LION KING 3
THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS
BY AWADU ASGEDOM
EDITED BY LAURA O’NEIL ADCOCK
THE GREAT CIRCLE OF LIFE
WE ARE ONE!
After the uniting of the two prides, the Outsiders and the Pride Landers, Simba’s kingdom doubled in size and power. Some said that in the history of the whole kingdom, Simba’s pride was the strongest, the largest, and the most stable. By combining with the outsiders, Simba’s pride managed to change from kingdom to empire. Members of the pride and subjects of the empire were free to go anywhere they pleased without fear.
The wedding of Kiara and Kovu had been a beautiful ceremony in the presence of Rafiki and members of the pride. All were happy to see the combination of the two prides and they considered the wedding as a monumental symbol of the union.
It was a year after the wedding when Kiara gave birth to twin male cubs. Rafiki the wise old baboon was called by Simba to bless the cubs and to present the ceremony of the future kings.
The sun was about to rise; the African plains were silent and cold. And then the silence ended when all the animals in Simba’s empire began to move in one direction. Elephants and giraffes took big steps toward the pride rock. Ants crawled. Monkeys jumped from tree to tree, birds of all kinds flew, all towards Pride Rock.
Now the sun was shining, it became clear to see that all animals were on the move for one purpose. They had been told that a new king was born, and they were hurrying to see the new king with their own eyes to show their respect. It was amazing to see this vast crowd made of every creature on earth starting to the tiny ant to the giant elephant, from the flying birds to sliding snakes with each head looking upward to the edge of Pride Rock.
On the top of Pride Rock, Simba was checking that all animals were present. There was pride on Simba’s face. He was a grandfather now. Simba noticed that the number of all animals had doubled since the combination of the two prides and the stability of the empire for long time. Simba was happy to see his grandson to be declared as a king of the future. Simba did not notice when Kovu came and stood at his side. Kovu had never seen such kind of big crowd in his life. He was amazed; he could barely believe the size of the crowd, the vast crowd covering all the ground on sight. Even trees were not free, every branch covered in birds. Simba turned his head and gave Kovu a smile, and Kovu responded in kind.
Simba and Kovu moved aside when Rafiki carried the future king carefully, walking slowly to the edge of Pride Rock. The newborn was watching everything, even though he could not possibly understand what was going on. Rafiki reached the edge of Pride Rock, then raised his hands slowly in the air, to show the future king to all the creatures, which were waiting eagerly. When the newborn was visible, there was a big noise from the animals shouting, “There he is, the future king, look at him, he is just like his grandfather, Mufasa,” said some of the older animals.
The newborn was watching all this from the top of the Pride Rock, trusting the hands of Rafiki, not knowing that he was their future king. The newborn raise his small hands to say hi to all the creatures, which were watching him with eyes showing love and respect. The future king responded to their love and respect by waving his small hands that have not yet touched the ground and giving a smile, which would be an insult to call only beautiful. It was the smile of a lion cub who knew of nothing but love. The vast crowd made of every creature, being happy by the response of the cub shouted louder, jumped higher, and at last bowed down, all heads down to the ground with all knees bent to the future king.
When all the animals bowed down, the newborn imitate them immediately by putting his head down just like them. Simba who was observing all this things looked up to the sky expecting his father, Mufasa. His father’s head came out from the clouds with a smile, telling Simba that he was doing well. Simba looked at his father, who he had not known for long, and wanted to tell him that he missed him very much, but he knew it was impossible. Mufasa, the great king of the past up in the cloud gave a tiny light that shone down to the future king. The light was shining on the new born and ancient wise monkey Rafiki.
Kovu looked at Simba who was watching up to the sky then he too followed Simba and looked up to the sky, Kovu saw Mufasa’s head in the clouds, The great king of the past, he thought. While Simba and Kovu were looking up, Nala came and stand with Simba then Kiara followed. Timon and Pumbaa were amazed by the size of the vast crowd covering every inch of the soil.
From all those groups who were up on Pride Rock, it was only Simba and Kovu who were watching the great king of the past in the sky. When the others looked at Simba and Kovu, they too followed and looked up to the sky to see what was there. The group on Pride Rock saw Mufasa looking down with his graceful face, and then amazingly, the image of Scar appeared next to him, the two great king of the past standing side-by-side looking down on the pride, “WE ARE ONE.”
The pride heard what Scar and Mufasa said, and accepted without doubt what the great kings of the past appointed. Simba and the others replied, “WE ARE ONE” all at the same time just like the past kings. Simba the Lion King bowed down to the past kings up in the sky, who guided him with their power and advice. The other pride members followed Simba and bowed down for the great kings of the past gracefully. Rafiki stood holding up the future king up by his hands and moving his hands from right to left to make the newborn visible to all animals of the empire.
It was amazing when the animals bowed down loyally to the future king; the lions at Pride Rock bowed down for the great kings of the past. Simba stand up, looked up again, and then looked down to his subjects who came a long way from his vast empire to pay respect to the future king and the king himself. The animals were still kneeling. Simba watched this from above and bent his head showing respect for his subjects, and others on Pride Rock followed his example.
NAMING THE NEWBORNS
Both cubs were blessed with the powerful medicine, which was allowed only for the true king. Both cubs were declared as kings of the future, to help each other in the role they would play in the great circle of life.
Afterwards, Rafiki came and announced the future king at the gathering of all the animals of the empire. On the next day, the pride members gathered around Pride Rock to discuss the names of the future kings. The meeting room was dim but it was enough to see each other; all were present more than a dozen lions were there at the meeting room to make names. The pride had formed a big circle, Simba was sitting on the highest position of the circle by his side Timon and Pumbaa were present. Timon the restless merekat was on Pumbaa’s head. Sarabi was sitting at the right of Simba; Nala was present at left of Simba. Next to Nala, Kovu and Kiara were sitting watching their cubs. Rafiki was in front of Simba sitting on the stone prepared for him.
The meeting was not started yet the room was in a complete silence, until Timon and Pumbaa broke the silence; all were watching the cubs sleeping in the middle of the circle.
Timon jumped from the head of Pumbaa and began to speak loudly, “Pumbaa, tell me who is going raise the kids?” he asked.
Pumbaa thought a little while, and gave the answer, “Their parents?” he asked.
“No, no, no,” said Timon “Not that way, the real things in life like eating bugs-”
Timon had not finished before Pumbaa stopped him to answer, “You mean us!”
When Timon and Pumbaa broke the silence of the room, everyone heard their conversation and laughed. Kiara asked Timon, “Like you and Dad used to do?”
“Yes, that is why Simba and I are smart,” Timon replied.
Rafiki stopped him. “You guys always made me laugh,” he chuckled, “But we are in a hurry, now let’s discuss on the names of the cubs.”
The discussion started, everybody gave names and explained the meanings and the relation. However, Sarabi, the mother of Simba gave the best names for the newborns. She was now very old and experienced, because of the lesson long life gave her.
Sarabi looked at the cubs that were sleeping peacefully one on the other. “Would you believe it Simba? I can see the blood of your father in this lovely baby. When I see his eyes it reminds me of Mufasa’s graceful aura when he and I were cubs. I remember it like it was yesterday and I see the shape and the sprit of Mufasa on this little cub.” Sarabi was smoothly rubbing the head of the cub while she was explaining. Then she continued, “Look at this one” she started to rub the other cub’s head “look at this little beautiful creature, he is just like Taka. There is no difference at all.”
“Taka?” asked Kiara.
“It is your great-uncle Scar’s real name,” said Sarabi, “The great kings of the past must have done this in purpose to remind as that we are one. It must be their work otherwise, how could such thing happen? How could the cubs take the image of the two brothers, the great kings of the past?” she said, “You are not old enough to know the two brothers Taka and Mufasa. However, Rafiki and I knew the two kings very well, and we can see these beautiful cubs are just like those past brothers. Therefore, the names of the kids have to be Taka and Mufasa according to their images. If we give the names of the great kings of the past for the little babies, firstly we will remember the past kings and secondly we will always be aware that we are one.”
When Sarabi finished her talk all in the meeting shouted, “We are one,” to indicate that they agreed with her, and loved the names.
Rafiki the ancient wise baboon was trying to remember the time when Mufasa and Taka were cubs. He was the one who presented Mufasa as a future king at the gathering of all animals just like yesterday. Rafiki remembered that Sarabi was just three weeks younger than Mufasa and Scar was younger than her by one year. “She must have a good memory,” he said to himself, looking at Sarabi. He was cross at himself for not remembering the image of Mufasa and Taka as clearly as Sarabi, “Am I getting old?” Rafiki asked himself. But he could sense spiritually the two past brothers in the newborns.
“You must have a good memory,” said Rafiki looking at Sarabi. “It is not because I have a good memory, but because of the spiritual similarities the cubs have with the great kings of the past which brought me a long way back to my childhood, many years ago.”
Kovu was happy with the choice of names too, and his happiness was clear to see, “I love the names and I love the cubs. Very well, their names will be Taka and Mufasa,” he said, “After all, we are one!”
Simba was happy to see such a good idea coming from his mother. At the end of the meeting, everyone agreed on the names of the kids to be Taka and Mufasa, just as Sarabi had suggested.
Rafiki took the names Mufasa and Taka and told the pride that he would pray by the names given now. He picked up his stick and went out slowly from the meeting room to go to the great tree where he lived alone.
Rafiki was sitting on his home tree he was drawing the two cubs side by side on the wall of the tree and put the red mark on their foreheads, which announced that both cubs would be kings, “WE ARE ONE,” he said in a low voice and laughed happily. Immediately lighting flashed and thunder rumbled, bringing heavy rain. Rafiki looked up to the cloud, he knew that the great kings of the past were talking, “I know you are happy Mufasa,” he said, and laughed again.
That night Simba looked up to stars and trying to express his feelings, though he was not sure of the words, “You said you would always be there for me, and you are right now,” he said, looking up at the clouds.
At the same time in another place Kovu was doing the same. He too was glad, for he felt as if his adopted father was at peace.
THE GREAT CIRCLE OF LIFE
It was morning, and Simba and Kovu were standing on the field just outside Pride Rock. They were standing side by side watching the cubs playing,
Those cubs are always happy thought Simba, They have nothing to worry about. Simba realized that he had once been just like these cubs. He had once had nothing to worry about, and right now, everything was going well, Thanks to the great kings of the past, everything is wonderful. The cubs can play anywhere any time; there is no danger and no outsiders, for we are one. Simba thought again.
The cubs saw Kovu and Simba, and they came running saying “Dad, dad” and “Grandpa,” Every day the cubs reminded Simba that he was a grandfather. The cubs reached Kovu and Simba, “Where are you going?” they asked, and answered it by themselves “To the court,” and ask the same questions as always “Shall we come with you?” “No, we cannot come.” The two cubs left, laughing and running.
“Where are you going?” asked Kovu, even though he knows they are going to Sarabi.
“To Sarabi,” the cubs answered on their way.
“Don’t force her to play with you, don’t forget that she is old,” Simba advised them.
“Ok grandpa” the cubs promised from a distance playing on their way - chasing a butterfly, laughing and pouncing.
Simba and Kovu went to the court. This day there has been much to discuss since the territory had recently doubled in size and so had the number of animals.
Simba was in his court, dealing with the problems of the animals in the empire. Kovu sitting by his side was helping, but also learning. This time it was about the waterhole; the waterhole is a place where many conflicts arose; it is the place every creatures meet willingly or unwillingly when they came to drink or to wash. Nowadays, the elephants were brought to the Simba’s court frequently by other animals. The elephants are blamed for not using the waterhole properly and for not sharing it with others.
The waterhole case had brought so many disagreements between not only with elephants but also with other animals. The prey appealed to the court that there should be no hunting around the waterhole since water was the base for life. Therefore, all animals should be free to drink any time without fear. The predators on the other hand explained that they would starve to death if they were not allowed to hunt. After taking a long time disagreement, the court decided by putting limits for hunt around the waterhole. From that time on it was forbidden to hunt at the hottest time of the day because the prey with babies had to drink most often.
The empire of Simba had thousands of waterholes but there were millions of animals too. The elephants were big, strong and aggressive. They were brought to the court by the league of zebras, wildebeest, impalas, and others to stop them from monopolizing the waterhole.
Elephants were naturally sensitive to high temperature for this reason they drank a lot of water. The problem was not the amount they drink; but their habit of washing every day. At the hottest time of the day the elephants marched in groups to the waterholes and waded into the water. Then they rolled in it, swam in it, and sprayed it everywhere. All this action made the water muddy, and other animals present to drink found it difficult even to test it.
The court was started, Simba started to listen from left to right.
“Your majesty,” said a representative of the zebras, beautiful, strong and intelligent. That must be the reason the zebras choose her to represent them at the court, “As you know your majesty there are many waterholes in your vast empire. We all use them to drink, sharing with other animals without discriminating or disturbing the water. All animals use in this way except the elephants. The law of our empire says that every resource is for every animal, but we can say the elephants did not respect this law from their way of using the waterhole. One can understand that the elephants had changed the law into every waterhole is for every elephant. The young zebra tried to show that the elephants were using the waterhole as if it is only for them like private property while the natural resources are the property of the empire’s subject. The young zebra continued, “I feel they show disrespect to other animals because they are bigger than us. Yes, it is true that they are strong, but muscles can’t beat laws, law are above all and unbeatable.” the majority was supporting her, they shouted loudly.
In Simba’s court, there were animals that were always present whether they have case or not. Monkeys were one those animals interested in attaining court, they sat on the branches of the trees around the court and listened carefully. If they liked the argument given from one side, they clapped and shouted to express their appreciation. The regular attainder monkeys, of Simba’s court were on the side of the zebra and wildebeest because elephants were known for stripping leaves and bark from the trees. The monkeys believed the elephants did it in purpose to make them homeless. The elephants on the other hand explained that they only did it to eat the fruits and the leaves since it keep them healthy and strong.
When the shouting was over Simba ordered the zebra to continue. Proud of her supporters, she relaxed looking at the elephants with angry eyes, “When we say they should not consider the waterhole as their private property, we are not saying that the waterhole is the property of zebras or wildebeests. We are saying every waterhole is for every creature, which are subjects of the empire form the ants that crawl on the soil to the giraffes whose heads are above all trees should use the water equally,” A giraffe present in the court looked proud, but soon became shy when all eyes were on him. “What we are asking the court is a single question, that is let us use the water hole only for drinking. Let us drink and let the elephants drink since it is their right and ours too. However, this is not what the elephants do, when the day gets hot, the elephants come making noises giving the sign to others to live the place, then they enter in the waterhole to wash and swim. After that, the water changed into mud, and it is hard to drink,” the young zebra hesitated to look left and right then continued, “Your majesty, I ask on the behalf of the majority to give us your judgment please forbid the elephants from washing in the waterhole.
