Sarafina’s Parenting Test

All the characters, places, etc. in this story belong to Disney. Enjoy! Samuel Reiman

Nala walked into Pride Rock to find Simba sulking, etching an image onto the wall with one of his claws.

“Hey,” said Nala, walking up to him, “you grounded?”

“Yeah,” Simba groaned in response.

Nala giggled. “You’re always getting into trouble.”

“It’s cos of my stupid parents,” Simba replied angrily. He etched into the wall much harder this time, making a high-pitched scraping sound that forced Nala to plug her ears with her paws.

“Still,” said Nala, removing her paws, “you have to be causing trouble in the first place. Otherwise they would never punish you.”

“Oh yeah, look who’s talking,” Simba retorted.

“What do you mean?” asked Nala. “I’ve never been grounded. I don’t misbehave like you do.”

“Yes you do!”

“Then why have I never been grounded?”

“Because your mom loves you too much. Face it, Nala. You could do the worst act known to lion and your mom still won’t ground you. If you had my parents you would never be out of this cave! You’re a lot worse than me.”

“Am not!”

“You are too!”

“Am not! I bet you that if I did something really terrible, my mom would ground me.”

Simba smirked. “Really?” he asked.

“Yes. But I’m not going to…”

“Hey, you know how my dad always gets to eat first…”


“…well how about you run up just before the pride’s about to eat, and tell him that there are hyenas in the Pridelands. He’ll go running off and we can get some of the best parts of the meat. He’ll come back and you can tell him you lied to him and caused the whole pride to panic just so you could get the better food, and then we’ll see if your mom grounds you.”

“I’m not going to do that Simba, because she will ground me!”

“Okay, but if your mom does ground you, which she won’t, I’ll not only take back everything bad I’ve ever said about your mom, but I’ll also let you take first shot at Zazu the next time we go pouncing.”

Nala paused to think. Simba always took first pounce at Zazu, and for some reason Mufasa always let him. It was the most challenging pounce of the game but also the most entertaining, because it was when the hornbill was the most unsuspecting. Nala’s mom had told her that Simba always got first pounce because Simba needed to learn more about fighting tactics for the future. How Nala longed for the first pounce though. She had perhaps been able to make it once or twice in her past, but they were so long ago that she couldn’t really remember them.

“Nala,” called Simba, snapping her back into it. “Well, have you made a decision?”

“I—I guess so,” Nala stammered.

“Shake on it?” Simba asked, holding out his paw.

Nervously, Nala handed out her paw forwards too. Simba grabbed it and shook it. Nala then retracted her paw.

“Well,” said Simba, “see you later.”

Nala was trying to reflect over what she had just done, but still, she responded, “See ya,” and then walked back out of the cave.

“I tell you, Saffy, I adore wildebeest. But there’s been so many around recently, you know? The taste is starting to get redundant.”

“Hi Mom,” said Simba, walking up to where his mother stood talking next to Sarafina. He looked over at the wildebeest. “Wildebeest? Again?” he asked.

“Now, now Simba. Just be grateful. Sometimes during a draught, we may hardly ever get any food at all.”

“I know,” groaned Simba. “I wish Dad would hurry up and finish so we could eat though.”

“Simba!” exclaimed Sarabi, “your father does a lot of work to keep this pride the way it is and as such, he needs to…”

“Hyenas! Hyenas!”

The pride’s attention was suddenly turned to where Nala was coming, running over the hill and screaming.

“Saffy,” Sarabi turned to her friend, “how far did your daughter go?”

“She said she’d just gone to the bathroom,” Sarafina responded.

“So they’re close by?” asked Sarabi, panicking.

“I guess so,” replied Sarafina, nervous too.

“Mufasa!” called Sarabi. “Go quick! It could be urgent!”

Mufasa ran off.

“Should some of us go with him?” asked Sarafina.

“I’ll go, you stay here with the cubs. We might need more information from Nala if we can’t find them. Ask her where she saw them.”

Sarabi ran off, as did a bunch of other lionesses.

Sarafina, Nala, and Simba, were the only three left by the carcass.

“Where’d you see them, hun?” asked Sarafina.

“The hyenas?”

