Coconuts lightly clacked into each other as a breeze blew through the tree. Crickets chirped intermittently from the ground below. Other than all of that, the night was cool, calm and quiet. That was…until the resident of the aforementioned tree returned home.
“Ha ha ha! Woo hoo hoo! Ah, Mufasa, it has happened!
“Ha ha ha!” cackled Rafiki, as he lifted a coconut up and smashed it neatly in two on a rock. He lifted half of the coconut up towards the sky and toasted Mufasa.
“Many moons ago you told me your goal, Mufasa, were to see the Outlands and the Pridelands at peace. You also told me that the Outlanders would not rest until Kovu was King…there was no stopping them. Well, I am happy to say now Mufasa that both agreements have been achieved! Kovu is King alongside Simba, and the lands are one! Ho ho, all this excitement makes Rafiki very happy.”
Rafiki bent down to take a drink from one of the coconuts, but a sharp wind blew through his tree and forced the coconut out of his hands.
“Hey!” exclaimed Rafiki, as the coconut shell spilled out its contents on the floor behind him, “what was dat for?”
A sharp wind blew through his tree again as a response.
“I do not see what your problem is!” exclaimed Rafiki. “The goals have been met, the Pridelands are one, and…unless I’m much mistaken, Simba and Nala can now be reunited with their long, lost son!”
A sharp wind blew through the tree again as a response.
“What’s the big deal?” snapped Rafiki. “What could I possibly be forgetting?”
This time, a lighter wind came as his response.
“Hmm?” asked Rafiki. He looked over his shoulder as he heard a couple of gourds clack into each other. The soft wind blew a branch out of the way and revealed a drawing on the bark of Rafiki’s tree.
“Oh, of course,” said Rafiki to himself, “Ulaga…how could I forget?” he said, walking up and examining the drawing. However, he shook his head quickly and slammed his stick down on the floor of his baobab. “But dat does not mean that Kopa can be kept from his true parents any longer. Right, Mufasa?” he asked, looking up at the sky. Before the wind had another chance to blow, Rafiki continued, “see, there’s good t’ings to come after all.
“Kopa is Simba and Nala’s son, but dey t’ink he is dead. It’s a sad reality…but it’s not a reality! Kopa is alive, and right now he doesn’t know about Simba and Nala. And before you go blaming me as the bad guy, Mufasa, I must remind you that Kopa requested dis.
“He had aged into his adolescent years when he was smart enough to come here. He knew his parents wouldn’t let him go, but he knew dat he had no choice…the Outlanders were after him and, alas, had he stayed, he would have died. He couldn’t stand the thought of running away so I offered him a potion dat would make him forget everyt’ing, and den when he returned, he could drink de counter-potion, which would make him remember everyt’ing.”
A strong wind blew through the tree again, knocking Rafiki off of his feet.
“What is your problem, Mufasa? It was not a good solution, no…but it was the only one! It was de only way Kopa could live. He was family to me as much as to you, and I, too, was sad to see him go.”
Rafiki smiled, and then made his way over to another set of leaves and branches.
“But, I’m at an advantage! While de lions cannot know of Kopa’s true existence, since dat would make dem run off and find him, I have de benefit of knowing of his true life – and has soon as he drinks dis counter-potion,” said Rafiki, moving a branch aside to reveal…
Rafiki gasped. “Where is dat potion? Where is it? I’m sure it was here, with de forgetting potion and de…de…” he gasped again. “Dey’re all gone! Who could have took dem?”
A light wind blew through Rafiki’s tree and lifted the same branch as before.
Rafiki whirled around and saw it once again: his hand-drawn image…of Ulaga.
“Time to get up, son,” called a voice into the cave. “It’s time to go hunt.”
The lion that he was calling to was still in his younger adult years, and he was still asleep. He had dark amber fur and a brown mane which had grown thicker than normal for a lion his age.
The adult lion frowned.
“Come on Kopa, seriously, we’ve got to go, the others are waiting.”
The lion, called Kopa, finally stirred and rolled himself out onto his legs. “Alright Dad,” he replied before yawning, “I’m coming.”
Kopa stepped out of the cave and into the daylight. He looked around. Their lands were definitely not a pretty sight, but they were home. However, Kopa knew that the most difficult part about hunting food today was going to be finding it in the first place.
“Where are the others?” he asked.
“They’re all by the waterhole, waiting for us,” replied Kopa’s father. “Now come on.”
Kopa grudgingly followed his father as they made their way towards the waterhole. There, they met with another adult lion and an adult lioness, who was bathing her two young cubs with her tongue.
“Hi Hunter, hi Amani,” said Kopa’s father.
“Hi Daraka,” Hunter, the male lion, called back. Amani continued to wash her cubs.
Kopa walked over to her.
“Hi Aunt Ami,” he greeted, “have they said anything yet?”
“No, not yet,” replied Amani. “I’m trying to teach them to say ‘Kopa.’ One of them could end up being your mate, you know.”
Kopa turned away from her and stuck his tongue out. Daraka saw and laughed.
“Now son, don’t worry, they’ll grow up soon.”
“So,” interjected Hunter, “now that we’re all done criticizing my two daughters, shall we be on our way?”
“Uh,” replied Amani, who had since returned to bathing her cubs, “all you male lions ever do is hunt.”
Hunter, Daraka and Kopa all stared blankly at her.
“Yeah,” replied Hunter, “you know…that’s supposed to be your job.”
Suddenly, their conversation was interrupted a bird from above let out a shriek.
“Fedha!” called Hunter happily, looking up at the sky.
The bird angled itself downwards and swooped down until it had landed at the lions’ feet. All the lions happily looked at their female African Grey friend.
“Good morning, your majesty,” said Fedha, looking at Hunter. “I have no new news from nearby, but from afar there has been a change in leadership at a well-known pride. King Simba and Queen Nala now share their governing responsibilities of the revered Pridelands with their daughter, Queen Kiara, and her new mate, King Kovu.”
“That’s all the news you have for us?” asked Hunter.
“Yes sire,” replied Fedha, looking at nobody else but Hunter.
“Alright, thank you very much Fedha,” said Hunter. “Be on your way now. We have a hunt to attend to.”
“No we don’t,” interjected Daraka.
The group turned to look at him. Daraka was out of it. He was either gazing off into the distance or looking down at the floor. He hadn’t expected this at all. He didn’t know what to think of it.
“Kopa…” he said quietly, “it’s time for us to go. You need to know the truth.”
Daraka looked around at the group one more time, but said nothing else. He began to walk away.
“Dad?” asked Kopa.
“Come,” Daraka replied, without looking back.
Kopa didn’t hesitate, but he was still confused…as was everyone else.
It was only when they were gone, that Hunter finally remembered.
“Oh, of course,” he said aloud. He looked at his mate and two cubs. “Kovu.”
Everything was dark. Everything was silent.
“Sarafina,” called a voice.
After that call, everything returned to being dark and silent.
“Sarafina,” called the voice again.
“It’s me, Simba. Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Sarafina finally opened her eyes. It wasn’t all dark anymore. She was in Pride Rock and her son-in-law was standing over her.
“Sure, Simba. What is it?”
“I just…I’m worried…I don’t know who else to talk to and I just figured that…with you being Nala’s mother and all, you’d be the easiest to talk to.”
“Okay, well go ahead,” replied Sarafina, rolling herself onto her belly.
“Well…and I sincerely hope you’re not going to be offended by this…but…does it make you feel old…you know, being a grandparent?”