Kovu by the side of Simba was learning how courts go. Being king is like being father, being father for all animals in the empire. We have to protect them, feed them, teach them, and even punish them. Kovu was uncertain of what Simba’s judgment would be. He knew the elephants must wash to cool down when it is hot, but what about the others, they too need to drink, and they too got hot. Kovu was thinking the solution while Simba was observing the environment.
Simba looked to both sides. The zebras had more supporters than the elephants. The zebras’ leading group was made by six different animals; by the zebras, wildebeests, impalas, leopards, crocodiles, and giraffes. The elephants were alone except for a hippo on their side. Simba looked around again he saw a male kudu he was amazed to see a kudu in court. Kudus in nature pass much of their time alone; even to see two or three male kudus together is very rare. Especially since the male kudus did not participate in any part of animals’ social life. They did not come to court, assemblies, or ceremonies. He too was on the side of the zebras
Simba looked at the kudu. “What are you doing with the side of the zebras and the wildebeests? Is it your problem too? Or are you just attending the court?” Simba was waiting for the answer since he knows kudus had little to do with the waterholes, and rarely went there. For them usually the moist of the morning is more than enough to satisfy their need of water.
The kudu has never speak publicly even to be present at the court is his first time. He came to the court because he had fallen in love with the beautiful zebra. He had left his lonely life and wandered with the zebras. The kudu has so many problems since he became sociable, he has difficulties being with other animals, privacy was almost impossible on top of that the male zebras disliked him since his loved one was loved by others too. Now he is asked to answer in front of all this animals. He became shy when all were looking at him, and would have run, but knew the male zebras would laugh at him. He tried his best to speak but his fear of speaking was clear on his face.
“Your majesty, the kudu is here because of private matters, nothing to do with the court,” answered his beloved zebra. The young zebra who loved the kudu accepted him without question. The animals said two things, on one group they said that the young zebra accepted the kudu because she wanted to be famous and the other sides said the zebra accepted the kudu because she believe in love more than any thing on earth. Simba smiled a little when Zazu told him, the kudu is in love with the zebra.
Kovu was surprise by the knowledge of Simba; he has never heard that kudus do not want to use the waterhole. This lion knows a lot, Kovu realised.
For the third time Simba looked around carefully then he saw flamingos on the zebras’ side. “What is your problem with the elephants?” he asked.
“We side with the zebras and the wildebeests,” said a flamingo, “Our problem is with the elephants. They make the water dirty so we can not see through the water to catch fish”
Simba looked to the side of the elephants; he saw the hippo standing on legs that, while sturdy, were thin compared to his body. The hippo had a strange appearance and an extremely deep and slow voice. Simba looked the hippo with eyes asking, Is there any thing you want to say?
The foolish looking hippo understood and spoke, “I came here not because of my problem. I have friends among the fishes; they sent me to represent their feelings about the elephants. The fishes are happy when the elephants come because the soil will rise up to mix with the water and then they cannot be hunted,” he explained. He was happy since he represented the other side; it made him feel important. “Additionally the fishes said that they hold their court in the water,” added the hippo. Everybody around the court laughed at the idea, and the hippo lost his pride very suddenly. In the animals’ world, hippos were considered to be fools; therefore all looked at the hippo as if he did not know anything. But Simba paid attention and considered him equal with others.
The elephants were now angry because most of the time, the majority was against them and they were brought to the court continuously. The elephants were safe by having one old court experienced elephant to represent them at Simba’s court. The old experienced elephant with his extra ordinary big tusks were thinking. It has been my fifth time when I represent the elephants for such trivial cases. Five times, yet the herd has not migrated once. These little creatures have so many reasons to persecute us. Once they were saying the elephants have smashed all trees; they are going to make us homeless. The next time the ostriches say ‘the elephants have walked over our eggs’. How do they expect us to see their dot like eggs in the middle of the long savanna? Next day they may complain that the rain is not coming because of the elephants.
The old elephant came back from his thoughts, “Oh, your majesty don’t listen to them, they are always complaining about us. Today is their fifth time when they brought as to the court before the herd migrated even once. Let them bring us to the court daily, for it is their right, but let them have a case worth discussing.”
“Nowadays, they are coming against our nature. Our nature requires us to wash daily to cool down and to be clean. Your majesty you know our nature and the law of our empire; I believe all knows the law except this inexperienced and talkative zebra. The law says every animal must do what its nature requires him to do. So we elephants are not breaking the law, we are not doing what they say to disturb others. We are doing what nature needs us to do, like the predators. Predators do kill and hunt others, but not because they hate their prey. Predators hunt because nature asked them to hunt, if they do not hunt, they cannot survive, if they do not survive, the great circle of life will not survive too. As the predators hunt to survive, we are washing to survive; if we do not keep cool, we will suffer. Your majesty, today you have to do something, stop them from bringing us to the court daily. The good name of the elephants has been destroyed, and we want our pride back.”
When the old elephant finished, others who were against the elephants shouted out, “But your nature is hurting us!”
One of the elephant became angry. He interrupted, “You are only against us because you are jealous of us.” the elephant was intelligent, but he was young and inexperienced, “You are jealous that because we are big and strong we are not hunted,” said the young elephant, and he made a rude face.
“How could we be jealous of you?” said one of the zebra’s representatives. “Look at your reflection in the water you dirty. I am sure you will see a devil with a long nose and wide flat ears. You elephants are ugly. If I were you I would have killed myself!” the zebra finished. All the animals around the court laughed at the elephants. This made the elephants very angry and embarrassed, when everybody laughed at their trunks and ears. One of the elephants tried to make his nose and ears smaller.
The representative of the wildebeests saw that the elephants were angry, so he decided to make them more so, “Look at your skin! It has no color. It is like a dry cracked land,” said the wildebeest and laughed. The others copied him and laughed at the elephants.
The young elephant, though very angry, knew their weak point, “I am sure this is the only one you can say, how many days have you spent thinking on such a stupid joke? Every animal knows that you wildebeests are stupid, that is why you did not say a word in the court the whole time, and yet the other wildebeests consider you as intelligent enough to send you here,” he replied and laughed. The other elephants joined in.
In his anger, the wildebeest became restless. The animals around the court saw him as foolish and they tried not to laugh because he was on their side but soon they found it impossible. A loud explosive laugh erupted in the air.
The wildebeest completely lost his temper when all laughed at him. He tried his best to show that he was not angry or foolish, but his struggle to hide his anger made him more ridiculous. He looked at the elephant and tried to find out something funny on the elephants then at last the wildebeest said with a voice near to a cry, “You, you have no horn!” His voice and his behaviour made all the animals to laugh more and more even the zebra by his laughed.
The young elephant responded, still laughing, “Please don’t be stupid, our tusks are more than a substitute for your slim horn.” the court was turned into a laughing center. The zebras laughed by overacting because, the wildebeests always had been proud about their horns, and since the zebras do not have horns, they had been jealous.
For the third time, the wildebeest tried to think straight and control his anger, “You can’t even run fast, you walk so slowly, like a turtle!” now he was almost crying.
“Guess what, stupid? We don’t need to run we are not cowards like you! Let me give you some advice? Why don’t you leave the court before you cry?” The young elephant stopped when he saw the wildebeest completely loose his temper and charge to attack him.
“You advise me to leave? Well I will not! I will come to you and show you who I am!” the wildebeest shouted on his way to attack the elephant.
Simba was lost in his thought thinking about the case of the waterhole. The elephants are right they need to do it. It is nature, which forces them. If they do not wash daily, they will suffer from the hot sun. But the others have the right to clean water. What can be done is to separate what the waterholes are used for; perhaps if out of every ten waterholes one is for washing and swimming, the other nine waterholes are only for drinking. Simba came back from his thought when he saw the wildebeest trying to attack the elephant. “Stop it,” he commanded. The wildebeest stopped in mid charge, “This is a court, and we need discipline; now let us return to our work,” the king concluded. Soon enough, the rowdy crowd changed back into a real court.
THE CUBS AND SARABI
The cubs were now often with their great grandmother Sarabi. Sarabi was very old now, she had seen many generations. She was a very smart and experienced old lioness; she understood life better than anyone in the empire. Only Rafiki equaled her. Sarabi’s words were intelligent and true. What the cubs enjoyed most though from Sarabi were her endless stories, and the way she had an answer for everything.
Taka and Mufasa enjoyed being with Sarabi. The cubs never got bored since Sarabi seemed to have no end to the stories she told. The same was true for Sarabi; she was so happier after she had begun taking care of the cubs, “The day is short when you are with children,” Sarabi always told Simba.
Most of the time Sarabi told the cubs about the great Circle of Life and the delicate balance of nature; knowing that it would be very important for them to understand it when they became kings. When the cubs heard about the great Circle of Life for the first time, they paid much attention to their great grandmother and asked many questions.
“How could a circle appear while the land is flat?”
“Please take us to the place where the great circle of life is found!”
When Sarabi explained that the Circle of Life exists everywhere, Mufasa asked, “Does that mean the Circle of Life is like air?”
Sarabi with great patience explained, “No, child, the great Circle of Life is something you must imagine in order to understand life better.”
The cubs got confused again; they thought it was something that existed physically. They continued to ask their nonstop questions, “Why is it described as a circle, why not as a square or something shapeless?”
“If you, we, mother, and father were not born, would there still be the great Circle of Life?”
Sometimes Sarabi got tired and gave the answer, “You will understand someday.” But most of the time she did her best to explain.
The day was coming to an end, now it was cooler it was a good time to take a walk. Simba and Kovu were still at court but it would soon end. As always, the cubs had passed the whole day with their great grandmother Sarabi.
Sarabi was telling them about the hunt. She told them that hunting is something that nature required all predators to do to survive, “We have to hunt to survive, and we don’t kill our prey out of hate, anger or revenge. We hunt because nature forced as to hunt, if we do not hunt we will starve; if we starve we will die, and the great circle of life will fail.”
“How, Sarabi?” the cubs interrupted.
“Listen carefully, children, if there are no predators there will be too many wildebeests, zebras, impalas, or other grass eaters since, there is no one to hunt them. If there are too many grass eaters, they will eat all the grass and they will start to starve too. If there are no hunters to hunt the old and the sick, they will die on the ground then decay; this will spark up disease and many more will die. Eventually no animal will survive in the empire you see the delicate balance of nature.” Sarabi finished her explanation.
The cubs were amazed, for they had thought grass eaters would be happy if there were no predators. The other thing they did not understand was how all this grass could be finished. One of them asked “How Sarabi? How could all this grass be finished?”
The other followed, “If there is no grass, will the monkeys survive because they eat fruits from the trees?” The cubs always asked the most amazing questions. Sarabi smiled. She knew that sometimes she was telling them things that they were too young to understand.
Sarabi climbed the hill with them. She looked over the beautiful landscape with all kinds of animals. It was amazing how the land was covered by savanna on it there were thousands of animals; some in groups together, others wandering alone. Some of them were big but others were small. The birds were flying over the empire, as land animals the birds were big and small with a huge variety of shape and kind. Sarabi looked down at the soil and saw ants working hard. The cubs followed her and began to watch because Sarabi was watching therefore; there must be something interesting.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” said Sarabi trying to express her feelings.
“What are you looking Sarabi?” one of the cubs asked.
The other continued, “Look at how the gazelles run and jump! They are so fast!”
“I wish I could be as fast as the gazelles,” the cubs wished. Then the cubs and Sarabi watched the leaping gazelles.
“Sarabi, were you fast as these gazelles when you were young and strong?” Mufasa asked her.
“No,” answered Sarabi, “I was not fast like them.”
“Why? Were you not strong enough?” the cubs asked.
“No, no it is not like that; I was the strongest and the fastest of all lionesses,” Old Sarabi was proud of herself, “The reason why I didn’t reach the speed of the gazelles was because nature does not allow us, no lion can reach the speed of gazelles.”
“Why? Why?” the cubs interrupted.
“Because we lions have got greater weight and strength than any other predator in the empire therefore; our heavy weight does not allow us to jump and run like the gazelles” said Sarabi and nodded at the gazelles “Look at them, they are light so they can run fast and jump very high. The bigger you get, the slower you become.” said Sarabi, and gestured at the elephants and hippos who were walking slowly.
The cubs looked up to the plain at the running gazelles then asked more questions, “Is that why we don’t have gazelles in our meal?”
“We always have wildebeests and zebras.”
“Who will hunt the gazelles?”
“There is someone who hunts them,” Sarabi replied.
“They are hunted when they get old?” asked the cubs.
Sarabi watched the cubs to make sure that she got their full attention then said, “The cheetah. Cheetahs are light in weight; they are slim and agile. The cheetahs have a flexible backbone. Their tail is long and this helps them to keep their balance when they run. Their legs are long and strong. The combination of these perfect physical appearances made the cheetahs able to catch gazelles and the impalas.” the cubs saw the image of cheetah running across the field.
The cubs commented as always. “So, cheetahs can hunt wildebeests and zebras easily!”
“Yes, I wish we were cheetahs! To run fast is fun!”
“What you have to do is only to focus on the fat zebra to hunt.” Sarabi smiled and looked at the cubs; the cubs knew there was something wrong with what they said, they knew it from her eyes. “Cheetahs can not hunt zebras or wildebeests; they are too big and strong for them to take down. The cheetahs hunt smaller game like gazelles and impalas. That is the way the great Circle of Life protects the delicate balance of nature.”
“Which one is better to be cheetah or lion?”
“Lions are better, we are kings,” the cubs ask and answer as usual.
“There is no such thing, cubs, one animal is not better than the other, all are equal. All animals play an equal role in the great Circle of Life.”
“How could it be Sarabi, no one hunts lions!” said one cub, “The lions are the kings of all creatures!”
“Being king does not make you better, it is simply part of the job you take in the great circle of life,” Sarabi explained and paused for a few seconds, “Plus every animal is hunted.”
The cubs could barely believe what they heard. They were shocked, they have never thought of being hunted. Now the cubs heard it from Sarabi, the wisest lioness. In shocked voices the two cubs asked Sarabi, “What animals hunt us?”
“What is their name?”
“How do they kill us?”
“Why do they kill us?”
“Do they know that we lions are kings?” The cubs asked many questions without giving time for her to answer.
Sarabi saw the cubs were shocked, and admonished herself for telling them such things, What am I doing? I must have gone old but I am right they have to know; this is what they will face in life, she told herself. She decided not to tell them more, for they were very afraid. But the cubs would not leave it unless they got a straight answer.
