THE LION KING -1:  THE STORY BEFORE THE STORY

 

Intro:

First off I’d just like to say that if you’re reading this then you’re reading my rewritten version of the story.  I wasn’t all that satisfied with the original so I rewrote it.  Anyway since TLK 1 ½ is the story within the story I decided to write TLK-1 which is the story before the story.  I based this off of my father’s family so any similarity between this story and another one that’s currently posted is purely coincidence and I do apologize (if you must know my reason for basing this off of my father and his life is because TLK is actually very similar to my own life, so I thought that it would fit).  Anyway the following characters belong to Disney:  Uru, Ahadi, Mufasa, Taka/Scar, Sarabi, Sarafina, and Rafiki.  All other characters belong to me and cannot be used without my permission.  Please send feedback to the6silent6one6@yahoo.com along with any other comments or questions.  Enjoy.

                                                     

Characters:  (Ages at the beginning of the story)

From Disney:

Ahadi (Approx. Age:  4)

Uru (Approx. Age:  4)

Mufasa (Approx. Age:  2 Months)

Taka (a.k.a. Scar) (Approx. Age:  2 Months)

Sarabi (Approx. Age:  1 Month)

Sarafina (Non-Existent)

Rafiki (????)

 

My Original Characters:

Veni (Newborn)

Athiku (5 Years)

Igunoi (3 Years)

Frehda (3 Years)

 

Royal Family Tree:

                                                                        Mohatu

                                                                              |

                                                                        (Ahadi) + Uru

                                                                                           |

                                                                        ----------------------------

                                                                        |                  |                |

                                                                  Mufasa         Taka          Veni

 

Locations:

Pride Rock:  The center of the Pride Lands where the royal lion family lives.

Pride Lands:  A section of the savannah owned by the royal lion family of Pride Rock.  It's approximately five miles in diameter and consists of grasslands, the Elephant Graveyard, Pride Rock, and several waterholes and hunting grounds.

 

Setting 1:  Ahadi's Rule Over Pride Rock

Chapter 1:  A Ruler in Despair

Chapter 2:  As One Enters, Another One Leaves

Chapter 3:  Healing Old Wounds

Chapter 4:  Ahadi and Uru Rule Together

Chapter 5:  The Future is Set

Chapter 6:  Taka’s Fury Unleashes

Chapter 7:  The Truth

Chapter 8:  The Missing Sister

Chapter 9:  Mufasa and Sarabi’s Succession

 

Setting 1:  Ahadi’s Rule Over Pride Rock

 

Chapter 1:  A Ruler in Despair

 

            Out in the African savannah there is a place called Pride Rock where a pride of lions live.  Pride Rock is a gray boulder that sticks up about 50 yards in the air.  These lions are all led by one great ruler named Ahadi.  However there is a problem; despite the fact that Ahadi is a powerful yet fair ruler, he has no successor.  He should’ve chosen a mate about a year and a half ago.  His cubhood crush Uru is already happily married to another lion.  This put Ahadi into a state of disarray, Uru was the only lioness that had every caught his attention.  With her out of the picture his life seemed to fall apart; he found no other lionesses attractive, his main focus all of his life had been Uru.  Despite the fact that she got together with a lion named Athiku about a year ago he still couldn’t get over it.

            Ahadi kept going over the night a year ago when he had his chance with Uru.  They had spent the day out on a small hill just south of Pride Rock; they sat around talking the hours away.  After the sun set they laid down on the grass and looked up at the stars.  They both laid there; they were laughing, talking, observing the sky, they were just having a great time.  Ahadi wanted to move the relationship along, he wanted to be more than just her friend; but he couldn’t come up with the right sentence.  He knew Uru since before he could remember and he didn’t know the right way to phrase it.  He wanted to tell her that he loved her and that he wanted her to rule alongside him as the queen.  He wanted the two of them to raise a cub together and train him to be the new king.  He wanted her to be a major part of his future, but he couldn’t put his feelings into words; not only was that working at his disadvantage but he also didn’t want to be rejected.  Despite the fact that he and Uru had been friends their whole lives he couldn’t ask her to be his mate, it would’ve been weird if she said no and there was always that tenseness in the air whenever she was around.  He couldn’t ask this of her despite the fact that she might say yes, although he wanted to be with her he knew that he couldn’t handle having her out of his life completely.  So he chose to not say anything, he remained silent…

 

Chapter 2:  As One Enters, Another One Leaves

 

            As Ahadi stood there thinking about that night with Uru he felt something bump into him.

“Ooh, I’m so sorry your majesty.” Said a Zebra as it bowed.

“Where are you off to in such a hurry?” Ahadi asked.

“I heard that someone in your pride is having a cub.  I just wanted to see it very quickly.”

“Who?  No wait, Why?”

“Well I’m very close friends with one of the lionesses of your pride, and she’s friends with the pregnant mother.”

“Oh… well who is it?  As you know there are several lionesses here, a couple of which are pregnant.”

“She’s the dark one.  Reddish fur and brown eyes.”

“Uru!”

“Yes, that’s her name.  Uru…”

“I must go and see.”

“Follow me.” The zebra called out.

            Together the two of them ran off to Pride Rock’s den where Uru and Athiku stood with their newborn cub.  Uru was cleaning off the cub while her two sons, who could still barely open their eyes at this point, nursed.  Athiku looked a little edgy, almost like he was going to snap and go into a rampage.

“Athiku, dear, is everything all right?” Uru asked.