Sarafina frowned. “Surely Kiara can’t be expecting already?”
“Oh, no, she’s not expecting. And don’t call me Shirley. It’s just that… when it does happen, I’d just like to know.”
“Simba, do you remember what I did for you yesterday?”
“Uh…killed a buffalo?”
“Alright, so I must still be somewhat physically able. And…eh…how do I look?”
“No, Simba. I mean, do you think I still have my looks?”
“Are you trying to ask me if you’re attractive? Because…you’re my mother-in-law.”
“Just answer the question.”
“Okay…for a mother-in-law, you are somewhat good looking.”
“Thank you Simba. So, should I have any reason to feel old?”
“I guess not.”
Sarafina smiled. “Then there’s your answer.”
Simba smiled in response and shook his head. “Your word games. I bet that’s how you got your mate, right?”
Sarafina’s smile instantly fell and she looked down at the ground. “Simba…please don’t remind me of my mate.”
“Oh…gosh…sorry Sarafina, I didn’t mean to…I mean, you’ve never spoke of him.”
“He died in a fire a long time ago. I just…I hate being reminded of him. That’s why I never speak of him. I really should.”
“No Sarafina, its fine. Please blame me for bringing it up. Look, I’ll just be…I’ll just be going now,” he ended, making his way towards the exit of Pride Rock.
“Simba,” called Sarafina, just before he left.
Simba stopped and whirled around.
“I guess I should start speaking of him. You all have the right to know so…if it means anything to you…my mate’s name was Daraka.”
Vitani walked up a grassy hill and around a rock. She knew that somewhere around here was where her brother, Kovu, could usually be found.
Sure enough, she found him alright. He was trying his best not to fall asleep as Zazu was finishing up his morning report.
“…and the buzz from the bees is that they’re having a rather sticky situation with their honey this morning, but I guess there’s not a whole lot you can do about that. Well, that’s all I have for this morning, your majesty.”
“Okay, thank you very much Zazu. Be on your way now,” replied Kovu, trying to get rid of him.
“Sure thing,” replied Zazu. “I’ll be back with any more news as it occurs.”
Kovu stuck a thumb up. “Sounds good,” he said sarcastically.
Zazu flew off, and Vitani walked up to her brother.
“How are you doing this morning, your majesty?” she asked, smiling.
Kovu groaned. “Vitani, can you keep a secret?”
“I don’t know. But I know how we can find out.”
“Well…honestly, I don’t know if I’m ready…well, no, ‘ready’ is the wrong word…I don’t really know if I want to be King yet. I’m sure I will eventually, but right now I’d rather be spending my time with Kiara. I think she feels the same way actually.”
“Well just tell Simba,” Vitani reasoned, “I’m sure he’d understand that.”
“I’m afraid it’s not that simple,” replied Kovu.
“Of course it’s not,” replied Vitani, lying down. “Go on then,” she prompted, “what’s stopping you?”
Vitani rolled her eyes. “Call him ‘dad,’ Kovu.”
“I don’t like calling him my dad. I never really liked him, honestly.”
“That doesn’t change anything.”
“But…he’s still out there looking for a pride. He still thinks he’s going to help us invade the Pridelands. If only he knew how much has changed in the past couple of weeks he’s been gone.”
Kovu looked at Vitani seriously. Vitani returned the expression, letting Kovu know that she understood.
“My only hope, Tani,” explained Kovu, “is that when Ulaga returns, he’ll be satisfied with me being the King and he will choose not to invade.”
Vitani sighed and looked down at the ground. “When do you plan on telling Simba?” she asked.
Kovu huffed. “I don’t know,” he replied. “With everything going on right now, I think we should leave it at least a couple of days. I don’t know what he’ll think of me when I tell him.”
Vitani understood her brother’s every word. “Well…” she replied, “…at least you accept the fact that eventually, you will have to tell him.”
“You’re my grandfather?” asked Kopa. “I mean, I know I was adopted…but…well, what happened to my parents?”
“Your parents are fine,” replied Daraka, “and we’re going to see them. You’re going to live with them. It’s going to be like old times.”
“But I don’t remember old times,” replied Kopa. “I don’t remember anything since before that hunting accident you speak of. Dad, I don’t care who you are – I want to stay with you!”
“I’ve only been your dad for a short period of time, Kopa. And what’s more, you never had a hunting accident. You voluntarily erased your memory, and you’re going to get it back! You’re going to remember who your real parents are and you’re going to remember all the great times you spent with them growing up!”
“Dad…I don’t believe a word of what you are saying. You’re going to have to explain it much better to me.”
Daraka heaved a deep sigh. “Alright,” he said, “here goes. The history of my life…shortened down as much as possible.”
Daraka and Hunter were brothers. Amani and Sarafina were sisters. Though Amani and Hunter had nothing for each other, Daraka and Sarafina were deeply in love.
But Sarafina was the weakest lion in the entire pride, every meal went by and she would never get a bite. When it was obvious that she was going to give birth, she and Daraka decided they had to leave to find a better place to live where there was more food to choose from.
They found a cave in a jungle where Sarafina gave birth to a healthy baby girl which they named Nala.
“Goodnight sweetheart,” cooed Sarafina towards Nala as she nuzzled her mate. Nala closed her eyes happily and Daraka rested his head on top of Sarafina’s as they all drifted off to sleep.
Then, one night, a storm came. The lightning struck a tree from outside, setting it on fire. Sarafina ran out of the cave carrying Nala in her mouth. Daraka was right behind them. However, the tree fell over and smashed onto the entrance of their cave, blocking Daraka inside.
“Daraka!” exclaimed Sarafina, setting Nala down on the ground. She ran back up to the fallen tree and tried to move it. The jungle began to burn up.
“Sarafina,” coughed Daraka, “take Nala and get out of here, save yourselves. There’s no hope for me.”
Sarafina collapsed on the floor and looked at her mate through her tear-glazed eyes. Suddenly, she heard her cub call and saw that the grass was burning up around her. Sarafina ran and picked Nala up in her mouth. She gave one final look back at her home, and then ran away.
Daraka frantically tried to find a way out of the cave, but it was to no avail. He began to cough violently and so he just moved himself to the back of the cave and waited for the flames to die, looking for any pocket of oxygen that he could find.
He fell asleep.
When he woke up, the fire was gone and the jungle was burnt to a crisp, but he was alive! He tried to follow Sarafina’s scent across a vast desert, but eventually he lost it. He was able to find lands though, but every time he went to a pride and asked if they’d heard of Sarafina and Nala, he was rejected.
He remembered one encounter in particular.
“Excuse me, sir, have you seen or heard of a lioness and her cub named Sarafina and Nala around here?”
“Can’t say I have, I’m afraid,” replied the dark furred lion with a British accent and a scar over his left eye. “But I’d suggest you’d leave. I don’t believe our King takes too kindly to foreigners.”
Daraka finally gave up and returned home to Amani and Hunter. He told them that he had lost Sarafina.
It was not until years later that he’d heard that the Pridelands had got a new King and Queen: King Simba and Queen Nala.
Hopeful that this Nala was his daughter Nala, Daraka left his lands to search for Sarafina. He was stopped, however, by an ancient mandrill, who told him that someone named Mufasa had spoken to him from above, and that it was in Rafiki’s best interest (of which, Daraka later learned, was the name of the baboon himself) if he found out what he was in the Pridelands for.
