch that could put any lion, even the strongest lion into a deep trance like state. "Are you finished drinking?" "Oh.... Uh...... Yes, go on ahead,"said Ahadi. As lioness bent over to take a drink, Ahadi saw a strange blue blur coming at his head. He dodged the blur as it came closer and almost hit him on the head. The blur came back from the other direction and landed on the females shoulder as she rose her head up. "Meisie what are you doing here,"cried the blur. It turns out that the blur was actually a hornbill and he knew the lioness. "You are needed at home. We must go back now,"he cried, flapping his wings sending a gust of wind towards Ahadiís face. "Oh Zazu, your embarrassing me,"Meisie complained. "I donít want to go home. The land is all dead now that the hyenas are there. They have made all of the green disappear and there is barely enough water for my brother. We came here on a mission and that was to find the shaman who lives here and get Usiku back to health or else the hyenas with be at his throat faster than a cheetah. We have to save my brother." They started to walk away and Ahadi stood there thinking to himself. "I wish I could help her find the shaman,"he thought. "If only there was some way I could be of assistance." Just then, an antelope appeared on the other side of the watering hole. "Hey,"Ahadi called towards the drinking creature. The antelope became scared and ran off. Ahadi chased after him and cut him off at the top of the gorge on the other side of the Pridelands. "Please," he cried. "Please donít eat me. I was only trying to get a drink." The antelope quivered in fear while Ahadi just stared at him unamused. "Iím not gonna eat you,"said Ahadi. "I just wanted to ask you a question." "Oh,"said the antelope. "I need to know where I can find a shaman. He lives here in the Pridelands. Do you know where I can find him,"asked Ahadi. The antelope stopped shaking and gained enough confidence to walk over to the intimidating Ahadi. "I can tell where his, but you cannot say that you heard from me,"the antelope ordered. Ahadi agreed to his request and spoke every word he knew of the shaman.
†Apparently, the shaman was called Rafiki and lived in the large tree that stood in the middle of the Pridelands. Ahadi ran to the giant tree and stood at the bottom and called "Rafiki! Old, wise and mystic. I come seeking your help. Leaves started falling from the trees and the winds blew and brushed Ahadiís mane back. A laughing sound came from the tree tops and soon were visible by a near tree branch. A shadow appeared on the tree branch and spoke "Who called Rafiki?" "I have,"spoke Ahadi. The shaman poked his head out of the shadow and jumped down to the bottom of tree right in front of Ahadi. Ahadi stared at the baboon for a few minutes and studied his features. He carried a stick with rattling gourds attached to the top. He had several markings on his face and whiskers below his chin along with a thin, slender body with boney bones on the inside. "Rafiki heard your call and wondered what he can do to help." "Someone is in need of help,"said Ahadi. "Aaaaahhhhh,"said Rafiki, pulling his whiskers. "You have a friend in need. Her brother is ill and you want old Rafiki to make medicine and have brother feeling all better." "Thatís true,"said Ahadi. "Old Rafiki can help brother,"he said and ran off into the distance. "You follow old Rafiki he knows the way, címon." Rafiki lead Ahadi into the Shadowlands also known as the elephant graveyard. Ahadi was amazed with what he saw. There was no sun; just the dark clouds which turned the whole scenery gray. Ahadi could see Meisie ahead of him with annoying Zazu on her shoulder and a young cub sitting next to her. The rattle of Rafikiís stick made the little one turn around afraid that there was danger. "Meisie, there somebody behind us,"cried the young lioness. "Uru, I think its okay. This is the lion I met at the water hole. Maybe he can help us,"said Meisie. "Yes, Yes. Rafiki can help sick brother,"said Rafiki. In front of Meisie lay her sick brother, Usiku. Rafiki walked over to the sick lion and sat next to him. He shook his stick over his body and sang a chant that was both amusing and healing. "Asante Sana, Squash Banana, Way Wenenu, We Wanana." The mystic shaman held a gourd above his head and cracked it open. He put some of the juice in his hand and rubbed it over the lions forehead for protection and a small portion in his mouth to feel hydrated and cure and sickness. Ahadi walked over and sat next to Meisie. For the first time, Usiku sat up and stood on all fours; awake and alert. "What happened," he said. "Why do I feel so dizzy and exhausted?" "You feel tired for sometime now but thanks to old Rafiki you will be back normal sooner than later. "I donít how to thank you for saving my brother. I send you deepest gratitude,"said Meisie, almost in tears; happy to see her brother alive. "Old Rafiki can barely accept thanks for Rafiki would not have saved brother if werenít for friend Ahadi." Meisie stared at Ahadi in astonishment. "I donít know how to thank you Ahadi. You saved my brothers life." "I only wish I could do more to help you. Why do you live here? There is no sun, no green, no water not even an solid piece of land. How do you live here how do you survive,"asked Ahadi. "The hyenas are the rulers. They chased our parents out of the Shadowlands. They claimed control and make us work. If only-,"paused Meisie. She looked around; nobody was there. The rattling of bones could be heard all around them but nobody was seen. The hyenas chuckled but were still hidden. "You must go,"Meisie demanded. "You must go now before anything happens. Please I donít anybody to get hurt you must go; Now!" The hyenas soon appeared out of the large elephant skull which gave the elephant graveyard its name. The alpha female came out with her three cubs trailing behind her. "Its Lelik,"Meisie muttered. Everyone took a step back. "Well, well, well; it looks like company kids. Who did you invite to dinner Meisie? Your boyfriend and a monkey? Well they ainít staying,"cried Lelik, the alpha. Uru stared at Lelik and then hid behind the comfort of her sister. "Everyone, run, get out of here,"cried Meisie. "I not gonna leave you,"Ahadi said in panic. Usiku started running with the others behind him. Ahadi kept his feet firmly on the ground not willing to move. The three hyena cubs chased after the others, tripping over their feet every step they took. "Címon Banzai,"called the little female, Shenzi. "I am cominí. Letís go Ed," called one of the little males, Banzai. The little hyena, Ed just laughed all the way. Lelik held her ground staring directly at Meisie, growling at her. Ahadi just stood there ready to pounce on Lelik if she tried to harm Meisie. Lelik leaped into the air and pounced Meisie to the ground. Ahadi whacked Lelik in the face and sent her to the ground. Meisie and Ahadi ran off into the distance, further into the elephant graveyard. Lelik got back up and chased them into the distance. They all kept running until Lelik caught up and grabbed a hold of Meisieís leg. Meisie screamed in pain and struggled to get away from Lelikís crushing jaws. Ahadi turned around and ran back to help Meisie. He slashed Lelik across the jaw and once again sent here flying. Lelik landed in a bone pile and just laid there. Meisie and Ahadi continued to run.
†When they finally got away from Lelik, Meise collapsed to the ground. She laid there for a few minutes and had a hard time getting back up. Ahadi sat there next to Meisie watching her suffering in pain. Ahadi looked at Meisieís back leg; it was completely torn and ripped to shreds. Then her back also had some slash marks on it. Mesie began to drift into unconsciousness. Ahadi looked at her in astonishment and began to shed tears. "I love you Meisie,"he said. "And I love you too Ahadi,"said Meisie. "I need you to do me a favor Ahadi." "I will do anything for you Meisie,"he said. "I need you to bring Usiku and Uru back to the Pridelands with you. Zazu will follow along to accompany you on your journey. If I do not return to you within the fourth night of your departure, I will no longer be here. I would really appreciate it if you marry my sister instead of me that fourth night. Zazu will make the announcement after your first born cub. Please, will you do me this favor,"Meisie asked. Ahadi looked at Meisieís eyes and just watched as she faded. "I promise to you that I will take care of your siblings and I will marry your sister,"he said. "Take care of them.............. My Love,"said Meisie as her soul drifted into the heavens with the Great Kings. Ahadi sat there for a few moments and stared at Meisieís body. He shed tears in her honor and then walked back to the Pridelands. He arrived back at Pride Rock when night fell. Usiku and Uru sat in front of Rafikiís tree with Rafiki and Zazu standing right next to them. Ahadi held his head low and shed more tears. Usiku could tell what had happened. "Ahadi..... Is my sister coming back?" Ahadi explained to Usiku what Meisie had explained to him. "I know she is gone but I am still going to do what she told me to do. On the fourth night, I will officially make Uru my wife and I will have Zazu spread the announcement of our first born cub." Uru walked over Ahadi and nuzzled his leg. "I will wear the title of your wife with pride until the day I die,"she said. "I will love you with all my heart and when I become King, our cub will be royal,"said Ahadi.
Usiku and Skadu
Ahadi brought Uru, Usiku and Zazu back to the Pride Rock to introduce them to his parents. Ahadi called the entire family out of the den. Everyone came out with tired faces and stared at the stars and got to know the new members to the Pride Ahadi brought. "Everyone, please meet the new friends I found. They have nowhere else to go. May they become members of our Pride?" "Yes, they may stay but first they must go through judgement. I want to be sure that they will be good, valuable members of the Pride,"said Mohatu. Skadu stepped forward towards Usiku and Uru and smiled. "Welcome to the Pridelands,"she said. "If you need someone to be your guide it would be my honor to escort you." Usiku just stared at Skadu and was astounded by her beauty. Skadu stared at Usiku with timid eyes and a wonderous stare. "Thank You,"said Usiku. "I and my sister would greatly appreciate it if you would be our guide." "Once again, welcome to the Pridelands Usiku and Uru,"said Mohatu. "Let us all now go into the den and sleep until the sun rises." Everyone walked into the den and Zazu flew onto Mohatuís shoulder. Mohatu didnít seem to mind. He actually seemed to enjoy the company of Zazu and Mohatu decided that with every new king, he would be the majordomo which means that he would be the Kingís highest official and would be referred to if any problems occurred in the Pridelands. The night grew darker and the newly developed Pride grew silent.
That night, Skadu could not sleep. She kept tossing and turning until she woke up Jua. "Skadu, whatís the matter,"she asked. "I donít know,"Skadu replied. "I feel so strange and I canít sleep. I have never felt this way before." "When did this all start,"Jua questioned. "It all started after I met Usiku and when we were looking at each other, I felt a strange feeling in my stomach and my eyes started to water after I heard the story of and Meisie. I couldnít even look at Usiku but I knew I had to do something to make them feel welcome,"she said. Jua was still very tired but tried to console her sister so she could sleep better. "Skadu, do you like Usiku,"asked Jua. Skadu paused and she didnít know what to say. She didnít know the answer to her sisters question. "I donít know,"Skadu replied. "My feelings are really mixed about him. I really havenít gotten to know him well enough to say I like him but I do see something special in him which I canít pinpoint." "I think you like him,"said Jua. "I think your right,"said Skadu. "Maybe I should spend some more time with him tomorrow; get to know him better." "I think that is a great idea,"said Jua. Both sisters laid back down and started to drift to sleep. Skadu started to relax to some point but she was still skeptical. "Jua,"said Skadu. "Thank You so much for helping me. Maybe all I really need is sometime to think about this." Jua didnít hear her sister and was already in a deep sleep. Skadu finally relaxed and drifted to sleep.
†After what had seemed like and endless night, the sun rose and brought a beautiful light onto all of the Pridelands. Skadu stayed asleep while everyone else was wide awake. "Skadu, Skadu,"cried her older sister Hodari. Skadu awoke from her sleep and stared at her sister. "Mother wants us to Uru on the hunt,"Hodari continued. "Did Dad accept the others into the Pride,"asked Skadu. "He already announced it to us this morning while you and Jua were still asleep. Apparently, he is very attached to Zazu and wonít go anywhere without him. They somehow became friends overnight. Zazu is going to have a big ceremony in three days,"said Hodari. Skadu began to get up when Usiku entered the den. Skadu stopped dead in her tracks and just stared at Usiku. "Are we still on for that tour of the Pridelands today,"he asked. Skadu knew what she wanted to say but couldnít get the correct words to come out of her mouth. Skadu stood still with her mouth agape until she managed to say "I think your cute." She covered her mouth with her paw. Skadu was so mad at herself and Hodari just looked at her sister in shock. "I mean no... I mean Yes... Yes, I will take you on the tour just after the hunt. Be back soon,"cried Skadu as she ran out of the den extremely embarrassed after what had just happened.
Hodari ran after her sister wondering what had just went on back at the den. "Skadu, do you wan to talk about whatís going on,"Hodari asked. "I donít know if I can talk about it. Its just, whenever I see him, I canít seem to say anything. I mean there are things that I want to say but canít say in front of him but whatever I need to say, comes out the wrong way,"Skadu complained. Hodari completely understood how her sister felt and was able to help Skadu with her troubles. "Your in love with Usiku,"she said. "All you have to do is be yourself. When you take him on that tour today, mention why you like all of the locations you show him. Lastly, show him your favorite location and just sit there and tell him your feelings." Skadu understood what her true feelings were for Usiku and was going to do exactly what her sister told her to do. Now Skadu understood her feelings and was able to confront Usiku but had to use the advice from both Hodari and Jua. Skadu was really confused and hoped she would not mess things up with Usiku. "Hodari, Skadu, Mother would like to see you at home,"said Liefde as she and Leeu approached their two sisters. As all four girls walked back to Pride Rock, Liefde began to be suspicious of why Skadu kept dreaming and not paying attention to what was going on around her. Back at the dan, Uru was sitting at the tip of Pride Rock at Mohatuís side with Zazu on her shoulder. Usiku was exploring the Pridelands with Ezra and Ahadi, trying to get a feel of where everything was. Liefde and Leeu went into the den with Skadu and tried to figure out why their sister was acting so strange.
†"Skadu, whatís wrong with you,"asked Leeu. "You and Hodari didnít come with us on the hunt today. Is anything wrong?" "Nothings wrong,"said Skadu. "I just have to take Usiku and Uru on a tour of the Pridelands today and I think.......... Okay, I have a crush on Usiku. I donít know if I should tell him or not."
"What do you think Ahadi,"asked Usiku as they were walking through the Pridelands. "I mean, you got some cute sisters. Out of all of them though, Skadu catches my attention the most. I want to be able to tell her that I like her but I canít seem to say the right things in front of her." "Are you nervous to tell her,"asked Ahadi.
"I am not nervous to tell him I like him,"said Skadu to her sisters back in the den. "I just canít think of anything to say around him." "Well,"said Leeu. "Ask his opinion a lot."
"Do you think she will like that,"asked Usiku to Ahadi. "Of course she will,"Ahadi said. "Girls, especially my sisters like to be told that they are right and have an opinion about everything."
"Moonlight stroll,"said Liefde. "Take Usiku to your favorite spot in the Pridelands. Heíll love that."
"Flowers,"said Ahadi. "We can have Rafiki make her a necklace of flowers you can give to her. Sheíll love it."
"Iíll do it,"said Skadu.
"Iíll do it,"said Ahadi.
"By the end of the night, I will have a lover,"said Ahadi and Skadu in unison.
†As night fell over the Pridelands, Skadu knew that she had to follow her sisters advice and Usiku knew he had to follow Ahadiís advice. Both approached each other at the front of the den and stood still. Ahadi presented Usiku with the necklace out of yellow flowers hand picked and sewn together by Rafiki. Usiku placed the necklace over Skaduís head and looked up at her beauty. "Thank You," she said. "Are we ready to go,"Usiku asked. "I think so. Is Uru still coming with us,"Skadu asked. Usiku looked puzzled and then forgot that his little sister was supposed to come along on the journey. They both looked at Uru and stared at her as she slept in Mohatuís arms. "You two go on ahead,"said Mohatu. "Little Uru is going to stay behind with me. She has had a tiring day." With that said, Usiku and Skadu began their exploration of the Pridelands.
†Usiku and Skadu were having so much fun together. It was very easy to see that they loved each other. The night grew older as they approached their last destination; Skaduís favorite spot. "This is my favorite spot in the whole Pridelands,"she said as they approached their destination. It laid behind a slue of palm tree leaves. Skadu pulled the leaves back so Usiku could see what laid behind them. It was a beautiful waterfall with plants all around. It was such a serene, and tranquil environment that Usiku could not help but be in awe at the sight of it. Skadu walked towards the falls and convinced Usiku to follow her. Usiku approached the falls, still in total shock of what he was seeing. Skadu disappeared behind the waterfall in an aurora of colors. Usiku followed Skadu behind the waterfall and there was a cave behind it. Usiku walked over to Skadu and sat down next to her. "I can understand why this is your favorite spot in the Pridelands,"he said. "This place is beautiful." "Thatís not the only reason why I like it,"she said. "My father and I found this place together. We were exploring the Pridelands; he was teaching me all of the different lessons of the Great King of the Past. He brought me back here and told me that this was the art of the Great Kings. They created waterfalls and beautiful mountains like this so that everyone could feel like they all live in beautiful land but they hide most of them. My father says that this was one of the hidden falls that my grandfather, Mfalme hid in the Pridelands especially for us. He made us search for the hidden beauty in this land that we didnít know of. I told my father, when I start a Pride of my very own, I want to live here. Itís beautiful, tranquil, and itís still close to home. I have never given up that dream of living here and I never will until I actually make it come true." Usiku felt it was the right moment and asked Skadu to be his mate. "We can live out your dream,"he said. "We can live here and start a Pride of our own. It will be a small Pride and we will have kids but the best part is that you will be close to your family just as you wished." Skadu was speechless and so happy that she was going to be Usikuís mate. The two sat there for awhile and thought about what their future would be like together. "I want to be with you forever,"said Skadu. They sat there listening to the sound of the waterfall and just were amazed that they were going to be together at last. What a wonderful Pride they would start. They pranced back to Pride Rock ready to make their announcement. When they got back, the den was all quiet. Everyone had fallen asleep. Usiku and Skadu knew their announcement could wait until morning. They laid on the den floor and soon were asleep.
†Morning dawned after Skadu and Usikuís endless night of fun. The two were so happy and perky they couldnít stop jumping around. Skadu called everybody out of the den so she could make her announcement. Everyone came out to see what she was so anxious about. "Usiku and I are now mates and we are going to be starting our own Pride,"she said. It was hard to tell how many people were happy and how many were disappointed with her announcement. Mohatu was really happy for his daughter. She was going to be the first of his daughters to have a mate. Skadu ran over to her father and nuzzled his neck. "Can you believe it Daddy,"she said. "We are going to live in the nearby waterfall; the one you took me to when I was a cub." "I am very proud of you Skadu,"said Mohatu. "We want to make it official tonight that we are mates,"said Skadu. "Well, it turns out that the ceremony of Ahadi and Uru coming together is tonight as well,"said Zazu. "Looks like we are going to be having a double wedding sire." "It appears that is true,"said Mohatu. "It will also be the night that Ezra and I give up our thrones to the new King and his wife." Many looked at Mohatu in shock. "Father, I donít know if I am ready to be king yet,"said Ahadi. "You ready my son,"said Mohatu. "You will make a wonderful king. I know I can no longer handle the position of king and realized I need to step down." Everyone accepted Mohatuís answer and watched as he slipped into the den to go back to sleep. Uru ran over to her brother extremely happy that he was going to have a mate. She nuzzled his neck and then laid in his lap. Skadu walked over to her brother, Ahadi, and said "We are very blessed to have found mates. You are a very admirable brother to marry Uru. I bet Meisie would be very proud to see this." "I know she would,"said Ahadi. "She is even more pleased that you are marrying Usiku and that both of her sibling are doing well." The nuzzled each other and then went back in the den.
Night fell over the Pridelands with happiness and sorrow. Zazu had all of the animals from the Pridelands gathered around Pride Rock to join in the ceremony. "I welcome you all to the ceremony. Now the first order of business-,"said Zazu as he was interrupted by Ahadi. "I think itís necessary for me to make the announcement. Is that okay,"asked Ahadi. "The floor is all yours Ahadi- I mean, sire,"said Zazu. He sat on Ahadiís shoulder as the announcement was made. "This was supposed to be a ceremony of rejoice, happiness and celebration, which it is about but I have something to say before hand. My father, King Mohatu, is no longer with us. He past away today in his sleep. He was going to resign tonight and pass on the position of King to me but I feel bad he wasnít able to announce it himself. My father always told me that he will be watching over me whenever he had to pass on. He is now one of the Great Kings of the Past watching over us. My father will always be remembered as king; the first Prideland king. His position was much more than that he was the one who discovered the Pridelands. This land, our land, would not be here. We would not be living here now if not for my father being its creator. I am very proud of my fathers accomplishment and always will be. His legacy will live on in our hearts,"said Ahadi. "The other important part of our ceremony was that I am the new King; King Ahadi. I also have a mate, who will be my Queen; Queen Uru." Uru stepped forward and stood next to Ahadi as he continued to make his announcement. "My sis ter, Skadu has also found a mate, Usiku. The one reason I have Uru and Usiku mentioned in this announcement is because their older sister Meisie was killed by a hyena. She had asked me to marry her sister if she did not return in four nights. Meisie never did return on the fourth night and upon her request, I shall become her sisters mate. I absolutely adore Uru and wouldnít pick anybody else to spend my life with." All of the animals rejoiced and bowed before the new king, his wife, the other newly weds, and the rest of the Pride.