Athiku was barely paying attention, after mumbling a little bit he gave out a very weak “…Yes.”.

“Are you sure?” Uru insisted.

“Yes I’m fine dear.” Athiku said a little frustrated.

“Hey, what’s going on here?” Ahadi asked.

“…Nothing that concerns you…” Athiku said as he got up and walked outside.

“Is everything all right with you two?” asked the zebra.

Uru sighed and looked down, “I don’t know.  He’s been like that lately.  It’s so weird, ever since he found out that I was having another cub he got all silent on me.”

“Oh…” the zebra said, not knowing how to respond.

“Well I’m sure he’ll snap out of it soon.” Ahadi said reassuringly.  “Oh, by the way, what are naming this little one?”

“Athiku and I decided on Veni if it was a girl, so we’re sticking with Veni.” Then she looked down at her two older, but still very young, cubs, “Mufasa, Taka, meet your new sister Veni.” She said knowing that they wouldn’t completely understand her.

            Although Mufasa and Taka were still young they weren’t that young.  In just another week the nursing will stop and the two will begin talking.  Veni was set down beside her brothers and she began nursing along with them.  Her fur is tannish-brown like Sarabi’s, and her eyes are an amber shaded brown.

 

            Later that night once everyone was asleep Athiku woke up one of the lionesses.

“What do you want?” she snarled as she lay there half-asleep.

“Tell Uru that I’ve left her.”

“What?!”

“I said, tomorrow morning tell Uru that I have left her.  Tell her not to worry about me or where I’m going.  Just make it clear that I’m never coming back.”

The lioness was wide awake now and clearly in shock, “Are you serious?!!  If you’re really leaving then why don’t you tell her yourself?”

“Are you going to do this or am I going to have to find someone who will?”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.  Why do you want me to do this for you?”

“…so that I can get a head-start.” Athiku replied as he stared out of the den.

“A head start?!  To where?!!” she said outraged.

“Don’t worry about it.” Athiku coldly replied; and with that final statement Athiku walked out of the den, he walked away from Pride Rock and out of the Pride Lands, he walked out into the vast darkness of the nighttime horizon.

 

Chapter 3:  Healing Old Wounds

 

            It had been a couple of days since Athiku left the Pride Lands forever.  Uru never stopped crying once ever since she received the news.  She couldn’t sleep, she didn’t eat, she never spoke, she never really moved.  Ahadi saw the affects that this was having on her cubs; Mufasa kept nuzzling his mother’s leg for attention, Taka was starting to become very malnourished because he couldn’t nurse, and Veni was on the brink of death.  Ahadi couldn’t stand to see Uru like this, so he decided to go and comfort her and offer to help take care of her cubs.

Ahadi slowly entered Pride Rock’s den, Uru was surrounded by lionesses who were trying desperately to calm her down.  “Um, Uru?” Ahadi said in a low voice, all of the lionesses moved out of the way allowing their king passage to her.

“Alright ladies, I need to speak with Uru alone.” Ahadi said to everyone.  All of the lionesses left the cave, some of them stood outside to listen but most of them were more respectful than that.

Between frantic sobs Uru replied with a barely audible “…what…?”.

“Come on Uru, you’re better than this, I know you are.  If Athiku doesn’t want to be with you anymore then screw him!  You didn’t deserve to have this happen to you, you deserve happiness.”

“…But I love him.” Uru cried.

“I know, I know.  But… I don’t think that he really loved you back; I mean think about it, how often was ever really affectionate with you.”
“Well… he really wasn’t.  He wouldn’t ever get affectionate, he’d mostly just get really close when I was in heat and then he’d back off.”

“Were you happy?”

“I don’t know… I mean, I thought I was, but…”

“It’s okay, it hurts I know it does.  You can’t let this control your life, if he doesn’t want you in his life then you shouldn’t want him in yours either.”
“But that’s not the way that it works!”

“I know, trust me.  But even you said yourself that you weren’t even sure if you were happy with him.”

“…I know.”

“Besides, what about your cubs.  Look at them, they need your love and care now more than ever.  They have only one parent left in their lives, you have to take care of them.”

“…You’re right.  Oh my gosh!  I’m killing my cubs, how can I be doing this to them?” she said as her crying intensified.

“Hey, hey, calm down!  YOU didn’t do anything, it was all Athiku.”
“Please don’t talk about him that way.  I don’t know what’s going on.”

Ahadi sighed, “Would you like me to leave?”

“Only for a moment, promise me that you’ll come back in a few minutes.”

“Not a problem.” Ahadi said, then he turned around and waited outside of Pride Rock.

            Uru sat and thought about everything, she had come to the realization that Athiku probably really didn’t love her or their cubs.  She thought about how coldly he had acted both times that she got pregnant and about how he never spends any time with her or the cubs.  Her crying only got worse, “Athiku, how could you do this to me?  Why would you do this to me?  How dare you do this to me and our children.”  That last statement felt so empowering for her to say, she suddenly felt as if she was in control.  Her thoughts evolved into, “You know what?  I don’t need him!!  And our, no, MY children don’t need him either.”  She swore from that day on that she’d never fall into that kind of a trap again, she’d only marry someone who would show his affection to her and her children everyday.