Daraka replied that he was from a pride far away, but he wanted to see his mate, Sarafina, and his daughter, Nala, and know that they were okay.
Rafiki replied that they were okay, but that he wished he could not see them.
“Why?” asked Daraka.
Rafiki took Daraka to his baobab tree.
‘ “This is Kopa,” said Rafiki, signaling to an adolescent lion lying in his tree, “he knows dat he can no longer stay here – de Outlanders are after him and dey won’t rest until Kovu is King. Kovu must be King, but for dat to happen Kopa must be removed. Please take him to your home. His family will not know he is alive, and he doesn’t remember a t’ing. When Kovu is King, bring him back here. I have an antidote dat will make him remember everyt’ing.”
“But why me?” asked Daraka.
“Because he is de son of Simba and Nala,” replied Rafiki, “which makes him your grandson.”
Simba and Nala stood on the precipice of Pride Rock, leaning on each other’s shoulder. A cloud finally moved out the way, allowing the moon to break through. Simba and Nala both gazed up into the sky and saw that the moon was full.
Nala closed her eyes and buried her head into Simba’s mane, trying to hide hold back her tears.
Simba sighed. “And that’s another twelve,” he said, looking down at his mate. He nuzzled her gently. “At least we still have Kiara.”
Nala sniffed and lifted her head up. “I know,” she replied, swallowing back her tears. “Oh Simba…I just miss Kopa so much!”
Simba sighed again. “I do too,” he replied, placing his foot on Nala’s. Nala looked down and they both spread out their toes, allowing them to interlock with each other.
They both lifted their heads up and met each other’s gazes, both trying to force a smile.
From behind them, Rafiki sighed. “So emotional,” he said, watching both of them.
“Rafiki!” exclaimed Simba, “what are you doing here?”
“Do you not understand the concept of privacy?” snapped Nala.
“I was just passing by,” replied the mandrill. “And, yes, sorry I interrupted both of you at such a…delicate moment…but…I have somet’ing to say dat I hope will cheer you both up.”
Simba and Nala didn’t ask what. They just continued to glare at him and hope that the next thing he said was good.
“Kopa…” said Rafiki, allowing the tension in Simba and Nala’s faces to relax, “…he…he lives.”
Simba and Nala both looked down at the ground. Simba gulped.
“Yeah, w—we know…Rafiki,” stammered Simba, “h—he lives in us. W—we know. Thanks. But just…sometimes…sometimes we just want more.”
Nala nodded her head sadly in agreement.
“No,” replied Rafiki, “I don’t t’ink you understand. Kopa lives!”
“Yeah, we get it Rafiki,” replied Nala. “Thank you,” she added, rather annoyed.
“No – he lives! He’s on dis earth – he’s living, he’s breathing, and if I’m right about everyt’ing – he should be heading right dis way!”
Rafiki had finally got Simba and Nala’s attention. They both looked up at him.
“He’s just been gone, been lost! I know dis is rather hard for you both right now, but Kopa is just fine and dandy and you will be seeing him again soon!”
Simba and Nala couldn’t quite believe their ears.
“R—Rafiki,” stammered Simba, “are you sure? How do you know all this?”
“I knows de lion dat’s been raising him! His name is Daraka.”
“Daraka?” Simba asked. “Sarafina’s mate?”
Rafiki and Nala both shot a look at Simba.
“How did you know about dat?” asked Rafiki.
“Wait…my mom’s mate?” asked Nala. “You mean to say…my son is being raised by my father, who I’ve never even heard of, and they’re on their way here?”
“Well…” replied Rafiki, “…yes.”
Nala and Simba stared at him blankly for a few seconds.
“But…” said Simba, “…Daraka’s dead.”
Rafiki slapped his hand onto his head. “Oh bother.”
“I’m…I’m sorry Rafiki, but, this is all great news if it’s true…but…it’s all just too much for Nala and I now. What if it’s not true? I don’t want to get my hopes up. I—I’ve got to go to sleep,” said Simba, beginning to walk indoors.
Nala hesitated for a second but then she snapped at her mate.
“Simba! Our cub could be alive! And my father! Get your hiney out of that cave and let’s follow Rafiki!”
Simba stopped walking and he looked back over his shoulder at his mate.
Nala lost her angry face and put on her pleading one. She wanted Simba to know how much this meant to her.
“Please,” she said.
Simba sighed. However, before he could make a decision, someone else joined in the conversation.
“Yeah – please!” shouted Timon. “Please be QUIET! We’re all trying to sleep in there – it’s a lot easier when everyone’s not yelling at the top of their voices!”
Pumbaa followed Timon out rubbing his eyes and yawning. Zazu flew out too, and was followed by Kovu, Kiara, Sarafina and the rest of the lionesses.
Nala put her cross face back on and moved towards her mom.
“Who is Daraka?” she asked, getting up in her face.
Sarafina took a step backwards. She had just followed everyone else out, she hadn’t expected Nala to confront her. Neither had she expected Nala to have known her mate’s name, nor would she have expected Nala to talk as if Daraka was still alive.
“N—Nala…Daraka was your father…but…but he’s dead.”
“No he’s not,” retorted Nala, “Rafiki just told us, he’s been alive this whole time raising Kopa as his son!”
Sarafina was at a loss for words. She looked over towards Rafiki.
“Rafiki…” she addressed, “is this true? Is my husband alive?”
“He’s been raising Kopa back at his home pride,” replied Rafiki, “I could never have told any of you because if anyone had ever caught whiff of the fact that Kopa was alive, the news would’ve spread and Zira would have hunted him down and killed him. He needed to be out of de picture so Kovu could be King.”
Everyone turned and stared at Kovu.
“Wow,” said Kovu, looking at all the eyes staring at him, “sorry for my existence.”
“Well what are we waiting for?” asked Nala, chuckling. “Come on, I want to see my family!”
“Dat’s the spirit!” replied Rafiki, jumping up. “Dere’s only one problem.”
“There’s always one,” said a random lioness.
“Kopa’s not going to remember who any of you are.”
Everyone’s faces fell. That is…everyone who had known Kopa.
“So…” said Kiara, “…I have a brother?”
“How could Kopa not remember us?” asked Timon, pointing to himself and Pumbaa. “We’re a world class duo!”
“Kopa voluntarily left dis pride because he knew the Outlanders were out to get him. He took a potion that erased his entire memory. The good news is dat I created an antidote.”
Everyone, except for Simba and Nala, smiled.
Nala sighed. “Shall I ask it?” she asked Simba.
“No, I’ll do it,” replied Simba. “What’s the bad news?”
“The bad news is dat I lost it and dat it’s not recreatable,” replied Rafiki. Simba and Nala looked like they were about to break down, so Rafiki continued. “But…” he began; everyone looked at him hopefully, “I t’ink I know who has it.”
Everyone waited for him to continue.
“Well…” prompted Timon, “…go on…who?”
“Ulaga,” replied Rafiki.
All of the former Outlanders groaned.
Simba looked over at them. “Who’s Ulaga?” he asked.
“He’s kind of,” said Vitani, looking at Kovu, “he’s kind of our father.”
Amani scurried into her home cave with her two daughters being carried in her mouth. A painful roar came from outside and echoed across their lands. Amani tried her best to ignore it. She found a dip in the ground towards the back of the cave where she could hide her cubs…just in case.
She dropped them into the dip and kissed them both gently on their foreheads.
“Just stay their sweeties,” she whispered, “everything is going to be okay.”