†Usiku and Skadu moved into their new den soon after Ahadi claimed the throne. Skadu was never the same after her fatherís passing. She held onto the lay that was first given to her by Usiku. She laid it in the river and watched as it floated away. The Pride was quiet and didnít do much while Mohatu was gone, but knew he was always there.
Growing Up Cubs
The days past; Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter flew by through the Pridelands. Skadu and Usiku lived under the waterfall with their new born cubs. They were only a few days old and were all girls who were named Sarafina, Sarabi, and Sanri. Ahadi and Uru were celebrating the birth of their sons, Mufasa and Taka while also saying goodbye to Ezra who past away before the night before the cubs were born. Zazu stood at the tip of Pride Rock standing tall and proud as the Kingís majordomo. Skadu and Usiku brought their children to Pride Rock hoping that one of their daughters will be chosen to marry the new prince. "On behalf of King Ahadi and Queen Uru, I welcome you to the presentation of the new prince of the-,"Zazu said before he was interrupted by Rafiki. Rafiki came to the top of Pride Rock and stood forth to bring a gift to the newborns. Skadu had never met Rafiki and jumped in front of her brother to defend their family. "Its okay Skadu,"said Ahadi. "Rafiki is a friend." "Yes, Yes, Rafiki means no harm. Rafiki hear to give a blessing, no harm, no harm,"Rafiki explained. Skadu stepped back towards her cubs and just watched as the shaman reached out and touched each infants head. "Which son is new prince,"asked Rafiki. Ahadi and Uru stared at each other and then back down at their new cubs. Ahadi examined the two cubs different figures. Mufasa had a big body with strong bones and big shoulders compared to Taka who had a thin, small body with signs of intelligence. "Mufasa,"said Ahadi. "I donít think weíll need the other cub. We should just kill him." Ahadi leaned down to grab the cub but Uru swatted his face so that he could not grab her baby. "What are you trying to do,"Uru demanded. "You are not going to just kill my baby like this." "Look at him Uru, he is not going to be able to live long or even be strong enough to feed. Even if he does live, what kind of an adult do you think he will become,"Ahadi argued. "I donít care what you think Ahadi. He is still my son and I will love and cherish him just as I will love and cherish you and Mufasa. Taka deserves a chance to live and he will make a leader. Even if he not king, he could still start his own Pride and live a life of prosperity and happiness,"Uru stated as she held her cub closer in her paws. Ahadi looked back down at his cubs again and at his wife. "You may keep him,"said Ahadi. "Mufasa is still going to be my heir to the throne and if anything happens to him your scrawny little cub will take his place." "Ahadi, I know will be a good son,"said Uru. Rafiki reached down and rubbed the juice of the gourd onto each cubs head and then a sprinkle of sand to Mufasaís head. Rafiki took the young cub to the tip of Pride Rock and held him high. Taka tried to crawl after his brother but his father would not allow it. Uru pulled Taka close to her and gave him to Hodari to take back into the den. Skadu and Usiku took their cubs into the den followed by Hodari who held onto Taka in her jaws. Taka watched as his brother got all of the attention and his parents standing proud of their other son. Hodari laid Taka down on the floor of the den and just watched as he curled into a little ball. His tears soon put him to sleep. With Mufasa being the heir to the throne, it was decided that heíd be betrothed to Skaduís daughter Sarabi and that Taka be betrothed to Sarafina. Poor Sanri was the excluded sister and had nobody to be with. Leeu walked into the den carrying a small cub in her mouth. She and the cub were soaked in water and cold. "Leeu, what happened,"cried Jua. "I found this cub drowning in the watering hole. The water was freezing cold. I knew I had to save him or else the cold water would have either frozen him or drowned him,"said Leeu. Liefde and Jua ran over to help their sister and the cub get warm. The little cub just shivered while he lay in Leeuís paws. "I named him Maji after I found him in the water,"said Leeu. Sanri crawled over to the cub and looked at him with big eyes and amazement. She leaned over and licked his paw to make him warm. Little Maji kept shivering and was having a hard time getting warm. "I donít know how I am going to take care of him,"said Leeu. "I donít have any milk to feed him and he is to young to be weaned." "I could take care of him,"said Skadu. "Or Uru could feed him. She has two boys of her own already and I have my three girls. I am sure we can help this cub live." Rafiki walked into the den with Ahadi and Uru at his sides. In his arms, he still held young Mufasa. Uru was astonished at the sight of young Maji and Leeu. "Are you alright Leeu,"she aksed. "Iím fine its just that I found this young cub at the watering hole and he almost died. I couldnít stand to see him drown, so I saved him,"said Leeu. "Is this the reason why you missed the ceremony,"said Ahadi bitterly. "I didnít intend on missing the ceremony,"cried Leeu. "I went out for a drink and saw the cub in the water so I jumped in and saved him. The water was extremely cold and by the time I got to the cub, my body was so num it was hard to move at all. You should be happy that I even made it out of the watering hole alive with this cub in my grasp. Maji is a miracle cub Ahadi and you know just as well as I that every life is precious. This cub could have drowned just as easy as I could have. You should be happy I am even here right now and not with the Great Kings. Let me ask you something brother, wouldnít you have been disappointed if I drowned today in the watering hole? I know you would and then you would have one less sister in your family." The room fell quiet and nobody said a word for a long time. Ahadi watched as his sister began to cry and all of the guilt she made him feel became real. Ahadi approached his sister and looked down at the two of them. "I didnít mean to be so judgmental,"he said. Rafiki placed Mufasa onto the den floor and walked over to where Ahadi stood looking down at the two. He took some leaves which laid on the floor of the den and gently stroked them over the cub. Maji looked up at Rafiki with bright eyes while his body still shook. Gently, Rafiki rubbed the leaves onto Majiís body and watched as his shaking subsided. The cub was warm again and looking better than he was. Rafiki carried Maji over to Uru and laid him against her body. Maji started to suckle and felt the warm milk go down his throat. The cub was finally feeling better. Night began to fall over the Pridelands and the Pride settled down. Skadu and Usiku took their cubs back to their den and Mufasa snuggled next to his father and Taka did the same to his mother in search of comfort and compassion. Maji crawled back over to Leeu and looked at her with bright eyes and hope. Leeu smiled at Maji as he watched a single tear fall from Leeuís eye. The Pride settled down and everyone was asleep.
Another season flew by Africaís savannah and hit the Priedlands. The hot summer was upon them and the cubs often spent time at the water hole. Sarabi and Sarafina spent much of their time together and watched as their sister Sanri refused to hang out with them. Sanri just stared out at what seemed to be the never-ending Pridelands. Mufasa stayed by Ahadiís side as Taka watched jealously at his brother hogging all of the attention. Taka just wandered back to the den and watched all of the others having fun. Uru strolled out and picked up Taka by the scruff and carried him back to the den. She placed him onto the floor and noticed he began to cry. "Why are you so unhappy Taka,"asked Uru. Taka looked up at his mother and still sobbing managed to tell her his problems. "Father hates me,"he wept. Uru looked at her son in shock and then grabbed him and held him close to her heart. "He doesnít hate you Taka,"she said. "Then why does he spend more time with Mufasa. I never get to spend any time with him because he is always with Mufasa. I just want to be able to spend some alone time with him, without Mufasa,"cried Taka. Uru was amazed at the things her son was telling her. "Taka, I know your father may be preoccupied with Mufasa right now but that is just because he wants Mufasa to be a great king and is trying to teach him everything he knows. I will talk to your father tonight see if you can do something fun with him tomorrow,"said Uru. Taka stopped crying and knew that his mother would do anything to defend him. By nightfall, Taka could not wait to play with his father the next day. That night, Uru had a difficult time convincing Ahadi that Taka neede more attention. "I wonít do it,"demanded Ahadi. "I am taking Mufasa out special tomorrow to teach him all about pouncing and then at night I was going to explain to him all about the Great Kings of the Past." Uru looked scornfully at Ahadi. "Ahadi, you donít understand that Taka is your son to and needs attention just like Mufasa. Whether you like it or not, Taka is your son and he loves you. All he wants is to play with his father. Is that so much to ask,"Uru demanded. Ahadi looked at her with a blank face. "Its not that I donít love Taka,"he said. "Its just that I donít think he is leader material." Taka started to stir in his sleep and awoke to his parents argument. He didnít move around so they didnít know that he was awake but he listened to the conversation since it was about him. "Taka looks like a very intellectual cub but he is not muscular enough to be king,"said Ahadi. "What does that have anything to do with spending quality time with your son,"Uru demanded. Ahadi just stood there with a blank face and dropped his head. "Your right Uru,"said Ahadi. "I canít just exclude Taka because he is not like his brother. Tomorrow I am going to spend some quality time with my boys." Taka was so happy that he was going to spend time with his father tomorrow and even though Mufasa was going to be with them, he was still happy. Uru laid on the floor with Ahadi and soon fell asleep.
†Early in the morning, Mufasa sat next to his sleeping father patiently and awaited his attention. Taka awoke to see Mufasa sitting next to his father. Taka got up anxiously and sat next to his brother. Ahadi started to stir and yawn while Uru stood up and started to stretch. She looked at both of her boys and smiled. Uru exited the den and left for the water hole while Mufasa and Taka waited patiently as Ahadi stirred and slowly awoke to see his sons shining faces. "Good morning boys,"said Ahadi. "Good morning,"said Taka. "Good morning Dad,"said Mufasa. "Are we gonna practice pouncing today." "You bet we will but first there are some things my boys need to learn if you are going to be a member of this pride,"said Ahadi as he walked out of the den with both of his boys trailing behind. They walked out to the end of Pride rock and stared out at the ongoing Pridelands. "Everything the light touches, is our kingdom. This sets limits for you boys. Wherever the light does not touch is off limits,"explained Ahadi. Taka looked around and looked out to the shadowed areas. "Why canít we go into the shadowed areas,"asked Taka. Ahadi approached his son and put his paw onto his shoulder. "All I can tell you young Taka is donít go there. It isnít safe." "How do you know if it is safe or not. Have you been there,"asked Taka. Ahadi wasnít sure if he should answer his sons question or not. Mufasa walked over there and stared out at the same shadowy land. "Yes, I have been there. You see Taka as king, you go to many places and explore many types of land. Your Grandfather, Mohatu, discovered the Pridelands. This is an important lesson for you Mufasa and you Taka. Since you are going to be the new king Mufasa, you need to understand that a kingís time as ruler, rises and falls like the sun. When the sun sets on my time here, it will rise with you as the new king,"said Ahadi. Mufasa stared out at the land that would soon be his while Taka kept his eyes fixated on the shadowlands. "I want to see for myself whatís out there and when I do, I am gonna prove to Dad that there is nothing bad about the shadowlands,"muttered Taka as Mufasa and Ahadi started to walk down off of Pride Rock to continue the journey. Taka slowly followed behind them and continued to look behind him at the shadowlands. Once off of Pride Rock, Ahadi took his sons to look at the different sites in the Pridelands. Ahadi didnít pay much attention to Taka who was trying his hardest to impress his Father. No matter what Ahadi told the boys to do, Mufasa did it better. While out in the tall grass, Ahadi felt an uncomfortable feeling; somebody was spying on him. Sure enough, there was an adolescent cheetah cub in the brush. He was starving and aimed towards the young Mufasa. Taka noticed the stalking cheetah in the grass and ran over to protect his brother. The cheetah pounced and let out a loud roar. Taka pushed Mufasa out of the way and the cheetah grabbed Taka by the scruff. Ahadi checked to make sure Mufasa was okay but then ran after the cheetah to save his younger son. Ahadi caught up to the cheetah and smacked right across the jaw with his paw sending Taka into the tall grass. Ahadi pounced onto the cheetah and then slashed him in the eye. The cheetah writhed to get out of Ahadiís grasp and managed to scratch Ahadiís face and get away. The cheetah limped away and yelled back to Ahadi; "King will not live long. Baya will return and Baya will kill King and family. Baya put a curse onto you and your family through the wounds on your face. Baya will be remembered! Baya will return!!" Once Baya was gone, Ahadi ran back to check on Taka who lay in the tall grass with Mufasa hovering over him. Taka laid unconscious in the brush with his head rammed against a rock. The cheetah left a brutal mark on his neck and a large bruise on his head from when he hit the rock. Ahadi had a slash mark on his face from where the cheetah had hit him. Mufasa put his paw onto his brother and then started to cry. A single tear drop fell from Mufasaís face and touched the wound on Takaís neck. Ahadi began to walk back to Pride Rock leaving his sons in the bushes. "Dad, arenít we going to help Taka,"cried Mufasa. Ahadi turned back around and looked at his sons and then continued to walk. Mufasa ran up to his father, abandoning Taka in the bushes momentarily. "Dad we forgot about Taka,"said Mufasa. Ahadi stopped and looked at Mufasa. "Heís gone son." Mufasa didnít want to believe his father and ran back to the bush crying but as he turned around, Taka managed to crawl out of the bushes and crawl towards Ahadi and Mufasa. "Dad, heís alive,"cried Mufasa, rushing over to his brother to assist him back to Pride Rock. Ahadi turned around and saw Taka trying to walk. Ahadi ran back over to his son and tried to help him but Taka refused to allow his father to help him. "Taka let me help you up son,"said Ahadi. "Why donít you want to help Mufasa,"said Taka in a harsh tone. Ahadi looked at Taka strangely. "Why do you think that son,"asked Ahadi. "Admit it,"barked Taka. "You hate me! You never even wanted me to live because I was so scrawny and helpless and you almost killed me today! You ran over to help Mufasa as that cheetah was carrying me away by the scruff. Then you whacked the cheetah in the mouth and sent me flying and nearly killing me." Taka didnít speak and neither did Ahadi. Ahadi just walked back to Pride Rock assuming that Mufasa would follow but he didnít. Mufasa was attempting to carry his brother all the way back to Pride Rock. Taka stood up and Mufasa lifted his brother onto his back and carried him. Mufasa limped most of the way back to Pride Rock while Taka lay on his shoulders unconscious. When Mufasa arrived back at Pride Rock, Ahadi was awaiting their arrival with Rafiki next to him. The minute Mufasa stepped foot onto Pride Rock, he collapsed. Rafiki managed to snatch the cubs before they fell off of the ledge and became more injured. Rafiki took both of the boys and laid them on the rock hard surface of Pride Rock and looked at the two boys. Rafiki took his cold human like hands and stroked the cubs from head to toe. Taka flinched away when Rafiki came close to his skull. Mufasa just laid there and relaxed while the shaman rubbed his body. "Mufasa will be fine. Give the cub rest and water. He be better in a few days,"said Rafiki. Mufasa managed to stand but collapsed when he tried to take a step. Hodari walked out of the den and saw as Mufasa struggled to walk. She walked over to the cub, grabbed him by the scruff and took him back into the den. Mufasa looked back at his brother and just watched in horror as Taka lay on the floor motionless except for when he was touched. Rafiki tried to stroke the cub again but Taka flinched as he felt the cold air from Rafikiís palm reach his skull. Taka opened his eyes and watched as Rafiki cracked a gourd over his head and rubbed it over the young cubís head. Taka relaxed and let the shaman rub the warm gourd juice on his bruised skull. "Taka is going to survive but he will have to rest for a long time if he wants his bump to disappear,"said Rafiki. Rafiki carried Taka back into the den and handed him over to his mother. Rafiki then turned to the scars on Ahadiís face. He took the stick he carried and opened one of the smaller gourds filled with spice sitting at the tip. He took a small pinch and sprinkled it onto Ahadiís face. "Your wounds will heal,"said Rafiki. The old baboon turned around and walked out of the den leaving a trail of scented spice from his stick. Uru looked at her sons and then looked at her mate in astonishment. Uru was speechless and didnít say anything to Ahadi or to her sons the rest of the day.
†The next morning arrived and Mufasa had regained enough strength to begin walking again compared to Taka who still stayed in the den and rested. Ahadi never even acknowledged the fact that Taka was injured and just continued to train Mufasa to become king. Taka knew he no longer wished to become a follower of his father and stopped trying to get Ahadi to notice him.
†When Taka and Mufasa made a full recovery, the cubs began to play with Sarafina and Sarabi much more often. Mufasa took on a more king type of personality and stayed around Sarabi, his future queen much more often. Taka loved to hang out with Sarafina and really began to love her. Sanri just laid in the den for most of her days and Maji stayed with Leeu and Jua often because he was still to shy to go out and venture on his own. Taka went to the waterfall den and looked for Sarafina but all he found was Sanri laying in the den. "Sarafina,"he called. Sanri looked up and saw Taka standing in the doorway. "She isnít here," said Sanri. "She went with Sarabi and Mufasa into the shadowlands. They were looking for somebody named Baya." Taka froze there and then darted out of the den. He looked at Pride Rock and then looked at the shadowlands. Taka knew his brother was in danger and had to save him. To make things even worse, Sarafina was with them and Taka knew he had to save her as well. Without hesitation, Taka raced towards the shadowlands at full speed.
Meanwhile, Mufasa, Sarafina and Sarabi were in major trouble. Baya was chasing them throughout the shadowlands with Shenzi, Banzai, and Edd on her tail. Baya chased the cubs into a corner with no escapes except for a high ridge. "My revenge on Pridelands will be complete after you cubs are eliminated,"said sinister Baya. Sarafina and Sarabi quivered at the sight of Baya. Mufasa stepped forward slowly trying to be tough but his tries were futile compared to Bayaís sinister behaviors. "What do you want from us,"cried Sarabi. "Revenge,"shouted Shenzi. "Your father killed our mother,"said Banzai. Edd just stood still, growling at the faces across from him. "Ahadi killed Lelik. I know he is strong and Baya canít stand that. Baya found the only way to make king weak is to hurt cubs and thatís what Baya try to do to make revenge of Lelik complete,"said Baya. Mufasa walked forward and tried to act tough again. "If youíre a cheetah why didnít you just eat Lelik? Donít cheetahs eat hyenas,"said Mufasa with attitude. Baya took a snap and Mufasa and barely missed the tips of his fur. "Lelik was Bayaís best friend. Baya grew with Lelik. When we grew to big Bayaís family move to other side of Africa. When they die, Baya come back to see Lelik. Baya came here as told by a monkey and found three cubs sitting alone. Baya raised cubs and now they are Bayaís cubs and live with Baya. Baya wonít stop trying to kill cubs until Lelikís revenge is complete,"Baya screamed. Suddenly, a small noise came from behind everyone; it was Taka with Zazu hovering overhead. "Mufasa,"he called. "Are you okay?" There was now response; only the sound of Bayaís furious roar could be heard. Taka charged towards Baya and swiped her leg leaving only a brutal scratch on her spotted fur. Zazu flew to get help as Taka hoarded off the enemies away from his brother and the girls. Mufasa watched in horror as Taka struggled to save everyone. Mufasa looked at the opening at the top of the ridge and decided it would be best to get the girls out of dangers way. "Run up the ridge,"he cried. "Run up the ridge and stay at the top until we come get you." Sarabi and Sarafina nodded and started to climb up the steep ridge. Mufasa turned around and ran after the hyenas. He chased them out of the area and into the elephant skull. Just then, Zazu flew overhead with Ahadi, Uru, and Usiku following him. Mufasa jumped back out and ran after his family. Taka could barely hold onto Bayaís back as she tried to shake the cub. Baya lifted her paw and clawed Taka and flung him to the ridge wall. Ahadi appeared through the shadows and roared the mightiest roar he had ever done. Baya turned around abruptly and looked at the enemy. Her eyes lit with fire as she saw Ahadi. Usiku tried to run past Baya but the overly-angered cheetah pounced onto the back of her mortal enemies mate. Ahadi ran after Baya and whacked her down low. Usiku could not stand and past out on the floor. Uru ran over and tried to console Usiku until she noticed Sarafina and Sarabi on the ridge. Ahadi had Baya pinned on the floor and wasnít about to let her get away. Uru ran over to the ridge with Taka by the scruff and started to run to the top. Mufasa now stood in the shadows and watched as Ahadi was clawing Baya. Baya looked up at the ridge and saw Uru struggling to reach the top with Sarabi and Sarafina. As soon as they were spotted Baya clawed Ahadi in the eye and ran to the ridge. "Noooooo,"cried Mufasa as he ran over to save his mother and friends. Usiku finally gained some consciousness and began to stand. Usiku noticed Mufasa darting towards Baya at full speed and took off after him to protect him from Bayaís harsh claws. Usiku was not quick enough to catch up to Mufasa after he started to run. Mufasa jumped onto a small rock on the bottom of the ridge and grabbed Baya by the leg and bit her on the leg as hard as his little jaws would allow him to. Baya screamed out in pain when the cub latched on. Baya tried to shake him free but was unable to get rid of the cub. Baya tried to hold onto the wall and was unable to get a grip and the only way was to grab a hold of Uruís leg. Baya dug her claws deep into Uruís leg as she struggled to continue up the wall. Ahadi watched in awe at the whole dramatic spectrum was unfolding. Usiku tried to grab a hold of Mufasa but Mufasa had a grip on Mufasa and wouldnít let go of her leg. Even if Mufasa did let go, Baya would fall from the loss of grip and then Uru would come down as well and both would be severely injured. Usiku just left Mufasa there and hoped the best would come. Baya started to become tired and weak and as she started to dwindle, she pulled Uru down lower. Taka started squirm and he realized where he was at and what was going on. He had been unconscious the entire time when he was in his motherís mouth. Taka looked down and saw Baya had her paw attached to Uruís leg and wanted to help her out. Taka writhed to get out of his motherís grasp but every time he moved and inch, the rocks became loose and fell to the bottom of the cliff. Taka bounced out of his motherís grip and started to run to where Baya stood. Taka started to run faster and faster once he knew he was getting to Baya. Rocks kept tumbling down the ridge becoming faster and faster after each new step was made. The tired and weak Baya looked up and saw as young Taka came tumbling down the ridge with all of the rocks falling faster and faster. Taka lost his balance and started to fall down the ridge towards sinister Baya who held her paw out to try to catch the cub who escaped from her once before. Baya held her claw out and caught Taka by the scruff of the neck. Mufasa was becoming weak and could not hold on much longer. Usiku tried to climb up the ridge to save Taka but the rocks were coming down to fast for him to even try to reach Taka. Baya stared at Takaís scared face and couldnít resist trying to kill him. "Revenge will be complete today,"she cried. " You got away before but you have nowhere to go now." Baya laughed at Taka as he cringed in fear and the larger rocks began to tumble. A large rock whacked Mufasa on the leg causing the cub to plumate to his side crying in pain. The rocks could no hold any longer. Uru lost her grip and began to slip with the rocks. Usiku and Ahadi grabbed Mufasa and ran out of the cave. "AHADI,"Uru cried. Ahadi turned around to find Uru getting crushed in the avalanche of rocks and there was no hope to save her in time. Usiku ran out of the cave with Mufasa by the scruff of the neck. Ahadi tried to get to Uru but the rocks were getting stuck in the current. "DAD,"screamed Taka. Ahadi did not notice the cub and just wanted to get to Uru. Rocks and dust filled the air and buried everyone in its path making no exceptions for anyone. Baya got buried in the rocks quickly as Taka struggled to get out of her claws. Uru was getting pounded against every rock that came her way and could not hold onto any rocks. Ahadi felt like he was in a nightmare that he couldnít get out of or change the outcome. Rocks kept falling and everyone kept struggling. Sarafina and Sarabi were struggling to stay at the top of the rock pile but soon got caught in the rubble just as the others. Dust soon filled the cave as the last few rocks fell from the cliff.