“Yes darling, where were they?”

“Just behind Pride Rock,” replied Nala, just as she had Simba had rehearsed. “Can I have something to eat?” she asked her mom. “All that running made me hungry.”

“Yes, yes, of course,” said Sarafina. She looked over at the carcass. No one was around it, and the rules only applied if the King was in presence. “Let’s all eat,” she said, looking down at Simba too.

The two cubs made their way over to the carcass behind Sarafina. Simba and Nala exchanged glances. Simba grinned. Nala didn’t know what to think.

The three lions began to make their way through the carcass. Simba was thoroughly enjoying it. Nala would have been too. However, she was still scared on what her mom would think when it turned out that there were no hyenas at all.

Not too long later, a lioness came running back down towards them.

“There aren’t any nearby,” she wheezed, “where did you see them Nala?” she asked.

“Just behind Pride Rock,” Nala replied.

The lioness frowned. “We already checked that,” she said. “How many were there Nala?” she asked.

Nala looked down at the ground. She’d been led right into it. “None,” she replied.

Sarafina frowned and looked down at her daughter. What did she mean?

Simba turned away, trying really hard to not laugh.

“None?” asked the other lioness.

Nala shook her head ‘no,’ confirming what she had said.

“Then why did you say that there were hyenas?” the lioness asked.

Nala didn’t want to say the reason why. It sounded too stupid.

“Nala,” her mother addressed her, speaking very low and firm.

Nala rolled her eyes upwards, looking at the other lioness. “I wanted to…eat,” she stated, almost as a question.

A long silence followed. Simba tried to put on the most serious expression he could.

Finally, Simba broke the silence. “I think you should punish her,” he said.

“I agree,” said the lioness. “I’ll go call the pride back,” she said, before turning and leaving.

Simba ran off with her.

Sarafina didn’t care. She was still staring at her daughter, jaw dropped, eyes wide, flabbergasted. Nala slowly looked over her shoulder and nervously looked at her mom.

Sarafina snapped herself out of it.

“Nala,” she said, shaking her head, “I thought you knew better than that!”

“I’m sorry Mom,” she said.

“You scared the whole pride! You lied to all of us.”

“I’m really sorry, Mommy,” Nala replied, on the verge of tears.

Sarafina shook her head, still in disbelief. “Why?” she asked.

Nala couldn’t hold it back anymore, and some tears finally began to leak through. She walked up to her mother and wrapped herself around her leg.

Sarafina stared down at her, wondering what to do. To her, it seemed that Nala had made this decision, but had not fully been aware of the consequences until she had done it. Sarafina smiled. It looked like Nala had learnt her lesson.

“See, I told you she wouldn’t ground you,” said Simba.

He and Nala were both inside Pride Rock on their own again.

“I know,” said Nala. She was fairly upset. “Mom wasn’t happy though.”

“You were so lucky, even my parents were furious with you!”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” muttered Nala.

“You want to try something again?” Simba asked.

“No,” was Nala’s instant response.

“Come on, it won’t be as bad this time. See, I think that what you did the first time was too bad. It was so bad, that your mom never actually believed that you did it.”

“Well I don’t think that’s true.”

“Look, Nala. I have another plan, and if it works then I’ll still let you take the first pounce at Zazu next time.”

“You mean if my mom grounds me you will?”


Nala frowned, doubtfully. She didn’t want to do this, but the reward was worth it if the act didn’t cause too much trouble. “Okay, so what’s your plan?”

“Hmm…it has to be something small, so I thought that instead of scaring the whole pride this time, instead we just scare your mom.”


“Well what is she scared of?”

“Water. But we pushed her into the water once before, remember? She didn’t ground me that time.”

“True. Well let’s scare my mom then.”

“What’s she afraid of?”


“Lizards? Really? Lizards aren’t that scary!”

“I know, but she’s scared of them.”

“Well I know a small cave nearby where you go in, and there’s lizards everywhere!”

Simba smiled. Nala seemed excited about this idea. Perhaps he was right. Perhaps Nala would get grounded for this one.

“Alright,” said Simba, “now, what’s the rest of the plan?”