“They are called the Masai, they walk on their hind legs like the birds, but they have no wings. Physically the Masai are very weak. The special thing the Masai have is their brain. They are very smart, their brain is the one thing that gives them power. These unique creatures did not submit to our empire, because they want to control us. The Masai kill with sticks, and their weapons somehow make them capable of killing any animal, even elephants and lions.”
“Why don’t they kill elephants?” asked the cubs, “They can get more meat from the elephants than us!”
“They do kill elephants,” Sarabi answered, “But they don’t kill us for meat, they kill us for our skin.”
“Still, they can get more skin from elephants,” replied the cubs.
Sarabi nodded “There are things you must know. The Masai keep thousands of cattle so that they can get enough food. However, the Masai have another interest; they kill us and keep our skin so they can be brave. They hunt elephants to cut off the tusk and make from it other things.”
The cubs got more confused, for they could not understand the creature Masai. How do they keep cattle? Why do not we keep cattle like them? Why does our skin make them brave? What do the Masai make from the tusks of elephants?
All this questions appeared at the same time in minds of the cubs. The cubs got more and more confused.
While the cubs were confused and Sarabi was thinking of how to explain, they heard voice, “There you guys are, we have been looking for you everywhere!” It was Timon on the head of Pumbaa. They were walking towards the cubs and Sarabi.
Timon jumped down from Pumbaa’s head, “You kids are always with your great grandmother. Sarabi,” he called loudly “I came to tell you, the pride is expecting you on the hunting ground.”
“I think they need your help,” Pumbaa finished.
Then Sarabi left the cubs with Timon and Pumbaa, to head for the hunting.
When Pumbaa look at the cubs, he saw they were sad, “What’s the matter, kids?” he asked.
“Is it true that lions are hunted by the Masai?” asked the cubs, their voices sad, hoping for the answer no, but knowing it was true.
“Those Masai are chicken without their sticks. I could beat them easily, one on one.” said Timon, confidently
“But Timon, they are very clever,” said Pumbaa, not realizing that Timon was trying to calm the cubs.
“Pah! Kids, don’t even think about those skinny weak creatures!” Timon said cheerfully, “All you have to do is grow a little bigger, then they are no danger to you.”
“But Timon, the Masai are…” Timon stopped Pumbaa.
“Not in front of the kids.” Timon whispered.
Pumbaa recovered immediately to agree quickly, “Yes, anybody can beat the Masai.”
The cubs did not answer. They walked back to Pride Rock as Timon tried again, “All you have to do is grow stronger, bigger and-” but no one was listening to him.
THE HUNTING GROUND
When Sarabi left the cubs and reached the hunting ground, she saw nine of the pride’s lionesses gathering in a circle. They were discussing the hunt, but they were waiting for Sarabi’s advice, since she was experienced.
One of the lionesses began to explain the plan to Sarabi, who paid close attention. She considered the speaker to be a successful hunter, young, strong, fast and a fast learner; her name was Vitani, daughter of Taka and brother of Kovu. Vitani explained her plan brilliantly.
“Look Sarabi,” Vitani said, “We are far away from the herd by three leopards’ territories; here is the place the herd is, the herd is heading for the waterhole slowly. They will reach a waterhole after crossing the leopards’ territory. They will stay around the waterhole for a long time since they have not drunk the whole day.”
Vitani continued to explain, “What we have to do is to scatter the herd. Remember that the herd is a combination of zebras and wildebeests; this means the herd is much greater than the usual herd we experience during a hunt. For such a big herd scattering is very important. Three lionesses will go beyond the hillside to scatter and chase the herd to the grassland crossing the rocky part of the land. At the rocky part, three other lionesses will wait to take their turn in the hunt. The first three will finish their work and stop there. The three lionesses, who will be waiting around the rocky part, will start to chase the scattered herd towards the dry river.” Vitani watched the group to check if they understood, “Kiara and I will wait at the dry river we can hide in the long grass when the scattered and tiered herd approach us we will hunt down two zebras or wildebeests. The hunt will be easier and it will minimize the risk of injury since the herd will be scattered and exhausted from the chase.”
Kiara looked at Vitani, very impressed at her presentation, “Good plan,” she said.
“Yes, it is a very good plan. It minimizes risk of injury,” Sarabi added.
Then the whole group discuss on it with the help of Sarabi. Some adjustments were made. The group appointed on who should take which part. Positions were given to individuals according to their special skills and abilities. The runners were given to make long run since they don’t get tired until they cross two cheetahs’ territories by fast speed. Vitani was given the position of making the last hunt means to catch since she was strong and fast, and Kiara would be beside her, because the group wanted her to practice the skills of hunting.
Now it was time to hunt, all had taken their places. The members were very skillful and experienced. The lions with the ability to run fast and far would start the hunt by scattering and directing the herd to the rocky part of the land. The panic scattered herd was running to the grassland with full speed. The herd rushed to the grassland like a wave. The stripes of the zebras made it difficult to tell one apart from the other. The herd was running in every direction giving the lions a hard time choosing targets. The risk of injury was high.
The three lions found themselves in the middle of the running herd during the process of scattering and directing the herd, “Slow down,” shouted one of the lionesses, “Or we will get hurt!”
The other lioness in the middle of the running herd heard her friend’s voice then she slowed down and turned her head back to see. A running wildebeest kicked her on the shoulder and pass over her. The kicked lion got quickly not to be stamped again but immediately another zebra did the same thing; the other two lions run to help her. After minutes, three of the lions made themselves out of the herd safely.
Now it was the turn of the lions around the rocky part of the land, the four members chose the right time to lead the scattered herd to the dry river where Vitani and Kiara were to make the last move.
The scattered herd reached the dry river, exhausted. Kiara and Vitani were waiting; soon both saw the zebra and wildebeest within short distance running to ward them. Kiara and Vitani prepared, both start to walk slowly heads and bodies under the savanna being almost invisible. Kiara focused on a zebra, she almost chose the fat wildebeest, but she feared that the wildebeest might defend himself with his horns. Vitani choose the one Kiara refused.
When both lions thought it was the right time, everything changed. Kiara and Vitani jumped in, flying in the air like arrows then ran with their pray. The sound of stamping and confusing stripes of zebras did not stop the young lions from making a good catch, both were on their way to catch their prey.
THE BIG EXPLOSION
In the vast and prosperous empire of Simba, the great Circle of Life continued in stability, peace, love, and wisdom. The powerful king Simba and his effective administration protected the delicate balance of nature well on its way - until the day of the big explosion.
It was getting dark, and Timon and Pumbaa were walking back to Pride Rock with Taka and Mufasa, who were still asking about the Masai.
“Why don’t you kids ask Zazu, I think he knows lots about the Masai since he flies over and observes them,” said Timon, after deciding that lying wouldn’t change anything. Suddenly they stopped - because of the explosion they heard. The four of them froze, for they had never heard such a sound before anywhere in the empire.
Simba and Kovu finished the day court just minutes before, and were taking a walk to relax, when they too heard the big explosion. Both lions turned and ran in the direction of the explosion to check what was happing. Simba ordered Zazu to fly ahead.
The big explosion on the other hand had stopped Vitani and Kiara from having a good hunt. Both did not care about loosing their hunt instead, they too changed direction to run towards the big explosion.
Simba and Kovu reached the sight hurrying to see the incident, at the same time Timon and Pumbaa with the cubs were in a position to see clearly what was happening. Vitani and Kiara came a little bit later. All found bushes and rocks to hide in and watch safely from, and none of them saw the other
They saw an old elephant with big tusks; he had been in Simba’s court just hours ago arguing about the waterhole. The elephant was trumpeting to the sky, clearly in pain. He was loosing his balance too.
Again, the sound of an explosion filled the air. The audiences of this drama turned their heads to look in the direction of the explosion. They watched as one skinny creature jumped out from the bush it was hiding. The skinny creature stood pointing a shiny stick at the elephant, and for the third time they heard the explosion from the stick the skinny creature held. Fire came out from the stick.
The skinny creature did not notice anyone; he was focusing on the old elephant. Simba, Kovu, Kiara, Vitani, Timon, Pumbaa, and the cubs were watching confused from the bushes.
The elephant turned to the skinny creature and tried to attack. But he clearly did not know what he was doing, and was unable to control himself. He took two steps forward and lost his balance. The elephant struggled to stay upright, but it was impossible. For the fourth time the big explosion was heard. The elephant could not stand it any more; the big body collapsed into the dust.
The cubs had observed from their hiding place “The Masai! They kill from a distance!” said the cubs.
“No, this is not a Masai, I have seen the Masai hunt before, and this is not a Masai,” Timon said softly.
“But Timon, they look so alike!” said Pumbaa.
“Yes, Pumbaa is right they stand on their hind legs and hold a stick that kills. If this is not a Masai, what is it?” the cubs asked.
It was obvious all animals in the empire were shocked and confused. How could the biggest and strongest animal in the empire could be killed by such a small creature? It has a loud stick, it can kill from a distance and makes fire to kill its pray. It is small but powerful.
Simba, Kovu and Zazu have never seen this creature before, at first they thought it was a Masai but they knew the Masai very well. The Masai do not throw fire, they throw sharp sticks. And the Masai have dark skin. This creature and the Masai are both different and the same. Simba thought.
Vitani and Kiara both saw what was happening. Vitani thought, I wish to hunt like this creature. Hunting would be so easy.
At the same time, Kiara did not like the creature because it was so powerful. It could take the empire from her father and her husband and her sons.
Kiara and Vitani turned back and went to Pride Rock slowly. Speaking softly, Timon told the cubs and Pumbaa to go home. But Simba and Kovu decided to stay and see what will happen since it is their responsibility to protect the empire from attack.
Kovu wanted to attack in his anger, but he was stopped by Simba, “There is no use in two deaths,” Simba told Kovu slowly. The two male lions waited to know who and what that skinny creature is.
The strange creature walked to the elephant he watch it carefully, he seems that he focused on large tusk. The creature nodded and took out something circular and flat from his pocket, the creature looked at the staff then looked around the area, apparently in a hurry. He put the circle back. Then the creature hung the stick on his shoulder and walked away faster than usual.
Simba and Kovu saw what the skinny creature did but did not understand what he was doing. When the creature went back taking fast steps, Simba and Kovu with Zazu followed him quietly, so that he could not see them. After they followed him a long way the creature, seem to reach home.
“They live in herds,” said Kovu.
“Yes,” Simba nodded.
There was a lot of movement, the new creatures seems restless and crowded. Why do they live concentrate in such a small land when they can scatter and live in wide areas? They have nothing to fear, they are powerful, was the question the lions asked themselves. The lions felt uncomfortable for the life style of the skinny creatures living in crowd and being restless. Simba and Kovu saw white caves producing light from in side. The skinny creatures went in and out of the caves, They are very restless Simba thought.
While the two lions were watching, Kovu noticed the Masai in the crowd, “Simba, look, the Masai are in the middle of the herd, they are together with the newcomers. They look just the same except for their skin. You are right Simba, they must be relatives,” said Kovu.
Simba couldn’t help but agree, “Yes, they seem to be relatives. They must have come a long way to meet the Masai.” Again, both noticed something unusual, they saw baby animals in strange boxes. They did not understand why the Masai kept baby animals in the middle of their herd.
What Simba and Kovu were seeing was the new arriving camp of British Empire Builders containing of railway worker to work the way from Mombassa to Kampala.
MAN INTERFERES IN THE GREAT CIRCLE OF LIFE
THE NEW MASAI
It was 1890 in the territory of the British East Africa Company, and there was a massive riot called the Mau-mau. The British East Africa Company had difficulty controlling it, and the company’s manager call to Great Britain for help. The richest and most powerful nation in the world responded immediately by taking direct control over the region under the name of Queen Victoria. The direct control of the British government led to expensive investments, which included building modern railway across the entire east Africa and preparing large commercial farms.
The construction of the railway demanded an enormous amount of labour; the skilled labour came from England, and the semiskilled and manual labour came from the British’s colony India and the local endogenous.
The years after 1890 witnessed the influence of strong British control, every life activities began to come from the new masters. In the 1890s, there seem to be many foreigners in Kenya and Uganda. The local population began to see more whites than before these little missionaries.
Remington was born in London in the 1850s. He loved adventure, even from a young age. Remington developed his skills as he aged, and became a skillful hunter. The hobby Remington developed when he was child made him a professional hunter by the age more than young for the title. Remington’s reputation was heard of by the British government.
Remington was employed by the British government as a professional hunter, and was sent to India, Australia and Africa. Wherever he went, Remington accomplished his mission perfectly. When Britain decided to build the expensive railway from Mombassa to Kampala; Remington was sent with the construction workers to protect them from dangerous wild animals.
The British government hired professional hunters because of the experiences they faced in India’s jungles Now the value of professional hunters was well recognize by British government. Again, professional hunters were sent all over the world with their work.
Remington reached east Africa; it was his second day after he joined the railway workers. It was not his first time in Africa, for he had been to South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana but it was his first time in east Africa.
Remington always woke up early in the morning, “To wake up early is the sign of a good hunter,” he always said. He thought it was so early that the others would not be awake, but he was wrong; the labourers were already at work. Remington took his gun with him and wandered among the workers to ask if there was any problem he could help with.
“There is no problem,” said one Masai who spoke good English and was in charge of the workers.
“You mean you don’t experience any attack from lions or any other animals?” Remington asked.
“No sir, there is no problem,” answered the Masai, “Even if there is an attack, we have got good hunters” the Masai finished and pointed his finger on a group of young Masai with spears in their hands. Remington saw them; they call these peoples hunters? He asked himself contemptuously.
It was his third day after Remington joined the railway workers. As usual, he woke up early in the morning; he took his favorite gun with him then went deep in the bushes of African plain. Remington went to hunt not for work but for pleasure, because yesterday he had found by searching the area that there was no immiediate danger. Remington then went deeper and deeper crossing rivers, mountains, forests, and every land or water on his way. However, he did not find a suitable animal to hunt.
After passing the whole day Remington was ready to give up but at last, when it was getting darker, he saw four elephants crossing his sight. He pointed his gun and pulled the trigger. THE BIG EXPLOSION was heard all over Simba’s empire. Remington always aimed to kill with one shot; once he saw the elephant injured, he jumped out from the bush he was hiding.
The elephant trumpeted to express his pain, and Remington saw the elephant would not die with one shot. He decided to finish it off, but it took three more shots before the old elephant finally fell.
Remington walked to his kill to appreciate the size of the tusk. Then he took out his watch from his pocket to see the time. He could barely believe it; the day was almost over. He decided to come back tomorrow to cut of the tusks.
So, the next day Remington came back with more than half a dozen people all with guns; half of them Indians and the others Africans. First, all of them stand on the elephant to take pictures by the camera of the time. The peoples froze when they took pictures acting as killer of the elephant pointing their guns to the photographer. After they took several pictures of themselves with the elephant, Remington and his men cut off the tusks and took them back to their camp.