†When the dust lifted, Ahadi was in panic mode and uncovered as many rocks as he could to find the ones he loved. Sarabi and Sarafina burst out from underneath some rocks and crawled down to where Ahadi stood. Usiku and Mufasa came back in to find Ahadi digging in the rubble and Sarafina and Sarabi shaking uncontrollably. Ahadi climbed further up the ruble and kept moving rocks as he went along until he unburied Uruís face beneath a large stone. He ran back down and looked at his mate; she wasnít moving or breathing and was embedded deeply in so many stones. Ahadi sat there next to Uru and cried a river as long as the Nile. "If only I could of protected her more,"he muttered. "If I was with her.........this all could have been avoided. If only I was there." Ahadi walked down the ridge slowly, still crying and walked past everyone without saying anything. "Dad,"said Mufasa quietly. "Dad,"he said louder. "DAD,"he screamed. "Whereís Taka?" Ahadi looked back and started to walk towards his son. Mufasa started to cry as his father got closer. Ahadi sat down next to his son and hunched his shoulders over. Ahadi didnít even need to say anything before Mufasa screamed out "Taka,"and ran over to the ruble and started to dig in the ruble. Ahadi walked out of the cave with Sarafina and Sarabi trailing behind. Usiku climbed to where Mufasa was digging and put his hand on the cub. Mufasa turned around abruptly and cried his eyes out onto Usikuís leg. Usiku grabbed Mufasa by the scruff and carried him out of the cave. Mufasa didnít understand why anybody wasnít caring about Taka. Mufasa writhed to be get away from Usiku but Usiku wouldnít let the cub go. When they reached the end of the cave, Mufasa looked back at the ruble and whispered silently "Iíll miss you Taka."
Night fell over the Pridelands as fog filled the shadowlands. In the cave, the mountain of ruble stood quietly as the three hyena cubs entered the cave looking for Baya. "Baya,"called Shenzi. There was no answer. Banzai looked around, feeling insecure. Edd bounced up to the piece of rubble and touched it gently with his paw and watched as the rocks began to move. Taka burst out from under the rocks with Bayaís claw still stuck in his neck. Taka slipped out of Bayaís claw and watched as her dead claw fell to the side. Shenzi looked at Taka and stared at him with wide eyes and a sick look on her face as Taka stumbled down from the pile of rocks. "What happened to Baya,"she said. Taka couldnít utter any words for he had nothing to explain and was still disoriented from the incident. "Well are you just gonna stumble down or are you gonna say something,"cried Banzai with an angry look on his face as well as Edd growling in the background. "Where........whereís my family,"asked Taka. "They all left,"said Shenzi. Taka couldnít believe his family left him behind. "Yeah, they all thought you were dead and left awhile ago,"said Banzai. Taka couldnít believe what he was hearing. He didnít want to believe it. The hyena cubs enjoyed tormenting Taka and continued to harass the poor cub. "They said they werenít gonna miss you and were happy you were dead,"Shenzi continued. "They said that theyíre better off without you,"said Banzai. Edd just started cackling at poor Taka who was trying to cover his ears and drown out whatever the hyenas were saying. The hyenas continued to say mean things. All of their mean words circled around Takaís head and made him extremely angry inside. Edís cackling kept disturbing Taka as if he was an uncontrollable child constantly causing mischief. Taka finally had enough and let his anger explode out and when it did explode, it landed right on top of Edd in an angry pounce with a claw held up high. Taka stared down at Edd and Edd watched in fear as Takaís paw started to shine with a beam of light. "Donít you ever say things like that about my family,"Taka raged. "My family loves me and they never would do anything like that to me no matter what happens. Do you understand!" Shenzi and Banzai stood back with Edd still on the ground and Takaís claw up in the air ready to slash. "I donít care what happens, you guys donít get to say anything like that about my family not loving me. I wonít believe what you guys are saying and I wonít say anything I am going home and I am going to prove to you that my family loves me,"cried Taka as he began to run out of the cave. "You donít have to believe us lion,"cried Shenzi. They really think your dead." Taka began to slow down and wonder if they were actually telling the truth. "They wonít miss you but we can act
†You here and we will live together and nothing will stand in our way,"cried Banzai. Taka stopped abruptly and turned around to focus his attention on the hyenas. He walked slowly back to Shenzi, Banzai, and Edd to see what they had to say. "What are you hyenas talking about,"asked Taka. Shenzi looked at her brother and winked then they all started to circle Taka. "You want your family to remember you right,"said Shenzi. Taka nodded while the hyenas continued to circle. "We can help-you do that,"said Banzai. "We want to complete Bayaís revenge and you can help us do that," said Shenzi. "We will let you live and you will live hear with us until you are old enough to help us complete our revenge. Once we have completed Bayaís revenge, We will begin to take over the Pridelands,"said Banzai. "And weíll do you one better, you will be in charge of the hyena clan and you will be our ruler,"said Shenzi. Taka was beginning to feel comfortable with his position in the hyena clan. "But, if you really donít want to be with us we will understand and you can just go back to your pride,"said Banzai. The hyenas walked away and were almost at the exit when Taka shouted "Wait, please." The hyenas turned around as Taka approached them. "Iíll do it,"proclaimed Taka with a sigh. The hyenas smirked at each other and then all four walked out of the cave.
†Meanwhile, Mufasa laid in the corner of the den. He hadnít stopped crying since he left the shadowlands. Ahadi sat at the tip of Pride Rock with Liefde at his side. "I could have saved her.....the whole event could have been prevented,"Ahadi muttered. Liefde drew closer to her father and sighed. "You did what you could,"she said. "You canít change the past. What happens in life happens for a reason. It was unfortunate that she died but there was no way for you to control it." "If I could just take everything back, said Ahadi. " I would rather of it of been me that got killed." "You mourn Uru all you want Ahadi but I think Mufasa needs some comfort,"said Liefde. Ahadi looked up at his sister and then looked back down. "You have to be strong Ahadi, you have to be strong for not only your family but especially for Mufasa,"Liefde continued as she began to walk back into the den. "Why is Mufasa so attached to Taka,"asked Ahadi. Once that was said, Liefde turned around immediately and with a look of disgust on her face walked back over to her brother. "Why would Mufasa not be attached to his brother,"Liefde exclaimed. Ahadi just looked at his sister and didnít understand where she was coming from.
†"What are you talking about,"he asked.
"Donít you get it,"Liefde asked. Ahadi nodded his shoulder and still was lost.
"Mufasa loves Taka because he is his brother Ahadi! If you paid attention to Taka, you would be able to understand what a unique cub he is."
"He was to unique for his own good Liefde. Taka was one of those cubs where he was happy just being alone and never craved any attention from me. That cub was only attached to you, your sisters and Uru. He never wanted to be around me.
"Let me tell you something Ahadi, Taka loved you more than you would ever believe he would. He often wished to play with you alone without Mufasa. He wanted some father son time and he just wanted attention; he craved attention from you especially because you never noticed him! For once if you actually got the time to play with Taka, you would realize how special he was and how much he loved you."
"Taka never came to me and told me this and neither did Mufasa."
"Taka was jealous of Mufasa and he didnít want his jealousy to show."
"I never even wanted Taka to come along with Mufasa and I when we had our little rendezvous."
"Why did you never want Taka to come along. Tell me the truth Ahadi." Ahadi paused for a moment and wondered if his sister would understand him.
"Do you really want the truth,"he asked.
"I was afraid of him,"Ahadi said. Liefde didnít respond to her brother immediately.
"You were scared of your own son,"she asked and Ahadi nodded. "Why were you scared of Taka?"
"I know it sounds crazy but I was afraid of him. His appearance wasnít what I thought it would be and he never acted like a normal cub,"said Ahadi.
"What do you mean Ďnormal cubí? Taka was a normal little cub and I admit he was moody sometimes but we all are moody once in awhile."
"Its hard for me to explain why I was scared of him and I donít even know completely why I was scared. Whenever he was around me, I felt insecure and like I was going to seal my fate with Duiwel; the devil sometime that day. I only wish Taka was still here so I can give him another chance."
"You may feel guilty about all of this now Ahadi but there is nothing you can do to change the past." "Your right, I should probably stop thinking about the incident and start caring for my pride. I am king and have to think about the others."
"You donít need to think about everyone else right now. Right now, you need to take care of Mufasa."
"I will. Thank You Liefde."
"Anytime Ahadi." Ahadi walked back into the den and approached Mufasa who was huddled in the corner. Liefde looked up at the sky and watched the stars appear like magic, one by one in the sky. Poor Mufasa sat in the corner surrounded by his tears which were forming a river around his body. Ahadi grabbed Mufasa by the scruff and sat down with him in a dry area. Mufasa didnít want anything to do with Ahadi and continued to cry. "I think we need to talk Mufasa,"said Ahadi. Mufasa didnít reply and he wouldnít even look at Ahadi. "I am very sorry about what happened today and I didnít expect it to happen either. I guess we canít control what happens in the world. Unfortunately, we lost two pride members today." "Whereís Taka,"asked Mufasa. Ahadi didnít know how to explain to Mufasa that his brother was dead. Mufasa looked up at his father with wide, teary eyes of innocense. Ahadi sighed and then walked outside with Mufasa trailing behind him. Liefde turned around when she saw the two approaching and smiled. Ahadi sat at the tip of Pride Rock with Mufasa at his side as Liefde walked back inside the den. "Mufasa, look up at the stars and tell me what you see,"said Ahadi. "I only see stars,"Mufasa replied. Ahadi smiled at his son and looked back up at the stars. "You know, a wise king once told me that all of the Great Kings of the past are up there, watching over us,"said Ahadi. Mufasa was still looking up at the stars and gazed at the glistening light they shone. "Each Great King is a star. You Grandfather, Mohatu, his star is right there, over Rafikiís tree." Mufasa stared at his Grandfatherís star and looked upon it in amazement. "Your mother is up there as well watching over us,"Ahadi continued. "Taka is up there to." Mufasa looked at Ahadi and was shocked with the news he was receiving. He held his head low and began to cry again for his brother. Ahadi put his paw on top of Mufasaís back and held him close. Soon the wind began to pick up shaking the leaves off of the trees. The leaves flew through the sky and around Ahadi and Mufasa. Mufasa became frightened as the leaves came closer to him. As the leaves circled around, Mufasa heard his Motherís voice. "Taka lives,"she said. "He will return." Mufasa looked around but couldnít find the source of the voice. "Takaís alive. He will return,"it spoke again. The leaves flew away and drifted off into the heavy wind. The wind died down soon and Ahadi and Mufasa felt like nothing had happened. Mufasa didnít tell his father that he believed he heard his motherís voice. When the wind completely died down, Mufasa and Ahadi went back into the den and fell into a deep sleep.
Seasons flew by in the Pridelands without a trace. Taka stayed with the hyenas and was trained to be a killer while Mufasa was turning out to be a great future king. Mufasa still never spoke to Ahadi about what happened that night after Uruís passing and often awaited Takaís return. He was convinced by his family that Taka was dead but he knew in his heart that his beloved brother was still alive. Sarabi and Sarafina were growing into wonderful lionesses but Sanri wasnít the lioness she ever dreamed of being and often thought of her self as an exiled member of the pride. Maji never left Leeuís side and continued to remain his shy self. Taka loved being with the hyenas and was almost a full grown male lion. The hyenas had a hard time training Taka to become a villain; he just didnít have the right personality. Taka always tried to please his hyena family but they werenít always thrilled by the way Taka was training himself to be good and bad.
†"Iím ready Shenzi,"he said one morning. Shenzi looked at Taka unsure about what she was talking about. "For what,"she said. "To complete Bayaís revenge on the Pridelands,"said Taka. Banzai and Shenzi were so happy with their little trainee. Ed began to cackle with excitement as Taka pleaded Banzai and Shenzi to allow him to complete the revenge. "Iím want to show my family the monster Iíve become and that will show them to underestimate me." Both Shenzi and Banzai agreed to let Taka finally complete his revenge but only if it was on his brother. "Will you do it,"asked Banzai. Taka hesitated for a moment and then nodded his head yes. The hyenas rejoiced and immediately began to prepare Taka for his assignment.
†The hyenas and Taka snuck into the Pridelands and watched as Mufasa was preparing to stalk an antelope. "This is your chance Taka,"said Shenzi. "Your brother is distracted and he wonít notice you coming up behind him and attacking. Just do what we taught you and you will do just fine." Taka nodded and got into position. Mufasa was unaware that Taka was stalking him. Without hesitation, Taka pounced onto his brother and flipped him over. Taka had Mufasa pinned and was about to slash his neck. "Taka,"asked Mufasa. Taka looked down on his brother and looked at him with a puzzled face. "Your still alive,"said Mufasa. "Where have you been." Taka brought his paw down and stepped off of his brother. He held his head low as Mufasa came closer. "Taka I know its you,"said Mufasa. "So........whatícha gonna do about it,"said Taka. Mufasa didnít understand what his brother was talking about and wasnít even sure if he wanted to know. "Taka, donít you remember me,"asked Mufasa. Taka was about to answer Mufasa when the hyenas launched out of the bushes and pinned Mufasa to the ground. Taka wasnít sure what to do. His mind was telling him to fight for the hyenas because he has lived with them for a long time but his heart was telling him to save Mufasa because even though he hated his brother, blood will always be thicker than water. Taka pounced onto the hyenas and smacked them all off of Mufasa one by one. Shenzi got up off the ground as Taka assisted Mufasa getting up. "Taka, what the heck are you doing?,"asked Shenzi in an angered voice as Taka boosted Mufasa to his feet. "Yes......I never wanted my brother killed. To tell you the truth Shenzi I never wished to one of you. I wonít help you complete Bayaís revenge because I am not one of you,"screamed Taka. The hyenas were furious and pounced onto Taka which pinned him to the ground. The hyenas scratched Taka and bit him ferociously. Mufasa sprinted over to the hyenas and pulled them off of his brother one by one. Mufasa and Taka ran further out into the Pridelands with Banzai Shenzi and Edd trailing behind them. Banzai caught up to Mufasa and grabbed him by the leg causing them both to collapse. Taka turned around and smacked Banzai off of Mufasa. "Taka, I thought you were one of us,"cried Banzai. "I was one of you. Iím no longer a hyena brother,"Taka screamed. "I used to be one of you but I am not really a hyena. I am a lion and I am Mufasaís brother." The hyenas stormed away and left Taka in the Pridelands with his brother. Mufasa looked at Taka"s scarred face. His eye was all swollen and bleeding down his face. "Taka, are you alright,"asked Mufasa in a worried manner. "Iím fine Mufasa..........just sore,"replied Taka. Mufasa was still concerned for his brother and knew in his heart that he wasnít fine. Moments later, Taka collapsed.
†When Taka awoke, he found himself on top of Pride Rock with Rafiki hovering overhead. "Heís alive,"called Rafiki. Taka sat up and looked around with blurred vision in his left eye. Ahadi walked towards Taka and sat down next to him. "I am glad you are still alive Taka,"he said. "Rafiki said your eye will stop swelling after a few days but you will have a scar over your left eye which will never fade." Taka held his head low in shame as all eyes from his family looked down upon him. "Weíre glad your still alive Taka,"said Skadu. Taka didnít respond and started to walk away. The pride looked at each other in a puzzled manner while Mufasa ran after Taka.
†"Taka wait up,"called Mufasa. Taka slowed down and let his brother catch up. "Whatís wrong with you,"Mufasa asked. "What do you mean whatís wrong with me,"asked Taka. "Iím still the same lion you grew up with. I havenít changed." "You just seem different,"replied Mufasa. "Besides the fact that I have this scar over my eye that I have to live with for the rest of my life,"snapped Taka as he stormed off again. Mufasa raced after his brother again to try and find out what was wrong. "Taka I........I donít understand what your talking about. I just want to know if your okay,"cried Mufasa. Taka stopped and turned around facing the concerned Mufasa. "You of all creatures should know why I am so upset Mufasa,"cried Taka. Mufasa didnít understand where
†his brother was coming from in the conversation. "Taka what do you mean?"asked Mufasa.
†"Nobody has ever understood how I felt and nobody has ever been able to help me."
"If you tell me whatís wrong, maybe I will be able to help you."
"I have always been such a loner. Only mother has ever been able to understand me. Everyone else ignored me and abused me. All I ever wanted was to be with you and spend time with you, to get more attention and love like youÖÖÖÖ.Father likes you best anyways." Mufasa was baffled with the things his brother had to say. "Taka, IÖÖÖI really didnít know you felt like that about me,"said Mufasa. "Itís not that I donít like you Mufasa. I just donít like it when you spend so much time around Father. He loves you more than he loves me and he never cared about me,"Taka complained.
Mufasa looked at his brother with the deepest sympathy and only wished he could make it up to his brother. Taka sat on a hill of grass and held his head low as the stars began to appear and shimmer. Mufasa kept staring at Taka and wondering if there was anything he could do. Finally, an idea came to Mufasa so fast it was as if he had been struck by lightning in the head, jump starting his mind. "Taka, you need a special day with Dad." Taka looked at Mufasa disdainfully. "Do you not remember what happened last time I had a special day with Dad!"he snapped. "I nearly got killed by Baya and Dad didnít even care if I was dead or not." "This time it will be different,"Mufasa said trying to convince his brother. "How do you know it will be different,"cried Taka. "Because I will Make sure it goes just right. I will tell Father and explain to him the situation and make sure that nothing goes wrong,"said Mufasa. "Are you sure it will work?"asked Taka. "Iím positive Taka,"said Mufasa. "I think you just need some quality time with Father to get to know each other better and to get along with each other." Taka smiled at his brother with a sign of hope in his eyes even though the left was still swollen. The brothers looked at each other with a sign of hope that their individual dream would come true. Mufasa wished that his Father and his brother would become closer and their relationship would grow to be as strong as Mufasa and Ahadiís. Taka only wanted to get to know his Father better and understand why he was never respected as well as Mufasa. Walking back to Pride Rock, Taka knew his brother would do whatever he could to make everything perfect when Ahadi and Taka have their special moment together.