 

Chapter 4:  Ahadi and Uru Rule Together

 

            As the days passed Ahadi continued to visit Uru for at least half of the day.  He would comfort her and they would talk about old times together.  Whenever it was Uru’s turn to hunt, Ahadi would come by and watch the cubs for her.  Once she returned, Ahadi would stay for lunch or dinner.  Ahadi quickly grew very close to the cubs, he started treating them as if they were his own; so Uru decided to make Ahadi their godfather.  Ahadi continued visiting for weeks, then the weeks became months, and he slowly watched as the cubs grew up; he felt as if they were his children.  Once the cubs reached their eight and six month marks they all believed that Ahadi was their father.  Neither Ahadi nor Uru corrected them despite the fact that the two aren’t even mates.

            However Ahadi and Uru are very close to each other, the only thing holding them back is Ahadi’s nervousness.  He quickly paced back and forth inside of the cave while Uru was out.

“What’cha doing dad?” Mufasa playfully asked.

“I’m thinking.” Ahadi replied.

“About what?”

“Your mother.”

“What about mom?”

“I need to tell her something.”

“What do you need to tell her?”

Ahadi sighed, he knew that he couldn’t tell Mufasa the truth; that he wasn’t his real father, that he and Uru weren’t married, that him and his siblings weren’t real royalty.  He couldn’t tell Mufasa any of this, he knew that Mufasa wasn’t old enough yet.

“I’ll tell you later, I promise.  I just need to be left alone for a little while.” Ahadi said.

“Promise?!”

“Promise!”

“Okay, I’m going outside to play.”

“Alright, just make sure that somebody can see you.”

“Alright, dad.” Mufasa said, annoyed.

 

            Ahadi continued to think, Taka is still in the cave but he usually keeps to himself so Ahadi just continued to pace back and forth.  “Ah man, what to tell her, what to tell her?” he thought to himself.  Ahadi sat there for several moments trying to come up with something, anything, to say to Uru.  “I lost my chance last time.  I’m not letting it happen again.”

“Not letting what happen again?” he heard a voice chuckle from behind him.
“OH!  Uru, uhh… nevermind, nevermind.  So how did the hunt go?” Ahadi asked trying to change the subject.

“It was alright, same as every other day.  I managed to get a wildebeest for us today.”

“Awesome!” Taka yelled from the back of the cave.

“Taka, where are Mufasa and Veni?” Uru questioned.

“They’re outside playing.”

“Could you go get them please?”

“Ugh… fine.” Taka groaned as he walked out of the cave, “Hey losers!  Lunch is here!!” he yelled.

“Hey we’re not losers!” cried Veni from outside.

“Yeah Taka, watch it.” Mufasa said defensively.

“You think I’m scared because you’re older than me by two minutes.”

“Enough, all of you!” Uru growled.

“Sorry mom.” Mufasa and Veni said as they entered the cave.

“Yeah, whatever…” Taka said as he looked off to the side.

“Excuse me!” Uru cried.

“Oh, I mean… sorry mommy dearest.” Taka said in an obvious mockery of the word sorry.

“Taka, respect your mother!” Ahadi grumbled.

“Fine.” Taka sighed as he walked over to the carcass sitting on the ground.

            Mufasa, Taka, and Veni all ate from their own half of the wildebeest while Ahadi and Uru ate from their half.  Once the cubs were done eating Mufasa and Veni playfully ran out of the cave as Taka slowly trailed behind.  Many of the other lionesses returned from their hunt.

“Hey, what took you guys so long to get back here?” Uru asked.

“We found a family of lions half-starved on the way back.”

“Really?!!”

“Yes, we tried calling out to you but I guess that you didn’t hear us.”

“That’s weird… how come I didn’t hear you?” Uru wondered.

“I don’t know but we stayed behind to spare some of our food with the family.  Ahadi, sire, if it’s all right with you they’d like to stay here.”

“I’ll give them a formal interview in just a few minutes.”  Ahadi started, “Right now I’d like to speak with Uru alone if you don’t mind.”

“Of course not, go right ahead.  I’ll let the others know to stay out of the cave.”

“Thanks.”

“What do you want to talk to me about Ahadi?”

His mind started racing, “Oh man, this is it, this is it.  I’m going to tell her how I feel right here and now.  Oh, but where do I start?”

“…Well…” Uru said trying to snap Ahadi out of his thoughts.

“Oh sorry, um, let’s see…” Ahadi was still trying to figure out how to say it.  His mind raced through hundreds of thoughts a second, “How can such a simple thing be so difficult to say?  Why am I testing her patience like this?  Why do I feel so stupid for not being able to say it?  Ah screw it, I’ll just come right out and say it.”

“Uru, I love you.  I’ve always loved you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Uru smiled at Ahadi, she had been waiting for him to say this for a long time.  She licked him on the cheek and said, “I love you too.”

 

            A few weeks later Ahadi and Uru’s wedding began, they began to ascend Pride Rock and once they reached the summit they roared out in triumph over the other animals that had gathered below to watch.  Mufasa, Taka, and Veni joined their parents on Pride Rock’s peak but something was bothering the three of them.

“Hey dad, how come you two are getting married?  Aren’t you already married?” Mufasa asked.

“Yeah, what gives?” asked Taka.

“Did you two fall in love a second time or something?” Veni asked curiously.

Ahadi and Uru smiled at their daughter, “Well… something like that.” Ahadi replied.