When all this happened, Kovu was watching everything, hiding in the nearest bush. He was confused; he could not understand what these Masai and their relatives were doing. He saw them standing on the elephant pointing their sticks. The other one standing in front off them covered his head, and there was a flash like lightning. The Masai and their relatives changed position then froze again to do the same thing.
Kovu instantly realized that these people were crazy; he was shocked when they pointed their sticks at the man covering his head. When the people left, Kovu went back to Pride Rock to tell the pride what he saw.
THE COUNCIL MEETING
When Kovu went back to Pride Rock; all the pride was waiting for him. Simba had call for emergency meeting. Rafiki was present too; he had come a long way and his journet had taken almost a day and a night after Zazu flew to tell him. Simba saw Kovu coming from a distance, and ordered members of the pride to get inside Pride Rock.
Everyone had taken their place. Though the room was dim, they could see each other clearly. Simba was sitting in front of Rafiki, slightly higher than the others. Kovu sat next to Simba. Timon and Pumbaa were together at the left of Simba. Zazu was with Sarabi.
There were two main feelings dividing the pride. The former outsiders were filled with anger, demanding full-scale war right now that they might protect the Pride Lands. The Pride Landers did not want to risk battle with the powerful creatures until they knew more about them.
Simba had not slept last night. He checked to see if all the pride was present. It has been a good time for the pride and for the empire in general, Simba thought, But now we are facing something which has never been seen by the great kings of the past. Maybe the new Masai are not bad, who knows maybe we can live in harmony. But, what if they don’t want to? That means battle. No, no, we cannot go to war with them; they are much more powerful than us. Simba suddenly noticed the pride members were waiting him to start the meeting.
“Rafiki, please tell us what you can see about the new Masai we see yesterday?” asked Simba “Who and what are they?” Simba asked again.
Rafiki raise his hand asking for perfect silence, the room changed in to a complete silence. He looked around the room, tired after his journey from his home to Pride Rock, “Let’s see,” he said. He picked up some fruit then crushes it in the turtle’s shell then after he added water. Rafiki start to shake the shell smoothly, looking into it. He stopped to add a little dirty looking water.
The perfect silence of the room was broken by Rafiki’s old voice. “The new Masai, whose skins shine like the sun, are relatives of the old Masai. They have come much further than we can imagine. The new Masai are extremely powerful; wherever they go, they win. When we compare our empire with the new Masai, ours is like a puddle while theirs is a vast lake. They plan to conquer every place that the light touches.” explained Rafiki by watching in the turtle’s shell. Within seconds, Rafiki’s face became sad.
“The new Masai can hunt easily. They have powerful sticks that spout fire and thunder that kills from a distance. From now on there will be no rest in our empire, stability will be only a memory. All animals will be hunted easily in great numbers. Cheetahs, leopards even lions will be hunted for pleasure. These days are not good days for any animals, because the new Masai will search them day and night for sport.”
“What are we waiting for?” asked Vitani, interrupting Rafiki. She could not control her anger; she wanted the pride to attack right now to teach a lesson not to mess with the most powerful pride on earth. She looked to Simba demanding an answer.
“I don’t know Vitani, except,” Simba answered with confusion and tension “We don’t have to fight with them. From Rafiki’s words it will be certain death.”
“But Simba,” said Vitani, “Instead of waiting for the new Masai until they come and kill us all, is it not better to die fighting?” Vitani became emotional, her past life experience as an outsider, which was characterized by hard physical training, made her a believer in the value of force. Sometimes her anger smothered her other thoughts, “At least let us show them that they can’t hunt as they wish in our lands!”
“Vitani, please try to cool down, we are in a meeting. Let’s talk on it and see if there are alternatives,” Simba tried to calm her. Vitani saw the sleeplessness in his eyes and calmed down, feeling guilty for disturbing the meeting.
Vitani had her supporters though, “Let’s go and fight for the glorious purpose of our pride,” the former outsiders demanded.
Simba, who had known Rafiki for a generation, decided to hear out his idea. “Rafiki, what do the great kings of the past say on this?” he asked. He knew the answer, but also knew that this was the easiest way to convince the council.
Rafiki looked at the turtle’s shell as he did before he added some red powder to it. Then the water started to shimmer, forming white smoke in the air. The white smoke began to change its shape and color first, the image of an impala appeared, “This is us,” said Rafiki pointing to the image formed by the smoke. Another smoke followed from the boiling water. The second white smoke changed it self to cheetah’s image. “This cheetah represents the new Masai,” said Rafiki again pointing his long skinny finger at the image of the cheetah. Everyone in the room began to watch the images of the smokes.
The impala made his head down to point his horns against the cheetah to attack, but as the cheetah approached, the impala lost its courage and began to run as fast as it could, but it was totally outmatched. The cheetah recovered the gap between him and the impala rapidly. Then the cheetah jumped onto the running impala, and sank its teeth into its throat. The helpless impala screamed painfully, and died.
Everyone in the meeting room shuddered at hearing the last scream of the impala. The pride members were clearly in despair; within seconds all dropped the idea to fight. “That is what will happen,” Rafiki continued “Even we cannot face them let alone fight them,” Rafiki concluded, his voice without hope, “We cannot face them the only thing we can do is run away when they come.”
“But, Rafiki how could it be; there must be something?” asked Kiara.
Simba agreed, “She is right Rafiki, there must be something.”
Rafiki sat quietly, lost in his thoughts trying to concentrate then with a helpless voice, spoke, “I will ask what the great kings of the past can do,” he said, “I will come back as soon as I can,” he finished and slowly walked out of the meeting room holding his stick.
The rest of the pride stayed in the meeting room to discuss the new development. The image of the smoke disappeared from the air but not from the mind of the lions.
The night following the council meeting was not a good night for Simba. He could not sleep for a long time, even though he was very tired.
In his dream, he and Kovu were standing on the field just outside Pride Rock in the morning, watching the cubs wrestling playfully.
“Though they are playing, they are developing their fighting skills,” said Simba to Kovu, “Nature has made ev-.” He stopped when he saw a new Masai jumping out from the bush he was hiding to ward the kids. The new Masai had a big sack in his hand. He opened the mouth of the sack toward the cubs then dived on them.
“Help- help- dad- dad- help!” the cubs wailed in the sack. Kovu and Simba ran to help them, roaring and stretching their claws, ready to attack savagely. However, they were too slow for the new Masai’s weapon. The new Masai took out his stick then fired it twice at the lions while they were in the air ready to attack. Simba and Kovu fell down on the ground rolling forward. Kovu died instantly but Simba was still alive to see what was happening as his blood flowed on the ground like water.
Simba saw the cubs coming out from the sack. They did not run away to save their lives, but instead towards Kovu and Simba. Simba’s vision became blurred and darker as the new Masai came to the cubs with his sack.
Simba was breathing hard when he woke up from his sleep. Then he walked outside Pride Rock, saying to himself, “It was only a dream…”
Simba looked up to the stars to the great kings of the past. He needed their help, he stared at the stars for ages, and said, “You said you would always be there for me; please be with me…” Then Simba fell down on the ground.
At the same time, Kovu was having a nightmare. Kiara woke him up, “Kovu, Kovu, wake up, it’s only a dream.” Kovu woke up breathing very fast. After a long moment he too walked out from Pride Rock to gaze at the stars.
PROTECTION FROM THE GREAT KINGS OF THE PAST
Rafiki could not get any answer from the great kings of the past for more than a week. At the beginning of the second week when he was sitting on the branch of his tree, he saw some dust coming to him in the wind. He stretched his arm and caught some of the dust, then smelt it. He knew it meant something important. Then he took it to the place on the tree where he always drew the true kings.
Rafiki put the dust in a turtle’s shell, then broke a fruit to mix the liquid with the staff and he began the shake the shell smoothly. Suddenly Rafiki’s face changed, and he began to laugh, “I knew Mufasa, that you would do something,” he said, laughing loudly. The old monkey touched the stuff that he was mixing and carefully painted on the pictures of the two cubs. The stuff changed color many times before disappearing.
“Before three days the great kings of the past gave me a special medicine as a response for the new Masai’s weapon. They have sent me this powerful medicine, which is effective only on the young princes. The medicine will protect the cubs from the new Masai’s sticks,” Rafiki explained for Simba and the pride in the meeting room.
Inside Pride Rock, all pride members made a large circle as usual. The cubs were placed in the middle of the circle. The place where the cubs sat was shining with light coming from outside. By a beautiful and disciplined ceremony, Rafiki blessed the cubs with the powerful medicine; he painted it their forehead, and the medicine changed its color many times before it disappeared.
THE DESTRUCTION OF SIMBA’S PRIDE
As Rafiki predicted, starting from the day the elephant was killed there was no rest in Simba’s empire. Endless bad news was heard of rhinos, kudus, number of elephants, giraffes, leopards and others found dead. From day to day, animals began to find rhinos killed and without their horns, kudus without their heads and skins. The dead elephant bodies felled on the ground with no tusks became common. Leopards and cheetahs were found dead without skins.
The royal pride was working day and night to solve the problem of the new Masai. There were several council meetings seeking solution; some members gave the ideas to make treaties with the new Masai to live in harmony. This idea was dropped when it became clear that the new Masai didn’t not understand them.
The animals were told to watch their backs carefully, and not to help each other when the new Masai attacked because it would result in more death.
Important places of the empire like the waterhole, Pride Rock and the green grasslands were protected constantly by lionesses. Birds were organized under Zazu to fly over the new Masai’ herd to spy for Simba’s empire. By doing all of the above things and other important things, the emperor and his pride managed to collect enormous amount of information. The gathering information led to better knowledge about the new Masai behavior and lifestyle.
Animals in the empire were organized under difference groups to be trained effectively and to be informed continuously about the new Masai. Timon and Pumbaa played a great roll in organizing and informing the subjects. Lessons were given to all animals on how to escape from the new Masai’ explosive stick. They were told that the new Masai would try to trick them by speaking animals’ language. Birds and other animals were ordered to warn others when they see the new Masai. Attacking the new Masai face to face was ill-advised since the new Masai could kill from a distance. At same time all animals were informed not to run or attack since the new Masai is friendly if he is without his stick. By doing all these things, Simba’s empire managed to have a little security.
The cubs were forbidden to go far from Pride Rock and were always under guard.
It was a bright morning, and Remington was hiding in a bush very near to Pride Rock. He had shot more animals here than any other place he had been, therefore he and his men began to come continuously. Remington came in the night and waited until morning with great patience. It was amazing how he passed the lions to get closer to Pride Rock crossing the grassland.
Remington saw two lion cubs from his hiding place. He looked at them, but not with a hunter’s eyes, “They are so cute!” Remington said to himself. He wanted to take them back home with him. Remington’s eyes widened. He could not believe his eyes; a merecat and a warthog were together not far from the cubs. “How could this be?” Remington asked himself. The merecat was on the head of the warthog, and Remington lay down to watch. To his surprise the merecat and the warthog began to interact with the cubs, and the merecat jumped to the head of one of the cubs.
Timon sat on Taka’s head, talking, “I don’t feel safe here, let’s go back to Pride Rock.” he said.
“But Timon, we are almost at Pride Rock already!” the cubs answered.
“What I mean is… let’s go inside Pride Rock,” Timon answered, still feeling uncomfortable.
“Yes, kids Timon is right, I don’t feel safe either,” Pumbaa too began to look around. Then all of them stared at the bush in front of them.
Remington leapt out from behind the bush, sack in hand, and pounced on the cubs and Timon. But Pumbaa stopped screaming, he walked backward preparing enough place to attack after giving enough gap Pumbaa screamed, “Not while I am alive!” He charged at Remington. It happened too fast for Remington to pull out his gun when the pig slammed into his back. Remington lost his balance and fell, dropping both his gun and the sack.
Timon and the cubs escaped using the chance. Remington was trying to reach his gun when Pumbaa struck for the second time. Unfortunately, Pumbaa pushed Remington closer to his gun. At the same time, Timon jumped on Remington’s face and started to scratch and bite. Remington grabbed Timon and threw him at the nearest rock, stunning him. Pumbaa screamed again, ready to attack for the third time. However, it was too late. Remington had already reached his gun; he pointed it at Pumbaa and pulled the trigger.
The shot was heard all over Simba’s pride. Pumbaa’s lifeless body rolled. The cubs, who were looking on as if it was just a nightmare, suddenly came to their senses and ran for Pride Rock.
Simba, Kovu and Zazu were at court. When they heard the explosion, Simba told Zazu to fly ahead and find out what was happening. Zazu returned much sooner than they expected him with the news. The king and his successor ran, following Zazu.
The cubs were running with Remington just behind them. However, Remington recovered the gap quickly and dove on the cubs with his open sack for the second time. Taka was in the sack. Mufasa stopped running when he heard Taka’s voice calling for help and ran back to save his brother. Remington was lying on the ground by his chest his hands were stretching forward holding the sock. Mufasa jumped at Remington and scratched his face bravely, leaving four long marks. Remington dropped the sock in shock, and Taka came out from the sock. The cubs ran once again, and Remington continued to chase them.
Simba, Kovu, Kiara, Vitani and Nala, with the other members of the pride were catching up, but they were still a long way away.
The cubs ran, and the bushes were turning to a rockier terrain. Finally Taka looked back to check on the new Masai, and he saw no one. Taka called to Mufasa that no one was chasing them, and so they stopped to hide behind a big rock, trying to calm down.
Zazu was flying ahead making big circles in the sky. Though Zazu tried hard to see the cubs or the new Masai, the cubs were hidden and the new Masai was nowhere to be seen. He turned back to check if he’d missed them back on the way.
The cubs were hiding behind the big rock, breathing very fast. They began to look around then they stared at the big bush a short distance in front of them suspiciously. Suddenly the new Masai jumped out from behind the bush with his open sack, and the cubs barely escaped. The chase began anew.
Zazu heard the cubs crying for help, and turned back. He saw the cubs and the new Masai running down over the rocky land. He knew he had to do something to help the cubs. He flew lower and lower towards Remington, to block his vision.
All a sudden Remington was not able to see, and he stumbled, rolling down the rocks. Zazu scratched Remington’s face while they fell. Remington managed to stop rolling, then he grabbed Zazu and threw him into a rock, and just like Timon, Zazu became unconscious.
Just as this was happening, Simba and his group were in sight. They ran down to attack, but Remington took out his small gun and shot at the pride. He did not hit anyone, but he scared the pride from attacking him. The members of the pride found rocks and bushes to hide behind quickly.