When the brothers returned to Pride Rock, not a single member of the pride said anything to either Mufasa or Taka. Ahadi stared at both of his boys and sighed. "Are all differences settled?"asked Hodari as she lay on the floor with Maji in her arms. Mufasa looked at Taka and smiled while Taka held his head low and made no eye contact. Hodari had a look of guilt on her face.
"Why did I even ask that stupid question,"she thought to herself. Maji awoke from his sleep and looked up at Mufasa and Taka. Maji recognized Mufasa but couldnít recognize Taka with the Scar over his eye. "Scar,"he muttered. Leeu came out from inside the den and saw Hodari sitting with Maji and Mufasa and Taka standing above them. Maji stayed close to Hodari and wouldnít go any closer to Taka but inched his way over to Mufasa. "Scar.......The lion from my dreams........Scar........has come to get me,"he muttered again. Leeu rushed out to Majiís defense. "Taka, do you remember Maji? The cub I rescued from the watering hole when you were all little cubs. He was almost like you younger brother,"said Leeu. Taka nodded his head and then looked back down at Maji. "This is him?"Taka asked pointing at Maji. Leeu smiled and nodded then focused her attention on Maji. "Maji, donít you remember Taka?"asked Leeu. Maji didnít respond and continued to hide behind Mufasa. "Maji, whatís wrong?" "Thatís not Taka,"said Maji, quivering in fear. "Thatís Scar........Scar the menace. He has been haunting my dreams for the past few nights. He kills Mufasa and he kills Ahadi and then he kills me and the rest of the pride until there is no lion left except for him and the rest of the Prideland animals. Animals flee to other areas of Africa and the Pridelands die without a care. I fear Scar will only bring bad luck to the pride." Everyone stared at Maji and then stared back at Taka. Taka was frightened by everyoneís look of suspicion. "Maji, you have to understand that Iím not that kind of lion and would never do anything like that to harm anybody. I only came back to be reunited with my family. I just wanted to see if anybody remembered or still cared about me. I missed my family and............and the only way I could come back into the Pridelands and not be recognized as an outsider was to have the hyenas bring me in,"said Taka. "Maji slowly crept out from behind Mufasa and approached Taka still with fear but with a slightly bigger confidence level. "I didnít mean to give you the wrong impression,"said Maji. "I just always have these weird dreams and they-." Just then, Taka thought up a brilliant plan. "I have an idea,"he said. "Why donít you come out hunting with Mufasa and I tomorrow." Maji was flabbergasted with the offer he was given and didnít know how to take in this breathtaking news. "I appreciate the offer Taka but I donít think I am suitable for hunting. I have never even learned how to properly pounce a mouse. I have always been inside the den, too cautious to even step outside,"he replied. Taka looked at him in shock and then looked at his brother to confirm the information he had just heard. Mufasa nodded his head while Taka stared at him in disbelief. Taka looked back down at Maji and smiled. "Donít worry,"he said. "By this time tomorrow, you will be a hunting pro." Maji smiled and walked back into the den with the rest of the family. Ahadi stayed outside, looking out at the sunset. "Now is the time for you to talk to Father,"Mufasa whispered into Takaís ear. Taka stood still and hesitated to get closer to Ahadi. "Will you go with me?"asked Taka. As he turned around, Mufasa was no longer in sight and had already gone inside the den. Taka looked back at his Father and then bottled up enough courage to approach him. Taka sat down next to his Father and looked back out at the same sunset. Ahadi looked over at Taka and then turned away. The night was silent for a long time and nobody had spoken up. "I only wished we could have gotten closer when I was a cub,"said Taka. "I never meant to be such a hassle for you to get along with." Ahadi looked over at Taka and smiled at his sonís honesty. "I just hope there is still time for us to become close.....like......like a Father and a son. I love you Father,"Taka said with a sigh. "It is never to late for us to become close Taka,"said Ahadi. Taka smiled at his Father as they exchanged their feelings about each other.
†Stars began to fall into the sky once the sun disappeared. Taka walked back into the den and approached Mufasa with happiness in every step he made. "Father and I spent a lot of quality time tonight Mufasa. I am so happy with the way things worked out and how well we are getting along,"Taka said filled with glee and expression. "Iím glad everything has worked out for you Taka,"said Mufasa. Taka told Mufasa everything Ahadi had discussed with him. Taka told about when Ahadi was as a cub and how they resemble each other in many ways. He also told about Ahadiís true feelings towards himself and how life around the pride changed after the incident in the shadowlands. The most depressing thing Ahadi spoke of towards Taka was how the prideís atmosphere changed after Uruís sudden departure from the pride. Taka went on all night talking about how wonderful his discussion with Ahadi was and how close he is becoming with him.
†When morning shed its newly risen light onto the Pridelands, Mufasa and Taka woke up to find Maji hovering over them, awaiting his hunting lesson. The three walked outside welcomed the new morning with open arms. Ahadi once again planted himself at the tip of Pride Rock and over viewed his surroundings. Liefde came out of the den and approached her brother. They both watched as all three cubs marched off together into the savanna. "Have you changed your mind about Taka,"Liefde asked. Ahadi smiled and looked back down on the three. "Yes,"he replied. "I believe Taka and I have become closer and I am welcoming all of his unique qualities and different outlooks on life with open arms. I am very pleased that he is so willing to learn all of the lessons that I taught to Mufasa when he was a cub." "When are you going to teach him the most important lesson?"asked Liefde. "Soon,"replied Ahadi. "Very soon." Liefde snuggled next to Ahadi and watched the day begin in the Pridelands.
Maji leaped about in the tall grass like a newborn wildebeest taking his first kick in the air. Taka and Mufasa jumped about in the tall grass with Maji and taught him how to pounce, sneak up on prey, become camouflage in the grass, and most importantly; Mufasa and Taka taught Maji how to have fun. After frolicking in the tall grass, Taka and Mufasa lead Maji to the water hole to teach him how to swim. "Thank you Mufasa and Taka for teaching me all of these exciting games,"said Maji. "Weíre glad your pleased," said Mufasa. Taka smiled while secretly rolling his eyes. "These may seem like games to you now Maji, but they are really skills. These things we taught you today, pouncing, becoming camouflage, these are all skills you will need to know if you are ever going to live on your own,"bossed Taka. "So have your fun now Maji because when youíre an adult, these skills wonít be considered games anymore." Maji looked at Taka in fear as he bent forward to get a drink.
Meanwhile, Skadu laid in the den under the waterfall with Usiku beside her. "Sanri doesnít get out much Usiku,"said Skadu. "It worries me that our daughter doesnít get enough interaction with the other cubs." "Sanri doesnít wish to interact,"replied Usiku, yawning out of laziness. "If Sanri doesnít wish to play with the other cubs, than we should not force her to something against her will. She will become more social we just have to give her own space and let the spirits guide her." Skadu relaxed to some extent but was still concerned about her youngest daughter. Skadu got up and walked away from Usiku who still remained on the cave floor sleeping like a baby. Skadu looked outside and found Sanri sitting on a rock next to the waterfall listening to the serene sounds the water created as it gently struck the rocks below. "Sanri,"said Skadu. Sanri turned around abruptly to find her Mother standing behind her. "Can we talk?"asked Skadu. Sanri nodded her head while Skadu came over and sat down next to her. "Are you okay Sanri?"Skadu asked. Sanri didnít reply and stared into the water. "Why would anything be wrong with me,"replied Sanri. "My day is as normal as any other day. I stay here in the den and donít get to socialize with anyone. My day is always the same. I donít speak to anyone unless I am spoken to. I live a life of solitude until family return home for any reason. Most of my time I spend alone although I do enjoy watching the others frolic around outside."
†"Wouldnít you ever wish to play out there with them,"
"I would never fit in."
"Why wonít you fit in Sanri? You are just the same as every other cub out there except you have a different perspective on the world.
†"I am not the only one. Maji has a different perspective on the world. He sees the world coming from his dream. He dreams of all of these strange and wonderful ideas and thinks thatís how the world is."
"Maybe you should play with Maji."
"Great. Sarabi and Sarafina are down by the water hole. Why donít you go see if Mufasa, Taka and Maji are there with them?"
†Without any hesitation, Sanri leapt off of her rock and headed out towards the water hole. Skadu watched her bright young daughter race off towards the Pridelands. Skadu went back into the den while Sanriís body disappeared in the distant savannah.
†Back at the water hole, Mufasa and Taka were teaching Maji how to swim without sinking. Maji stared into the water and could see his past in the flowing ripples. Memories of that day haunted his memory; a lioness dropped him into the water and watched as he struggled to stay afloat. Majiís body had gone under the water and all he could see was the light from the sun shining down onto the surface. He fought to stay afloat once he finally broke the surface of the water. Maji tried to hang to life but could feel it slowly slipping away. He began to sink lower and lower until he felt a sense of security grab onto him by the scruff. His savior was Leeu.
†"I donít want to have my past repeat itself again,"he cried. Mufasa looked at Maji with a heart full of sympathy. "I wonít let your past repeat itself Maji,"said Mufasa, leaping into the water. Mufasa began to swim around in the water, trying to show Maji how fun swimming could be. Maji stood frozen at the waters edge, determined to jump in but to scared to take a step. Mufasa began to splash water onto Majiís face while Taka noticed Sarabi trying to ambush Mufasa in the bushes. Taka tried to hold back his laughter but he knew Sarabi was going to nail him as she sneaked closer to her target. Sarabi reached the grass by the waters edge and leaped into the air landing directly on top of Mufasa, creating a big splash. Right out of nowhere, Sarafina came from behind Taka and knocked him along with Maji and herself into the water. All of them broke the surface at once and laughed at each other. Mufasa started splashing everyone and the others retaliated. Sanri was almost at the water hole when she spotted everyone in the water. She stood still in her steps and stared at the others. Watching everyone splashing around in the water hole gave Sanri a strange feeling inside. She didnít move for a while and continued to stare at the water hole. Sarabi looked up from her playing and saw Sanri on the hill. "Look who decided to come out of the den,"said Sarabi. The others looked up and saw her just sitting there. The water was silent as well as everyone else. Sanri began to get closer to the others and was getting even more nervous with every step she made. She finally reached the waters edge and just sat down. Once again, everyone was silent. Maji swam closer to the waters edge and made eye contact with Sanri. "My dream,"whispered Maji. "Are you the mystic Zira who has come to assist me in my travels?" Sanri looked at Maji with a strange look on her face. "No I am Sanri, sister of Sarabi and Sarafina,"said Sanri. Maji was afraid to look at Sanri. He remembered his dream and Sanri resembled a lioness named Zira who accompanied Maji on a trip across the savannah. Zira eventually had cubs with Maji when they returned to the Pridelands but Zira did kill Maji after Scar had a feeling the cubs were not his own. Maji looked back at Taka and then back at Sanri. "Its true,"he said. Maji started to panic and leaped out of the water, running deeper into the savannah towards Pride Rock. "I am very sorry I made your friend run off,"said Sanri. "Maybe I should go too." With that said, Sanri ran home, leaving a trail of tear behind her. Taka looked at Mufasa Sarabi and Sarafina, feeling guilty after the misunderstanding with Sanri. "I donít feel like swimming anymore,"he said and jumped out of the water. Sarafina followed behind Taka with Mufasa and Sarabi trailing behind.
†When Mufasa and Taka arrived back at Pride Rock, they immediately looked for Maji. "Maji,"Mufasa called as he walked into the den. Mufasa and Taka looked around for Maji but there was no sign of him. "Maji? Where are you?"called Taka. There was still no sign of Maji; only the sight of lazy Pride members, sleeping in the den. Mufasa and Taka were beginning to feel worried. "Where could Maji be?"asked Taka. Mufasa thought for a moment but then it occurred to him that Maji had said something earlier that would lead them right to him. Mufasa ran off of Pride Rock and ran as fast as he could. Taka had no idea where Mufasa was going but followed him anyway. "Mufasa, where are we going!"yelled Taka. Mufasa didnít respond and just kept on running. Mufasa ran all of the way to Sarabi and Sarafinaís den. Mufasa and Taka sprinted inside and found Skadu crying on Usikuís shoulder. Skadu looked up and stopped crying momentarily. "Do you boys know where Sanri is?"she asked with a whimper. Mufasa looked at Taka, realizing what was going on. "His dream,"muttered Mufasa. Everyone stared at Mufasa with a clueless look on every face. "Maji mentioned something today at the water hole. He said that Sanri was the one who would accompany him on a journey. He must have left with Sanri to a far part of the savannah." "Is Maji missing too?"asked Sarabi. "Yes, we looked everywhere,"said Taka. "Is there anyway we can catch them?"asked Sarafina. "I think theyíve gone way too far for us to catch,"said Mufasa. "All we can do now.......is pray,"said Usiku. "Pray for the best and hope they find what they want wherever they may be." Skadu leaned over and started to cry again on Usikuís shoulder. Taka and Mufasa exited the den and walked slowly back to Pride Rock. Leeu sat at the top of Pride Rock, awaiting the arrival of Mufasa, Taka and Maji. She rushed down off of Pride Rock to greet the boys but was surprised to see Maji wasnít there. "Did you boys have fun today?"she asked. "We had plenty of fun,"said Mufasa. "Did Maji have fun?"Leeu asked. "He really enjoyed himself,"said Taka. "Where is he?"asked Leeu. Taka and Mufasa didnít respond and held their heads low. Leeu was worried for Maji and tried to pry the information out of Mufasa and Taka. "Whereís Maji?"she asked. The silence continued and Leeu grew more and more anxious. Mufasa finally stepped forward and spoke the truth. "Maji.......Maji......he ran away,"said Mufasa. "He ran away with Sanri. At the water hole he kept telling us about his dream and said that Sanri was the one who would travel with him. He ran away after that and we think Sanri went with him." Leeu began to cry tears of sorrow joy and love. "This is one of those bittersweet moments. I am sad that Maji left me but I am happy he has gone out to pursue his dream. I really loved Maji and will miss him dearly but I need to learn how to let go,"said Leeu. As she cried her eyes out, Leeu walked back up onto Pride Rock and into the den. Mufasa and Taka followed behind as the sun fell down on the moon rose up. The night was silent but filled with hope. At Rafikiís tree, he drew a picture of Maji and Sanri traveling together towards the sun. Both families sent many prayers out to the young travelers with words of hope, wisdom, and love.
Many years have past through the Pridelands since Maji and Sanri disappeared. Mufasa and Taka grew into adult male lions and Sarafina and Sarabi grew into adult lionesses. Ahadi grew older as well as his sisters but they were all doing well. Ahadi and Taka were expanding their father son relationship with Mufasa alongside. The three often had fun together and found no difficulties getting along. Ahadi taught Taka everything he taught Mufasa about being King. He taught Taka all about the circle of life, what it means to be King and how to rule the land with love and peace. Ahadi had been waiting for a long time to teach Taka a very important lesson. Ahadi was waiting to teach Taka all about The Great Kings of the Past.
"Taka, I am going to take you out later on tonight with me,"said Ahadi. Taka was very happy and couldnít wait to spend time with his Father. "What are we going to do tonight Father?"asked Taka. "I canít tell you until tonight,"said Ahadi as he exited the den. Taka ran to the water hole to find Mufasa and tell him all about his excitement. Taka ran faster and faster until he found Mufasa at the water hole. "Mufasa! Mufasa!"he yelled. Mufasa thought there was something wrong and ran over to help his brother. "Taka, whatís wrong? Are you hurt?"asked Mufasa. "No,"said Taka. "But I have great news." Mufasa wiped off his concerned face and trotted back over to the water hole.
†"Father is going to take me somewhere tonight! I donít know where he is going to take me but I know it is going to be a special moment for the both of us."
†"Did he say where he is going to take you?"asked Mufasa.
"No, he said he canít tell me anything about what weíre doing tonight."Mufasa rolled his eyes at his brother and continued to lap up water. "Mufasa.......I donít understand. Arenít you happy for me?"
"I never said that I wasnít happy for you Taka, but you probably shouldnít get your hopes up to high because Dad could surprise you with anything."
"Iím sure it will be a great surprise. Why donít we play for awhile Mufasa; just like when we were cubs." Taka pounced onto his brother and started to wrestle around with him in the grass. Mufasa kicked Taka off and watched as his brother landed in the water. Taka just laughed but didnít realize that Mufasa was being serious with him. Mufasa stared at Taka with a stern look. "Mufasa......I donít understand. Are you jealous that I am getting more attention from Father?"
"NO! I........Itís not that I am not happy for you and itís not that I am jealous. I just donít think your ready for this kind of lesson from-"
"Go ahead and continue brother. Iím listening."
"I know what Father is going to teach you tonight. He thinks your ready for this kind of lesson but I donít think you are ready." Taka didnít understand what his brother was talking about.
"What do you mean Mufasa. Iím ready."
"Taka, youíre almost an adult lion and need to start acting like one. Tackling and playing like we just were isnít being adult. Father told me the other night that I have to be more mature because I am going to be king soon. You need to grow up." Taka felt bad for the way he acted. The brothers were silent for awhile, nobody said a word.
"Mufasa.........what is Father going to teach me tonight?"asked Taka. Mufasa hesitated to answer his brother.
"He is going to teach you about The Great Kings of the Past,"said Mufasa.
"Is that all?"
"He is going to be very serious with you Taka and ask you questions about where you lived before you returned to us and he wants to know about your scar."
"I guess I could talk to him about those things."
"The most important thing he is going to talk about is the day Mother died." Taka was silent for awhile and didnít say anything to his brother. "Father hasnít been the same since Mother past on and he just wants to know what really happened that day in the elephant graveyard."
"There is nothing to know!"snapped Taka. "He was there when it happened. What else does he want to know?" Mufasa didnít respond to his brother and continued to listen to what he had to say. "I should have known Father was to good to be true. He must really hate me. He was only getting to know me so he could get what he wants out of me. He doesnít love me; he never loved me. Now I know the truth. I might as well go live with the hyenas again then he wonít have to see me all of the time. Thanks for telling me the truth Mufasa!" Taka ran back to Pride Rock in tears and slept in the den until night fell. That night, Ahadi sat outside of Pride Rock and waited for all of the stars to appear before he took Taka out. "Itís time,"said Ahadi and walked into the den to wake up Taka. Taka woke up slowly and followed his Father outside. Ahadi lead his son to a quiet place in the savannah where the grass lay low and the trees were green. Ahadi stood next to Taka under the moon light as they observed the stars shining above them. "Taka, I want you to observe the stars,"said Ahadi. Taka looked at his father in a clueless manner. "Whatís so important about the stars,"asked Taka. "Whatís important is that I am not always going to be around and if you ever need me you have to know where to find me,"replied Ahadi. "Where will you be,"asked Taka. Ahadi looked back up at the stars and sighed. "Every Great King that has ever lived is now a star in the sky. My Father is a star as well as his Father and all who came before us." "I know about death and dying Father but what I donít know is how much longer I will be here with you,"said Taka. Ahadi looked at his son with eyes of curiosity. "What are you talking about Taka,"he asked. "When I lived in the shadowlands, I was trained to hateÖÖ..I thought that youÖÖÖYou wouldnít understand. You never were able to understand me,"cried Taka and began to walk away. Ahadi ran after his son, hammering questions into his sons mind that was causing him become angered and confused. "Taka, you can talk to me about anything,"said Ahadi. "I was never able to talk to you about anything,"snapped Taka. "You never paid any attention to me,"yelled Taka. "You were always occupied with Mufasa and never even cared for me. You were always occupied with everyone else and were never concerned for me." Taka paused and just stared at his father. "I have really enjoyed the past couple years with you. We have gotten to know each other really well and we have become so much closer. I just want this relationship to continue and I donít want it to end when you die." Ahadi got closer to Taka and sat down next to him again. "So you say you know all about death,"said Ahadi. "I canít speak for you Taka but I felt very bad when your mother died so suddenly. Your Motherís sister, Meisie died suddenly as well. Both of my parents didnít die as suddenly as your Mother but death will always hurt. The worst part was, I could have saved your Mother. I could have jumped up on those rocks and saved her. I would have died for her." "Were you this sad when you thought I was dead?"asked Taka.
†"There is always sorrow whenever there is a death. It doesnít matter who dies, there will always be someone who is sad. That someone was Mufasa. Your brother really cares for you Taka. He wasnít the same after that day until you returned,"said Ahadi.