 

Chapter 5:  The Future is Set

 

            A few months later, now that the cubs are royalty, Ahadi and Uru had to make the painful choice of choosing only one of them to be the next ruler.  By now Mufasa and Taka are almost a year old and Veni isn’t very far behind.  Mufasa had grown to be very popular throughout the pride; he’s friends with everyone from the fiercest hunters to the wimpiest runts, everyone likes Mufasa because he’s kind to everyone no matter who they are or what they’re like.  Veni admires Mufasa more than anybody and she practically models her life after his.  Unlike most siblings Mufasa and Veni never fight or argue with each other, they get along totally fine and Mufasa tends to take his sister under his wing in certain situations.  Taka is usually very quiet, he’s good friends with a lot of the pride, but his arrogance and somewhat off-putting attitude tends to repel others.

            Ahadi had accepted the family of lions that his pride found on their hunt.  There is a father, a mother, and a daughter; the father Igunoi looks scary at first glance, his fur is Light Brown and his mane is orange then his red eyes add to the devilish factor.  It’s the fact that his mane is lighter than his fur and his deep red eyes that scare most people off, the honest truth is that he’s actually very nice and outgoing.  He’s actually very good friends with everyone in the pride, this is mostly due to the fact that his mate Frehda had to introduce him to everyone.  Frehda is more of the intellectual type, she’s nice and outgoing as well but she tends to offer more wisdom to the pride rather than conversation.  Her deep tan fur and dark blue eyes make her look like a goddess, she has that medium-dark fur and those shimmering sapphire eyes that glisten in the sunlight.  These two have produced a daughter who’s only a month younger than Mufasa and Taka, but she’s a month older than Veni.  Just like her parents she has very dark fur as well, it’s a shade of tan that resembles a sun burnt human’s skin; she inherited her father’s crimson red eyes, and her name is Sarabi.

            Mufasa and Sarabi were getting along very well and it seemed evident in the eyes of both of their parents that they would someday get married.  Mufasa seemed like the obvious choice to succeed the throne; he’s the most popular and well-liked, he’s very wise and independent, he appears to have a future with a lioness, and he has the right kind of attitude.  There was only one flaw with this decision, if Ahadi and Uru did choose for Mufasa to be the next king then Taka and Veni might think that it’s only because he’s the oldest.  This is not what the two had in mind but it’s how things turned out, Mufasa is the most logical choice so they were going to choose him.

 

            “Mufasa, Taka, Veni!  Get in here!” their mom called to them.

Mufasa and Veni entered the den together, they were laughing as they walked in.

“What’s so funny?” Uru asked.

“Oh it’s just a joke that Veni told.”

“Really, and what was this joke about?”

“Well-”

“What is it mom?” Taka asked as he walked in.

“Your father would like to speak with the three of you.” She said looking at Taka and Veni a little worried.  “Okay dear, they’re here!” she called out.

Ahadi walked up with a very serious, official look on his face; he didn’t look angry, just serious.

“What’s going on daddy?” Veni asked excitedly.

Ahadi paced back and forth in front of them briefly then stopped and looked them in the eyes.  “Well as the three of you know one of you must take my, or your mother’s, place as the next king, or queen.”
By now the three cubs were sitting down all wondering who was going to be chosen.  Veni didn’t really want to be the queen so she was hoping that Mufasa would get the position of king.  Taka wants to be the king more than Mufasa does, and if he doesn’t get the position then he’ll have to force it on everyone.

“It’s been very hard for your mother and I to decide…” Ahadi continued, “…but we’ve come to the conclusion that you, (as he looked at the eldest of the three) Mufasa will be the next king.”

“Yaay!” Veni cheered, “I knew that you’d get it, I just knew you would!!”

“Ho-ray…” Taka sarcastically mumbled.

“Now Taka, we didn’t choose him because he’s the oldest.” Uru

“…I know.” Taka said coldly, “…it’s because he’s your favorite.”

“That’s not true, we love all three of you equally!” Uru said defensively.

“Yeah right!  Everyone knows that if you had to save one of the three of us from dying then you’d choose Mufasa in a heartbeat… even before he was destined to be the king.” Taka said, not even looking at his mother.

“Enough Taka!!” Ahadi roared.  “We chose Mufasa because he has the greatest potential as the next king.”

“Oh, and I don’t?!” Taka snapped.

“Stop it, all of you!” Mufasa cried, “Taka, if you really want to be the king then I’ll let you, okay?”

“I don’t need your charity.”

And with that final statement Taka left Pride Rock’s den.

 

Chapter 6:  Taka’s Fury Unleashes

 

            Over the course of the next three months a lot of things happened.  Mufasa and Taka reached the adolescent stage of their lives, Sarabi and Mufasa began dating, the climate grew warmer and the sun stuck around longer, Veni started forming her own life and relationships away from Mufasa, and Taka’s off-putting attitude grew into anger and hatred at everything.  Uru and Ahadi started worrying about Taka, they knew that he was taking it too personally.  This next series of events would begin in Pride Rock’s den between Taka and Uru.

“But dear, please understand that we didn’t do this to smite you!” Uru pleaded.

“Come on mom, I’m not stupid!  I don’t need your pathetic ‘mother excuses’.”

“What ‘mother excuses’.”

“The ones that every mother tells her young, the lies that all parents feed their offspring… just to make them feel better.  Well I don’t want to feel better, I just want you to tell me the truth.”

“But Taka dear, I AM telling you the truth.  Your father and I don’t hate you, we love you with all of our hearts.”

“I told you that I DON’T want to hear it.” Taka said with a tense undertone.

“Taka, I don’t know how I can make this any clearer.  I am telling you the truth, I don’t know why you won’t believe me…” she started sobbing a little bit.