Nala came out with an answer instantly. In fact, she pretty much carried out the rest of the conversation by herself. It seemed to Simba, that he was more aware of the consequences that Nala could find herself facing more than she was herself. Simba smiled. To him, it seemed that Nala hadn’t learnt her lesson at all.

“There she is,” said Sarafina, as she and her friend Sarabi walked alongside each other with the sun about to set over the horizon behind them. “Nala!” Sarafina called.

“Oh, hi Mom!” said Nala, running up to her. She ran around her legs a couple of times and then began nuzzling one of them, shifting her entire weight as she leant on her mom for support.

Sarafina stared down at her lovingly. “And what have you been doing today?” she asked.

“I’ve been playing with a rock. It was completely round, so it rolled really well and everything, but I think I lost it in that small cave over there,” she said, signaling in the direction of a cave that had been formed where a few rocks had piled on top of each other. “It rolled really well,” said Nala, “I’d like to get it back. I wanted to play with it with Simba tomorrow.”

Sarafina took her comment to heart, and looked over at Sarabi.

“Sure, I’ll go get it,” she said. Sarabi made her way over to the cave. Sarafina bent down to nuzzle her daughter, but stopped when she saw the expression on Nala’s face.

“Why are you smiling?” Sarafina asked. “Are you up to something?”

Sarabi’s tail finally disappeared into the cave along with the rest of her. Sarafina had noticed that Nala had been watching her, and thus she found herself now looking over at the small cave too.

A few seconds later and…

“AAargh!!” screamed Sarabi.

She came back out of the cave running straight in the direction of Sarafina and Nala. She stopped at their paws. Nala was smiling. Sarafina was confused.

“Lizards!” exclaimed Sarabi. “There were lizards everywhere!”

Nala chuckled. “And no rock,” she said.

Sarabi looked down at her and began to get cross. “Why you…Sarafina, you’d better punish her this time!”

But Sarafina couldn’t hear her. She herself had fallen into a fit of laughter. The mother and the daughter both lost their balance and both fell to the floor, still laughing.

“It’s not funny!” yelled Sarabi. “One of them was crawling on my back!”

This just made the pair crack up even more, but then Sarafina tried to regain control. She rolled over onto her front.

“Nala,” she said, still chuckling. Nala rolled over onto her front too. “High five,” she said, holding her paw out for Nala to hit. Nala gave her the high five, and then they both returned to their former fits of laughter.

Sarabi growled and stormed off. But like mother, like cub, Simba was also growling, hidden in the shade of a small shrub nearby. It hadn’t worked.

Pride Rock had now essentially become the headquarters of Simba and Nala’s mischief center. It was where all the former ideas had been carried out, and it was where they had met on their own again to discuss this one.

“I think the first one got you closer to getting grounded,” Simba said.

“But I enjoyed the second one more,” protested Nala.

“It’s not about enjoying it, it’s about which one gets your mom angry enough to ground you,” Simba replied, “and she was a lot angrier at you after the first one that we did.”

“She was angry at me because I lied to her though, and I lied again the second time and she wasn’t angry at me.”

“Which means she wasn’t angry at you for lying to her the first time, she was angry at you for making everyone scared. Geez Nala, I thought you were smart.”

“Yeah well, you have time to sit down and think about all this stuff. I can’t think about new plans or ideas while I’m out there doing the old ones,” Nala protested. “Why are you helping me, anyways? I thought you didn’t want me to get grounded.”

“Well if I didn’t help you, you’d just be a cry-baby when I’d call the bet off. See, you wouldn’t be able to come up with such great ideas like I am, and so you would never end up being grounded, and then I would get bored and call the bet off, and you’d be crying ‘no Simba, give me one more chance!’ but you’d still never pull anything good off and your bugging would just begin to annoy me.”

Nala grew angry. “Okay then, Mister Smarty-pants, what’s your next ‘great idea?’” she snapped.

“Scare them,” said Simba.

“Scare them?” asked Nala, slightly confused. “Isn’t that what we’ve been doing all along?”

“Yes, but we can’t lie to them, we need to put them in real danger!”

“Simba, that’s a terrible idea! I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

“We won’t hurt them, we’ll just…I know! Your mom loves you, right?”

“Well yeah.”