"Did you ever love me?"
"Of course I loved you but I was intimidated by you. I was very nervous being around you. There was something about you as a cub that scared me. I donít know what it was but you reminded me of the devil."
"Is that why you were always avoiding me?"
"So is that why I always got the cold shoulder from you?" Taka turned away from his Father and didnít even try to say anything. Taka whimpered as tears feel down his face.
"The truth is Taka............I blamed you for everything that I was scared of facing. You may not know this but-"
"NO!"yelled Taka. "I canít stand listening to you anymore! Your excuses are everlasting and I canít stand listening to them. If you never wanted me you should just say so! Maybe I should just go back to where I came from and stay there! I hate you and I know you hate me so letís just do each other a favor and stay away from each other!" With that said, Taka ran away. He ran fast, leaving his Father behind. He ran far away from the Pridelands into the elephant graveyard in the shadowlands. Taka ran so much and so fast, that he collapsed once his feet touched the soil of the elephant graveyard.
†Ahadi walked back to Pride Rock slowly while holding his head low the whole time. Ahadi arrived back at Pride Rock, where Mufasa sat and waited for his Fatherís return. Mufasa ran down to greet his Father and Taka but was shocked to see that Taka was no longer there. "Father, where is Taka?"asked Mufasa. Ahadi didnít answer and just went back into the den. Mufasa crawled back up onto Pride Rock and sat at the tip looking out into the far distance of the night. "We will meet again Taka and when we do, I will be the new King,"said Mufasa.
When Taka awoke in the elephant graveyard, he was surrounded by the hyenas, who thought he was dead. Ed was sniffing around Takaís supposedly dead body trying to find a good place to take the first bite of raw meat. Ed was about to move in for the kill when Taka swiped his paw across the hyenaís jaw. Taka stood up immediately to avoid becoming hyena chow. He stared at the hyenas and looked at them carefully. They were scrawny, smelly and had the same looks as Banzai, Shenzi and Ed. "Banzai, Shenzi, Ed? Is it really you guys?"asked Taka. The hyenas looked at Taka and without any hesitation knew it was him. "Hey look boys, Taka missed his old buddies and has come back for a little family reunion,"said Shenzi. The hyenas just laughed at Taka amusingly. "So Taka, have you come back to join our little family?"asked Banzai. "Indeed I have,"said Taka. The hyenaís stopped laughing and looked at Taka seriously. "Fine,"said Shenzi. "You can be back in the gang but you have to be more loyal to us and you canít defend your brother and family like you did before. Do we have a deal?" "We definitely have a deal,"said Taka. The hyenas lead Taka inside the elephant skull and showed them where they would stay. Taka was very pleased with his new family and never wished to return home. He never wanted to see Mufasa or his Father again. "My Father will die soon and once he is out of the way, I 7will kill Mufasa. I feel bad for leaving Sarafina all alone but she will have to go on without me. She was expecting a cub and I canít say that I wasnít proud to be a Father but I would rather stay here than be somewhere with a hateful family,"said Taka. "Taka-"said Shenzi. "No.....Taka is no more. My scar is where all of my hate is and I canít bear to hear that horrid name, ĎTakaí anymore! Call me Scar,"said Taka. "Well then Scar, this looks like the start of a wonderful family,"said Shenzi.
Ahadi wasnít the same after that night with Taka. He lay inside the den for most of his days and would refuse to do anything except stroll around Pride Rock. Time passed slowly for Ahadi and he became ill. A strange growth grew on Ahadiís paw and ruptured after a day of walking slowly around the perimeter of Pride Rock. Ahadi licked the wound hoping it would heal and he dipped it in a gourd of water Rafiki gave. Unfortunately, Ahadiís paw only got worse. After many days of pain and misery Ahadi was unable to get up from where he lay in the den. "I canít get up Mufasa,"he said. Mufasa lay over his Father and watched helplessly as Ahadi began to dwindle each day. After four season cycles past, Ahadi died in the den with his sisters and Mufasa by his side. Mufasa assumed the throne and took Sarabi to be his mate. Mufasa stood at the tip of Pride Rock with all of the animals surrounded at the base. Sarabi stood next to Mufasa and Zazu flew in from above the crowd and bowed before the new King and Queen. Sarafina watched all of the excitement from inside the den. "I wish you were here Taka,"she said. "You would have been a great Father to our new cub. Please return to me soon." Sarafina looked down on the cub she had in her paws. "I will call her Nala for that name reminds me of you Taka. You would have been a great Father." Sarafina held little Nala close in her paws and nuzzled the little cub. As Sarafina continued to look at Nala, she kept thinking about Taka.
†Ahadi had been in the spirit world for quite some time. Mufasa was becoming a great ruler. The Pridelands flourished with greens and creatures of all shapes and sizes. Taka no longer called himself Taka for the name was to painful to remember. The name Taka brought sadness to his eyes and anger into his heart. Taka renamed himself Scar and renewed his soul with darkness and evil spirits. The hyena population grew in the shadowlands with Shenzi, Banzai and Ed as the alphas and Scar was their ultimate leader. Sarafina grew more depressed everyday. The hole in her heart was never filled and never would be filled until Taka returned. To Sarafinaís surprise, Taka did return. She leapt down off of every rock and made it to the ground. Sarafina started running across the savannah until she stood in front of Taka. "Taka you have returned to me. It is a miracle,"she cried as she nuzzled her mate. Taka didnít move a muscle or say anything to Sarafina. "Taka where have you been? There is so much I have to tell you and-." "Stop!"screamed Scar. "I am not here to stay Sarafina. I am just here to say good bye to you and good riddance to the Pridelands."
"But Taka, I-"
"I am no longer Taka. That name holds too many bad memories. The memories of my Father treating me scornfully and of my brother always being better than I. I am now know as Scar for all of my anger lies deep in the wound from the past."
"Okay Scar.......but if you are really going to leave me for good. Let me at least tell you that you have a daughter. Her name is Nala."
"I donít want anything to do with parenthood."
"Than I guess you donít want to know that your Father has also died."
"Itís a good thing heís dead.
"And your brother has assumed the throne."
"This is something Mufasa has always wanted all his life...........I must find a way to destroy his dreams." Scar turned away and walked in the other direction. Sarafina ran after him.
"Scar, what has happened to you? You arenít the same Scar I grew up with."
"Because you didnít grow up with Scar. You grew up with Taka. Scar and Taka are two different people."
"Why have you changed so much?"
"Because of my new outlook on life."
"What exactly is that outlook Scar?"
"To be as far away from my brother and not get involved with my family. As far as I am concerned, I donít care if my Father is dead and I am glad he is because he only caused me pain."
"You really arenít the same Taka. You should just be called a killer because that is who you really are and will be!" Sarafina ran back to Pride Rock and into the den. Scar walked back to the shadowlands and stayed there with the hyenas.
The Circle of Life
All of the animals once again came to Pride Rock to celebrate another joyous moment in Prideland history. Mufasaís mate Sarabi had just given birth to the newest member of the pride. Mufasa sat at the tip of Pride Rock and watched all of the animals arrived. Zazu flew in from above and hovered over Pride Rock until his wings allowed him to float gently to the groung to bow before the King. Rafiki made it through the herd of wildebeest and oxen with his stick in hand and climbed all the way to the top of Pride Rock to grace the King and Queen with his presence. Mufasa lead Rafiki into the den where Sarabi lay and the Pride members surrounding. Mufasa nuzzled Sarabi gently and looked down at their new son. Rafiki stood in front of Sarabi, watching the little cubís first movements. Sarabi licked the little cub from head to toe and watched as he flipped his body around to face the baboon shaman. The little cub purred as Rafiki wave the gourds on his stick over the cubís crown. Rafiki took one of the gourds off of his stick and cracked it open over his head. Lowering the shell down from over his head, Rafiki dipped his finger into the gourd juice and wiped it over the cubís crown and then grabbed some sand and sprinkled it on top of the cub. The little cub sneezed and Sarabi and Mufasa just nuzzled each other. Rafiki picked up the cub and carried him over to the tip of Pride Rock where he was held high. Mufasa and Sarabi watched as their son was held high above the Pridelands and the animals kneeled before the royal prince.
†That morning, Scar laid in a nearby cave sleeping until a mouse caught his eye. It squeaked all around until the predator was spotted. Scar laid his big paw on top of the mouse and pulled it up off of the ground by its tail. "Lifeís not fair is it,"said Scar. "You see I will never be king. And you......will never live to see the light of another day." Scar lifted the mouse above his head and lowered it into his slimy jaws. "Didnít your mother ever tell you not to play with your food,"said Zazu. Scar lowered the mouse away from his mouth and hid it between his paws. "What do you want?"asked Scar with an annoyed tone.
"Iím here to announce that King Mufasa is on his way to talk to you about why you missed the presentation of the new prince; your nephew."
"I donít care if it is my brotherís son because now I have lost my appetite."
"Youíll lose more than that when the king gets through with you."
"Oh my, I quiver with fear at the sight of my brother." Scar stared at Zazu now not as his brotherís idiotic sidekick but as a food source. "Now Scar, donít look at me like that," said Zazu as he started to fly away from Scar. Unfortunately, Scar was much faster than Zazu and caught the bird in the slimy clutches of his mouth. "SCAR!"cried a roaring voice from above. Scar turned around and saw his brother standing on a nearby ledge watching the whole incident play out. Scar scowled at his brother and spit Zazu out of his mouth in a puddle of saliva. "Why if it isnít my big brother descending from on high to mingle with the commoners,"said Scar. "Sarabi and I didnít see you at the presentation of Simba. Is anything wrong?"asked Mufasa. "That was today? Oh I feel so awful. It must have slipped my mind,"said Scar. "As slippery as your mind is, as the Kingís brother, you should have been first in line,"said Zazu in an angered tone. Scar snapped at Zazu then smiled a conniving smile. "I always was first in line. Until the little hairball was born,"Scar sneered.
†"That hairball is my son and your future king."
"Oh let me practice my curtsy. All hail the royal hairball nephew of mine." Scar began to walk away from his brother. Mufasa felt the urge to run after his brother and scratch some sense into his head but felt reluctant towards those actions. Zazu flew up onto the Kingís shoulder and watched as the resentful Scar walked out into the daylight.
The daylight turned to nighttime shine very quickly in the Pridelands. Everyday, the grasslands began to sing with the melodies of dancing fauna and swaying flora. Some days were hotter than others and some days were wetter than most. The tallest acacia tree stood through the best and the worst. This tree was where Rafiki lived for most of his days. In between the branches, Rafiki had several gourds filled with watery juices of many colors which he used to create drawings on the tree trunk and behind all of the branches. Rafiki had a drawing of every moment in Prideland history. He had a picture of Meisie and Uru and another picture of Zazu with Mufasa. He had every Pride member on the tree except for the newest. Rafiki cracked open a gourd and began to wipe some of the juices onto a spot of his tree trunk with no picture. Rafiki had drawn a picture of a cub. "Simba,"he said as he wiped a strip of juice across the cubís forehead.
The sun and moon switched places many times in the sky and as they passed, Simba grew into a young cub. As curious as any young cub, Simba wished to explore the world around him. Mufasa realized that Simba would need to learn all of his life lessons quickly. Before the sun rose one morning, Mufasa led Simba out of the den and brought him to the tip of Pride Rock. Mufasa sat with Simba and waited and soon enough, the sun came out. "Look Simba,"said Mufasa. Everything the light touches is our kingdom." Simba looked out into the distance and gazed at all of the wonderous realms of the Pridelands that would be his one day. "A kingís time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day Simba, the sun will set on my time here and will rise with you as the new king>"Mufasa continued. "And this will all be mine?"asked Simba. "Everything,"said Mufasa. "The only place where we canít go are those shadowlands over there. Thatís beyond our borders and you must never go there Simba." "But I thought a king could do whatever he wants,"said Simba. "Thereís much more to being king than getting your way all of the time,"said Mufasa as he began to walk off of Pride Rock and into the grasslands with Simba trailing behind. "Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all of the creatures from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope because when we die our bodies become the grass and the antelope eat the grass. So, we are all connected in the great circle of life." "Sounds great Dad,"said Simba. Mufasa continued to talk but Simba got distracted by a small grasshopper and no longer listened to his Fatherís lecture. Mufasa and Simba walked through the Pridelands for some time until Mufasa saw Zazu flying overhead overseeing intruding hyenas entering the Pridelands. "Sire! Hyenas! In the Pridelands!"screeched Zazu. "Simba follow Zazu home,"ordered Mufasa. "Awe Dad, canít I come?"asked Simba. "No son,"ordered Mufasa. On the way home, Simba saw his Uncle Scar in a nearby cave close to Pride Rock. Simba raced off to where Zazu couldnít see him and ran over to the cave where his Uncle Scar lay. "Hey Uncle Scar, guess what. Iím going to be king of Pride Rock. My Dad showed me the whole kingdom. I canít wait to rule it all. He only said I canít go into the shadowy place thatís beyond our border,"said Simba. Scar sneered and glared a conniving smile. "Heís absolutely right Simba. Only the bravest lions go there,"said Scar. "Well Iím brave. Why canít I go there?"asked Simba "I never said you werenít brave Simba but an elephant graveyard is no place for a young prince,"said Scar. Simbaís eyes lit up with excitement. "This is so cool! An elephant graveyard; I canít wait to tell Nala,"said Simba. "Now Simba, I wasnít supposed to tell you that,"said Scar. "Now I want you to promise me something. Promise me you will never tell anybody about that dreadful place." "No problem,"said Simba with a smile. "Thereís a good lad,"said Scar. "Go run along now and have fun but remember this is our little secret." Simba pranced out of the cave with his Uncle Scar watching. Scar cackled as Simba ran further into the Pridelands knowing that everything was going as planned.
Simba pranced along in a proud manner. "Wouldnít Dad be so proud of such a brave cub,"Simba thought. Simba also knew that he would be disobeying his Father if he went into the elephant graveyard. "If only Uncle Scar didnít say that only the bravest lions go there. Then I wouldnít have to go there and disappoint my Father. I guess heíll forget all about his anger at me once I prove to him how brave I am,"thought Simba. Simba soon found Nala sitting with her Mother, Sarafina and Simba also found his Mother, Queen Sarabi. "Hey Mom. Can I take Nala to this really cool place I found over by the water hole?"asked Simba. "The Water Hole!"excalimed Nala. "Whatís so great about the water hole?" "Iíll show you when we get there,"said Simba. "Mom can I go with Simba?"asked Nala. Sarafina just looked at her daughter and then at Sarabi. "I donít know Nala. You just had a bath." "Iíll be really careful Mom. I promise I wonít get really dirty,"begged Nala. "What do you think Sarabi,"asked Sarafina. "Itís alright with me as long as Zazu goes with you. "No, not Zazu. Heíll spoil all of our fun,"thought the cubs. "Step lively. The sooner we get to the water hole........The sooner we can leave,"said Zazu. With Zazu flying ahead to lead the way, Simba was able to whisper to Nala what he actually had in mind. "We have to ditch the dodo. We are actually going to an elephant graveyard. My Uncle Scar says only the bravest lions go there,"said Simba. Zazu turned around to find the two cubs whispering and it reminded him of when Mufasa was a cub. "Oh look at you two little seeds of romance blossoming in the savannah. Your parents will be thrilled. One day you two are going to be married,"said Zazu. "YUCK,"said Simba. "I canít marry Nala. Sheís my friend."
†"Well thatís just how your Father was with your Mother. They were the best of friends as cubs but once they got older, they put their friendship aside and went into a more serious relationship." "Well, were not like that."
†"Rather you like it or not Simba itís going to happen. Itís tradition."
"Well when Iím king, thatíll be the first thing to go. Iíll just do as I please."
"With an attitude like that, youíll be a pretty pathetic king." Zazu flew ahead shaking his head and laughing at the cub. Simba dashed ahead with Nala closely behind "I canít wait to be king,"said Simba. "Just you wait Zazu, I am going to be the greatest king there ever was." Simba and Nala continued to run ahead. They sprinted in and out of animal herds, trying to get Zazu off of their trail. After running through the savannah, Simba and Nala finally lost the kingís annoying majordomo in all of the hustling, bustling herds.
†"It worked!"exclaimed Nala. "We lost him." "Now we have to look for the elephant graveyard,"said Simba. As a playful victory celebration, Simba tried to pounce on Nala. Nala was way to fast for Simba and jumped out of the way and pinned him on his back. Nala climbed off of Simba and moved slowly away from him. Simba was determined to retaliate and leaped out at Nala trying to pin her. Nala stepped out of the way again and jumped onto Simba. Together the cubs rolled down a hill until they hit rock bottom. The two cubs were startled by a large puff of steam that rose from a vent in the ground. The cubs slowly walked past the wall of steam when it dissipated into the sky. Behind the layer of steam was a large elephant skull. The skull was bone dry to the touch and covered in layers upon layers of dirt and muck. "This is it,"said Simba. "I canít believe we made it,"said Nala. The cubs got closer to the elephant skull and looked at it in awe. Simba and Nala looked over one of the elephant tusks and looked out further into the shadowlands. Piles of bones stood out for miles and never seemed to end. "Wow! Itís really creepy,"said Nala.
"Yeah, isnít it great,"said Simba
"We could get in big trouble."
"I know but this adventure is worth it. Címon letís go check out the dead elephant head." Simba and Nala almost entered the skull until Zazu showed up and stopped them. "You cubs arenít supposed to be here. We are way beyond the boundary of the Pridelands and need to go back,"said Zazu. "What could possibly go wrong Zazu?"asked Simba. "Listen this land is dangerous and if we donít leave soon we could all be in real danger,"Zazu said in a worried manner. "Danger? I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger. HA HA HA HA ,"said Simba. "HA HA HA HA HA HA,"echoed a strange series of cackling voices. Simba turned around abruptly and backed away from the elephant skull. Out of the eye sockets and mouth of the skull came the hyenas. Simba, Nala and Zazu quivered in fear at the sight of the laughing monsters. "Well, well, well Banzai. Now what do we have here?"asked Shenzi. "Oh, I donít know Shenzi. Now, what do you think Ed?"asked Banzai. Ed just cackled with his tongue flopping everywhere. "Yeah, thatís just what I was thinking..........a trio of trespassers!"screamed Banzai. "It was quite by accident. Let me assure you it was only a simple navigational error,"said Zazu. "Wait...............I know you. Your Mufasaís little stooge and that would make this little golden fluff ball.........,"said Shenzi. "Iím the future King,"said Simba. "Do you know what we do to kings who step out of that kingdom?"asked Shenzi. "You canít do anything to me you slobbery, mangy, stupid, pooches,"said Simba. "Who are you calling stupid?"cried Banzai. "Oh my! Well look at the sun. Itís time to go,"Zazu panicked. "Whatís the hurry? Stay around for dinner,"said Shenzi. "We could have whatever is lion around! Or Maybe Iíll have a cub sandwich!" The hyenas laughed until Ed started to jump up and down making strange sounds. Banzai looked around and saw no sign of the lion cubs. Shenzi continued to laugh uncontrollably and Ed just kept bouncing up and down as if he was trying to say something. "Hey? Did we order this dinner to go?"asked Banzai sarcastically. "No. Why?"asked Shenzi cluelessly. "Cause THERE IT GOES!"screamed Banzai. Simba and Nala ran as fast as their little paws would allow with Zazu trailing behind them. The hyenas soon caught up and grabbed Zazu by the tail feathers. Simba and Nala continued to run until Simba noticed Zazu was missing. "Did we lose them,"asked Nala. "I think so.....Whereís Zazu?"asked Simba. The hyenas chased Zazu out of the shadowlands laughing after their task was complete. The hyenas turned around and saw Simba and Nala standing there and bolted after them again. Simba and Nala ran faster and faster every time they took a step with the hyenas slowly trailing behind them and trying to take a chomp out of them whenever they were given the chance. A mountain of bones lay scattered in Simba and Nalaís path and the only way to escape the hyenas was to climb up to the top. The cubs climbed and climbed the steep heep of bones. Nala struggled to climb all of the way to the top and found Shenzi climbing quickly behind her. Simba noticed his friend in distress and ran down the pile to save her. Nala began to climb away as Shenzi got ready to chomp. Simba smacked Shenzi in the face closing her jaws and sending her down the hill. Simba and Nala ran away into a cave with no escape. It was a dead end and the hyenas were closing in. Simba and Nala anxiously looked for another way to escape but it was too late; the hyenas were coming in for the kill. Nala stood behind Simba and quivered in fear. The hyenas approached slowly and sneered at the cubs smacking their lips along the way with their wet and slimy tongues. Simba stood still and arched his back. Trying to be ferocious, Simba belted out the biggest and most fierce roar he had in him. The hyenas cackled at the young cubs attempt to be brave and dared him to try again. Simba wasnít going to back down off a challenge and roared the biggest roar he had in him which sounded like an adult lion roar. The hyenas were dumbfounded by the young cubs roar but knew it wasnít him when Mufasa came out of nowhere and pummeled the hyenas to the hard ground. Mufasa stood over the three hyenas and listened to their ongoing babbling for mercy. "SILENCE!"Mufasa roared. "If you ever come near my son again.........." The hyenas began to babble again until Mufasa roared with his teeth showing. The hyenas sprinted out of the cave in fear beyond any belief. Zazu flew in from outside of the cave and landed next to Mufasa. Mufasa glared at Zazu in a disappointed manner and then looked back at the cubs. "Dad.......I.......Iím sorry,"Simba sobbed. "You deliberately disobeyed me. Letís go home,"said Mufasa. MUfasa walked out of the cave with Zazu flying behind him and the cubs trailing behind. "I thought you were very brave,"said Nala. The cubs held their heads low, knowing they were in big trouble. Over viewing the whole incident was Scar on a high cliff ledge. He stared down at his brother and his nephew in disgust and disappointment. Scar disappeared into the darkness as the silhouettes of his unwanted family faded.