Suddenly, a huge THUD was heard as a body was thrown up against the wall outside of the cave. Amani had no idea who it was, but she stood her ground. The last thing she wanted the rogue to see, was her cubs.
A lion appeared in the doorway, blocking what little light there was from coming inside.
Amani smiled. “Hunter!” she called.
However, she soon let out a gasp as Hunter was pounced onto from behind, and the rogue lion pinned him down onto the ground.
The rogue looked up and stared Amani right in the eyes. Amani tried her best to hold her composure.
The rogue looked around the rest of the cave.
“That was it?” he asked. “That was your pride? That was so tiny…”
“We may have been small but we have strong hearts,” replied Hunter, still being pinned down on the ground. “You can’t kill us all.”
“I don’t want to kill you all,” replied the rogue. “That’s not the purpose of my mission.”
He looked up and stared back at Amani.
“You should be proud to know that this lion of yours is quite the fighter,” he said. “I was quite impressed.”
Amani didn’t say anything in reply. She was too scared. She just didn’t want him to see their cubs.
Hunter coughed. “You might want to know that Amani won’t take that as a complement,” replied Hunter. “She couldn’t hurt a fly.”
“This is no time for metaphors,” replied the rogue.
“No, seriously, I don’t think she actually knows how to kill a fly. But you lay a paw on her and I’ll show you what I’m really made of.”
“I’d like to see that,” replied the lion in return. He stepped off of him. “I suppose introductions are in order. My name is Ulaga and I’m on a mission. My pride wants to invade another pride next door to us. They have more food than us, more land than us, but their king is a murderer. My wife, Zira is her name, thinks that she has everything set up for an invasion. I disagree. I sincerely hope she has not attempted an attack while I’ve been gone. She will lose. I was looking for a large pride that could help with our invasion. Sure, you two may not be a lot in numbers, but, judging by Hunter here, the quality of you warriors is much greater than your quantity.”
“We will never help you,” replied Hunter, lifting himself up off of the ground.
Ulaga smirked. “I thought you might say that.”
He whistled. A dark-feathered kite came down to the ground outside, flapping its wings slowly so that it was just hovering above the ground.
Ulaga reached underneath the kite’s feet and pulled out a coconut shell. He held it out in front of him.
“This yellow liquid will make you both forget everything,” he said. “If you are not up for fighting now, you will be after you’ve drunk this liquid.”
“And what makes you think we’ll drink that?” asked Hunter.
“Because,” replied Ulaga, smirking, “if you don’t, I will see to it that those cubs that your mate has pathetically attempted to hide will not see the light of another day.”
Amani’s face dropped, but Hunter tried his best to retain his composure.
“Don’t be scared,” said Ulaga, setting the liquid down on the floor, “it’s on the house.”
Hunter looked down skeptically at the liquid and then back over his shoulder at his mate. Amani looked at him hopelessly.
Finally, she moved herself away from her spot at the back of the cave, and she made her way towards the liquid.
“Amani,” called Hunter, “are you sure about this?”
Amani closed her eyes as she stood above the coconut shell.
“If I don’t drink it, I lose my cubs forever,” she replied. “If I drink it,” she continued, opening her eyes and looking down at the ground, “there might still be hope.”
Amani moved her muzzle towards the coconut shell, hesitated one last time, and then began to slurp up the liquid. Hunter knew he had no choice but to follow.
“Good morning Sarafina! Good morning Vitani!” called Timon as he led Pumbaa up to the precipice of Pride Rock where the two lionesses lied.
“Good morning Timon, good morning Pumbaa,” replied Vitani for herself and Sarafina. “What are you two doing out here so early?”
“We came out here to spend time with you,” explained Pumbaa. “We thought that you must both be lonely out here on your own, watching for nothing but rogues coming into the land.”
“Sheesh, if you ask me,” said Timon, “I think Simba’s overreacting a little bit.”
“Hmm, unfortunately I don’t think so Timon,” replied Vitani honestly. “Dad’s not exactly a fan of Simba.”
“Oh, I’m sure he’ll be fine,” reassured Timon…in vain.
Suddenly, a blue-feathered blur whooshed down from the sky. “Sarafina! Vitani! I’ve spotted two intruders Eastbound!”
The two lionesses shot up onto their feet and looked over the side of the precipice. Sure enough, off towards the horizon, they could both see two male lions approaching Pride Rock.
Vitani squinted her eyes to get a better look. “Neither of them looks like my father,” she said aloud. “Sarafina, do either of them look like your mate?”
Vitani checked over her shoulder to see Sarafina’s reaction. Instead, however, she found that the space that had been occupied by Sarafina before was unoccupied now.
Daraka and Kopa walked slowly over the Pridelands.
A big orange blur flew on by in the opposite direction. Kopa continued to walk.
Where had his grandfather gone?
“Daraka?” he asked. He checked back over his shoulder, only to spot his grandfather being pinned down to the ground by an unknown lioness.
“DARAKA!” exclaimed Sarafina, beaming down at her mate. “You’re alive! It’s true! Y—you’re alive! I—i—it IS true!”
“Sarafina!” called Daraka back up. “It’s you! Finally – it’s you!” he replied, pulling out his legs and pulling his mate down into a hug.
Sarafina nuzzled her mate and then opened her watery eyes back up. She caught sight of Kopa and gasped.
“Oh Kopa,” she said, removing herself from her mate’s embrace. “I know you don’t remember me…but I sure as anything remember you. I’m your grandmother, Sarafina. We spent so much time together when you were young b—but…you don’t remember that. But you will! You will, we just need to get Rafiki to see you and…”
Sarafina looked back over her shoulder and watched as Daraka finally got up onto his feet. It was difficult for her to take her eyes off of him.
“W—we’ve got to take you both back to Pride Rock! Oh, Simba and Nala will be so pleased to see you both! And Kiara…and…oh goodness, come on, you just all have to come!”
And with that, Sarafina led them off back home.
Fedha, the African Grey Parrot that had been the advisor to King Hunter and Queen Amani, was now looking for any signs of any survivors from the pride. She had been hovering in front of the basking sun for hours, just trying to find a sign, any sign, that anyone was left alive.
She was a good half-day’s walk, if not a day’s walk at a lion’s pace, south of their lands when she finally caught a glimpse of a lion and a lioness drinking from a waterhole below. She swooped down to get a better look. She couldn’t risk it; this just might be someone she knew!
Finally, she was low enough to the ground that she could see that, sure enough, it was none other than King Hunter and Queen Amani slurping up water from the waterhole.
“Your majesties!” called Fedha from above.
Hunter and Amani both looked up.
“I found you! Thank heavens I found you. I saw the state of your lands…it’s all so awful! What happened?” she asked, as she landed on the ground.
Hunter and Amani exchanged glances. They weren’t sure how they should respond.
“Look…” began Hunter calmly, “we’re not really sure how you know us. We’re sure you do but…we’re not allowed to talk to strangers. Ulaga’s rules.”
“Ulaga? Pfbt! Whose Ulaga? It’s me, your advisor, Fedha! Come on, I’m your most trusted advisor. How can you not remember me?”
“Ulaga says we lost our memories when we knocked out during the fight,” replied Amani.
“Amani!” snapped Hunter.
“Hey,” replied Amani, “I trust this bird. I don’t think she’s a spy.”
“A spy?” asked Fedha. “For who?”
“For Simba,” replied Amani.
“Oh great,” snapped Hunter. “Give away everything, why don’t you Amani?”