“The whole pride loves you, right?”

“I mean I guess…they all love me just as much as they love you.”

“Nah, I think they love you more, which is why I think this next one will get you grounded for sure.”

It was now night. The whole pride was curled up inside Pride Rock. Nala opened her eyes. Everyone else had fallen asleep. It was safe. She tapped on her mother’s shoulder twice until Sarafina droopily opened her eyes.

“Mom,” whispered Nala.

“What is it?” Sarafina whispered back.

“Can I ask you something?” Nala asked.

“Sure sweetie, go ahead.”

“Well…next time I do something bad, you know, cos, one day I’m probably going to do something wrong, can you please ground me?”

Sarafina frowned. “Why do you want to be grounded?”

“It’s a bet that Simba and I have. See, if you ground me, then I get to have first pounce at Zazu next time we go pouncing.”

Sarafina let out a feeble smile. “You like that first pounce, don’t you girl?” she asked.

Nala smiled too. “Yeah,” she admitted.

“You shouldn’t make bets like that,” said Sarafina in a more serious tone.

“I know,” replied Nala, “but it was really Simba who made it.”

Sarafina sighed. “Okay, I’ll see what I can do,” she said.

“Thanks mom,” replied Nala. “Oh, and Mom,” she added, just as Sarafina had begun to close her eyes again.

“Yes darling?” Sarafina asked.

“Please don’t tell anyone that I told you about the bet.”

Sarafina chuckled. “Alright, I’ll keep it a secret. Night dearest.”

“Night Mom.”

“Good morning sire,” greeted Zazu, as he floated down next to Mufasa and stood next to him at the top of Pride Rock, “time to do the morning surveillance.”

“Yes it is,” replied Mufasa, looking around the lands. He yawned. He hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep last night.

“Okay, so there’s no sight of lions intruding on the Eastern border?” asked Zazu.

“No lions,” confirmed Mufasa.

“Alright, no hyenas intruding on the Northern border?”

“No hyenas,” confirmed Mufasa.

“Hmm…is that one actually?” asked Zazu, looking off in the distance.

Mufasa tried to look harder too. “Hmm…it’s probable,” he said. “We’ll check it in a minute. Next.”

“Everything on the Western border seems to be in order?”

“No,” confirmed Mufasa.

“I think you mean yes, sire,” corrected Zazu.

“Oh, right, yes, sorry,” replied Mufasa, “one of those mornings, you know?”

“Hmm,” was Zazu’s only response, “and on the Southern border, no fires.”


“You mean, no, sire.”

“Well there is a fire though,” replied Mufasa, still calm.

“Oh, very well then, perhaps you did mean ‘yes.’ Although then it would not be a double negative which would confirm that there is a…FIRE!!” exclaimed Zazu. “Oh no, sire! What do we do? What do we do?”

“Wait here Zazu,” commanded Mufasa, now fully awake, “I’ll go and see if anyone’s missing.”

Mufasa ran back down from the top of Pride Rock and ran into the cave.

“Everyone!” he shouted, waking them all up. “There is a fire outside, are we missing anybody?” he asked.

The lionesses frantically looked around.

“Nala’s missing!” exclaimed Sarafina.

“And Simba!” exclaimed Sarabi.

“I’m here,” said Simba, walking in from behind Mufasa. Sarabi ran up and clutched him tight within her grasp.

“Oh, thank heaven!” she said.

“But Nala’s still out there,” said Sarafina, worried.

“Don’t worry, I’ll go and find her,” said Mufasa.

And with that, he left.

The fire had long since burnt out. Almost the entire pride, including Sarabi and Sarafina, were now near the south border, calling out and looking for Nala.

Sarafina was about ready to break down, if it wasn’t for her best friend Sarabi continually trying to comfort her.

Back at Pride Rock, Simba walked up to Nala who was lying in the tall, thick grass behind the immense structure.

“Simba, I don’t think this one’s such a good idea,” said Nala. “I heard my mom crying,” she added.

“Don’t worry Nala. You’re okay, that’s what matters. But yet if this doesn’t succeed in getting you grounded, nothing will.”

Nala groaned. The sound of her mother crying still filled her ears.

