Sarafina had trouble sleeping that night. Not only the fact that, once
again, she had been passed over in her season, but the sight of other
mothers cuddling their cubs wrenched her heart from her chest. She
for the feeling of a tiny warm body huddled close to her, to kiss away
child's tears, to nuzzle her own little son or daughter. To hear the
"I love you, Mom."
She spent time with the other cubs in the pride. Often, she offered
babysit so the mother could grab a drink from the water hole or participate
in the hunt. But it... it just lacked in something. The time she spent
talking to the cubs and playing games was wonderful, but in the end,
always would give them up to their mother.
Sarafina pondered all this as she lay on her back, alone at the edge
water hole. Night had taken over the skies, and the great Kings of
were one by one taking their places in the heavens. She looked up and
counted all the ones she knew, and sighed unhappily. "When I die,"
aloud, "I'll have no one to look down on and watch over. I'll have
children of my own to wait for in the stars."
She sobbed softly. "I'll be all alone forever." She rolled onto her
and wept into her paws. "Right now, my son could come to me and ask
was wrong... My daughter would come and comfort me... But they will
happen." she thought. "I'm destined to die alone." She began to wail,
heart pouring out in tears that ran down her cheeks and soaked the
Suddenly, the water hole was immersed in a warm radiant glow. The light
penetrated Sarafina's paws and she raised her head. All about her,
was as bright as day, even though she remembered watching the sunset
ago. She gazed about and saw the source of the light. It had no form,
it seemed to hover above the ground. Sarafina stared straight at the
without fear. It did not hurt her eyes, even though it was much brighter
than the sun itself. She knew at once that the light was Aiheu Himself.
The light began to move towards her. It floated efforleesly above the
grasses, stirring them slightly. A warm wind picked up and caressed
Sarafina, and she purred at its touch. The light advanced, and Sarafina
followed it with unblinking eyes as it approached her. She purred loudly
the warmth of the light and the wind reminded her of sleeping with
lover, his presence warming both her body and heart.
The light stopped and hovered just above Sarafina. She gazed into its
brilliance and spoke not a word, but her blue-green eyes begged the
for a miracle. She need not have asked. It descended upon her, enveloping
her body with its shimmering glow. An unfathomable pleasure permeated
Sarafina, and she arched her back and called out in ecstacy. Her entire
body shuddered as the feeling overtook her, and she slumped back against
the ground, purring happily in the presence of her Lord.
The sun rose, and the warm rays pried open Sarafina's eyes. The glare
the light hurt her, and she quickly sealed her lids as she rolled to
stomach. She grunted softly as a slight feeling of discomfort rippled
through her belly. "I'd better lay off the antelope for a while," she
chuckling to herself. She rose with a bit of difficulty and walked
steps to the edge of the cistern. She lowered her and lapped up a few
of water to quench her early morning thirst. But when she looked up
her drink, she noticed that the sun was well on its way to tree-tall.
had slept most of the morning away.
Sarafina sighed. "They'll all be worried sick about me at Pride Rock,"
thought. She looked once more to the water and gazed into her own
reflection before leaving. Something caught her eye, however, and she
leaned closer to the water to gaze closer. Her creamy face was reflected
perfectly in the glassy water, and she stared wordlessly as her reflection
stared back. She gazed into her own eyes, and there in her reflection
saw her eyes glimmer in their own inner light.
She gasped and covered her mouth with a paw. Quickly, she sat bolt upright
and placed her free paw on her stomach. She gazed down into the water
once more, and sure enough, she had the light in her eyes. The events
the previous night came flooding back to her, and she closed her eyes,
remembering the light, and how it had encased her in happiness. She
understood, and offered a silent prayer to Aiheu.
She stood, and began to make her way towards Pride Rock. And as she
she gazed up to the sky and whispered, "Aiheu abamami. Thank you, my