“Simba?” asked Fedha. “But Simba lives far away. What would he want with your pride? He’s one of the most trusted lions in the whole of Africa!”
“He murdered our pride!” exclaimed Hunter. “At least, that’s what Ulaga told us. Amani and I don’t remember a thing. Anyhow, that’s not the point! The point is that Simba’s going to suffer for what he did! Ulaga’s leading us and we’re out to get him!”
Amani gave out a huge sigh of relief. “Just thank goodness Simba never found those two helpless cubs. I really hope that their parents are around somewhere.”
Fedha’s lower beak dropped.
“What?” asked Hunter.
Fedha finally shook herself out of it and began to shriek at them.
“Are you guys serious? Do you realize you’re being fed nothing but li—”
“Hey, what’s going on over there?” came Ulaga’s voice.
Hunter and Amani gasped.
“Go on, shoo!” exclaimed Amani, waving her paw in front of Fedha’s face. “We could get in big trouble if Ulaga found out we were speaking to strangers.”
Fedha didn’t need telling twice. She took off into the sky, but soon found a place to rest on a nearby tree branch.
Finally, Ulaga appeared from out of a thicket and he made his way towards Amani and Hunter.
“You two weren’t talking to anyone, were you?” he asked.
“Not at all,” replied Amani.
“Nope,” replied Hunter.
Ulaga frowned. He didn’t quite believe them.
“W—we were just talking to each other, getting to know each other,” explained Amani. “After all,” she added, “you did say we were mates.”
“Yes,” replied Ulaga, “you are.” He scanned the waterhole, scanning for any sight of a potential threat. “Well,” he said, after not seeing one, “I guess I was just hearing things. Just remember…don’t talk to anyone. Simba is very crafty…you never know what tricks he might just have up his sleeve.”
“Yes we knew you Kopa,
“We knew you as a child,
“We had great times together,
“Boy they sure were wild!”
Kopa blinked. He had no recollection of these three ‘Buzzard Boyz,’ as they called themselves, at all.
“Surely you remember me, Kopa? Jambo!”
“Kwaheri!” said the other monkey, looking at the adolescent lion hopefully.
Kopa sighed. “I’m sorry guys. You all seem really nice and I’m sure I knew all of you…I’ve just…forgotten.”
Everyone in the cave, which included just about everyone in the Pridelands, heaved out a sigh.
“Well that’s it,” stated Simba, looking at his mate, “he doesn’t remember us, he doesn’t remember his friends. Our only hope is that Rafiki finds those mixtures.”
“Wait a minute,” called Timon from the back of the cave. “All hope may not be lost yet. He still hasn’t said ‘hi’ to me and Pumbaa.”
The lionesses and other crowd members parted ways so that the warthog could carry his meerkat friend through.
Pumbaa walked on up to Kopa, and then Timon took his place on top of Pumbaa’s head.
“Now,” he said to Kopa, “please complete the following statement.” Timon cleared his throat as he knocked his chest with his first. “Hakuna…” he said.
He reopened his eyes and looked at Kopa. Pumbaa looked up at Kopa too. Of course, unsurprisingly, everyone in the room was looking at Kopa.
Kopa glanced around at all of the stares, but then he looked back at Timon.
“Matata?” he asked.
Everyone gasped and their faces lit up with grins.
Everyone, that was, except for Daraka.
Everyone shot a glance at Daraka.
“…I may have taught him that phrase.”
Everyone moaned and returned to their former hopeless selves.
“Oh,” groaned Nala, looking down at the ground, “I so hope Rafiki finds his mixtures soon.” She looked up at her mate. “What could Ulaga possibly want with those potions?”
It was dark enough outside, never mind indoors. Ulaga had led Hunter and Amani to a place just north of the former Outlands. He had taken them both inside a small cave that only he and Mwewe, the yellow-billed kite, knew of.
“I have a collection of mixtures in here,” explained Ulaga, “but be careful…a lot of them do very weird things and some of them take years to brew.”
Hunter and Amani looked around. They had never seen such a strange sight. Every stagger on every rock had been used as a shelf to hold various shells which each held a different, unique liquid. There was a tortoise shell with a blue, bubbly mixture in it, a coconut shell with a smooth, yellow mixture in it, and a shell of a gourd filled with nothing but a black powder. The more they looked, the greater variety they saw.
“And some of them,” continued Ulaga, pulling out a coconut shell with a red mixture in it, “were created with plants that are now extinct.”
Amani looked down into the liquid until she saw her own reflection. She then jumped as Mwewe flew into the cave behind them.
Ulaga removed the red liquid away from Amani’s face and placed it back down on the shelf where it had come from.
“But all of that is unnecessary for you,” stated Ulaga. “The only potion you two need to know about, is this one,” he said, picking up a small coconut shell with a white liquid in it.
Hunter looked into this one. He could see his reflection clearly in this one. It didn’t seem like it was a thick liquid.
“Go on,” urged Ulaga, “take a sip.”
Hunter had no reason not to trust Ulaga so far, so he did as he said, although rather cautiously.
When he was done, he ran his tongue around his muzzle.
“Hmm…” he commented, “…tastes nice actually. Cherry flavored?”
Ulaga smirked. “That it may be so,” he replied, “and in fact, it is quite harmless when drunk.” Ulaga then reached his paw out and broke off a couple of sharp blades of hard savannah straw that was growing from inside the cave. “But…” continued Ulaga, holding the piece of straw on its side so that Hunter could see a hollow hole running through it, “inject it into the bloodstream through a piece of straw such as this…”
“And there will be no more Simba,” ended Hunter.
Ulaga grinned. “Precisely.”
“Ulaga,” came another voice from within the cave. The lion looked up towards the cave ceiling.
“Word is that your pride has already made their attack. Kovu is King, alongside Simba in rule. Zira and Nuka did not make it.”
Ulaga was livid, but he tried his best not to let it show. He had to retain his composure.
“Then the deed is not done,” Ulaga replied. “Hunter, go get some rest tonight. Simba never saw you and Amani at your old pride. He won’t be the least bit suspicious. Just stick to the story as we’ve rehearsed, and then, when you get Simba alone…” he said, lifting the piece of straw up into the air. Hunter followed it with his eyes. Ulaga swung his paw back down and Hunter watched as the sharp piece of straw, within Ulaga’s paw, flew through the air and stopped just short of his other paw.
Hunter understood. He nodded.
It was now daytime. Hunter and Amani were walking across the Pridelands.
Amani groaned. “I wish there was a better way of doing this. Do you really think vengeance is necessary? I mean, all we have to take for it is Ulaga’s word.”
“I trust Ulaga,” responded Hunter. “After all, he fought Simba off and saved our lives, and the lives of those cubs in that cave.”
“I suppose I can’t argue with that,” replied Amani. She looked down at Hunter’s fist where she could see the sharp end of the straw poking out into the daylight as he walked. “Oh well,” continued Amani, “let’s hope this works.”
Sarafina and Daraka were on duty, lying on the precipice of Pride Rock, checking the horizon for any signs of Ulaga. Having not seen each other for so many years, they were having the time of their lives chatting away with each other.
“Trust me Daraka, you’re going to fit right in here. When I arrived at Pride Rock, they all welcomed me with open arms. Well…all except for Scar that was. Mufasa was able to force a promise out of him that he would never harm me or Nala. That’s why Nala was allowed to stay when Scar took over.”
“Sounds unlike this Scar guy, you talk of, to keep a promise.”