Taka grew silent for a moment, then his voice grew very cold, “You know what mom?  Don’t feed me your pity, for all that I care you could go and die tomorrow.”

Taka walked out of the cave leaving his mother there crying hysterically.  Just as he left Veni walked in.

“Mom!  What’s wrong?”

“It’s Taka, he thinks that I hate him.” Uru said between sobs.

Veni nuzzled her mother gently, “I’m sure that he doesn’t mean it.” She assured her mother.

“…He said something…”

“What did he say?”

Uru sighed and then burst into tears again, “He said that I could-I could… he said that I could go off and die…”

“WHAT?!!  Mom, I’m sure he didn’t mean it.  I know that people say that to their parents sometimes, nobody’s ever serious.”

“I know dear… but the way that he said it, he sounded like he really meant it.”

Veni could tell that this was really upsetting her mother, but she didn’t even think that anyone could ever actually mean something like that about their own parents.  “Mom, I’ll go and talk to him.” She said.

Uru was still crying, “No Veni, you don’t have to do that.”

“No mom!  He made you cry, I’m not going to let him get away with that!!” and with that Veni headed off to search for Taka.

 

            “So Sarabi, I was thinking, when I’m the king you and me are going to have only one cub so that we don’t have to make the same kind of choice that my parents did with me.” Mufasa said.

“Oh Mufasa, we still have a couple of years before we need to start worrying about that kind of stuff.” Sarabi said as she laughed.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

“Good.  Now let’s sit here and enjoy the scenery.”

Sarabi and Mufasa sat on the smooth grass gazing out at the vast savannah which surrounded them.  “You know what?” Mufasa began.

“What?”

“I’ve always wondered how many prides there are out there.  Sometimes I sit and wonder how big the world really is and how much there is to see.  It must be so amazing out there; I feel as if I’m stuck here, and now that I’m destined to be the king…”

Sarabi nuzzled against Mufasa’s neck and chest sending chills and tingles down Mufasa’s spine and forcing him into an unconscious smile.

“It’s okay Mufasa, you don’t need to know everything.  In fact the more that you know, the more you realize that you don’t know anything at all.  It’s just not worth it to try and know everything, a lot of things we were just never meant to know and those are the things that we’ll never figure out.”

“I know, I know… but I just feel so bored here.  Nothing ever changes, lately I just feel like I’m so alienated from everyone.  I don’t understand what’s going on, I just feel so sad and anxious; it’s almost as if I’m just a little cub and the gods are teasing me by dangling the answers of life all around me and then snatching them away just as I get within reach.”

Sarabi was getting a little saddened now, “Oh Mufasa, both of us know that you can’t know everything, nobody can and it’s futile to try.  You’ve just got to be happy with what you do know, you realize that most never even think about this kind of stuff.  You know what?  The truth is that the outside world doesn’t matter, nothing that could possibly be out there matters as much as everything that you do know.  I mean when you’re the king would you really abandon your whole pride just so that you can explore the world?”

“Of course not!” Mufasa said, shocked that she would even ask him that.

“You see, don’t worry about anything out there, all that matters is what’s going on here; with you and with your friends, unless if you actually go out there then you don’t need to worry about it.”

“I guess so…” Mufasa sighed.

“Ah so the future king is nothing more than a whining coward.” Said a voice from within the bushes

Mufasa and Sarabi both recognized the voice and they rolled their eyes.

“Taka, get out here.” Mufasa said annoyed.

“Ha!  I can’t believe that they actually chose YOU to be the king.  They truly think you’d make a better ruler than me, that’s ridiculous.  You can’t even get past this teenage angst, you need to grow up.” Taka said slyly.

Mufasa wasn’t even listening, “Taka, what are you doing here?!  How dare you spy on Sarabi and I!!” he roared.

“Oh, poor Mufasa, still can’t control that temper of yours I see.”

“Just go away Taka!!” he commanded.

“I don’t think so, I’m going to be the king and Sarabi will be my mate, not yours, mine!”

“That’ll never happen!!” Sarabi cried.

“Yeah, besides mom and dad chose me to be the king.  Even if you do become the king I won’t let you have Sarabi.” Mufasa said as he took a defensive stance in front of her.

 

            The three of them found themselves in a standoff, nobody spoke or moved a muscle; and all three of them were within reach of each other, the slightest thing could cause panic and disorder leading to injuries.  All three of them stood there breathing heavily, it was Mufasa and Sarabi against Taka.

“Don’t anybody move!!” a voice crackled as it quickly broke into laughter.

“Yeah, we’ve got ourselves something interesting here.” Said another voice.

There were a good four or five individual bouts of laughter emerging from the shrubbery to the west of the three lions.  Slowly they watched five hyenas walk out of the bushes followed by two more.

“Seven hyenas?!!” Mufasa shrieked.

The hyenas just laughed.

“Well it looks like we showed up just in time.” Said one hyena.

“Yes, good work.” Taka said.

“Wait, you guys know each other?” Mufasa cried.

“Yes, these are my friends… my TRUE friends.” Taka smirked.

“All right boss, we’re waiting for your word.” The leading hyena said.

“Aft-”

“TAKA!!!!  How dare you make mother cry!!” Veni yelled from off in the distance.

“What?!” Mufasa, Taka, Sarabi, and a couple of the hyenas cried.  The hyenas that said it just got weird looks from everyone.

            Veni was keeping Taka and the hyenas distracted with her argument.

“Come on Sarabi, let’s get out of here.”

“But what about Veni?”