The cubs on the other hand were still running as if Remington was behind them. They passed the rocky land and ran across the flat plain. Eventually the cubs were too exhausted to continue. When they were sure that no one was chasing them, they stopped, exhausted.
Right in front of them was a bush very like the one which had been hiding Remington twice now. The cubs stared at the bush by exhausted eyes, and to their surprise the bush made a rustling noise. The two cubs screamed again and ran, visualizing the new Masai with his open sack diving over them.
But this time Remington was not chasing them. The bush was not hiding Remington, but a sleeping leopard.
The cubs reached the river, dove into it and tried to swim. But both cubs were inexperienced and exhausted. They would have drowned if a floating tree had not been there to save them. The exhausted cubs helped each other to climb on the tree, and fell into a deep sleep. Meanwhile the tree took them far away from Remington, and also from home.
Meanwhile the deadlock between Simba’s pride and Remington continued, half of Simba’s pride lead by Kovu and Kiara began to look for the cubs. They looked everywhere, but when it got dark, they had to give up. They tracked the cubs, to the river, but could search no more.
“They can’t swim in this current,” cried Kiara looking at the last pawprints that the cubs had left by the water’s edge. Kovu stared in shock at the river. They had to make their way home.
Simba’s group returned late at night with Zazu, who was hurt badly. When the group reached Pride Rock, Timon was crying over the dead body of Pumbaa. His eyes were red and he seemed older than before. Simba tried to calm Timon down, but it was impossible.
“He has been crying the whole day,” said Sarabi. She too had been weeping.
Still later in the night Kovu’s group came. Kiara collapsed in tears as they returned. Sarabi did not need to ask what happened to the cubs, for she knew from Kiara’s tears that they were surely lost forever.
That very night, in the presence of all the pride, the funeral of Pumbaa was carried out. Simba looked to the stars, Why have you let this happen, Father? he asked, but got no answer.
After the funeral was over, they went inside Pride Rock to sleep but Timon refused, saying, “I won’t leave Pumbaa alone.” The pride begged him to calm himself, but Timon was inconsolable.
In that miserable night, Timon was still crying on the rock that indicated Pumbaa’s grave. Kiara too was not sleeping but only pretending. After several hours, she opened her eyes to check if Kovu and others were sleeping, then she slowly stood up. She saw Kovu having a nightmare; if it was yesterday she would have woken him up telling it was only a dream. But tonight she had a more important task. She walked away from Pride rock in complete silence.
Standing from a distance, Kiara watched Timon crying loudly. She was about to cry with him, but something in her heart changed her sadness to anger, “Goodbye Timon,” she said softly, and ran in the direction of the new Masai’s herd. Kiara was filled with anger, sadness, and a desire for revenge, for her it was impossible to live without her lovely cubs.
The next day, it was heard around Pride Rock that there was unrest in the new Masai’ herd.
“The entire disturbance was sparked by one lioness.”
“The lioness killed and wounded many of them.”
“The new Masai were running in every direction.”
“Some of them were trying to kill her but others were running to save their life.”
“The new Masai are not brave as we are told.”
“Why don’t we go to war with them? I am sure we will win.”
“What a brave lioness she is!” said some animals. But all were sad because the young lion was killed in her acts of terror. It was three days before the truth was realized, but finally the pride knew who had carried out the killings.
It had been Kiara.
The day after the cubs and Kiara were lost, Sarabi was found in her room, unable to walk or talk. Rafiki came to treat her, he tried everything, but it was impossible; “She has had a sickness called a stroke,” Rafiki told the pride, “It is beyond my skill to heal.”
The next day, Sarabi passed away, surrounded by the pride.
Simba’s pride had more problems. The day Sarabi died, Simba went out for a walk around Pride Rock. Simba saw Timon from a distance. Timon was talking, and at first Simba thought that he was talking with somebody else, but when he got closer, Simba saw that Timon was talking alone.
“Pumbaa, you stupid pig, I have brought you some bugs to eat. What? Won’t eat?” shouted Timon.
Simba saw Timon was disturbed, “Timon?” he said.
“Come on, let’s have a walk,” Simba suggested.
“I’d love to, but Pumbaa won’t come,” answered Timon. He began to sing ‘Hakuna Matata’, but it was more like crying rather than singing.
Simba’s pride made a circle again for the third time around memorial symbol of Kiara, Pumbaa, Sarabi and the cubs. Now the pride knew Kiara was dead, and were sure that the cubs had drowned.
AWAY FROM THE PRIDE LANDS
THE CUBS AND ZIRA
The cubs were in a deep sleep while the tree floated slowly down the wide river carrying them far away. The cubs had traveled the whole day in their sleep. Now the sun was setting giving the last light to reflect on the stable wide river.
An old lioness, strong for her age came through the jungle to the river to drink. The old lioness was about to go back but suddenly she stopped to stare at the big tree floating on the river. The old lioness noticed that the tree was not alone. Calmly, the old lioness entered the river slowly and moved to swim towards the tree.
Taka struggled to awake from his deep sleep. For a moment, he was unable to remember what had happened. Taka looked at the old lioness splashing water on him and Mufasa, “Sarabi, I am so hungry; I could eat a whole zebra!”
Taka stopped when Sarabi shouted at him. He was confused, for he has never seen Sarabi so angry before. Taka thought it was a dream and tried to wake up, soon he saw a cut on Sarabi’s forehead.
“Did the new Masai attack you?” asked Taka, pointing at her forehead.
“Stop talking and answer my questions,” was the answer. It was a strict command. “Who are you?” asked the old lioness.
For the first time Taka realized the old lioness was not Sarabi. Who is this old lioness? Why is she angry at me? Where did she come from? She must be the one who saved us; maybe we were hard to save and that is why she is mad. “I… my… my name is Taka,” the old lioness’ face changed again She seems friendly now; what is wrong with her? How could she not know me or even my father? He is king of Pride Rock, and everybody knows him.
“Taka,” said the old lioness, “I knew it! You just look like him.” She changed again suddenly, “Is this your idea of a joke?!” the old lioness screamed in rage.
“I am not joking; my name is Taka and my father is Kovu, he is a lord of Pride Rock,” answered Taka, confused, She is so angry; the new Masai must have hit her on the head. That must be why she is not thinking well.
The lioness became more confused than angry, What is happing here? Taka was the real name of my mate Scar; he was the one I really love. I have given my whole life for him. He must have sent me the cubs so I would not be lonely. The lioness looked to the sky to thank old Scar. She looked at the little cub carefully, and she saw Taka, her beloved mate, in the eyes of this beautiful cub, My God, they are so alike, she thought.
Zira start to look at the cubs with loving eyes. How could the Pride Landers give the name Taka to my grandson; in memory of my mate? I thought Taka was hated among the Pride Landers. How could Simba accept the name Taka for his grandson? I thought that Taka and Simba were archenemies but I must have been wrong. Yes, I remember when Simba said, “Put your past behind you” but I demanded war. Being lonely for so long has made me so angry, so lonely, so frustrated…
“Sarabi, are the new Masai gone?” it was Mufasa waking up from his sleep. Zira came out of her thoughts. She did not understand what he meant by the new Masai but she answered, “Yes, my son, whatever it was, it is gone.” Zira pulled the cubs towards herself to make them feel safer. Mufasa was still so tired that he believed he was with Sarabi.
That night Zira gave the cubs dinner, the cubs already relaxing as they are at home enjoyed their dinner. After the dinner, they sleep on the open grassland watching the stars; Zira asked them about the new Masai, and the cubs explained all they knew. “Why were the names Taka and Mufasa given to you?” was Zira’s next question.
As always the cubs began to explain turn by turn, “The names Taka and Mufasa belonged to the great kings of the past who ruled their kingdoms from Pride Rock” the cubs explained, “The names are given to us to remember the great kings of the past. Sarabi chose the names for us because to indicate truth philosophy that we are one,” the cubs finished
Zira pretended that she knew nothing about all this, “What do you mean by the philosophy, we are one?”
The cubs began to explain turn by turn, “Once a long time ago the two great kings of the past fought. Their argument was over power and they used to love each other when they were cubs. The fight over power divided the pride into the Outsiders and Pride Landers, but after some time the two groups became one again. We are the symbol of the union because our mother was a Pride Lander, and our father was an Outsider. As well as that, we took the image of the great kings of the past.
“Who told you all these stories?” asked Zira.
“Sarabi did, she is our great grandmother, and she is old like you. Sarabi knows so many things, and being with her is fun,” the cubs answered.
Zira could not stand it. She saw the cubs brought up with love developing a pure heart. She promised to put her past behind her.
“You are right, we are one!” said Zira, looking at the cubs.
The cubs looked surprised, they did not understand her, Maybe she is saying all lions on earth are one but Sarabi did not say that. “You mean all lions on earth are one?” asked the cubs.
“No, what I mean is that we are one,” answered Zira, “I am Zira, and I am also your grandmother.”
The cubs were really surprised; they found it hard to believe, but at the same time they were happy to have a family.
“Zira,” shouted the cubs happily, and jumped onto her to give a hug, “Everybody thought that you were dead,” the cubs cried.
“They were almost right, I would have died if the great kings of the past were not there to help,” answered Zira thinking about where to start.
“What happened after you fell down in the river?” the cubs asked.
They know that I fall down in the river; this will make it easier to know my starting point, Zira thought, “After I fell down in the river, I tried hard to swim, but the current was too strong. Soon, I was close to death. I would have drowned if my paw had not touched an old tree. After I was safe on the tree, I fell unconscious. After that, it was in the morning when I woke up, I was far away.”
The next day, early in the morning, Zira woke up the cubs. They were still mostly asleep. Zira was different to Sarabi. She was like a commanding officer, “Wake up!” Zira shouted again.
“Listen to me, cubs,” Zira start to shout, “You are not to sleep late in the morning and play the whole day. I am old; I may not stay with you for long. This means you have to be by yourselves, you have to be strong, fast, and clever. Lions are hunters and you are lions, you will not find your food waiting there for you like grass or trees. So to survive here you have to be good hunters, and hunting in the middle of nowhere is not like in the Pride Lands, here there are less animals and there is no group to hunt with. We are alone here so sleeping late in the morning and playing the whole day is not for survivors.”
“As you told me yesterday you have a more powerful enemy, the new Masai who can kill from a distance. You are lucky that the great kings of the past blessed you. But that is not enough. From now on you will be trained to be real lions, intelligent, strong and quick.” Zira finished.
“Yes sir!” responded the cubs standing stiffly like soldiers. Zira smiled, satisfied with their response.
Then every morning, the cubs were trained to be stronger and faster. Zira continuously trained them on a variety of skills including fighting, hunting, swimming, jumping, climbing trees and mountains, and concealment. But she also taught the cubs about the delicate balance of nature, the great circle of life and the art of strong leadership and judgment. Within a few weeks, the cubs started to progress rapidly thanks to her hard training.
Once upon a time, the cubs had asked Zira to back home to the Pride Land. Zira would have been happy to go back, “But,” said Zira, “I don’t the way.”
The cubs answered, “It is simple, Zira! All we have to do is to follow the river upstream.”
Zira smiled and said “Come my children, let me show you,” then Zira took them upstream.
After walking a little distance following the river against it’s flow the one river became two. They chose one stream and continued walking. Then again the single river turned to be two. They chose another stream then walked upstream but again the same thing happened. Zira told them that if they chose the other side the same thing would happen. At last, the cubs gave up and returned back to the jungle.
The cubs grew a little but they were still too young to hunt themselves. Zira always did the hunting. One day when the sun was setting, Zira was preparing to hunt. The cubs always chose a higher location with a clear view, and hid in the bushes to watch, “Lions are not to be seen but see,” Zira always said.
The old experienced hunter was in the vast plain of the savanna, she was almost invisible. She was lying in the ground moving in complete silence to the unaware two zebras wandering in the plain. The two zebras did not smell her, for she was upwind. Under cover she moved closer and closer until she could see the zebras clearly. She prepared her legs and mind to pounce.
The cubs sitting hidden in the bushes could not see Zira until she jumped from the savanna and flew though the air like an arrow. The zebra was not aware of what was happening until it was too late. He ran, and he was fast but Zira was faster. Zira and the zebra crossed the wide plain covered savanna incredible speed. The zebra made sharp turns in order to confuse Zira, but this was not difficult for the experienced lioness. Zira was making a good chase. The distance between them was getting smaller and smaller.
Just as Zira was in a position to make a good catch she slowed, gasping. The cubs thought it could be one of her hunting techniques, but she did not run again; instead, she lay on the ground. The cubs saw there must be a problem and ran to her, “What happened Zira?” the cubs asked.
“I don’t know, my dears… my old heart is failing,” Zira answered, gasping. Then she rolled over the ground looking up at the cubs who were crying. She tried to speak even though she was weak, “My cubs, let the great kings of the past protect you,” she said, and closed her eyes to sleep forever.
The cubs froze up, and the only thing which was moving was their tear. They could barely believe what had happened. Once again they were alone. They moved closer to Zira’s body and slept. They cried the whole night, confused and afraid, for they did not know where to go or what to do.
The next day, the cubs buried Zira at the place she died. Then they started the long and arduous journey back to Pride Rock, though they did not know the way. The cubs decided to follow the river against the direction it flowed for three days then to return back if they had not reached Pride Rock.
Many times the cubs had to begin their journey again, but they did not give up because Zira had taught them to never give up.
Food was the greatest problem the cubs faced. Thanks to Zira’s training they were able to hunt small and slower game.
Many predators hunted them in the long journey, and once again it was Zira’s training which saved them.
THE MIGRATION OF SIMBA’S EMPIRE
Remington and his men found Simba’s empire with more animals than any other place; so Remington and other hunters start to visit Simba’s empire more often.
Hearing the explosions in the empire became common. More and more animals were found dead some of their parts taken away by the new Masai. Many animals began to come to the Pride rock to complain about the unfair hunt of the new Masai. Subjects of the empire pressed for protection from their government and king.
It was early in the morning, but all animals were awake by this time. There was much movement in the empire because animals of all kinds were hurrying to the king’s residence. Every creature was heading towards Pride Rock.
It was similar to how the animals walked for the presentation of the future kings, or when every creature of the earth gathered for judgment or to hear new laws. But today the purpose was different, they were gathering around the Pride rock for different purpose for the great migration. It was amazing to see such a vast crowd made up of every creature in Africa, all heads looking up to Pride Rock to Simba and Kovu. There were changes in both lions. Both had been very unhappy ever since the day they had lost the two beautiful cubs and their beloved mate and daughter.
After he checked the complete gathering of the crowd, Simba started to talk in a voice which was sad, deep and strong. “You all know why we are gathered here. Not for joyful ceremony or for supreme judgment or to make laws; today we have gathered to retreat from the new Masai. Rafiki will show us the chosen place by the great kings of the past. This new place is free from the unfair hunts.”