The sun began to set in the Pridelands when Mufasa furiously returned with the cubs. "Zazu,"called Mufasa. Zazu flew in front of Mufasa and hovered until his wings brought him gently to the ground. "Yes sire,"said Zazu. "Take Nala home. I have to teach my son a lesson,"ordered Mufasa. Zazu flew over to Simba and Nala and requested Nala to follow him. Simba watched as Nala disappeared into the night with Zazu flying ahead. Simba waited in the tall grass for his fate from his Father. "Simba!"called Mufasa in a harsh tone. Simba apprehensively walked towards his Father passing through the tall grass. Along the path, Simba stepped into one of his Fatherís paw prints imprinted in the ground. Simba looked down at his paw and compared it to how big his Fatherís was. "How can I ever be as great of a king as my Father. I can never fill his paw print,"Simba thought as he slowly trotted over to where Mufasa sat. Simba sat down next to his Father and held his head low. Mufasa looked down at Simba in a vexed manner. "Simba I am very disappointed in you. You could have been killed! You deliberately disobeyed me and what was worse was that you put Nala in danger!"exclaimed Mufasa. "I am very sorry Dad,"said Simba very apologetically. "I was only trying to be brave like you."
†"I am only brave when I have to be. Simba, being brave doesnít mean you go looking for trouble."
"But your not scared of anything."
"I was today because I thought I might lose you. If anything happened to you, I wouldnít know what to do."
"So even kings get scared too.......but I thought kings didnít have any fears."
"Everyone has fears Simba. My only fear today was the fear of losing you and there was nothing I could do about it. If anything ever did happen to you, I would lose my pal." Mufasa wrapped his mighty paw around Simba and pulled him close. Mufasa used his other paw to give Simba a noogie. Simba . Simba evasively escaped the grasp of his Father and chased him off into the night. Simba pounced onto Mufasa and started to nibble on his ear. Mufasa lay in the grass with Simba tussling in the thickness of his mane.
"Weíre pals right?"
"And weíll always be together right?" Mufasa paused for a moment and didnít answer Simba. Mufasa sat up in the tall grass and felt Simba loosen his grip on his mane and slip down to his shoulders. "Simba.....Let me tell you something that my Father told me. Look at the stars........The Great Kings of the Past look down on us from those stars. Whenever you feel alone all you have to do is remember that those kings will always be there to guide you.....and so will I." "But what if I canít find you?"asked Simba. "You will always be able to find me. Spirits are capable of achieving anything that is thought to be impossible. You can always find me because I will be in your reflection and anywhere else you can imagine." Simba looked up at the stars and then yawned with his head snuggling into Mufasaís mane. Simba fell asleep moments after his head touched Mufasaís mane. The night grew darker and several more stars appeared in the sky. Mufasa carried Simba on his back all the way to Pride Rock and into the den. Mufasa laid next to Sarabi with Simba still on his shoulders and fell asleep during the stillness of the night.
†The night grew old in the Pridelands and darker in the shadowlands. In a cave with many steam and fire pits, the hyenas lay on the cold ground still traumatized with their run in with Mufasa. "You know if it werenít for lions, weíd be running the joint,"said Shenzi as she chomped on a dry elephant bone from the elephant graveyard. "I donít even know why they are in charge,"said Banzai, trying to take Shenziís bone. "Their pushy, hairy, stinky and their terribly ugly!" Ed began to laugh neurotically as he rolled on his back all over the ground. "Well Iím sure we lions are not all that bad,"said Scar as steam rose up from the ground and revealed a high ledge where Scar laid. "Hey Scar has finally come in to hang with his buddies,"said Banzai. "Did you bring us anything to eat old buddy?" "I donít think you really deserve this,"said Scar as he pulled out a zebra haunch. "I practically gift wrapped those cubs for you and you couldnít even dispose of them." Scar dropped the zebra haunch for the hyenas and they immediately attacked it. "Well it wasnít exactly like they were alone Scar,"said Banzai with his mouth full. Shenzi swallowed a huge chunk of meat and said "What were we supposed to do with Mufasa there to defend those hairballs. I assume you will want us to try and kill Mufasa next instead of the cubs." "Precisely,"said Scar as he leaped from rock brother end rock until he hit rock bottom where the hyenas lay. "We will have to be prepared for any task to remove Mufasa and Simba from the picture." "Why do we have to get rid of them?"asked Banzai. "Because oh oblivious one, with Mufasa and Simba out of the way, there will be no king and no heir to the throne leaving me the only one to rightfully take the throne. So we must prepare for the death of the king,"said Scar. "Why must we prepare for the death of the king? Is he sick?"asked Shenzi. "No fool we are gonna kill him and Simba too,"said Scar. "What a great idea! Then we will have no king! Who needs a king anyway,"said Shenzi and Banzai in unison. "Scar looked at the hyenas enraged with anger. "IDIOTS!"he exclaimed. "There will be a king! I will be king and if you stick with me, you will never go hungry again!" The hyenas cheered in a felicitous manner and screamed "LONG LIVE THE KING!" As they screamed, more hyenas appeared in the distance and all around the shadowlands. Scar bowed towards his new subjects. "The plan is simple and will get rid of both Simba and Mufasa but I will need assistance from my hyena brother end. When I assume the throne I will have full power over the Pridelands but I need you to remember who your leader was who assisted you to power. My ambitions to take over the Pridelands will include making sacrifices and myself being the main addressee to any changes. And......if any of you plan to replace me at any point in time, just let me remind you that I was the one who brought you to this point and you WONíT GET A SNIFF WITHOUT ME!!!!!" The hyenas were oblivious to what Scar was talking about and concentrated on their future meals which would be received. Scar didnít notice the dazed looks on the hyenas faces and knew that their happiness was a sign of loyalty and celebration for their new king. "LONG LIVE THE KING! LONG LIVE THE KING!"screamed the hyenas into the night.
†The sun came up sluggishly the following morning and didnít have the same shine it had always had. Scar led Simba into a dry and simmering gorge with many cracks in the land. "Now you wait here. Your Father has a marvelous surprise for you,"said Scar. "What is it Uncle Scar?"asked Simba as he climbed up onto a small rock under an adolescent acacia tree.
†"If I told you Simba it wouldnít be a surprise."
"Awe, címon Uncle Scar. I promise I will still act surprised."
"No, No, No, Simba this is just between you and your Daddy. You know, a Father son kinda thing. Well, I should go get him."
"Iíll go with you."
"No! Heh, heh, heh.....no. Just stay on this rock. We donít want you to wind up in another mess like you did with the hyenas."
"Wait.......how did you find out about that?"
"Simba, everybody knows about what happened. You are very lucky your Daddy was there to save you. Oh, and just between us, you might want to work on that little roar of yours. Hm?"
"Okay Uncle Scar." Scar began to walk away and left Simba on the rock. "Hey Uncle Scar! Do you think Iíll like the surprise?" "Oh my goodness Simba you will love it. This special of a surprise is to die for,"Scar sarcastically exaggerated. The young cub believed his Uncleís lies and laid down quietly under the rock as Scar walked away. Above the rock where Simba sat, was a high ledge with grazing wildebeest on the top. Along with all of the wildebeest, there were three hungry hyenas waiting to make their move, each with an empty belly. "Banzai, tell your stomach to shut up,"said Shenzi. "I canít help it. Iím so hungry. Canít I just pick off one of the little babies or maybe a sick or injured one,"said Banzai. "NO! We have to wait for the signal from Scar,"said Shenzi. Scar appeared over an arched rock formation. "There he is. Letís go,"said Shenzi. Simba laid on the rock very bored. "Little roar? It wasnít a little roar. That was the biggest roar I had in me. What does Uncle Scar know about little roars anyway,"said Simba. As Simba put his head back on the rock, a small lizard came down onto the rock from a branch on the acacia tree. Simba looked at the lizard and roared. The lizard wasnít scared and then Simba roared a bigger roar. The lizard still wasnít scared. Simba was getting annoyed at the lizard and finally roared the biggest roar he had in him sending the lizard running miles away and an echo of the mighty cubs roar throughout the gorge. Simba looked around in a proud manner noticing that there was a shaking motion going on in the gorge causing the rocks on the ground to vibrate. Simba looked up at the top of the ledge and saw the wildebeest herd stampeding down the ridge. Simba stood frozen in fear and watched as the wildebeest inched closer and closer. The ground vibrated with every step the stampeding herd took. Simba bolted away as fast as he could but couldnít escape the speeding herd. As the last few wildebeest rushed down the ridge, the hyenas stood atop the ledge and watched the young lion cub run to his doom. Simba kept running and running but eventually got caught in the herd. Simba kept sprinting until he ran into a dried up tree with a single branch left. Simba climbed up the tree and clung onto the branch for dear life. Off in the distance, Mufasa stood on a path in the grasslands with Zazu on his shoulders. "Look sire. The herd is on the move already,"said Zazu in a puzzled voice. "That seems odd,"said Mufasa continuing to walk to Pride Rock. "Mufasa,"cried Scar in a sarcastically panicked tone. "There is a stampede in the gorge! Simbaís down there!" "Simba,"cried Mufasa. Scar ran off with Mufasa running behind him into the gorge. Mufasa and Scar are frantically looking for Simba but see no sign off the cub. Zazu flew down into the midst of the stampede looking for the cub and found him on the branch. Rushing back to the top of the gorge, Zazu flew to Mufasaís side. "Heís down there on that tree,"said Zazu. "Hold on Simba!"shouted Mufasa. "Help Me Dad!"screamed Mufasa as the branch began to break. Mufasa ran down into the stampede trying to save his son. "Oh Scar this is so awful. We have to find some way to help! Help Iíll go back for help,"cried Zazu as he tried to rush out of the gorge to retrieve the lionesses. Scar growled at Zazu and smacked in the head causing him to hit a rock wall causing him to fall. Mufasa ran as fast as he could against the current of the stampede. Constantly being thrown to the ground, Mufasa never hesitated to turn around; he kept pulling and moving forward to save Simba. The branch kept cracking and cracking and poor Simba could barely hold on. A wildebeest ran towards the tree and snapped it in half. Simba flew through the air and looked down towards his doom until Mufasa leaped into the air and snatched Simba from out of the sky. Scar watched from a distance as Mufasa kept running through the stampede with Simba in his jaws. Mufasa climbed onto a small ledge and placed Simba atop and away from the danger but then, Mufasa was swept away by the quick moving herd. "DAD!"hollered Simba. Simba frantically looked for his Father but saw no sign of him. Simba began to panic until Mufasa burst out through the rushing stampede and clung onto the nearest ledge. Mufasa began to climb up the steep cliffhanger with Simba watching from a distance. Simba climbed in between the small rocks and hoped to get to a higher ledge to help his Father. Mufasa reached the top of the cliff where Scar stood. "Scar! Dear Brother.........help me please,"cried Mufasa. Scar stared at his brother and then launched forward slamming his claws into Mufasaís paws. Scar stared Mufasa straight in the eye and held onto his paws. "Long live the king,"said Scar sinisterly towards his brother as he threw Mufasa off of the cliff. Mufasaís body fell through the air helplessly. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO,"cried Simba as he watched his Father plummet to his doom. Mufasa disappeared in a thick cloud of dust and smoke as the last members of the wildebeest herd bustled past. Simba hastily ran off of the rock ledge from where he stood to find his Dad. When Simba reached the bottom, he was blinded by the smoke overcast. No sign of Mufasa was visible in the gorge. "Dad!"hollered Simba. Looking around at the bottom of gorge, Simba found no remnants of his Father. "Dad?" The last wildebeest of the herd ran by Simba revealing an arched tree branch with Mufasa laying underneath. Simba looked at his Fatherís body and wasnít sure if he was dead. Simba inched closer to Mufasa and was sad to realize the fate his Father suffered but denied it all. Simba slowly walked towards his Father and wished hopefully that he was still alive. "Dad.......awe címon Dad.......you have to get up. Dad we have to get home. Mother and the pride will be worried about us. Simba nudged his Fatherís head and pulled his ear but nothing would awaken Mufasa from the slumber of destruction. Simbaís soul finally admitted to itself that Mufasa was dead. Simba was frightened and looked around fro help but no one was there to comfort the traumatized cub. With tears flooding his eyes, Simba approached his Father slowly and rubbed his body against his mane. Simba crawled under his Fatherís paw and laid there with his eyes over flowing with tears. Scar appeared through the smokey dust fog and stood behind Mufasaís body. "Simba...........what have you done,"Scar said. "Well there......there were wildebeest..........he tried to save me. It was an accident Uncle Scar I didnít mean for this to happen."
"Of course, of course you didnít. No one ever means for these things to happen." Scar pulled Simba close as the cub buried his face into his Uncleís foreleg.
†"I want to take it all back."
"I know you do but you canít. The king is dead and if it werenít for you he would still be alive." Simba couldnít believe what he was hearing and took in the guilt of his Fatherís death. Simba was crushed and looked up at his Uncle for signs of sympathy. "Oh, what will your Mother think?"
"What am I gonna do?í
"You must run away Simba. Go! Run away and never return." Simba ran off as far as he could with his shadow disappearing slowly into the overcast dust. Scar sat there and gave a slight smirk as the hyenas approached him slowly from behind. "Kill him,"said Scar. The hyenas chased after young Simba with their teeth revealed and their jaws ready to chomp. Simba approached a dead end and heard the hyenas approaching from behind. Simba climbed through the crevices in the gully until he reaches the lip where there is a steep drop ahead. The hyenas gained speed and drew near the young cub quickly. Simba had no choice but to jump down the sheer drop. Tumbling all the way down the hill and into a field of dry briars, Simba pursued his escape as the hyenas pursued their attack. Stopping right before the fall into the briars, the hyenas watched as Simba walked off into the night. "Hey there he goes,"said Shenzi. "So go get him,"replied Banzai.
†"There ainít no way Iím going in there. Heís as good as dead out there anyway."
"But we gotta finish the job."
"He doesnít have a chance out there anyway and if he comes back, weíll kill."
ĎYeah! Did Ya Here That?! If You Ever Come Back, Weíll Kill Ya!" The hyenas walked away as Simba continued to journey into the realm unknown.
†Returning back to Pride Rock, Scar addressed to the lionesses in the stillness of the night what has happened. "Mufasaís death is a terrible tragedy but to lose Simba who had barely begun to live." Zazu and the other lionesses consoled Sarabi who held her head low in complete despair. Nala hid underneath her Motherís body and rubbed head against her Motherís foreleg with tears dripping down her cheek. "For me this a deep personal loss it is with a heavy heart that I assume the throne. Getting out of the ashes from this tragedy we shall rise to greet the dawning of a new era in which lion and hyena come together in a great and glorious future!" Hyenas came from every corner emerging from every point on the savannah. Rafiki watched from a distance as the hyenas invaded the Pridelands. Sitting in his tree, Rafiki looked at his picture of Simba and swiped his hand across it smearing the picture along with all of his hopes and dreams of the new prince out the door. Nala walked off into the night and sat next to Rafikiís tree and prayed. "Mufasa......I miss you and I miss Simba too. Please bring him back to me. I need you Simba. Youíre my only friend,"pleaded Nala into the night. Unknown to Nala and the rest of the pride, Simba was still alive.
Simba had traveled far away from the Pridelands and into the desert jungle area. Simba had traveled for many days and nights without any food or water and it wasnít long before he past out in the hot desert sun. Vultures circled over the cubs body in hopes he would make a decent meal. The buzzards touched down on the ground and began to peck at Simbaís body. From out of nowhere, a mahogany red warthog charged at the buzzards with a meerkat attached to his ears. Ramming all of the buzzards in sight, the dynamic warthog and meerkat cleared all of the buzzards out of the dry desert. The little meerkat jumped down off of his warthog companion and kicked a small pebble around. "I love bowling for buzzards wouldnít you agree Pumbaa?"he said. "Yep! Nothing beats the best Hakuna Matata day than kicking and tossing around the buzzards,"replied Pumbaa. As the two friends mollycoddled around for a while Pumbaa stumbled across young Simba. "Hey Timon! Come over here and see what I found."
"Well what do we have here?" Timon sniffed the young lions body with curiosity and then lifted the cubs paw off the ground revealing his face. "Itís a lion! Run Pumbaa! Letís get out of here." Pumbaa put his hoof in front of his friend cutting off the escape route.
†"Timon......relax itís just a little lion. Look at him. Heís so cute and all alone. Can we keep him?"
"Pumbaa are you nuts! Your talking about a lion and lions eat guys like us."
"We shouldnít worry about him Timon. Heís only a cub. Sure heíll get bigger but maybe heíll be on our side>í
"Thatís the craziest idea I ever heard. Maybe heíll-. Wait......I got it. What if heís on our side. You know having a lion around might not be such a bad idea." Timon climbed back onto Pumbaaís back as Pumbaa scooped Simba up. Pumbaa carried Simba over to a shady area next to a small oasis. Timon slid off of Pumbaaís back and landed in the oasis with a small splash. Pumbaa laid Simba down onto a palm frond as Timon splashed water onto the cubs face. Simba slowly awoke from his slumber and looked at Timon and Pumbaa with a blurred focus. "Are you okay kid?"Timon asked. "I guess so<Ďreplied Simba as his vision became clearer. "You nearly died but we saved you,"said Pumbaa. Simba slowly tried to get up but collapsed from exhaustion. "I appreciate your help,"said Simba attempting to get up again. "So where are you from?"asked Timon. "Who cares.........I canít go back,"said Simba. "So that would make you an outcast. Thatís great cause so are we,"said Timon as he tried to cheer Simba up. "What did you do kid?"asked Pumbaa. "Something terrible but I donít want to talk about it,"said Simba as he felt the guilt from the incident rushing back in his head and flooding his mind with terrible thoughts. "Is there anything we can do?"asked Pumbaa with sympathy. "Not unless you can change the past,"said Simba. "You know kid in times like this I like to put the past behind me. Sometimes bad things happen and there is nothing you can do about it. So when the world turns itís back on you, you turn your back on the world,"said Timon. "But thatís not what I was taught,"said Simba. "Then weíll have to teach you a knew lesson. Repeat after me.......Hakuna Matata,"said Timon. Simba was speechless and didnít say anything. "What does that mean?"he asked. "Hakuna Matata means no worries,"said Pumbaa. "Okay......Hakuna Matata means no worries. I got it,"Simba rejoiced. "Perfect! Well Iím starving and I hope you are too,"said Timon with a gurgling stomach. "I am so hungry I can eat a whole zebra,"said Simba. Timon and Pumbaa looked at each other and then back at Simba. "Well we donít have any zebra but let us show you the kind of things we eat,"said Pumbaa. Timon and Pumbaa took Simba to their jungle home to show him where he would be living. Simba adapted to his new home rapidly; lush waterfalls, plenty of room to run, lots of trees and grass and tons of food but not the food Simba was used to. "This looks like a great spot to rustle up some grub,"said Timon as Pumbaa lifted up a log revealing tons of creepy crawly bugs. "These are very good." Timon grabbed a small red beetle and took a bite out of his head. "Thatís gross,"said Simba. "It may look gross on the outside but their really good on the inside and besides if you want to live with us, you have to eat like us,"said Timon. Pumbaa grabbed a leaf off of a nearby bush and filled it with all kinds of slimy yet satisfying bugs. Pumbaa pushed the leaf towards Simba and watched as the young cub took a bite of his first slug. Simba slurped up the slug and swallowed it with a big gulp. "That was pretty good,"said Simba as he took another bug off of the leaf and ate it with great pleasure.