“She’ll be fine, Taka’s not after her.  Besides all that we have to do is lure the hyenas away from here and she’ll have nothing to worry about, she’s pinned Taka hundreds of times.”

“How do we get rid of the hyenas?”

“Like this…” Mufasa slashed one of them along the back and drew blood, the hyena yelped in pain.  Mufasa and Sarabi started running for Pride Rock and all of the hyenas followed them.
“Wait!  Come back here you fools!!” Taka commanded.

“This is for making mom cry!!” Veni slashed Taka across the face with her claws fully extended.  Taka became pissed and tackled Veni onto the ground; the two of them wrestled frantically trying to pin the other one down.  Taka would try and force Veni off of him but Veni just shifted her position and redirected her weight into Taka, usually knocking the wind out of him.  It didn’t take long for Veni to pin Taka and begin slashing at him frantically.  Veni continued slashing at Taka for several minutes in a desperate attempt to try and snap him out of his anger and frustration.  By the time his face was a bloody mess he roared at the top of his lungs catching Veni off guard.

“WHAT THE HELL DID I EVER DO TO DESERVE THIS?!!!!” he roared as he gave Veni a hard smack across the face knocking her into a rock and leaving her unconscious.  Taka spat out a little bit of blood then he examined Veni’s body, “Now you’re nothing more than hyena food.” He said to her before heading back home.

 

            “DAD!!!!” Mufasa yelled at the top of his lungs.  “Help, there’re hyenas chasing us!!”

Ahadi quickly rushed onto the savannah with an army of lionesses behind them, the hyenas yelped and ran off in scattered directions.  Once Mufasa and Sarabi made it back to Pride Rock safely they ran to their parents and told them everything that happened.

“So Taka and Veni are still out there… fighting each other?!!” Uru yelled with worry.

“Yes mom.”

“And you just left them there?!!” Ahadi said sternly.

“There were hyenas, Sarabi and I had to get out of there quickly.”

“Oh man what a mess.” Ahadi sighed.

“Ahadi, we have to go look for them, what if the hyenas went back for them?” Uru exclaimed.

Ahadi shrieked, “You’re right, Mufasa stay here in case if they return, do you understand?”

“Yes dad.”

“Good, come on then Uru, let’s go!”

Just as they reached the entrance of the cave Taka entered.  Uru screamed causing everyone to look her direction.  “Taka, what happened to you?!!”

Taka pretended like he was out of breath, “Hyenas…attacked us…Veni…me…hurt bad…”

“What happened to your sister?” Ahadi asked.

“Don’t…know…couldn’t…keep up…”

“Oh no!” Uru desperately cried.  “Dear, we have to go now!!”

“Taka wait here with Mufasa in case if your sister returns.”

“Okay…I…will…”

“All right, we’re off then.”

Mufasa approached his younger brother who was grinning, “What did you do to Veni?” he asked suspiciously.

“What do you mean?”

“You know damn well what I mean!  What did you do to Veni!!  If she’s hurt I swear that I won’t show you any mercy!!”

“Mufasa, I have no idea what you’re talking about, now leave me alone… I’m very tired.” Taka laid down on his spot and quickly fell asleep.

            Mufasa was still in disbelief over the whole situation, “Why, how could my own brother do this to us?  He wasn’t going to use the hyenas to actually kill me… was he?” Mufasa looked over at Taka who was sound asleep, “Taka… what happened to you?  What could you be thinking?”

 

Chapter 7:  The Truth

 

            About five months passed since the day Taka attempted to attack Mufasa and Sarabi.  All that Veni could remember from that day was her mother crying because of Taka, then her getting into a fight with Taka.  Nobody ever mentioned that Taka was leading the hyenas and Mufasa, Veni, and Sarabi were all very nervous about what he may do next.  Veni and Taka were no longer on speaking terms, she knew that he did this to her and suspected that he purposely made her forget.  Mufasa and Sarabi are now very serious, Taka was never around much anymore, and Veni became paranoid and suicidal.

            One day Veni was sitting in Pride Rock’s den all alone.  Her father was out doing official business, her mother was hunting with the other lionesses, and her brothers were out doing there own things.  She was left alone with her thoughts, “Why am I always stuck here?  Everybody is out having fun but me, why am I so useless?  Mom and dad don’t even notice me, their too focused on Mufasa and training him to be the king; maybe they don’t even love me anymore…  I hate my life!!  I’m never included in anything and I never have anything to do.  Why does everyone hate me so much?!!  What have I ever done to any of them?  Maybe they’d all be better off without me…” Veni started crying hysterically, she couldn’t help it, the tears just kept flowing and she felt pressure deep down in her gut rising to her head so that all of her sadness could be exported through her tears.

            She sat there crying for several minutes, she didn’t know why and she couldn’t stop, she just had to get it all out.  She heard footsteps approaching the den so she retreated to the very back where she wouldn’t be seen.  It was Ahadi he walked into the cave and looked around to make sure that he was alone, but his near-perfect night vision caught Veni weeping in back of Pride Rock.

“…You see me, don’t you?” Veni called out.

“Yes I do… is everything all right?”

“No…”

“Well what’s wrong?”

“I don’t know…”

“You don’t know?”

“No, I don’t… it’s weird but I’ve just been feeling like this lately.”

Ahadi sighed, “Not you too…”

Veni stood up and approached her father, “Dad, don’t tell me you’re…”

“No, no it’s not me… it’s Mufasa.”

“Mufasa?  But he seems so happy.”