“Well he thought he was a great King didn’t he? Everyone knows that great kings never break promises,” explained Sarafina. “So…now you know that Kovu and Simba will let anyone stay here…have you ever thought about going back and bringing the rest of the pride? I’m not going to lie, Daraka. These lands are a hundred times better than the lands where we both came from.”
“Oh, I agree,” replied Daraka. “But…I don’t think that that’s going to be necessary.”
Sarafina frowned. “Why not?”
Daraka nodded his head towards the horizon. “Look,” he said.
Sarafina looked across the lands and her eyes grew wide. It may have been forever since she’d seen them, but she would never forget her sister, Amani, or her brother-in-law, Hunter. Incredibly, she could see them both right now – and they were both heading for Pride Rock!
“D—Daraka – th—that’s them. That’s them! That’s Amani! That’s Hunter! Th—this is incredible!”
Daraka smiled and joined Sarafina as they got up onto their feet.
“Wow,” said Sarafina, “come on, we’ve got to go and greet them!”
Daraka and Sarafina ran down Pride Rock and across the lands to meet their respective siblings.
Hunter and Amani saw them coming.
“Remember what Ulaga said,” whispered Hunter, “don’t believe a word of what they say. Simba’s kind can be very crafty.”
“Brother!” exclaimed Daraka. “How nice to see you here so soon!”
“Amani! Hunter!” exclaimed Sarafina. “Goodness – I haven’t seen either of you in ages! How have you both been?”
Amani and Hunter quickly exchanged perplexed glances, but then decided they should play along.
“Oh…we’re…we’re fine!” replied Hunter. “How are you…um…brother?”
“Great!” exclaimed Daraka. “Well…kind of,” he admitted, saddening a little. “Rafiki, the mandrill who takes care of all these kind lions here, he’s lost the potion that would have made Kopa remember everything. We believe a lion called Ulaga has it.”
Hunter and Amani’s hearts skipped a beat at the sound of Ulaga’s name, but they attempted to retain composure. They both knew they had to play this right.
“So I hope you both still recognize me?” asked Sarafina. “I mean, I recognize both of you.”
Amani chuckled nervously. “I guess your memory is better than ours,” she replied.
“Oh, nonsense Amani,” said Sarafina. “I’m Daraka’s mate…you know, your sister…Sarafina?”
“Oh—oh! Sarafina! Well, Sarafina – I, wow, this is quite incredible isn’t it? I haven’t seen you in ages!”
Sarafina smiled in return and the two sisters shared a nuzzle.
“Good play, good play,” whispered Hunter to Amani as she moved back up to him.
“Well,” said Daraka, “we should…we should introduce you all to the rest of the pride. Come on, I’m sure Kovu and Simba will be happy to…”
The four lions looked over towards the southern horizon. An African Grey Parrot was slowly hovering its way above long strands of grass.
“Oh no,” groaned Hunter. “It’s that bird again.”
Daraka could have sworn he recognized that bird, but he was bewildered as to why Hunter was upset to see her.
“You mean Fedha?” he asked.
“Fedha? Oh, yes, of course, yes, she’s um…she’s called Fedha. My most trusted advisor…heh heh…um…you know, brother, how about you lead me to Pride Rock now and I’ll introduce myself to Simba and um…Amani…would you mind keeping Fedha company while I’m gone?”
Amani smiled in response. She looked back down at the sharp straw in between Hunter’s toes.
“Certainly,” she replied.
So Sarafina, Daraka and Hunter headed off towards Pride Rock, leaving Amani alone in the Pridelands to deal with Fedha.
The group of three lions had disappeared from sight when Fedha finally made it past the final blades of grass.
“Amani,” said Fedha, “I brought you something to rattle your memory.”
Amani was confused at first, but then she heard a rustle in the long grass, and the two young cubs that she and Hunter had left back in their home pride stepped out.
The two young lion cubs looked up at Amani and beamed.
“Mommy!” they both chorused at the same time. They both ran up to her and each grabbed a hold of one of her front legs.
“M—mommy?” stammered Amani.
Fedha landed on the ground and shook her head. “I tried to tell you,” she said, “you didn’t listen to me.”
Amani’s jaw was hanging. Could it really be that…?
Ulaga didn’t let these cubs live…he made us, their parents, abandon them?
So Ulaga was lying! What else could have he lied about?
Simba never killed our pride?
Then Ulaga isn’t helping us seek revenge…he’s trying to follow through with a deed…something about a Zira.
And I bet Ulaga didn’t make those potions, he stole them from someone here…like those lions said.
So if Simba’s pride is telling the truth…and Simba didn’t kill our pride…then that means…U—Ulaga could have…and he took advantage of us losing our memories…and who’s to say that wasn’t thanks to a potion?...so that he could brainwash us and he could get Hunter to kill…Hunter to kill…
Amani gasped. “Fedha – Hunter’s about to kill an innocent lion!”
“Simba – Hunter’s got a…I—I’ve got to go stop him!”
“Well what do I do?”
“Stay here and take care of the cubs. I’ll be back!” shouted Amani, as she began to run off to Pride Rock.
“This is certainly something to see so many new visitors,” commented Simba as he was introduced to Hunter inside Pride Rock. “You say you recognize him, Kopa?”
“Of course!” replied the Lion King’s son. “Uncle Hunter, why didn’t you come with Daraka when we left?”
Hunter couldn’t think of a quick reply, but he didn’t have to. Daraka replied for him.
“I wasn’t sure whether these lands actually existed or not,” replied Daraka. “I figured it’d be best to wait until I was accepted into the Pridelands before I began bringing the rest of the family here.” He then gave a perplexed glance to Hunter. “So…how did you find out that we were here?”
“Oh…” replied Hunter, “…um…I…eh…Fedha told us! That’s right. She said she’d heard news of your arrival and acceptance.”
Well played, Hunter, well played.
“S—so sorry I keep stuttering – it is just something else to see the King Simba here. I…I must shake your paw, your majesty.”
Simba chuckled as a response. “Well,” he said, “if you feel obligated to do so, I’m not going to say ‘no.’”
Simba held his paw out for Hunter to shake. Hunter smirked.
“Hunter!” called a voice from the cave entrance.
Everyone whirled around to take a look at who had just entered.
“Aunt Ami!” called Kopa.
“Hunter,” called Amani again, panting heavily, “there’s been an emergency. You’ve got to come, quick. No time to lose!”
“Don’t you think I should greet his majesty with a handshake first?” asked Hunter.
Amani caught on to what he was trying to ask.
“NO!” she replied rather harshly.
“Can we help?” asked Simba, stepping forward.
“No,” replied Amani, “I mean, not yet. I—I just need Hunter for now. I’ll call the rest of you if I do need your help. Now come on!”
Hunter followed Amani’s word and he ran out of the cave. Amani joined him and they ran down Pride Rock and across the lands until they were far enough away from where any of the other lions were. Amani ran in front of Hunter and whirled around, stopping her mate from running in his tracks.
“Ulaga’s lying,” whispered Amani.
“Amani, have you been listening to the others? You know we’re not supposed to.”
“It was that Fedha bird again!”
“Yeah…what about her?”
“You remember those two cubs we abandoned back at our home pride? They were my…I mean…they were our cubs!”
“What are you talking about?”
“They called me ‘Mommy!’”
“They probably call every lioness ‘Mommy.’”
“No, it was legit Hunter! They were glad to see me! They are our children, and that means Ulaga is lying, and that means, I bet, Simba did NOT kill our pride!”