Several season cycles flew quickly through the Pridelands with Scar being king. The Pridelands were dark and gloomy. The land died. All of the trees and plants shriveled up and water receded from the water hole and streams. All of the animals left the Pridelands except for the Pride who were under strict commands by Scarís army of hyenas. Scar stayed in the den for most of his days with Zazu in a cage made out of the ribs of a hyena. Scar picked his teeth with a sharp bone as Zazu sat in the cage singing depressing songs. "Oh Zazu, you need to lighten up,"said Scar. "Yes your lovable kingship,"said Zazu sarcastically.
†"What are you being so sarcastic?"
"I am not being sarcastic your majesty I am just saying that your loved by the whole pride."
"Donít lie to me Zazu."
"What do you mean your highness?"
"I know I am not loved. Zazu........tell me.........why am I not loved?"
†"Hey boss!"bellowed Banzai. "We got a bone to pick with you. Thereís no food and no water. Now itís dinner time but there are no entrees." "Itís the lionesses job to do the hunting,"said Scar.
"Yeah but they wonít go hunt,"said Shenzi. "Your looking at me like I am supposed to do the hunting. Just eat Zazu for all I care,"said Scar. Scar began to walk away and the hyenas looked at each other and Shenzi said "I thought things would be bad under Mufasa." Scar immediately turned around and snapped at the hyenas. "You know the law. Never ever mention that name in my presence I am the king." Scar chased the hyenas out of the den and stood over the tip of Pride Rock. "Work harder you lazy lionesses!"screamed Scar. Angrily, Scar rushed back into the den where he found Sarafina sitting in front of Zazuís cage. "Scar I know you donít mean any harm to the rest of the pride, but I think you should try to take better of us. We are your family,"said Sarafina.
†"The position of king is a very important position Sarafina and I donít have time to take care of everybodyís needs."
"Scar......the land is dying."
"There is nothing I can do about the land."
"Well if nothing can be done about the land then we are just going to have to leave Pride Rock."
"Weíre not going anywhere!"
"We have to do something or else youíll be sentencing your family to death."
"Then so be it." Sarafina began to cry.
"Itís hard to believe that I ever loved you." Sarafina stormed out of the den leaving Scar and Zazu alone. "Zazu......why am I not loved?"
"Sire what are you talking about? Everyone loves you." Zazu didnít like that he had to lie but it was the only way he could say something without aggravating Scar.
"Donít lie to me Zazu I know nobody really loves me." Zazu couldnít hold his feelings inside any longer.
"Okay! Okay! Your right Scar, itís true. Nobody really adores you . Everyone thinks your doing a terrible job and we miss MUFASA!" Scar roared furiously.
†"Mufasa! Mufasa! I told you never to mention that name again!"
"Iím sorry sire but itís the truth."
"Even in death, my brotherís shadow lures over me and haunts my mind at night. What did my brother have that I donít have?"
"He had adoring subjects, a loving family, a devoted queen...."
"Thatís it! I need a queen."
"A queen! Without a queen what am I? A dead end, no line, no decedents, no future. With a queen Iíll have......cubs. Immortality will be mine for the taking. Immortality will be mine!"
"Nala, your timing couldnít have been more perfect. Look at you. Why you have grown so much after these many season cycles. Not yet a full grown female but old enough to start a family. Wouldnít you agree?"
"Scar you have to do something. We are being forced to over hunt. Youíre the king control the hyenas. Your destroying the Pridelands. If we stop now there is still a chance for everything to be alright again." Scar ignored everything Nala said and dazed off into a world unknown. "Scar! Nala bellowed.
†"Nala, how would you like to be my queen. We can rule the Pridelands together." Scar got closer to Nala and nuzzled her but Nala felt nervous and scratched Scar on the nose. "Nala......you know how I loathe violence. One way or another you will be mine."
"Never! Never Scar! I will never be yours!" Nala tried to flee from the den but her escape was blocked off by hyenas.
"I think you are mine. You belong to me Nala. You belong to me."
The jungle was the total opposite of the Pridelands with flowers and trees blossoming everywhere. Timon and Pumbaa went out for a walk leaving Simba behind to sleep. The walk through the jungle was enjoyable but Timon and Pumbaa didnít know that they were being followed by Simba who hid in the bushes behind them. Simba leaped out and pounced Timon causing the little meerkat to panic. "Donít eat me please,"he begged.
"Timon......Open your eyes,"said Simba. So Timon did and found Simba standing over him.
†"You have gotten way to big to play that pouncing game Simba." Timon was right. Simba was very grown up. He was almost a full grown male with a mane.
†"I canít help it Timon. I feel these sudden urges to pounce and to hunt."
"This isnít the time to play Simba. Itís time to eat."
"No itís not. Itís time to play!" Simba led his friends to a fast moving river. Simba leaped over to the other side of the river and turned around to await the arrival of his friends. "I think I will go find some grubs for lunch,"said Pumbaa as he walked away into the forest.
†"Letís go Timon. I want to show you how to have some real fun."
"You donít have to show me because I know how to have fun."
"How can you have fun when your afraid to even cross the river?" Timon looked down at the river and then back at the taunting Simba. Timon kept looking for other ways to cross the fast moving river. A little way back upstream, Timon saw a row of stepping stones leading to the other side. "Letís just see who can have the most fun,"said Timon walking towards the stones. "See Simba. I can cross the river with these stones that are the right size for me. Of course you canít use these stones because your paws are to big." Timon continued to talk but was unaware of the water constantly rushing up against the rocks. Water splashed over the rocks and pulled off everything that came in the way. Timon began to leap from rock to rock and continued to ramble on about how he can have fun. "Timon be careful,"warned Simba.
†"Donít worry about me Simba. I am perfectly safe on these rocks." Timon leapt to the next rock as this wave of water came by and swept Timon off of his feet. Timon was carried downstream with the fast moving current. And reached the end of the river where there was a waterfall. Simba chased after Timon but realized he could not reach his friend from the top of the falls. There was a ledge next to the falls where Simba climbed down and stood at the bottom of the falls. There was still no sign of Timon. "Timon!"screamed Simba. "Timon! Where are you!" Timon was up above the waterfall hanging onto a thin branch. Pumbaa came out of the forest to find his best friend hanging above the falls and his other friend standing on the bottom. To make the scenario even more dangerous, there were crocodiles at the bottom of the waterfall. "Hang on Timon!"shouted Simba. Pumbaa buried his face in the sand and tried not to think about his friends doom. Simba ran down to the waters edge but stopped when he saw the water. Simba looked into the water and saw the horrible image of his Father falling off of the cliff. Simba looked back up at Timon and froze. The images kept coming back to Simba of the terrible tragedy in the gorge and the guilt from his past grew and grew leaving a big burden on his shoulders. The branch Timon clung onto became weaker and weaker until the branch snapped plunging Timon into the mist of the falls. The crocodiles swam into the mist looking for the little morsel but couldnít find him. Timon dove all the way down to the bottom of the river and hid behind a large water rock. The crocodiles searched for Timon but their efforts were futile for there was no sign of Timon over the surface. The crocodiles even dove under but couldnít find Timon hidden behind the rock. Finally, the crocodiles gave up their search and swam in the opposite direction from where Simba and Pumbaa stood. Timon couldnít hold his breathe any longer and shot up from under the water. The water from the splash hit Simba in the face awakening him from his trance. Pumbaa brought his head up from out of the sand and rushed over assisting Timon out of the water. Simba backed up out of the water and sat down on the sand rubbing his head with his paw. Timon was extremely exhausted from the time he was under water. "Thanks for no help Simba,"said Timon. Pumbaa helped Timon over to a palm frond and had him sit down. "Timon........I-Iím sorry. I donít know what happened,"said Simba with forgiveness.
"Your sorry! The crocodiles almost had me for lunch and your sorry!"
"I donít know what happened. It was as if I couldnít move my legs and my mind froze."
"Timon donít you think you should give Simba a break. Heís still just a cub,"said Pumbaa.
†"Iím really sorry Timon,"said Simba. "I just got scared." Timon and Pumbaa looked at Simba and wondered what he was talking about. "It was a moment from my past,"said Simba. Timon got up from his palm frond and Pumbaa followed behind him. "Simba........do you want to talk about it?"asked Pumbaa with sympathy. "No......you wouldnít understand,"said Simba as he walked away. Timon and Pumbaa watched as Simba walked into the forest with his head low. "Gee. If only there was something we could do to make Simba feel better,"said Pumbaa. "What can we do?" asked Timon. "Simba has never told us about his past."
"I think we should get to the bottom of why our Simba is so unhappy."
"Thatís a great idea Pumbaa but how will we ask Simba about his past without mentioning his past."
"Maybe we should talk about our past."
"Couldnít have said it better myself." Timon and Pumbaa walked off into the woods following Simbaís tracks until they found their furry companion. They waited until nightfall before confronting Simba about his past. Finally, it was time. Timon and Pumbaa lay in the grass with Simba looking up at the stars and watching them shine. The three friends looked up at the never-ending sky but Simba was still uneasy about what happened earlier. "Timon I really didnít mean to put you in danger today,"said Simba. "Hey, itís okay. Hakuna Matata; you gotta put the past behind you,"said Timon. "You know this reminds me of when I was still working in the colony. I was always the one with the most creative ideas but every single one was a failure. I tried to put a skylight in one of the tunnels to get some sun shine but it collapsed the whole tunnel. I also tried to be a look out but that wasnít my favorite job. Unfortunately, a cheetah decided to make my nephews cousin Ibo into a chew toy. We never saw Ibo again but everyday I wondered where he was. So after that, I decided it was time to put the past behind me and I did. I left the colony and met Pumbaa. Yep. Leaving the colony was probably one of the best decisions I made." "I remember when I left my home,"said Pumbaa. "I was never really wanted at my home anyway. You see......I have always had this problem in crowds. Whenever I was around a lot of animals at the water hole or even by myself I would have this gassy feeling inside my stomach. That gas wasnít always the best smell in the world and it made me smell really bad." Timon and Simba just laughed at Pumbaa. Pumbaa snorted and continued with his story. "So one day, my friend Kalamu, told me that I stink and I decided to go somewhere else. I left my home in the savannah and met Timon." The friends laughed at each others stories and then Timon and Pumbaa awaited Simbaís story. "I donít really want to talk about my past,"said Simba. "Awe......Címon....Please....."begged Timon and Pumbaa. Simba caved into his friends wishes and told his story. "I used to live in a great place with my family. My Mother was there, my friend Nala was there, all of the other creatures I loved were there. Unfortunately, the one that I loved the most, my Father is no longer there." "What happened to him?"asked Pumbaa. "He died when I was just a cub. Heís the reason I had to run away from home. Thatís why I was scared to help you today Timon. I could just see the time my Father died flashing back into my head. I was scared that would happen to you but I was too afraid to try to help." There was silence among the friends for quite some time. "Thatís okay Simba. The past is behind you so just forget about it,"said Timon. "There is one memory that is special to me that helps me remember all of the special times I had with my Father. He told me that all of the Great Kings of the past are up there in the sky and are watching over us,"said Simba. "You mean a bunch of royal dead guys are watching us?"asked Timon. Timon and Pumbaa laughed hysterically but Simba didnít find anything amusing. Simba got up from where he lay on the grass and walked over to a nearby ledge with a small circle of grass. Timon and Pumbaa didnít notice Simba getting up and laughed themselves to sleep. Simba sat at the top of the ledge and looked up at the sky. "I miss you Father. Why did you have to leave me? I feel like I am living in an endless nightmare. I only need to hear you voice, just a word. I need you!"Said Simba as he screamed to the heavens. There was no response from Mufasa. Simba shed some tears and then collapsed onto the grass with his paws hanging over the edge. There was a small flower rubbing against Simbaís nose. Simba blew the petals off of the flower and set his head beck down onto the grass.
The Pridelands slowly diminished into a land of broken land and dust. Members of the pride became very weak from malnourishment but Nala grew into a mature adult. Scar barked orders at all of the lionesses and hyenas. Nala was kept confined in the den with Scar guarded by hyenas at every opening and crevice. Nala laid in a corner in the den while Scar sat on a thrown made of stone he piled up. "Scar you have to find some way to save the Pridelands,"said Nala. "The Pridelands donít need to be fixed. It isnít my fault the land has died. Itís the lionesses."
"You canít blame everything on the lionesses. What have they ever done to deserve this cruel treatment?"
"They donít have to do anything. I am the King and if I feel something needs to be done to change the way things go around here then so be it."
"Mufasa was never cruel like this to his subjects."
"I am not like Mufasa! I am much greater than Mufasa!"
"No you are not! Mufasa was a great leader and all you are is vicious!" Nala fought her way out of the cave, thwacking every hyena that crossed her path. Scar bolted after her and tried to cut off her path. "Your efforts of escaping are futile compared to the strength of my hyenas,"said Scar. Nala kept fighting until there was only one hyena left. She smacked the hyena across the cheek, leaped over the whimpering body, ran off of Pride Rock and climbed Rafikiís tree to the top branch. "NALA,"screamed Scar. He couldnít see Nala anywhere in the Pridelands. "Let the coward die in this misshapen home of hers. I donít need her." Out in the distance, Scar saw a strange creature heading towards Pride Rock. Curious of who the intruder was, Scar jumped down from Pride Rock and approached the shadow of the trespasser. "Freeze intruder!"called Scar to the unknown force. The shadowy figure stopped. "You are trespassing on Prideland territory,"said Scar. The figure walked closer from out of the shadows. Scar stared at the physical body of the creature. So many points on the ears and all over her body. "Excuse me,"said the creature with attitude. "I used to live here. I can still call this place my home even though I havenít been living here for many season circles. I left when I was an adolescent with my friend. We escaped to the driest part of the desert and found nothing but cracked land dry riverbeds. I left my friend in that desert where we first entered and came back home with hopes of finding a new beginning with a brighter future."
"So if you used to live here...........where did you live?"
"I lived in a den under a waterfall with my Mother, Father and two sisters."
†"Who were your sisters?"
"I canít speak their names. It is just to painful to remember my cubhood."
"So you used to live here and had sisters. There were only two other females here when I was growing up........Sarafina and Sarabi. They had a sister........Sanri? Yes her name was Sanri."
"Iím glad somebody still remembers me." Scar stared at Sanri and was amazed with how much she had grown up. "Iím surprised that you havenít changed Scar."
"You remember me Sanri?"
"Please! Donít call me Sanri. The name holds too many memories from the past which I wish to be rid of. Maji had called me Zira and that is the name that I kept."
"Tell me more Sa-....I mean Zira after we go into the den." Scar and Zira walked back to Pride Rock with hopes of new beginnings. Nala came down from the tree when Scar and Zira were in the den. "Sanri........ is alive,"said Nala. "Scar is going to destroy the Pridelands for good if she is on his side. I have to go find help." Nala turned around and looked at the Pride. "I should say good bye to my family first but I canít be seen. I will have to do it tonight." Nala leaped back into Rafikiís tree and slept until nightfall. Meanwhile, Scar talked with Zira in the den. "What made you return to the Pridelands?"asked Scar.
"Maji only wanted me to come with him so he could have cubs but I wasnít ready. I finally caved into him and we had two cubs. They werenít even full size. I was scared to take care of them so I ran away leaving Maji in the Desert with the infants."
"Do you have any fear of his return?"
"In that case......Zira, I need to ask you a favor."
"That depends on what the favor is."
"I need you to be my queen."
"Thatís right. I need a queen. Without a queen I am a dead end with no descendants and no future. I do not want the line to end with me."
"Why not chose one of the other lionesses?"
"None of them appreciate my authority. I need someone to be my follower. Please Zira. You are my only hope."
"Fine......I will be your queen."
"Excellent. Our first descendant cub will be called Nuka is he is a boy."
"What if she is a female?"
"Then the cub shall be our dinner." Zira didnít know what she was getting herself into but agreed to Scarís demands. Nightfall came quickly in the Pridelands even though there was no difference between night and day with Scar and Zira as the overall rulers. Nala came down from Rafikiís tree when nightfall came. Rafiki gathered all of the lionesses around the roots with Nala in the middle. "I am sorry family but I must go. I will leave to find help, food and I will bring back food for us to feast. The land is dying and I see no other way to save our home. Please remember me. I will return home. I will need your prayers to lead the way to our new future. I will miss you very much." Sarafina stepped forward and nuzzled Nala on the neck. "Good luck my daughter,"she said. Rafiki patted Nala on the shoulder and repeated a prayer over her head. "Good luck Nala,"he said. After all of Nalaís prayers and goodbyes were said, she headed off into the night.
It wasnít long before Zira and Scar had their first cubs. They were both boys. Scar named the first cub Nuka as he had wished and Zira named the other cub Malakai. The cubs were barely even a week old when Maji arrived in the Pridelands looking for Zira. Zira was roaming around the Pridelands when she spotted Maji. "Maji!"she exclaimed. "Zira, our cubs have died,"he said.
"Iím sorry Maji but I wasnít ready to have cubs with you yet."
"Are you ready now?"
"I already have cubs."
"You shall still have cubs with me."
"Why do I have to have cubs with you?"
"Because, I will die soon and I need you to mate with me and have one litter. This will prove that I am capable of mating." Zira agreed to mate with Maji and have one litter. Zira ran away with Maji for two sunrises and sunsets. Scar was worried for his mate. Zira returned to the Pridelands with Scar awaiting her arrival. "Where have you been?"asked Scar. "Maji found me,"said Zira.
"What did he do to you?"
"He just wanted me to have one litter with him."
"Um.......I.........of course I didnít! I told Maji that I already have two beautiful cubs and I donít need to have any more."
"Your cubs have grown but need to eat."
"You didnít feed them?"
"I canít feed them! I donít have the milk that you have." Zira burst into the den and found her cubs laying quietly on the cave floor. She could see the bones on the cubs skin. Immediately, Zira rushed over to her cubs and fed them. "Iím so sorry I left you my dear cubs,"said Zira. Scar looked down on Zira and her cubs and was happy that Zira had returned.
†Seasons continued to circle in the jungle slower than in the Pridelands. Simba became a full grown male and continued to live with Timon and Pumbaa. Simba spent most of the time sleeping until it was time to eat or if there was something exciting going on. Simba lay behind a patch of bushes with Timon and Pumbaa. Pumbaa awoke to the sound of his growling stomach. "Hey Timon. Can we go find something to eat? I am really hungry<Ďsaid Pumbaa. Timon woke up slowly and yawned a big yawn. "Sure Pumbaa. Letís go find some grubs,"said Timon as he climbed up onto Pumbaaís back. Pumbaa walked out of the bushes quietly so he wouldnít wake up Simba. Pumbaa carried the half sleeping Timon down a path of trees and plants. "Okay Pumbaa, there should be a patch of bugs around here somewhere,"said Timon. "Iím gonna look for the bugs along the path. You can go into that grassy area and see if there are any bugs. "Okay Timon,"said Pumbaa. Timon walked down the path as Pumbaa looked out at the grassy area. A dung beetle crossed Pumbaaís path and headed into the grassy area. Pumbaa licked his lips and followed the beetle into the grassy field. The beetle crawled on top of a log and Pumbaa followed. Pumbaa looked at the beetle and licked itís outer shell. The beetle was too fast for Pumbaa and flew away revealing a lioness in the tall grass. "HHHEEELLLPPP!"screamed Pumbaa as the lioness emerged out of the grass and ran after Pumbaa. Pumbaa ran as fast as he could through the brush as the lioness followed behind. Timon sensed something was wrong and dropped his grubs to look for his pal. "Pumbaa!"bellowed Timon. Pumbaa burst through the bushes and ran under a tree root. Pumbaa was stuck under the tree root. "Pumbaa! Whatís going on?"asked Timon. "SHEíS GONNA EAT ME!"screamed Pumbaa. Simba awoke from his slumber and emerged from out of the bushes as the lioness came charging at Timon and Pumbaa. Simba jumped in front of his friends and pounced onto the lioness. The lioness fought back and smacked with her paws. Simba retaliated and did the same thing but was no match for the lionesses quick evasive maneuvers. The lioness pounced onto Simba and pinned him to the ground with a loud thud. She snared her teeth at Simba but Simba just looked at her face like he knew who she was. "Nala?"he asked. The lioness quickly got off of Simba and backed away. She sat down near the back of a tree and stared at Simba. "Is it really you Nala?"asked Simba again. "Who are you?"asked the lioness.
"Yes Nala! Donít you remember me?"