When Simba finished, Rafiki walked to the edge of the rock. Rafiki the ancient wise monkey, rise up his stick pointing to the new place, northwards.
The great crowd began to move. Simba and Kovu walked slowly following them, and the pride followed him. Zazu jumped on the shoulder of Simba. Timon however, now mentally ill from the loss of his best friend, refused to migrate with the empire.
Simba and the pride had begged Timon for weeks to come with them to the new place, which is free from the unfair hunt. “I said no!” Timon had screamed, “I told you, I will come when Pumbaa is ready!” He still refused to face up to his friend’s death. He was standing on a rock near Pumbaa’s grave. He watched as the crowd of animals retreated into the distance.
“Goodbye, Simba!” Timon shouted, “Pumba and I will miss you very much. Remember Simba, the good days we had. Are you hearing me, Simba? I will come as soon as Pumbaa is ready. Don’t worry old pal, I will be fine; Remember, Hakuna Matata!” he shouted.
Simba stopped when he heard Timon from the distance and cried from deep inside, “I will remember the good days we had and I will remember you Timon,” Simba was not heard by the lions next to him, let alone Timon in the distance.
Timon watched until the great mob disappeared beyond the horizon. After he stared at the lifeless horizon for minutes, he walked talking to Pumbaa’s grave, “Don’t you think we should follow our old friend Simba? You know he is lonely and sad; let us go and make him happy. Please say yes?” Timon pleaded. Though there was no response, he acted like he had heard one, “I know why you said no, Pumbaa. It is because you don’t want Sarabi to be alone,” Timon went away, but soon came back with bugs on a wide leaf. Timon waited for Pumbaa to eat, “Well if you don’t want them, I do” said Timon, and ate them himself.
It had been a long time since Simba’s pride lived at Pride Rock. Drought had reached the empire after the great migration. The land was completely changed. The beautiful grassland with trees and plenty of animals was turned to dry land covered by bones and dry trees.
Two large lions were standing side by side, some distance from Pride Rock. It was clear the lions were unsure that it was the real Pride Lands, thinking they might have made a mistake. What happened to the Pride Lands? the lions asked themselves, without saying anything, observing the area around Pride Rock.
The two lions standing side by side had made it home after traveling for so long. The two sweet cubs had grown into big strong lions. After completing the long journey, the brothers were once again in sight of Pride Rock.
The hazardous journey had made the brothers extremely strong and experienced. The training they had when they were cubs had made them strong and intelligent. The medicine, which they had been blessed with when they were cubs had given them a strange aura.
The two lions observed their empire from a distance. Neither Taka or Mufasa would have recognized their empire if Pride Rock had not been there pointing to the dark sky. The lions could barely believe that this was the place where many creatures used to live. Why do the great kings of the past do this to our empire? both Taka and Mufasa thought as they observed the empire with sharp eyes.
Taka and Mufasa reached Pride Rock and heard a voice. The lions moved in perfect silence towards the voice, and saw an old merecat singing ‘Hakuna Matata’. It was Timon who was very old now, but still noisy. When the brothers saw him, they remembered him, not because of his face but because of the song. Timon was gathering anything he got on sight for no apparent purpose.
Suddenly Timon felt something watching him and stopped singing, “Pumbaa,” Timon shouted, “Do you think I am afraid of you?” He turned to look, and saw a big scary lion in front of him.
“It’s ok, I am Taka,” said Taka, trying to calm Timon.
Timon acted as if nothing had happened, “Taka died a long time ago!” he said, angrily. Then he picked up a little stone and threw it at Taka, but it missed.
“Timon, we are the sons of Kiara and Kovu,” said Mufasa, standing next to Timon.
Timon shouted in fear when he saw another lion behind him, “What are you guys? Are you ghosts? How could you appear without being seen?” he asked, breathing hard. “Look guys, I have lived with lions but they are not you,” he added. This time he was standing looking at both of them by his old eyes; he tried to figure out how the lions knew the names Taka, Kiara, Kovu and his own name. “I knew it! You are ghosts!” said Timon.
“No, we are not,” answered the lions.
“Ok great kings of the past?” Timon suggested.
“Stop it Timon.” Taka lost his temper, “Timon, we are not ghosts. Don’t you remember when we played together with you and Pumbaa? Don’t you remember when the new Masai came to took us?”
Timon froze up, and went back in his memory and remembered everything, The presentation of the future kings - when the names Taka and Mufasa were give - the happy days with Pumbaa and the cubs - the new Masai - the council meeting - the ceremony of blessing the cubs by the power medicine. At last, the vision of the new Masai came in Timons’s mind, The new Masai pointing his gun at Pumbaa - Pumbaa was running to attack - the big explosion - The blood of Pumbaa was all over the ground… “No... no… NO!” Timon shouted.
“Cool down Timon, what happened?” Taka and Mufasa asked, trying to calm him down.
Timon without saying anything looked at the lions for a moment “Come on, kids let me show you something,” he said, changing suddenly to almost normal. He walked away from the lions, and they followed him.
Timon pointed at four small hills made of rocks, it was obvious they were erected purposely to indicate the grave place of someone, “This is your mother’s grave,” said Timon, pointing to the first rock, “She was killed by the new Masai.” Timon continued, “The next one is Pumbaa’s grave. He too was killed by the new Masai. Next to Pumbaa is Sarabi’s grave, she died because she was so sad that you kids died. The last and the smaller one is in memory of you kids, we thought you were dead. But you are alive all this time. What did you do out there? Why didn’t you come home?” Timons became angry again.
“It is a long history,” Taka answered sadly.
Timon tried to remember something else, “We did not find Kiara’s body. We erected this rock to remember her and her great work at the new Masai’s herd.”
“What are you talking about?” asked the brothers.
Timon tried to think where to start, “The day you kids vanished, many people were hurt. When Kovu and Kiara came back, Kiara’s eyes were red it was obvious that she had been crying a lot. She was very sad at the same time very angry; loosing her two kids at one day gave great pain. That night Kiara made sure that everyone was in sleep then she left Pride rock and ran to the new Masai’s herd,” Timon continued.
As the brothers listened, they felt their blood start to boil, Pumbaa gave his life to save them - Sarabi crying, calling their names. At last, image of Kiara came in the brothers’ mind. Kiara was crying, but soon her sorrow turned to anger. She was running among the new Masai’s herd killing and wounding many of them. The new Masai were panicing, shouting for help, some of them tried to get close to her pointing their weapons making the big explosion but Kiara could not be stopped. After so many trying one of the new Masai hit her with the fire. Then the new Masai surrounded her in a big circle; many of them had sticks, and others had stones. Kiara roared when the fire hit her. This made the new Masai happier and satisfied. Kiara roared again in pain, her body covered in blood. “Stop!” both lions shouted at the same time.
Timon stopped immediately. Then he looked at the brothers, they were crying. Timon was surprised to see such big and scary lions crying like children.
Suddenly both Taka and Mufasa stopped crying. With seconds they were serious again “Crying would do nothing,” one of them said. They looked at each other with deep and mysterious eyes. It was true the grown brothers were capable to talk from a distance.
“We have lost everything,” the other added in the same voice. Timon could mot understand what was happening.
“Let’s go,” the brothers said at the same time.
Then the brothers began running across the dry land, Taka in the lead. Timon climbed on the big rock in front of him, he watched the lions running into the distance, “You go, kids, give them what they deserve! You are blessed by the medicine, which will protect you from the fire of the Masai. Go!” Timon was standing on the same rock, which he saw when samba’s empire migrated, “I will come to you when Pumbaa is ready!” Timon added hysterically. The lions heard Timon but did not give him any response because it was time to give response for the years old enemy the new Masai.
THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS
High in the sky, the Union Flag was blowing on the desert wind in an area called Tsabo. Tsabo was a river found in east Africa; it crossed the plain Africa covered by savanna or dessert and everything it found own its’ way. Tsabo like any other African place was hazardous with new diseases, a harsh climate, and dangerous wild animals. However, Tsabo became very different after the appearance of two man-killing lions who brought the ghost and the darkness African legend into reality.
The British Empire had continued to expand all over the world. In Africa, they controlled best part of the continent from Egypt stretching to South Africa. In 1898, the British Empire in east Africa had reached a place called Tsabo, building the most expensive railroad yet. The railway in east Africa that was built day and night by enormous manpower had camped around the river Tsabo to build a bridge across the river Tsabo.
To build the bridge across the river Tsabo an experienced engineer came from London; his name was John Patterson, a young Irishman. John was a skillful engineer, he had been successful many times. His reputation grew greater and gained the attention of the British government, and John was chosen often to help the empire in every challenging condition.
John loved a challenge, even from his youth. From the moment John arrived at Tsabo he was happy, because Tsabo was full of challenges.
The conditions in Tsabo at the time were terrible when John Patterson arrived to build the bridge. The temporary hospital built to help the workers was full of patients.
John loved challenges but Tsabo’s challenge was great. He found it hard to build the bridge according to schedule. The workers of the railway refused to work often. When John asked them why, the reason they gave was ‘life security’. John had promised to finish the bridge in four months for his boss back at home in London. However, it was clear in such conditions John would not be finished in even four years.
“There are many deaths. Two or three are killed each day,” said Samuel, looking at John. Samuel was from the Masai race. He was in his fifties, but refused to give his true age. Samuel was intelligent and spoke good English, and his boss, Staring, liked and trusted him. Samuel was good at organizing workers.
“I don’t know what do,” said Staring. Staring was the manager of the camp, and was very young for his position. Staring had been working on the railway for years but he had not experienced such difficulties until he reached Tsabo.
John, Staring, and Samuel were talking about the man-killing lions late at night around a big fire, “They are two of them,” said Samuel looking at the dark outside the camp when a loud roar was heard. John and Staring followed Samuel and looked out in the dark. John pulled out his gun fearing a surprise attack. The roar was so powerful that it shook his body.
“Both are males, and people believe they are brothers,” Samuel continued to explain. “One has a black mane and a dark brown body and his brother has a brown mane and golden fur. These lions are not other lions. They are bigger and stronger than usual, but that is not what make them so different.”
“Samuel is right they are not like normal lions,” Staring supported Samuel.
“How?” asked John.
“Well, normally lions don’t attack groups of humans,” said Samuel, “But these lions do not fear our groups. Also, the lions seem to be intelligent hunters. They appear without being seen. The other thing about them is that they do not kill men to eat them, but leave the bodies where they lie. They are around Tsabo only for the purpose of killing.”
John stopped Samuel, “But lions don’t do that. Predators do not kill if it’s not for the purpose of food. We must not forget that they are animals, and know nothing about hate and anger.” John was technically right. Even though he is not a hunter; his adventurous lifestyle and the books he read about lions and wildlife of Africa had gave him the knowledge of professionals.
“You are right,” said Samuel supporting John’s idea. “You know what people say about these lions? They say they are not lions, but the ‘Ghost and the Darkness’. Here there is a legend called the ghost and the darkness, it is said there will be lions soon after the arrival of the white man. The lions are not like normal lions, though - they have been sent by the past lion kings of Africa to stop the white man from taking their land. They are man killers not eaters since there is the spirit of those past kings in them, they will not eat human meat. Some said the lions are so clever because of the human spirit in them. The legend calls those lions the ghost and the darkness.”
John was interested in the legend, and listened carefully while Samuel talked on.
“The Ghost and the Darkness can hunt easily; they have a powerful roar - as loud as a gun shot. They can kill without being seen. The roar of the Ghost and the Darkness makes others helpless before them. After the appearance of the Ghost and the Darkness, there will be no rest wherever the white man goes. Humans will fall down in great numbers. No man is a problem for the Ghost and the Darkness.” Samuel stopped then looked at both to John and Staring. Although clearly interested in the legend, they did not believe it.
“Tomorrow, I will go out to hunt these lions as soon as I get the chance,” said John.
“I wish you good luck!” said Samuel, who could see that John did not understand or believe anything about the Ghost and the Darkness.
The next day, John and Staring prepared to hunt. John was an engineer, but he was a good hunter too, he had some experience of hunting back in India, but Staring had no experience of hunting, and was going simply to keep John company. They prepared everything they need.
When it was getting dark, John and Staring climbed up a tree with their guns. They tied a donkey with a bell around her neck at the next tree in clear sight and began to wait. It was in the middle of night Staring has fallen asleep, but John was still awake, waiting for the Ghost or the Darkness.
After waiting a long time the donkey moved suddenly, and the bell on her neck rang. It was clear she had sensed a predator. John pointed his gun and waited for a sight of the lions, and soon one big lion who thought he had an easy prey moved slowly toward the donkey. After just four or five steps the lion was shoot down by John’s gun. Staring woke up quickly and fell down on the ground over the dead lion with a shout. Once he realized the lion was dead, he raised his head to look at John, “You killed that lion with one shot!” he said. But it was not the Ghost or the Darkness.
The next morning people were gathered to see John and the lion he killed. The people were happy because they now trusted John to kill the others.
“If he killed this lion by one shoot he will kill the Devils!” workers commented.
Samuel was leading a small mob shouting, “One shot!” Six men were following Samuel carrying a long wood three men were leading the other three in there middle there was a dead lion tied on wood.
On the right and left of the crowed there was a small crowd expressing their appreciation by clapping and raising their hands up and shouting “One shot!”
The next day when John was in his tent, Samuel came with a necklace made from lion’s claws. “One shot,” said Samuel stretching his hand to give the necklace. John took the necklaces and started to see it. “Put it on, it will protect you from the lions’ attack and it will give you courage during hunting.” said Samuel and left the small tent. John looked at the necklace and put it away in his box.
As any other day Tsabo was sunny and stiflingly hot. The workers were working hard, sweating under the hot sun. John was working on the bridge and Staring and Samuel were with him.
“They have retuned to their hard work. The workers have great hope in you. They believe you will kill the devils soon. One shot has taken their fear away,” said Samuel. John and Staring watched and realized Samuel was right. The three of them looked to each other then smiled confidently.
However, it was only for a few hours that Tsabo remained stable. Workers started to run in all directions. People gave fearful shouts and the lions gave loud, terrifying roars. The Ghost and the Darkness had returned to Tsabo.
John, Staring, and Samuel all with guns run to the place where the lions were but at the minute, they reach the place the lions had already left killing two workers. Three others had been trampled in the stampede to get away. John began preparing to kill the ghost and the darkness.
THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS
Taka and Mufasa had reached Tsabo after traveling for almost three days and nights from Pride Rock. The lions watched Tsabo from distance, just as they had watched Pride Rock. The young brothers studied the landscape with sharp eyes and brilliant minds like soldiers watched the enemy territory by binocular. After observing Tsabo for more than half an hour without moving or talking, the two lions looked each other then one of them said, “Tsabo. A place of slaughter.”