“Appearances can be deceiving.  His problem is that he thinks about things too much, the wrong kinds of things that is.  His brain lacks the ability to let endorphins flow, he can’t feel happiness; and now his brain feeds on his own misery causing him to purposely upset himself… it sounds like you have the same problem as well.”
“So… we’re purposely making ourselves miserable?”

Ahadi sighed, “Basically yes… it’s called depression.”

“I know what depression is!  I just didn’t think that I had it was all…”

Ahadi gave an even deeper, sadder sigh this time.

“Is everything all right father?”

“Veni, dear, your mother and I have been dreading this day for a long time.  We weren’t going to tell you or your brothers until you were all old enough, well now we think that it’s time you all knew the truth…”

Veni gave a suspicious stare, “What are you saying…?”

“I’m sorry but we need to wait for everyone else to come back.”

“Why can’t you just tell me now?”

“Because your brothers need to know too, and I need your mom’s help so that I can say it.”

            Veni was a little scared now, “What’s going on?” she wondered, “Is somebody going to die soon?  Are we going to be taken over by another pride?  Is there going to be a war?  Is something wrong with one of us?”  Veni started growing increasingly nervous; she began to shake almost violently, her eyes grew wide with fear, and she wouldn’t speak or even respond to anything.  Ahadi tried calming her down but it was no use, she wasn’t even listening to him.  At first Uru walked back in, followed by Mufasa; by now Veni was scared for her life, she didn’t know what was going to happen and the suspense was starting to overwhelm her.  All of the waiting was almost physically painful for her, she started getting stomach cramps as the worry feasted on her organs.  When she saw Taka walk in her anxiety completely took over; her heart was beating so fast that it felt like her chest was going to explode, she couldn’t breath, she was shaking uncontrollably, she lost control of her body… and then she passed out.

            Veni opened her eyes, she saw everyone running towards her and she had no memory of what just happened.

“Oh my gosh, Veni are you all right?!!” Uru cried.

Veni staggered to her feet, “Ugh… I-I think so… I mean… ugh…”

Veni was nuzzled by her parents and also licked by her mother, “Oh thank goodness you’re all right.” Uru said relieved.

“What happened…?” Veni dizzily uttered.

“You had a panic attack.” Ahadi said.

“What?  I did?”

“Yeah, and then you passed out.” Mufasa added.

“It’s just too bad you got up so quickly.” Taka said.

Uru turned around and snarled briefly at Taka.

“Do you still feel nervous dear?” Ahadi asked.

“No, I feel fine now…”

“Good because your mother and I have something to tell you, all three of you that is.”

Taka reluctantly got up and walked over to where the others stood, then he yawned, “Can we get this over with, I’m hungry.”

His mother gave him a sharp stare.  Ahadi nodded at Uru signaling her to start the story, “Well you see, Ahadi is not your guys’ father…”
“WHAT?!!”  Mufasa and Veni exclaimed.

“Seriously?!!”  Taka asked shortly afterwards.

“Yes, I’m afraid it’s true… none of you actually have a drop of royal blood in you.” Ahadi started, “But Uru and I couldn’t have a cub of our own because that would mess things up even worse for you three.”

“I don’t believe it…” Mufasa said in astonishment.

“It’s true, your real father… he left me the night that you were born Veni.”

Mufasa and Taka looked at Veni.  “Me?” she asked weakly.

“Yes, you… he wasn’t a good father to Mufasa or Taka.”

“But, why did he have to leave after I was born?  What’s wrong with me?” Veni asked, practically in tears.

“Veni, dear, it wasn’t you…” Uru said.

“LIES!!!!  All that I am is a waste of space, nobody even notices me anymore!!!!  Even my own father knew what a waste I am since the moment I was born… he didn’t love me!  Nobody loves me!!!!” Veni walked out of the den and sat at the tip of Pride Rock.

“So he’s not our dad?” Mufasa asked gesturing towards Ahadi.

“No son he’s not… your real father was a horrible lion…” Uru said as she looked down.

“I’m going to go check on Veni.” Ahadi said as he left the cave.

“Why did he leave?” Mufasa asked.

“He didn’t love me, he didn’t love you guys, he didn’t even want to have cubs.”

“So we’re all mistakes then?!!” Mufasa cried out.

“No you are not!  I don’t ever want you thinking like that again.”

“But you said that he di-”

“YOU’RE NOT MY REAL FATHER!!!!” everyone heard Veni yelling at the top of her lungs, they turned and watched her run off; Ahadi ran off towards her, then Uru and Mufasa ran out as well.  They finally caught up with Ahadi who was standing bewildered in the savannah.

“…I lost her.” He said with his head hung low, “I failed… and now she’s gone.”

 

Chapter 8:  The Missing Sister

 

            Ahadi, Uru, and Mufasa all walked back to Pride Rock in miserable silence, all three of them were sobbing.  They all walked to Pride Rock’s peak, Ahadi roared to get everybody’s attention.  Once all of the lions and lionesses gathered below, with the exception of Taka, Ahadi lifted up his head showing everyone his sad face.

“Everyone, we have an emergency situation.  Our daughter, your princess, has run away; I want four search parties made.  I’ll lead one group north, Uru will lead another east, Mufasa will lead one south, and Frehda will lead the other one west.  Leave no stone unturned, look in every crack and crevice.  Igunoi, I need you and two others to stay here with my son Taka while we’re away.  I can’t leave for more than a few minutes but the rest of us will spend hours searching for her, the last thing that I need is to return her home only to find out that another pride has settled on our lands.”