"Of course I remember you Simba!" Nala leaped up and nudged Simba on the head and Simba did the same thing to Nala. Timon emerged from behind Pumbaaís body which was still stuck under the tree root and walked up to Simba. "Hey! Whatís the big idea?"asked Timon. "Timon this is Nala. Sheís my best friend,"said Simba. "Friend?"asked Timon sarcastically. "Pumbaa! Come over here! Simba has a new best friend." Pumbaa pushed himself out of the tree root and looked back at Simba sitting with Nala. "Nala this is Pumbaa. Pumbaa.......Nala,"said Simba. "This is great Simba but are you okay with the fact that your friend tried to eat Pumbaa?"asked Timon. "Timon relax<"said Simba. "Wait till everyone finds out youíve been here all this time. What will your Mother think?"asked Nala. "She doesnít have to know. Nobody has to know<"said Simba.
"Of course they have to know! Everyone thinks youíre dead."
"Yeah........Scar told us about the stampede."
"What else did he tell you?"
"What else matters? Youíre alive and that means..........youíre the king!"
"No.....Iím not the king. Maybe I was gonna be but that was a long time ago." "Simba, how come you never told us you were the king?"asked Timon. "Your majesty.......I grovel at your feet,"said Pumbaa as he kissed Simbaís paw. "Stop that!"said Simba. "Could you guys excuse us for a few minutes?"asked Nala. "Hey, whatever she has to say could be said in front of us. Right Simba?"asked Timon. "Maybe youíd better go,"said Simba. Timon was shocked that Simba didnít agree with him. "Fine! Go ahead and be alone. Letís go Pumbaa. These kids need sometime by themselves to catch up, mingle, and feel the love,"said Timon sarcastically as he leapt onto Pumbaaís back. Simba watched his friends walk off the trail and into the woods. "Thatís Timon and Pumbaa for you. Very funny guys,"said Simba. Nala held her head low and didnít look at Simba. "Whatís wrong?"Simba asked.
"Something doesnít feel right."
"What is ti?"
"Itís like your back from the dead. You doníĎt know how much this will mean to everyone but what it means to me."
"Hey, itís okay."
"I really missed you."
"I missed you too." Nala nuzzled up against Simba and he affectionately nuzzled back. Simba and Nala slowly walked off into the woods leaning on each others shoulders. There was something about that night that changed Simba and Nala. It was like they were revisiting their childhood. They visited a lush jungle waterfall with a slow moving stream. There was a crystal blue lake you could see your reflection in and it was perfect for swimming. Simba and Nala chased each other throughout the grasslands and jungle until the sun began to set. As their energy level fell, Simba and Nala just walked slowly around the jungle. "Isnít this a great place?"asked Simba. It is beautiful but I donít understand something. Youíve been alive all this time. Why did you never return back to Pride Rock?"asked Nala.
"Well......I.......I guess I needed to get out on my own and live my own life. It has been great living out here."
"We really need you at home."
"Nobody needs me."
"Yes we do Simba. Youíre the king!"
"No, I already told you Iím not the king. Scar is the king."
"Simba.....He let the hyenas take over the Pridelands. Everything has been destroyed. There is no food and water. Simba id you donít come back, your whole family will starve to death."
"I canít go back."
"You wouldnít understand."
"What wonít I understand?"
"No, it doesnít matter. Hakuna Matata."
"What does that mean?"
"Hakuna Matata is something I learned out here. Look sometimes bad things happen and there is nothing you can do about it. So why worry?"
"Because itís your responsibility!"
"Well what about you! Why did you leave?"
"I left to find help and I found you. Donít you understand. Your our only hope."
"Iím sorry I canít be of more service to you."
"Somethingís happened to you. Your not the Simba I remember."
"Your right! Iím sorry Iím not the lion you used to know. Now are you satisfied?"
"No but I am disappointed."
"Youíre starting to sound like my Father."
"Good! At least one of us does."
"Listen! You think you can just show up and tell me how to live my life! You donít even know what Iíve been through!"
"I would if you would just talk to me."
"Fine!" Simba walked off into an open field leaving Nala behind. "Sheís wrong! I canít go back,"said Simba to himself as he paced back and forth. "What will it prove anyway? It wonít change anything. You canít change the past." Simba looked up at the stars and snarled. "You said you would always be there for me! But your not and itís all because of me. Itís my fault. Itís all my fault." Simba whimpered in the darkness of the night. Suddenly, there was a sound coming from a nearby tree. Simba was getting annoyed with noise and walked away slowly. The noise was coming from Rafiki who was watching Simba from a nearby tree. Rafiki swung from branch to branch as he watched Simba walk further into the tall grass. Simba walked onto a log sitting above a pool of water. Staring into the water, Simba sadly looked at his reflection. Rafiki dropped a pebble into the water and watched as the ripple widened. Laughing hysterically, Rafiki dropped more rocks into the pool. "Címon......can you cut it out?"asked Simba in an annoyed manner. "Canít cut it out! It great fun,"said Rafiki.
"Youíre a creepy little monkey." Simba walked away from Rafiki but he followed everywhere Simba went. "Will you stop following me! Who are you?"
"The question is not who am I but who are you?"
†"I thought I knew............but now Iím not so sure."
"Well, I know who you are. Come here......Itís a secret. Asante Sana Squash Banana Way Wenenu, We Wanana. Haha!" Rafiki continued to laugh uncontrollably while Simba grew impatient with the baboon shaman. "Enough already,"said Simba. "Whatís that supposed to mean anyway?"
"It means youíre a baboon..........and Iím not. Haha Haha!"
"I think youíre a little confused."
"Wrong! Iím not the one whose confused for you donít even know who you are."
"Oh, and I suppose you know who I am."
"I sure do! Your Mufasaís boy."
"Wait! You knew my Father."
"Correction. I know your Father."
"Iím sorry to tell you this but he died a long time ago."
"Nope! Wrong again! Heís alive and Iíll show him to you. Just follow old Rafiki. He knows the way!" Rafiki ran off into a patch of twisted branches with Simba trailing behind. Simba followed Rafiki to a misty pond of water. "Look out there,"said Rafiki pointing to the pond. Simba approached the water and stared into the crystal clear pond showing his reflection. Simba sighed and looked at Rafiki. "Thatís not my Father. Itís only my reflection,"said Simba.
†"How do you know that is only your reflection. Perhaps it is your Fatherís reflection."
"How could it be my Fatherís reflection if he isnít here?"
"Because he lives in you. Look into the magic pool again and tell me what you see." Simba stared into the water again and watched as his reflection changed from his own to his Fatherís when Rafiki touched the water. "You see.......He lives in you,"said Rafiki. The sky became darker with heavy clouds of smoke. "Simba,"echoed a voice from above. Simba looked up at the sky and saw a forming picture of his Fatherís face. "Father,"said Simba. Rafiki disappeared into the brush and left Simba alone. The image of Mufasa appeared clearly in the sky. "Simba, you have forgotten me,"he said. "No....I didnít. How could I?"asked Simba.
"You have forgotten who you are. So, you have forgotten me. Look inside yourself Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life."
"How can I go back? Iím not who I used to be."
"Remember who you are. You are my son and the one true king. Remember who you are." Mufasaís image slowly disappeared into the night, leaving Simba alone. "Please! Donít leave me again! Father! Donít leave me!"cried Simba. Mufasaís image was no longer in the shadowy clouds. The clouds lifted out of the sky revealing the stars in the sky. Simba sat on a hill and looked up at the sky. Rafiki came out of his hiding place and approached Simba from behind. "The weather! The weather was very peculiar. Donít you think?"he asked. "Yeah. It seems the winds are changing,"replied Simba.
†"Ahhh. Change is good?"
"Yeah but it isnít easy and it never will be. I know what I have to do but going back means I have to face my past. Iíve been running from it for so long." Rafiki lifted his stick above his head and smacked Simba on the head. "Hey! What was that for?"asked Simba as he rubbed his paw on his head. "It doesnít matter. Itís in the past,"said Rafiki.
"Yeah, so what if itís in the past. It still hurts."
"Itís true that the past can hurt but the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it." Rafiki tried to smack Simba again but the clever lion ducked. "See! You learned from your past. Now what are you going to do?"
"I think Iím going to go back."
"You are going to go back!"
"Iím going back!" Simba ran off into the night and headed back home. Rafiki laughed so more at the lion and began to walk away when the shadow of Simba was no longer visible in the distance. "Follow me guys,"said Nala with Timon and Pumbaa trailing behind. "What is all this about?"asked Timon. "You have to help me find Simba. We had a fight and he just ran off,"said Nala. "You wonít find him here. The king, has returned,"said Rafiki as he swooped into a tree and swung off through the branches. "I canít believe it. Heís gone back!"exclaimed Nala. "What are you talking about?"asked Timon. "Simba has gone back to challenge his Uncle Scar to take his place as king,"said Nala. "So he really is the king. Simba canít fight the battle by himself. We have to go help him,"said Pumbaa. Nala began to lead Timon and Pumbaa back to the Pridelands in hopes of helping Simba reclaim the throne. Simba traveled for many days and nights only stopping to sleep. The weathers were harsh and the terrains were treacherous. Nala, Timon and Pumbaa followed Simbaís paw prints in hopes they could help their friend before it was too late.
Simba returned to the Pridelands with a knot in his heart. "This used to be my home, "he thought as he walked the paths that used to have meaning to him. Simba couldnít believe that he was standing on the ashes which were once known as the Pridelands. Simba stepped onto a small branch and watched as it turned to dust. Climbing to a tall peak with a view of Pride Rock, Simba stared out at the dark and gloomy home he once knew. "Iím going in,"said Simba to himself. "No your not! Wait up!"called Nala from behind. She ran up to Simba and stood next to him looking out at Pride Rock. "This is awful isnít it."
"Iím sorry I didnít want to believe you>"
"What made you come back?"
"I finally realized my mistakes with a little help from a friend. Besides, this is my kingdom and if I donít fight for it, who will?"
"Itís gonna be dangerous."
"Are you kidding? I eat danger for breakfast every morning." We better run Pumbaa. The female is thinking about food,"said Timon. Simba and Nala turned around to find Timon and Pumbaa standing there. "What took you guys so long?"asked Nala. "Weíre sorry we arenít as fast as you are but we need longer rest stops,"said Pumbaa. "Weíre gonna fight your uncle for this place?"asked Timon as he looked at the Pridelands in shock. "Yes Timon. This is my home,"said Simba. "Well Simba if itís important to you, weíre with you til the end,"said Timon. The four friends looked out at Pride Rock as dark clouds began to hover about. Simba lead his friends into the Pridelands and snuck around Pride Rock looking for a way in. Their only blockage was a pack of hungry hyenas guarding Pride Rockís entrance. "How are we going to get passed the hyenas Simba,"asked Pumbaa. "We canít sneak passed. Scar has got the place on heavy lock-down with hyenas at every escape,"said Nala. "We are gonna have to use some live bait and the only way to get to a hyena is through his stomach,"said Simba. The lions gleamed and then turned their heads to Timon and Pumbaa who were not excited about the idea of live bait. "What are you guys looking at us for?"asked Pumbaa. "Címon guys! You have to create a diversion,"said Simba. "Okay fine but if we donít make it out of this..........I donít know what will happen,"said Timon. "FOOOOOOOOOOD!" The hyenas looked up and saw the scrumptious Timon and Pumbaa just sitting there. "Hungry hyenas ready for a snack?" Timon kept laying on the gestures giving Simba and Nala just enough time to sneak by. The hyenas had heard enough of Timon and chased after the plump warthog and his companion. Pumbaa ran as fast as he could away from the hyenas with Timon on his back as the hyenas hungrily chased after him. Simba and Nala snuck further into the Pridelands. "Nala, you find my Mother and rally the lionesses. Iíll look for Scar,"said Simba. "Please be careful Simba,"said Nala as the two friends headed in opposite directions. Meanwhile, Scar laid next to Zira in the den with their two cubs. Scar awoke abruptly and looked out the den. Zira slowly woke up afterwards. "Whatís wrong Scar?"she asked. "Something doesnít feel right,"he said.
"What do you mean?"
"I donít know. I donít think the lionesses are still hunting. Banzai!"
"What Scar?"asked Banzai.
"What are the lionesses doing?"
"If they were obeying your laws, they would be hunting but........they arenít obeying your rules and they arenít hunting."
"What!" Scar began to head towards the den entrance.
"Wait!"called Zira. "Scar I have been meaning to show you this." Zira walked over to a large boulder in the den and pulled out two newborn cubs. " When did this happen?"asked Scar.
"The other night when you were banishing some of the hyenas." Scar walked over to the cubs and examined their features. "These youngsters are promising but..........they arenít mine,"said Scar.
"How can you not accept your own cubs?"asked Zira.
"They are not my cubs. The boy doesnít look a thing like me and the little girl just doesnít smell like me."
"Whether you accept them or not, they are your cubs." A roaring noise came from outside of Pride Rock. Scar immediately turned around and went to check on the situation leaving Zira alone in the den with her toddler cubs and her infant cubs. When Scar came outside, there was a pack of hyenas trying to block the lionesses from entering Pride Rock. "Enough!"proclaimed Scar. "This feud between the lionesses and the hyenas will come to an end. I need Sarabi!" Sarabi emerged from the middle of the lioness pack and headed up the path to Pride Rock. From a distance, Simba could see everything and was waiting for the right moment to take charge. Sarabi came to the top of Pride Rock and stood before Scar. "Yes Scar,"she said. "Where is your hunting party? They are not doing their job,"said Scar.
"Scar there is no food. The herds have moved on and your hyenas scare everything off."
"Your lying! There is food out there! Your just not looking hard enough and my hyenas wouldnít have to scare everything off if you lionesses would just do your job."
"Itís over! There is nothing left on this land. We have only one choice. We must leave Pride Rock."
"Weíre not going anywhere."
"Than you have sentenced us to death!"
"Than so be it."
"You canít do that."
"I am the King. I can do whatever I want."
"If you were half the King Mufasa was y-." Scar smacked Sarabi to the ground which knocked her unconscious.
"I am ten times the King Mufasa was!"he screamed. Simba appeared through the distance and bolted down to his Motherís side. Scar backed away in fear, thinking it was Mufasa. "Mufasa.....No, your dead." Simba stared at his Mother and nudged her gently on the neck. Sarabi slowly woke up and looked at Simbaís face. "Mufasa?"she asked. "No.....Itís me,"said Simba.
"Yes Mother......itís me."
"Your alive? How can that be?"
"It doesnít matter. Iím home." Simba nuzzled his Mother and than looked up at Scar. Scar realized it was only Simba and slowly began to approach him. "Simba.......Well, I am very surprised to see you alive. Werenít you killed by hyenas after the stampede?"
"I was almost killed by your hyenas after the stampede but escaped. Now I have come back to take the kingdom which is rightfully mine. However, I have to deal with you first."
"Now Simba you donít understand......all of the pressures of ruling a kingdom......."
"Are no longer yours. Step down Scar!"
"I would nephew.......I would but......however there is one single problem. You see them?" Scar pointed above his head to the dozens of hyenas that sat above him. "They think I am king."
"Well we donít! Simba is the rightful king,"said Nala with the rest of the lionesses standing behind her. Nala stood in front of Sarabi as the rest of the lionesses helped her up. "The choice is yours Scar. You either step down or fight,"said Simba. "Why does everything have to end in violence? I would hate to be responsible for the death of a family member. Wouldnít you agree Simba?"asked Scar with sarcasim.
"Thatís not gonna work Scar. Iíve put it behind me."
"And what about your faithful subjects. Have they put it behind them?"
"Simba, what is he talking about?"asked Nala. Scar smirked at Simba and circled around him. "Apparently you havenít told them your little secret. Well Simba, nowís your chance to tell them. Tell them who is responsible for Mufasaís death?" Everyone looked at Simba and awaited an answer. Simba stepped forward and announced his secret to the pride. "I am." Sarabi stood up and approached her son with great grief as Nala and the rest of the lionesses soak in all of the terrible trauma. "Itís not true...........tell me itís not true,"said Sarabi in despair. Simba waited hesitantly and then regretted what he had to say to his mother. "Itís true." "You see, he admits it! Murderer,"said Scar to the rest of the pride. Scar began to circle Simba as he tormented him with the unwanted memories. Lightning flashed constantly and Simba watched his Uncle in fear. "No! It was an accident,"he said.
†"If it werenít for you Mufasa would still be alive. Itís your fault heís dead; do you deny it?"
"Then your guilty!"
"No. Iím not a murderer."
"Oh Simba, your in trouble again but this time, Daddy isnít here to save you. And now everyone knows why!" Scar cornered Simba at the end of Pride Rock and walked him slowly over the edge. Simba clang onto the ledge with his forepaws. "Simba!"called Nala in panic. A shot of lightning hit the bottom of Pride Rock igniting a small flame which soon turned into a raging inferno. Scar sat in front of Simba and just watched as he struggled to hold on. "Now this looks familiar. Now where have I seen this before. Let me think.............Oh yes, I remember. This was just the way your Father looked before he died,"said Scar. Simba began to slip but Scar launched his claws into Simbaís forepaws and whispered into his ear. "And hereís my little secret: I killed Mufasa." Simba thought back to when his Father died and flashbacked to the moment. Simba could see his Father falling into the wildebeest stampede and Simba also saw himself, as a cub, sitting atop the high ledge. Simba screamed and leaped out of his trance, pinning Scar to the ground. Scar was shocked and shaken. "Murderer!"screamed Simba. "No Simba. Please,"said Scar begging for mercy.
"Tell them the truth."
"They know the truth."
"No they donít. You and I are the only ones now tell them the truth!"
"Truth? But truth is in the eye of the-." Simba pressed his paw against Scarís throat, trying to choke him. "Alright.........Alright." Scar whispered in harsh voice. "I did it."
"Say it so they can hear you,"said Simba. "I killed Mufasa!"growled Scar. The lionesses and hyenas attacked in rage. The hyenas tried to pin Simba but was stopped and hit by all of the lionesses. Timon and Pumbaa soon joined in the battle as well as Rafiki. Scar tried to sneak away but was not quick enough to escape Simba. Simba chased Scar all the way to the backside of Pride Rock leading to a dead end and a cliff hanger. Scar panicked as he looked over the side of the wall. Simba emerged through the flame wall that cut of the only escape route. Slowly, Simba walked towards his Uncle. "Murderer,"he said. "Simba, Simba please. Please have mercy I beg of you,"pleaded Scar.
"You donít deserve to live."
"But Simba I am family. The hyenas are the real enemy. It was their fault and their idea."
"Havenít you figured out that lying has caused you all this grief."
"But Simba I am not lying to you. I am telling the truth.
"No your not."
"Why donít you believe your own Uncle?"
"Why should I believe you? Everything you ever told me was a lie."
"What are you going to do? You wouldnít kill your own Uncle."
"No Scar. I am not like you."
"Oh, Simba thank you. You are truly noble and I will make it up to you. Now is there anything you want to say to me? Tell me anything."
"Run............Run away Scar and never return." Scar looked at Simba in surprise and cowered away slowly. "Yes of course. As you wish." Scar saw a pile of hot coals and seized the opportunity. "Your Majesty!" Scar swiped the hot coals and shot them at Simba. Simba cried out in pain and surprise and quickly wiped the coals out of his face. Scar leaped onto Simba with great force and started the fight. The lions smacked each other back and forth with their forepaws until Scar smacked Simba to the ground. Scar emerged through a wall of flames trying to pounce Simba. Just then, Simba thought of an idea. Simba used the momentum from his pounce and used a maneuver similar to Nalaís hunting tactics and tossed Scar over the cliffhanger. Scar tumbled down all the way to the bottom of the cliffhanger. Simba looked over the edge and saw Scar laying unconscious. Scar tried to get up but had a hard time. The hyenas looked down at Scar and saw a delectable meal. "Oh my friends, I see you have come to help me,"said Scar with hope. "Friends? I thought he just said we were the enemy?"asked Shenzi. "Well thatís what I heard too. I guess if we are only considered the enemy we shouldnít hep you,"said Banzai. The hyenas began to appear rapidly and attacked Scar ferociously. The flames grew large and then grew small with the incoming rain. The pride appeared through the smoke clouds along with Timon and Pumbaa. The rain came down dousing the fire and putting it out. The rain continued to drench the pride. Simba emerged from the flames and comforted his family. Simba nuzzled Sarabi and then nuzzled Nala. Rafiki stood at the edge of Pride Rock and pointed his stick up to the top. Simba knew what he had to do. He walked up to Rafiki watched as the baboon shaman bowed towards him. "It is time,"said Rafiki. Simba slowly walked up to Pride Rock and tried to remember the memories he had lost. Simba reached the top and looked up at the sky. "Remember,"said a voice from above. Simba knew it was his Father and did what any other king would have done. He roared. Simba roared as loud as he could and stood proud atop of Pride Rock. The rest of the Pride responded to Simba with a loud roar and then Simba roared back. Simba looked up at the sky again and heard the voice again and felt a gust of wind hit his side. "Well done my son. The circle of life is complete."