Both gave low and powerful roars. The brothers began to run towards Tsabo; this time Mufasa was in the lead.
After ten minutes the young brothers had reached Tsabo, circling around the camp to study every in and out of the location. That night Taka and Mufasa gave to Tsabo and its people a loud roar indicating that there would be no peace at Tsabo, just as the new Masai had introduced himself to Simba’s empire.
Starting the day after the explosive roar, people were killed daily. Taka and Mufasa made many attacks in the memory of their pride and especially their mother Kiara who had died most painfully avenging her cubs.
The young lions attacked the camp systematically because of their training by Zira as cubs; they were unseen and unheard. Because of their hard life experience, the lions were strong and intelligent. Because of their time with Sarabi and Zira the lions had gathered an enormous amount of knowledge. Because of the medicine given to them from the great kings of the past, the brothers were protected from the guns. All this gave the lions the upper hand in their bloody game.
The young lions were almost undefeatable. Therefore, the people gave the lions their own names they called them THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS.
When the people at Tsabo were asked, “Why don’t you shoot them?” or “How could lions do this?” they simply replied, “They are not lions.”
In a way, the workers of Tsabo were right, because the legend fit perfectly with lions’ behavior and appearance. The names of the Ghost and the Darkness represented the young lions rather than the name Taka and Mufasa.
THE DESTRUCTION OF TSABO
Starting from the night that explosive roar appeared there was no rest around Tsabo. Endless news was heard, “Another worker was killed by the ghost and the darkness.” “His neck was broken,” “No, no his all bones were broken.” Day after day the terror grew greater in the heartland of Tsabo.
Staring found the workers hard to control. The Indian workers pressed hard for safety. Abdullah, a mere laborer, but also an Indian Muslim, became more and more popular. Conflict between Abdullah and John rose up to boiling point.
“We have been buried at least two people a day,” said Abdullah.
John, Staring, and Samuel started to do everything which they thought could be a solution. John sent for professional hunters from his boss at London to hunt the lions down. He also selected some hunters from among the workers and gave them guns to protect the camp. The workers built a fence around the camp with barbed wood. At nights, they made big fires all over the place to keep the place bright and to try to scare away the lions.
However, it was the night after the day the fence was built, the fires were made and hunters took guns and strict curfew passed forbidding not to go beyond the fence. The ghost and the darkness took one Masai in his sleep in the heart of the camp. The attack was so fast and systematic that no one could do a thing.
The next day, a riot broke out, and Staring called his boss in London for help.
ATTACK ON STARING
It was a sunny day and the railway workers were not willing to work - they were barely willing to stay in Tsabo, hopelessly waiting for another attack.
As they expected, the surprise attack was ready under the savanna that covered Tsabo. The Ghost and the Darkness looked more like legend than reality for the workers made the sudden attack.
It was the Ghost who was running. The Ghost watched the people, Why do you not chase me now? You people are brave when you have your weapons, so why aren’t you brave now? thought the ghost. Then he jumped on a luckless Indian worker.
Instead of attacking the running peoples, the Darkness jumped on the roof of the house and lay on the roof. He watched the ghost from a distance, knowing eventually someone would come with a gun to shoot at him, “Come on and shoot at my brother,” said the Darkness slowly being egger until some comes.
John heard when the people shouted and knew it was the lions. Now he always kept his gun with him. He ran in the direction of the attack. Staring and Samuel followed him, both holding guns. The three of them reached pointed their guns toward the lion.
The Ghost saw three people pointing their guns at him, but he was confident that they could not hurt him. The Ghost looked up to the roof of the house near the people. He saw his brother the Darkness waiting.
I thought people were smart, thought the Ghost. He roared to his brother up on the roof, “This is for Kiara, give them what they deserve!”
The darkness up on the roof roared back, “This is for you, mother!”
The people near the house heard a terrible roar from above, when three of them looked up, they saw a big lion jumping towards them. The Darkness gave one them a good slap on the face, and tried to hit the other one on his face too but he missed and hit him on the arm. The people lay on the ground and the Darkness walked to his brother without looking back.
Samuel, who was standing and watching his two friends attacked by the darkness, froze up, unable to do a thing. Everything happened so fast that it took him time to realize it. He saw John shooting upward but the lion was not even wounded. Staring was dead, and John was wounded in his left arm. It was hours before the camp was calm again.
The sound of the train was heard from distance blowing the dark smoke up in the air. This train was coming with an important person. Beaumont was the governor of British East Africa colony. He was coming to visit Tsabo because of the call from Staring
The train stopped at Tsabo station, and Beaumont came out wearing an expensive suit. John and Samuel were there to welcome him. John was having difficulties with his left hand but did not plan to let Beaumont know about his injury.
Beaumont was rude, blunt and tactless; he saw no need to protect the feelings of others. However, he was smart and a good leader. He saw John and Samuel waiting for him, but was surprised to not see Staring.
“Welcome Mr. Beaumont - did you have a pleasant journey?” asked John, politely.
“How could I have a pleasant journey? I hate Africa,” answered Beaumont rudely, making Samuel shirk at this reference to his home, “Where is Staring?” asked Beaumont.
“Here he comes,” said Samuel pointing his finger at the coffin on the shoulders of six men carrying the dead body away.
Beaumont realized that Staring was dead, “What happened?” he asked.
“The ghost and the darkness” answered Samuel, respectfully.
“In English, please?” Beaumont demanded of John rudely.
“There is a legend here-” John started.
“I don’t care about legends,” Beaumont interrupted, “I care about great Britain. -the world is watching us, John. What will the world say when the British Empire are afraid to do their job because of minor difficulties with the local wildlife? Don’t tell me about legends. Tell me what you are planning to do about it.”
“I have made a trap,” said John. He took Beaumont with him and show him the trap “Here, men with guns will wait and shoot the lions while he is in the trap.” explained John but though Beaumont knew nothing of hunting, he predicted the trap would not work.
”I do not want your trap. It will not work. I am going to hire a professional hunter. I have one in mind his name is Remington... He will be here soon and this means you will not have any reason not to complete your work. I want you to finish the bridge in time,” said Beaumont. John said nothing.
The trap John made was ready to do its job. Sharpshooters were selected from among the workers and given guns, then told to practice sharp-shooting.
“That is very good,” John clapped when he saw them shooting repeatedly without missing.
“There will be no problem sir. We have been hunting since childhood,” one of the workers confirmed.
It was getting darker, and John had made everything ready. He had put meat in the trap to attract the lions. There were four workers behind the trap, protected by a metal fence with their guns ready.
When Tsabo got darker, the sharpshooters were still awake. They had put a lamp in front of them. They waited for a long time but no lions came. Eventually, the exhausted shooters fell asleep, still holding their guns.
The Ghost and the Darkness were moving in the field of the camp, wondering who would be the victim tonight. They had passed the barbed fence and the strong security systematically and skillfully.
During their time in the camp, the ghost and the darkness saw guards protecting the little homes around the fence; they were awake with their guns and the lions knew they were looking for them. The lions slipped past the guards and went to the trap then they looked the trap from all direction. They saw the workers sleeping with guns.
“They have made a trap,” said the Darkness.
“They think we are just ordinary lions,” added the Ghost.
Walking in perfect silence the Ghost moved towards the trap while at the same time the Darkness moved to a darker place and hid himself, ready to attack when people came to help the workers who thought they were protected by the metal fence.
The Ghost moved into the trap without touching the wire, “You call yourselves hunters?” asked the ghost looking at the workers in their deep sleep, “You know what I call you? I call you helpless prey.” A lamp was shining on the face of the ghost while the ghost moved his back leg and touched the wire deliberately, the door slide down to trap the ghost, “Looks like you got me,” said the ghost slowly but the Indian workers were still sleeping. At last he got angry, “Wake up!” he shouted in anger.
For the workers the words of the Ghost were a powerful roar. They paniced to wake up, and with shaking hands they shot at him but always missed.
The Ghost watched them, “Surprise!” he roared. Then he hit the metal fence that was dividing him from the hunters with full force. The workers continued to shoot trying to hit the lion in the trap. The Ghost hit the fence a second time, and the third time he jumped onto the fence, it broke apart, and the lamp fell to the dry grass.
The workers were certain that this would be their last few moments in life. They shot again and again, but it was useless. The ghost watched the way he made to the hunters, he was going to jump in, but one thing stopped him. The lamp had started a fire, and the ghost stopped. Then he gave a loud roar and turned away; broke the wooden fence and leapt out of the trap.
The last roar the workers heard was so terrible that they drop their guns to hold their ears and shouted for help. The Darkness was waiting to back up the Ghost just in case, but no one came to help the hunters. After that, the Ghost and the Darkness left the camp.
“The plan worked! The lion hit the wire! He was only 15 feet away and there are four of you with guns! But you didn’t even wound it!” John loose his temper at Indian hunters in the next day.
ATTACK ON THE BRIDGE
The building of the bridge continued, the workers were working under the hot sun, all sweating. Now they were lifting heavy metal bars, 10 meters long and a half a meter thick. We are going to make It, John said to himself.
The Ghost and the Darkness had been waiting for this, just like John. They were in the savanna, almost invisible. The lions had been watching the drama for a long time now. They waited until the workers moved across the bridge to put the metal in the middle of the bridge.
The Ghost was some distance behind the Darkness. The Darkness rose his tail above the savanna and waved it. The Ghost saw the sign then prepared for attack.
The Darkness ran fast to the workers carrying the metal. No one saw him until he was very close, since everyone was carrying the heavy metal bar. When the Darkness was close enough he gave a terrible roar and ran among them.
The heavy metal bar on the shoulders of at least 40 men fell down, not on the ground but on the workers who were carrying it. Many people jumped in the river in their desire to get away. The Darkness ran on the unfinished bridge at amazing speeds, jumping from bar to bar, heading towards John, because John was holding a gun, reminding him of Remington.
The ghost on the other hand ran from another direction towards Samuel, who was also holding a gun.
John had intended to keep the metal bar from falling, but he himself fell down into the river when he ran on the unfinished bridge. Samuel did the same.
The Ghost and the Darkness met at the middle of the bridge from different directions. They looked down to the river and saw many peoples trying to swim. Then they looked at the heavy metal bar next to them and saw many people shouting with pain and trying to get out from under it. The lions looked around Tsabo; and saw many people running away from the bridge.
At last, the lions looked at each other and smiled slightly. Then the brothers disappeared into the savanna.
The temporary hospital of Dr. Hawthorne was filled to capacity. Seeing wounds open to the air without bandages, broken legs and arms, and hands turned in the wrong direction was common now. The patients were crowded together, and slept anywhere they could. The smell of the hospital was horrible now; almost sickening. It was a combination of blood and medicine in an enclosed space. Dr Hawthorn was working day and night without rest. Tsabo had changed into a real hell after the lions made their successful attack on the bridge.
Abdullah was now firmly backed by the workers “Enough is enough! You want us all to be killed!” Abdullah told John. All work had stopped after the bridge metal attack. The Indian workers have already packed to leave Tsabo and were awaiting the train. John wanted Abdullah to stop work on the bridge, at least temporarily, to turn the whole camp into a mass hunting operation. Nevertheless, Abdullah refused to accept John. Now Abdullah was more in charge than John.
“Listen Abdullah, I know we have a problem in Tsabo but what-”
Abdullah interrupted John, “Yes we have a problem in Tsabo! You are the problem! You are the devil of Tsabo!” Abdullah shouted. The workers behind Abdullah shouted, supporting his words. John began to walk backward while Abdullah walked forward; everything was out of control.
It was one man who changed their minds, extremely brave and influential, he walked through the disturbed crowd pushing everyone out of his way, and then he reached the place where Abdullah was shouting at John.
The man took out a gun and pointed it at Abdullah’s head, “Calm down,” warned the new man. Abdullah looked at the man, then to his supporters. He put the workers and the man with a rough face in balance. The balance of power tilted to the new man, who looked capable of doing anything. “Make one step and I will blow year head off,” said the man. Abdullah looked at the face of the man then node receiving his order, “What is the problem here?” the man asked again.
“The devil has come to Tsabo,” answered Abdullah coldly.
“You are right. I am that devil,” said the man.
When everything cooled down, Remington introduced himself to John and gave a big hug to Samuel; It was clear they were old friends. Then Remington moved to the savanna in front of him, and more than a dozen Masai hunters standup from the savanna and run to ward Remington making some king of sound, which was like crows’. The workers and John stared at the Masai, amazed. Remington had returned in less than four days, but he had not come straight to the camp, first he went to the village a few kilometers away from the camp to an old African chief friend. The old chief lent him hunters to help him in the hunt of the Ghost and the Darkness. The Masai with their spears and shields were clearly good hunters
THE INITIATION CEREMONY
That night, there was a campfire a big fire was made and the young Masai hunters were singing and dancing around the fire.
Remington was sitting with John a little way away from the Masai, “Samuel told me you killed a lion with one shot,” said Remington to John.
“Yes, by chance,” answered John with a depressed voice.
“Killing a lion by one shoot by chance?” Remington asked himself, “I want you to come with me tomorrow,” he said and walked to the young Masai hunters, who were at initiation ceremony for tomorrow’s hunt. Remington reached them, and then starts to sing and dance with them as if he was one of them. When the ceremony was at its end one of the hunters brought a cow, and they cut its throat. When blood come out they collected the blood in a traditional wide cup. The cup full of blood was passed around to the hunters to drink because they believed it gave courage for the hunt.
The Ghost and the Darkness watched the ceremony from a distance, “People are fools!” said the Ghost, then they went to hunt for their dinner.
THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS
At the next day, late in the morning, the Masai hunters with spears and shields were ready to hunt. John, Samuel and of course the experienced hunter Remington, all had guns. With Remington in the center, they made a long line, shoulder to shoulder with a. The large group led by Remington walked crossing the yellow savanna into the little forest in front of them.
The Ghost and the Darkness had expected such a campaign. They watched the large group coming into the forest. The lions always pass the hottest part of the day in the forest since it is cooler, and Remington knew that. The Ghost and the Darkness selected their targets, always the ones with guns. They choose safe places to hide, and waited for the hunters to become the hunted.
Remington’s group reached the forest, and all the hunters held their weapons carefully, watching and listening for the slightest movement. The hunters moved further in.
The Ghost had climbed up a big tree watching the hunters. The Ghost watched the hunters one by one and suddenly he thought he recognized one face. He tried to remember the man - he was from the Ghost’s childhood. The Ghost remembered the man chasing him and his brother when they were cubs. Anger rose up in the Ghost’s heart, and he wanted to attack him, “He is the one who separated us from our pride,” said the ghost to himself. Only one thing stopped him from attacking, it was the Masai, who were with Remington; they had spears, not guns and there were too many of them. The medicine I was blessed with did not promise to protect from spears but from guns, thought the Ghost. He held back his attack, waiting for the right moment.