            Everyone bowed to the king and split themselves into four groups.  Once Ahadi gave the order, everyone ran off to their destination.  After five minutes of searching Ahadi had to return to Pride Rock but everyone continued to look for Veni.  Ahadi waited with those that stayed behind anxiously awaiting good news from one of the search parties.  Hours and hours passed and the sun was beginning to set, shortly thereafter it was dark and the sky was filled with thousands of gleaming stars.  Still none of the groups had returned, Ahadi became very anxious.  “Oh man, please be all right Veni.  Please just be okay.” He said to himself as he kept pacing back and forth.

            More hours passed, it wasn’t until almost midway through the night that one of the groups finally returned.  It was Mufasa’s group which consisted of him, Sarabi, Sarafina and her parents, and two other lionesses.  They found absolutely no sign of Veni anywhere.  A few moments later Uru’s group returned… nothing.  It took several hours before the next group would return, but their attempt ended in failure as well.  It wasn’t until almost dawn that Frehda’s group, the final group, returned.  Frehda just looked down and shook her head.

 

            “It’s official now everyone, Veni… is missing.  None of the search parties found any sign of her anywhere, she is gone… and she may never return, if she even survives.  I have failed my duties as a father, the last thing that I said to her was ‘I don’t care if he’s your dad, you’re not going to see that guy… ever!’  Now I feel like such a jerk for trying to keep her from doing what she wants to do.  We can’t give up all hope yet, she’s out there somewhere, if we keep searching then I’m sure that we’ll find her.  Keep your eyes open, if you see her or any outsider then approach them and ask about Veni.  I don’t want her last memory of me to be a bad one, stay vigilant and never lose hope; someday, even if it takes years, she will return… and we will welcome her with open arms…” Ahadi gave a final roar after his speech and the whole pride roared back.  This will be the saddest day that anyone in the Pride Lands will see until Mufasa’s death, losing a great king is one thing; but to lose the youthful ones… that is the pain that sticks.

 

Chapter 9:  Mufasa and Sarabi’s Succession

 

            Years and years passed; the Pride Lands now had a shaman and a majordomo, Taka was scarred by a rhino and changed his name to Scar, Veni never returned, Scar left the Pride Lands once Ahadi died, now Uru is old and worn down.  By this time Mufasa and Sarabi were five years old.  It took Mufasa a long time to propose because he was always dealing with Scar and making sure that he didn’t take over, then once his father was sick Mufasa took care of him and made sure that he died comfortably.  Of course Mufasa had his mourning period after his father’s death.  He had to take care of his mother since she’s rapidly aging as well.  Ahadi died prematurely due to a lightning storm that ravaged the Pride Lands, he was out heading to Rafiki’s tree when lightning struck the grass in front of him.  Very quickly the grass ignited all around him and he couldn’t escape the flames, he was overtaken by the fire within sight of Rafiki’s home.  Since then Scar couldn’t stand to see Mufasa ruling the Pride Lands so he left, Uru lost the will to live after Ahadi’s death.  She would only eat when she was on the brink of death, she never got up from her spot, she would just lie there all day; all of her food was brought to her and she only got water during the rainy days.  She didn’t budge when she had to go to the bathroom and just allowed everything to drop right where she was.

“Mom, we got some zebra today.  Are you going to eat?”

“No son… I’m afraid that I don’t have much time left…”

Mufasa started to tear up a little bit, “Mom… please don’t say that.  You’re only nine, you still have a good five or six years ahead of you.”

“Mufasa, please.  I’m not even willing to roam this Earth much longer, I want to join your father in the sky-uh not your real father of course.” She quickly corrected herself.

“I know what you mean mom.  Why do you have to do this?”

“It’s the circle of life son.  Just please promise me one thing, promise me that you’ll be happy; live a good life with Sarabi, lead our pride to glory, raise your cubs right.  It’s all up to you now, you are the new king.”

Mufasa was still sniffling, “Okay mom… I promise.”

“I love you son.”

“I love you too mom.” Mufasa nuzzled her mother one last time.  He stood there quietly sobbing until his mom stopped breathing.

Once she stopped breathing Mufasa tapped her a little bit, there was no response.  “Goodbye…mom…” he whispered, just as he started crying again.

 

            Mufasa and Sarabi ascended Pride Rock silently, then he gave his inauguration speech, “My life has been very frustrating up to this point.  My siblings and I were brought up under false pretenses, and my poor sister Veni…” he paused and sobbed a little bit, “she was born a bastard, my real father abandoned all of us and I’ve never even seen him since I was tiny… I don’t know who he is or what he’s like.  Veni seemed to take a lot of things out on herself when she didn’t need to and now she’s probably dead, my brother Taka or Scar as he’s now called only made things worse.  He was always jealous that I was the one chosen to be king, he took everything out on me.  Discovering that I, that none of us, are even of royal blood was disappointing to me… it makes me question how well I’ll perform as a king.  But my father Ahadi taught me well, I will not let him down, he trained me to be a great king and so I shall become.  I just got back from visiting my mother… she just died and handed the position over to Sarabi and I.  My mom, she was a great lioness; one of the fiercest hunters, one of the most agile, one of the nicest, and one of the most loving lionesses that has ever graced our kingdom.  I will miss her so, she really didn’t deserve to die so young; but she’s with father now and that’ll make her happy.”  Mufasa roared alongside Sarabi, right after the entire pride below roared out in honor of their new king and queen.