“Amani…calm down…calm down…I’m finding it difficult to make sense of you right now.”
Amani growled. She decided that she had no choice. She swung her paw towards Hunter’s face. Hunter lifted his front paws up to block and, consequently, dropped the piece of straw. Amani, expecting such a reaction, swiftly moved her other paw downwards and wrapped her toes around the straw.
She smiled. “Thank you, Hunter.”
Hunter looked down at Amani’s paw. He saw what she had just done. “N—no…wait – Amani…you can’t…you don’t know – Amani!”
Amani was ignoring him. She was running back to Pride Rock. Hunter followed.
“Where is Rafiki?” asked Amani, holding the piece of straw up as she entered Pride Rock, “I believe I have something that belongs to him.”
Everyone crowded around Amani and looked at the thing she had in her paw.
Hunter ran into Pride Rock behind Amani.
“Amani!” he snapped. “I’m warning you!”
Amani smirked and then moved the straw closer to her face. She tilted it downwards and sucked the liquid out of the piece of straw and down her throat.
“Mm…” she commented. “Cherry flavored.”
“Was that a…” began Nala, “…was that a potion of Rafiki’s?”
“Right you are,” replied Amani. “Harmless when swallowed, fatal when injected.” Amani tossed the sharp piece of straw up into the air and then caught it back in her hand. “That’s what this was for.”
The rest of the Pridelanders understood.
“For who?” asked Simba.
Amani chuckled. “You, of course,” she replied.
The rest of the pride tensed up. Amani could mean trouble…
“Oh, now don’t worry. It’s not me who wants you dead.”
“Amani,” said Hunter, “think about what you’re doing…”
“It’s Ulaga,” continued Amani, ignoring her mate. “This potion belongs to Ulaga.”
“No,” snapped Simba back. “That potion belonged to Rafiki, Ulaga stole it. Where is it?”
“About an hour and half north of here in a small cave just north of the former Outlands. And just so you know…Hunter and I don’t remember you, Sarafina. Or you, Daraka. I think Ulaga may have cleared our memories before he took over our pride.”
“That’s quite possible,” stated Simba. “Ulaga has a potion that allows him to do that.”
“Took over our pride?” Daraka asked. “Well where’s the rest of them?”
Amani saddened and looked down at the ground. That served as enough of an answer for Daraka.
“Oh…” Daraka replied.
“Well come on!” called Simba to the rest of the pride. “We’ve got no time to lose!”
The rest of the Pridelanders followed Simba as they all rushed out of Pride Rock, leaving just Hunter and Amani indoors.
“Amani,” called Hunter once again, “are you sure about what you just did?”
“Simba has enough clues as to which pride we came from. If he really did attack our pride, Ulaga’s right…he’d want us dead too. He could have killed us easily right now if he’d wanted to, but he didn’t. We’re being tricked by Ulaga, Hunter. Simba’s innocent.”
“O—Okay Amani…I trust you…but…how do we know for sure?”
Amani thought about it a second before replying.
“We have to find the potion that brings back memories,” she replied. “And we have to drink it.”
Simba had led the rest of the pride with him to the wastelands north of the former Outlands. The sun was beginning to set and they were losing light quickly, but, off in the distance, they could see the cave. It gave them hope.
“You go first, Kovu,” Simba said, stopping the rest of the pride several hundred yards short of the cave. “See if you can resolve this issue without conflict.”
Kovu nodded in agreement, and made his way up to the cave.
“Oh, look, Ulaga,” called Mwewe down from his perch that he was resting on in the cave, “we have a visitor.”
Ulaga looked outside. His eyes widened. There he could see his son. But yet, a whole crowd of lions was not too far behind him. Ulaga caught sight of Simba, and he instantly knew what it all meant. He got up onto his feet and moved out to meet Kovu.
As Ulaga left the cave, Kiara determined it was in the pride’s best interest to take advantage of the fact that nobody was guarding it anymore. She looked over her shoulder and found Timon and Pumbaa.
“Timon! Pumbaa!” she whispered. “I’ve found something you two can do!”
“No need, Kiara,” replied Timon, “we’re up for fighting this Ulaga guy. We’re just waiting for the word.”
“No,” snapped Kiara back, “I mean…I’ve found something more important for you two to do!”
“Oh really?” asked Timon, showing interest in Kiara’s offer, “what?”
“Go inside that cave and try the different potions and mixtures. Find out which one is the memory healer and bring it outside for Kopa and the new lions.”
“We’re on it, Kiara!” called Timon as a response. “Hop to it Pumbaa!”
“Son,” called Ulaga as he stepped out into the fading light, “didn’t expect to see you here.”
Kovu stopped approaching. He was a safe distance away from his father. He didn’t really have any interest in talking, and he wasn’t really afraid to show it.
“Well…” continued Ulaga, “…don’t you have anything to say to your old man?”
Kovu continued to just stare, but then figured it would be best if he responded.
“You killed an innocent pride and then deceived their survivors into blaming Simba. I don’t have much to say to a lion who does that.”
“Oh?” asked Ulaga in response. “So you’re on Simba’s side now, huh? That’s how it’s going to be, is it? You’re going to desert your old man in turn for the one who banished us to the Outlands?”
Kovu tried to remain calm. He knew he had to play this professionally. “Simba has apologized for what he did, as I have apologized for what we tried to do. We have put aside our differences. Simba and I are willing to welcome you into our pride, if you promise to live in harmony with the other pride members.”
Ulaga seemed a little surprised at Kovu’s response. He chuckled lightly, and then proceeded to walk around his son and up towards Simba.
“Live in harmony with all the pride members, hey? I presume that means Simba too? I don’t know if I can keep that one Kovu.”
Suddenly, a loud squawk was heard as Mwewe flew out of the cave. “Intruders in the cave! Intruders in the cave!”
Ulaga headed around and began to run towards the cave, but he was blocked by a wave of pride lionesses.
“No hard feelings,” said Simba, still positioned behind Ulaga. “We’re just taking back what you stolen.”
Ulaga frowned and approached Simba. “So am I,” he replied…
“Wow!” exclaimed Timon, “look at all the mixtures in here! Which one do you think it could be Pumbaa?”
“Well,” replied the warthog, “there’s only one way to find out,” he said, and with that he slurped up half a bowl of a blue, gooey liquid.
Suddenly, Pumbaa’s neck grew to twice its normal size.
“Aargh!” exclaimed Timon, looking at the disfigured form of his best buddy.
“What?” asked Pumbaa, oblivious to what had just happened.
“Uh…nothing…” replied Timon, picking up an orange liquid which trembled in his nervous hands. He slurped up half a cup.
“Sifikiri hiki ni kinywaji sahihi,” he said.
“I don’t think this drink is the correct one, either,” replied Pumbaa, who had just drunk a potion that had given him wings.
“Or this one,” said Timon, now with an elephant’s trunk.
“Or this one,” said Pumbaa, who farted. “Hmm…I don’t know if this one made me any different, actually.”
Although Ulaga had been stalled by the Pridelanders outside, Mwewe had not. He flew back into the cave.
“Get out, you intruders!”
Timon gasped as he saw the kite reenter. He grabbed the nearest potion he could find and he tossed it over the bird.
Mwewe stopped flapping his wings and he fell straight down to the floor.
“Oargh…” groaned Mwewe as he picked himself back up, “…where am I?”
Pumbaa gasped. “Timon, do you think that could be the forgetting potion?”