The Ghost gave the Darkness, who was still on the ground, the sign to move to the right, and the Darkness walked away, invisible to the hunters’ eyes.
On his way, the Darkness saw a zebra, and he planned to use the zebra to confuse the hunters. When he saw the hunters getting closer, the darkness deliberately frightened the zebra. The zebra paniced and ran towards the hunters. Remington’s group were surprised at the sudden appearance of the running zebra. Remington guessed there must be a lion nearby because of the zebra.
Then he ordered the Masai with one hand, and they started to run forward. The Darkness lay between a rock and a small bush skillfully hiding from the running Masai. John who was at the furthest edge of the hunting group was alone after the Masai ran forward. John pointed his gun forward, walking slowly when the Darkness jumped on the big rock near to him. The Darkness and John were face to face. John looked into the eyes of the lion, feeling his fear rise up in his heart. He was pointing his gun but unable to fire, “They were right,” he said to himself remembering the hunters who were unable to shoot the lion a few nights ago.
Remington was watching from distance a when the lion and John were face-to-face “Shoot him,” said Remington in a low voice, “Shoot him!” Then Remington lost his temper, “God dammit! Shoot him!” Remington shouted in the silence forest, and fire himself, but missed.
After the lion left, Remington and Samuel reached John “What happened?” Remington asked, angry.
John answered, “I don’t know,” trying to calm down.
“What do you mean, ‘I don’t know’?!” Remington screamed.
He knew from experience that he would not get the lions in a search of the forest. It would be suicide. He decided to attract the lion to the camp. He persuaded Dr Hawthorn to leave the hospital and move to the big tent that was to the edge of the camp’s field. Then Remington prepared to use the hospital to attract the lions. The day Dr. Hawthorne moved to the tent, Remington bought half a dozen cattle from his old friend chief. Two of the cattle were slaughtered and their blood was spread around the hospital to lure the lions. The other four cattle were kept inside the hospital to attract the lions, and also to be aware when the lions came, since cattle can sense lions from distance. Remington and John decided to stay in the hospital with the cattle. The plan was to kill the lions when they broke into the hospital.
When the night came, the Ghost and the Darkness were happy to play Remington’s game. They followed the blood and meat that led to the hospital. But instead of picking up the dropped meat the Ghost and the Darkness went to the hospital. They could hear the cattle moving inside, sensing their presence.
Remington and John saw the sign from the cattle and got ready as the Ghost moved closer to the door of the hospital. He looked in through the door which was tied by a metal chain so as not to be opened further. The Ghost saw Remington and John alert with their guns, trying to watch everything at same time. Then the Ghost and the Darkness walked slowly to the place where the new hospital was held temporarily.
Remington and John moved to the door pointing their guns, John undid the chains with one hand, still holding his gun. Remington was giving John full cover standing alert. But when the door was open there was nothing. Both Remington and John knew that the lions were far more intelligent than they had anticipated.
First, the Ghost entered the new hospital, then the Darkness followed. They saw hundreds of people sleeping, They sleep too much, as if dead, the Darkness thought. The lions walked crossing the hospital and choose two opposite corners to make sure that none would escape.
Then the hospital became a slaughterhouse. The Ghost and the Darkness were flying from side to side killing anyone on their way. The patients were screaming and trying to get away despite their injuries. The hospital was dark the patients were unable to see, while the lions had good night vision. The big white tent became red with blood.
Dr. Hawthorne heard the screaming of his patients and ran to the hospital, but Samuel stopped him on his way, “You must not go!” Samuel warned him, but Dr Hawthorne refused and run to the hospital. When Dr Hawthorne entered the dark hospital, he was welcomed with a claw swipe that all but ripped off his face.
The slaughter in the new hospital continued until the Ghost and the Darkness were sure that no one was breathing. John and Remington watched the hospital under attack from safe places, but neither had the courage to go into the hospital. After a while, the hospital returned to silence. The Ghost and the Darkness walked out from the big tent and disappeared into the darkness, as the tent collapsed under the weight of the blood.
That night, after the attack on the hospital, the ghost and the darkness gave their third and final terrorizing roar for these who lived in Tsabo.
THE MIGRATION OF THE RAILWAY WORKERS
The day after the attack on the hospital, it was obvious that survival in Tsabo was hard enough, let alone working there. Tsabo was more like hell on Earth. The workers were eagerly waiting the coming train, eager to leave.
When they saw the train coming to Tsabo. The workers consider the train not just as something mechanical made of metal but as a lifesaver. The workers with their simple possessions got in the train. When the train was full they climbed up on the roof and stood on the side of the train almost covering every part of it.
The train pushed up dark smoke as it left Tsabo, going far away from the place of slaughter. Abdullah was up on the roof standing watching Tsabo and the three remaining men in Tsabo, who he considered as awaiting Death.
John watched the train leaving Tsabo full of people. Now he believed the African legend about the Ghost and the Darkness.
Remington who had thought of moving the hospital into the big tent was responsible for death of more than a hundred people and the fall of Tsabo. At first he had considered the Ghost and the Darkness a legend, but now he too believed. Remington has promised himself to die at Tsabo, not to go anywhere until the kill the lions.
Samuel remained in Tsabo simply to serve his white masters.
The Ghost and the Darkness watched the workers leaving Tsabo unseen and pleased, certain that they had won the battle.
CALLED ON BY THE GREAT KINGS OF THE PAST
THE END OF THE PROTECTION
That night, Mufasa had a dream. It was of himself, but he was walking on the clouds. He saw his skin shining and looked down on Earth, which was far away. He did not understand what was happening when he saw two lions walking to him. One looked like him and the other looked like his brother. Finally he recognized the two great kings of the past.
When the two lions stood in front of him, he bowed down, showing his respect and love. One of the lions said, “We want you to be with us, child.”
“I would be happy to come, but where is my brother?” asked Mufasa.
“He will come too, we want both of you,” the other lion answered.
Then Mufasa saw Kiara coming to him, her skin was shining like his and the great kings of the past. He ran over to her, “Mom, mom!” he gave Kiara a big hug. Kiara kissed her beloved son then told him to smile, for his grandmothers were watching them. Mufasa could not believe his eyes; he saw Zira and Sarabi standing side by side. He ran over to his grandmothers. For the first time after the death of Zira he was happy from the bottom of his heart. He smiled with the pure heart he used to have when he was a little cub; a heart filled with love.
“Where is your brother?” Zira asked him.
“The great kings told me that he will come soon,” answered Mufasa.
“There he is now,” said Sarabi, looking at Taka coming to them.
The two great kings of the past and their queens Zira and Sarabi, as well as Kiara and Pumbaa made a circle on the cloud. Taka looked at Kiara, Sarabi and Zira “I thought you were dead,” he said.
“Yes, how could we meet you?” asked Mufasa.
“You are right, we are dead,” answered one of the great kings of the past.
The Darkness woke up from his sleep. He did not know what had happened to him, for he had forgotten the feeling of fear for a long time. He looked to his brother, who was sleeping. Then the Darkness looked up to the stars, saying nothing. Tears came from his eyes for the first time after the death of Zira.
The Ghost came and stood beside the Darkness quietly, watching the area with alert eyes, “Where are they? I can’t see anything,” said the Ghost, thinking the Darkness saw John or Remington.
“No one is here,” answered the Darkness.
“Then what are you doing here?” asked the Ghost. Then he saw his brother crying, something he had not seen for a long time, “What happened, brother?” he asked.
“I saw in my dream the great kings of the past,” said the Darkness, “When they saw me they told me that they want me to be with them, they told me that they have missed me. I was happy to be with them but you were not there. I asked them where you were, and the kings answered me, ‘he will come soon’. Then we met Kiara, Zira, Sarabi, and Pumbaa too. At lost you came. We were happy again. We were laughing and talking with our family. It was like the old days. I tell you it was only love and wisdom we have not hate and revenge.”
Tsabo was silent, the silence that does not give peace but terror. Remington, John, and Samuel were alone in Tsabo. They did not know how to do it but they know they had to do something to kill the lions. The three men had their guns every minute since the Ghost and the Darkness might come at any time. However, the lions did not visit the camp, instead they sent roars telling, “We will come soon.”
It was after three days the after the workers leave Tsabo. John with a depressed spirit opened his box to take out his diary, and by the side of the dairy, John saw the necklace that Samuel gave him. John picked up the necklace One shot! It is the claws of the lion you killed. Put it on, it will give protection from lions attack, and courage during hunting, John remembered Samuel’s words.
After the attack on the hospital, John believed on the legend of the Ghost and the Darkness. Why not believe in Samuel’s words too? Protection and courage, John put the necklace around his neck.
On the same day Remington took out one of his necklaces made from lions’ claws, he had at least half a dozen. Remington too, knew the old belief told in Africa that the necklace gives courage and protection. Even though Remington had known the old belief for years, it was only now he believed in it. If the legend of the Ghost and the Darkness is true why not the belief in protection and courage, thought Remington then he choose one of the necklace to put on.
In the days after the hospital attack, John built a standing pole with four legs. “I call it the Macon” he said.
“Is it something you learn in India?” asked Remington.
“Yes, it is used to hunt tigers,” answered John.
John finished the Macon then he climbed on the top of it with a gun. Remington too climbed onto a tree to watch and cover John.
Samuel brought a baboon and tied it under the Macon, “Lions hate the sound of a baboon,” he said to John and Remington.
That night John and Remington waited for the Ghost and the Darkness. Soon enough the baboon sensed the lion and shouted for help. John up on the Macon pointed his gun, though he could not see anything in the dark.
The Ghost and the Darkness watched John clearly in the dark. The lions made sure the man on the pole was not able to protect himself let alone to hunt. The only problem for the lion was the baboon, which was making an irritating sound. The Darkness loses his temper over the baboon’s noise. With amazing speed and technique, he moved closer and picked the baboon to silence it.
John up on the Macon noticed too late that the baboon had disappeared. He started to turn. He felt as if the lions were everywhere.
The darkness jumped on the leg of the Macon with the force of two normal lions after seeing the man up there. The Macon shook badly from left to right. John finally fell down to the ground.
Remington jumped from the tree when he saw John felling down; even though it was very risky, he walked to the Macon bravely. He felt completely ready as nothing happened with his finger in the trigger. John started to see in the dark but there was no sign of a lion. When Remington got closer to the Macon both men saw each other and for a moment were ready to fire.
The Darkness was hiding on the big rock at least 8 meters away from the men. The lion saw the hunters turning around with fear, the Ghost saw John, who reminded him of something similar the day he was on the roof of the house killing Staring. Just like that, day, John was on the ground and the Darkness was above him. The Darkness said, “This is for Kiara,” to himself and prepared to attack but he felt suddenly uncomfortable.
In the dark sky, a big lion was seen flying like am arrow when Remington turned fast and shot at the air. The Darkness fell down and rolled on the ground, dead.
The Ghost could not believe it, at first he thought the Darkness was faking. It is clear we are protected by the powerful medicine given from the great kings of the past. How could it be? The Ghost tried to solve the mystery but got no answer.
The medicine given from the great kings of the past was not working because of the necklaces the hunters put at their neck. The necklace broke the protection of the medicine. Old magic had protected them, and old magic killed them. The Ghost had no idea about the necklace made of lions’ claws.
CELEBRATING THE HUNT
At the camp of Tsabo; three peoples were celebrating the night. Samuel opened a bottle of wine. Three of them sitting around the big fire were appreciating Remington’s hunt, talking, laughing, and drinking again and again.
In the middle of this happy moment, they heard a lion’s roar from a distance, “He is afraid, he is alone for the first time,” said Remington laughing with his wine in one hand and his gun on the other.
John and Samuel laughed loudly with Remington. Samuel opened another bottle of wine and shared it.
Remington was right, the Ghost was alone for the first time and he was very sad but not afraid. The Ghost was roaring far from the camp, but he planned to return soon and teach his enemy a lesson. The Ghost returned to the camp, finding it impossible to pass one night without avenging his brother. When the Ghost was a cub Remington had made him leave his family behind and again he had made him lonely. The Ghost was ready to die, but not before he killed Remington.
The Ghost watched from a distance the three peoples laughing and drinking with great patience, waiting until the right moment.
THE GHOST HUNTING THE HUNTER.
Remington went to his tent to sleep after having drunk the wine. He lay on his back and took out his necklace and looked at it, “The old belief must have worked,” he said in a low voice. Then he put the necklace on the box next to the bed after that and within seconds he was asleep.
The Ghost entered Remington’s tent and looked down at him. He rose his mighty paw up and smashed Remington’s head open silently. Then he pulled the dead body out of the tent and deep in the savanna to finish the job.
The Ghost finished his job then went to sleep. He had never been alone all his life and found the experience painful. The Ghost was satisfied that he had killed his enemy. That night when he was going to his place to sleep, the ghost stopped on a place where he can see the stars clearly. He looked upward then notices a new star brightly shining in the dark sky. The ghost smiled looking at the new star and said “I have finished my work brother, but I don’t want to stay here alone.”
The next day Samuel was standing around the pieces of meats in the middle of the savanna. Then John followed both stand to watch the meats dropped all over the place. Samuel took out his gun and covered the dead body. John and Samuel stood straight to give their last respects to their friend. Then they burned the savanna around the camp to make the area clear for watching.
The Ghost was watching when the two peoples burn the savanna. He hated fire so he moved into the forest to pass the day taking rest and preparing for the night attack.
THE FINAL MATCH
When the night came, John was waiting for the ghost to avenge Remington. On the other side, the Ghost was ready too; he was ready to die or to kill. The ghost decided to attack face to face rather than to be systematic and play a longer game. John Patterson felt the same.
The final match started late at night when John was shooting in the air, challenging the Ghost to come out and fight, the ghost response positively but suddenly.
In the first round of the match, John had dropped his gun and began to run for his life. The Ghost was wounded but not so badly that he would not fight. In the second round, John had climbed a tree and the ghost was climbing to get to him. In the third round Samuel threw a gun to John. John grabbed the gun and shots the Ghost three times.
The Ghost died like his brother. John was exhausted. He lay by his back breathing hard and looked to the stars of Tsabo, and he saw a bright new star. John did not give it much attention. He was so exhausted that he thought it was in his mind.
In the skies of Tsabo the two stars still exist, the stars are seen only in Tsabo.
If you want to see the lions today, you must go America, they are at the field museum Chicago ILLINO. Even now if you dare lock eyes with them, you will be afraid.