“Sijui,” replied Timon, “I mean I don’t know. Huh…guess I’m bilingual. Quick, Pumbaa, try it – tell me if it works!”
Pumbaa took a sip of the yellow liquid and then swallowed it down. He looked back at Timon.
“Well?” asked Timon.
“Well what?” replied Pumbaa. “What am I even doing here?”
“Uh,” groaned Timon, “you’re hopeless.” As if to prove he could do this better than what Pumbaa could, Timon took a sip of the yellow mixture himself. He swallowed it and then looked back at Pumbaa.
“Who are you?” he asked.
Finally, a new figure appeared at the doorway to the cave.
“Timon, Pumbaa, I heard all de commotion here! Have you found my remember-all potion?”
Timon, Pumbaa and Mwewe all looked oddly at the mandrill that had just entered the scene.
“Is he Timon?” asked Timon, pointing at the warthog.
Rafiki groaned. He began to scan the shelves. “Aha!” he exclaimed, feasting his eyes on a red mixture that sat on one of the lower shelves. “Dere it is!”
He picked it up and carried it out. “I will give dis to you two later – it is essential Hunter and Amani have it now! Drink de black powder to return to normal!”
And with that, Rafiki left.
Timon, Pumbaa and Mwewe all exchanged glances.
“Normal?” asked Timon. “Are you two not supposed to have wings?”
“Scar may have tried and failed,” began Ulaga, backing Simba into a corner. The rest of the lionesses were holding themselves at bay…for the moment. “And so Nuka must have tried and failed,” continued Ulaga, backing Simba up ever closer to the wall, “and, Zira, my mate, must have failed too.”
Simba was now pressed up against the wall, but he wasn’t too frightened. All of his allies were crowded around Ulaga, ready to defend their King if it came down to it.
“But, help me Scar, Nuka and Zira…you can bet, Simba, that I will not fail,” Ulaga finished up.
He moved his eyes around and saw the lionesses. He knew he was in a disadvantaged position.
“Perhaps the day won’t come today,” he admitted, “but trust my words Simba. Whether you accept me into your pride or whether you don’t, I will seek justice and, you can bet, I will not fail.”
As soon as Ulaga had stopped talking, he heard a new set of footsteps arrive from behind him.
“Is that you, Hunter?” asked Ulaga.
The fact that there came no response was enough of a response for Ulaga.
“Then I suppose you have the potion to give to Simba?”
“I do not,” replied Hunter firmly.
“Good,” replied Ulaga, smirking, “because I do,” he said, holding up a sharp piece of straw with a white liquid within it.
Hunter roared and whipped his arm out. He tried to grab it out of Ulaga’s paw, but Ulaga, having expected such a reaction, swung his own arm out and knocked Hunter down to the ground.
However, Ulaga had also dropped the potion, and now the piece of straw was rolling around on the ground too.
Ulaga reached down to grab it but Simba moved in to attack him from behind.
Ulaga heard him coming, and so he swung himself around and cuffed Simba in the face, knocking the Lion King down onto the floor unconscious.
Ulaga picked up the poison-infested straw and moved back towards Simba, but Kovu and Vitani moved in front of him and blocked him.
They were both growling.
“This is as far as it goes, Dad,” said Kovu. “Drop that thing now and get out of here.”
Ulaga snarled. He proceeded to move towards Simba.
The lionesses were at bay no longer.
They all pounced onto the back of Ulaga and pulled him down to the ground. However, Ulaga could still see, and he could still reach. He was determined to stab the liquid into the injured Simba.
Through all of the commotion, Kovu could see what his father was about to do. Though the lionesses were swarming over Ulaga’s body like bees on honey, Ulaga knew he was within reach to get to his goal.
He lifted his paw up and began to swing it down. He was aiming for Simba’s back leg.
Kovu snarled and moved out his own paw, pushing Simba’s rear leg away.
Ulaga could no longer see, the lionesses were now over his mane. He continued to swing his arm down, hoping that Simba was still there.
Kovu moved his arm back just in time, and Ulaga’s paw slammed down on the ground.
Ulaga gasped. Kovu did too. Slowly, the lionesses stopped holding down Ulaga and they all turned to see what had just happened. Even Simba awoke from his unconscious state and got a glimpse of what was going on.
When Ulaga had slammed his paw down on the ground, the straw, having hit nothing but rock, had broke in half. The pointy part was now pointing upwards, underneath Ulaga’s paw. Slowly but surely, the poison was injecting itself into Ulaga’s body.
Ulaga opened his eyes one last time.
Kovu and Vitani looked down at their father sadly.
“I’m sorry father,” said Kovu flatly. “But it never had to turn out this way.”
Ulaga rolled his pupils towards the ground, and then let his eyelids shut over them. Then, he drifted off to sleep, for his final slumber.
It had been a while now since Ulaga’s demise. It was a beautiful day at Pride Rock and everyone was in a jolly mood. Kovu and Kiara’s first cub at just been born: a healthy baby boy.
To amp the pride up before the presentation, the Buzzard Boyz and Kopa were putting on a rap for the pride.
“The happy day is here,
“It’s taken quite a while,
“There’s now nothing to fear,
“Everyone has a smile!”
Simba and Nala both chuckled.
“Oh Kopa,” exclaimed Nala, “do you remember what led to us meeting your buzzard friends in the first place?”
“Of course I do, Mom,” replied Kopa, walking up towards his mother and nuzzling her, “I remember every bit of it.”
Nala chuckled again. “I’m glad you do.”
“So dad,” called Kiara, joining the scene, “now that you’re a grandfather, I bet you feel kinda old?”
“Not one bit,” replied Simba happily. “I can still hunt, for one, and…well I don’t know…wouldn’t you say I still have my looks?” he asked, posing for his daughter.
Kiara looked disgusted. “Dad…you’re my dad.”
Standing next to Daraka, Sarafina began to laugh.
“Now Mwewe,” called Timon, walking up to the kite with a potion in hand, “if we give you this remembering potion, you’re going to have to promise not to hurt anyone – alright?”
“Sounds good,” replied the kite, reaching out for the coconut shell.
Timon handed the shell to Mwewe, who swallowed the rest of it down.
“Aargh!” exclaimed Mwewe, “those were such terrible times under Ulaga! He made me do this and do that and carry this and tell him that, why would I ever want to harm you guys?”
“That’s what I want to hear,” replied Timon.
“Hey Timon,” called Pumbaa, “Fedha and Zazu and I are going for a flight…want to ride?”
Timon groaned. “Pumbaa…one day you’re going to have to give up those wings. They’re not natural!”
“Okay, but then you have to promise to stop speaking Swahili.”
“Kweli,” agreed Timon.
“Alright guys!” called Simba. “Time for the presentation!”
Smiling, Rafiki came into the cave and picked up Kiara’s cub. The pride followed him as he led them all outside and up to the top of Pride Rock.
“Oh,” cried Pumbaa, watching the scene unfold from above, “I love happy endings.”
“Me too buddy,” replied Timon, riding on top of Pumbaa’s head.
Rafiki held the cub up into the air for all of the animals to see. Every creature, from the antelope to the elephants to the zebra and to the monkeys, all took a knee and bowed to the future King.
“Well,” said Timon, “time we got on and had our own adventure Pumbaa. Fly away, buddy!” he called.
“Yee haw!” exclaimed Pumbaa, as he began to fly off camera.
Timon pulled himself backwards and gave one last wave to everyone.
“Kwaheri,” he said.
And with that, they both flew off.