“I can’t take this anymore Simba, we’ve done enough! I want to see Mom,” she cried, and then began to run off.

Simba stood up. “Nala, wait!” he called.

Nala whirled around. “What?” she snapped.

“If your mom sees you crying like that, she won’t know that it was a prank. She’ll think that you…”

“I don’t care, Simba!” she shouted back angrily. “This game’s not worth it anymore, I should never have made that bet in the first place!” She then turned back around, and continued to run.

Nala was so angry at Simba for talking her into doing this, that she hadn’t realized that her eyes were no longer filled with tears. She hadn’t realized that with the tears, her mom would believe that she was too traumatized to explain what had happened. She hadn’t realized that this way, she would have some explaining to do. Since she hadn’t realized this, as far as she was concerned, all she needed was to see her mother, and then all would be put right.

“Look Saffy, I assure you, she’s fine. I’m sure if she wasn’t, we’d have found her by now. It was such a small fire. She probably just went running off and hasn’t realized…or…or perhaps she’s playing another one of those dirty tricks on you, trying to scare you like she did with the false alarm with the hyenas, or like she did with me, when she sent me into that cave with the lizards.”

Sarafina shook her head. “Nala would never push it this far,” she said.

“I’m sure she’s fine though,” said Sarabi reassuringly.

Sarafina’s ears suddenly perked up. She could have sworn that she’d just heard her daughter’s voice.

“Mom!” she heard again. That was definitely her.

Sarafina turned around and saw her beloved daughter running across the savannah plains, and then delightedly began sprinting back towards her.

When the two finally made it to each other, more nuzzling, delight, tears, stroking, and purring followed between the two than they had ever shared before. The rest of the pride approached from behind Sarafina.

“See, I told you she was okay,” said Sarabi.

Sarafina chuckled and retracted herself from her daughter. “You wouldn’t believe her Nala,” Sarafina said, “she thought that you were pulling a prank on me. That you were actually fine the whole time and that you just wanted to scare me while you were gone.”

Nala chuckled nervously. “Yeah…about that…” she began. She let her mother and the rest of the pride catch on to the gist of things. Sarafina’s smile was wiped off her face.

“Y—you did?” she stammered.

Nala nodded, still in a nervous fashion, but yet she was still hopeful. “Simba put me up to it though,” she said.

“Simba,” uttered Sarabi. Sarafina and Nala turned around. The rest of the pride was all standing a step back from the reunited couple, and Sarabi and Mufasa were currently not looking too impressed. Sarabi began to walk off. “I thought he would have learnt the past twenty times not to do these kinds of things…” she rambled as she walked off.

“So, Mom,” addressed Nala. Sarafina looked back down at her. She could tell that Nala was trying to hide a smile. “I guess you’re going to have to punish me, huh?” Nala added quietly.

Sarafina smiled too. It was a secret smile. One she only planned on sharing with her daughter, and one that she would hope no one else would see. She remembered now. “Oh yeah,” she said, “oh yeah, I’m going to punish you,” she confirmed.

Nala smiled now too. “How?” she asked.

“By doing nothing,” replied Sarafina. She got up and walked away.

Nala tried to soak in her mother’s words. Since her mother knew the truth anyways, and after her outburst at Simba, this was really the last chance she had at getting the first pounce, wouldn’t it be best if…“W—wait. B—but Mom! Mom! No, mom! Come back here! Mom, aren’t you gonna ground me? Cos…you can just extend it you know, if what I did was really that bad. Come on Mom, don’t I deserve to get grounded? Mom! Mom! Come back here! Please! Mom! MOM!!”

The rest of the lionesses gave puzzled looks to Nala as they watched her protesting in bewilderment, but what they didn’t know was that as much as Nala’s protesting would continue, she would never again get the first pounce at Zazu.

Simba and Nala both lied down next to each other, sulking inside Pride Rock. Simba was etching another image onto the rock wall.

“So your mom grounded you?” asked Nala.

“Yup,” replied Simba, “and yours didn’t?”

“That’s correct.”

The two cubs sighed. “You want to try another…”

“No,” replied Nala quickly. “It won’t work.”

Simba smiled. “Glad you finally worked that out. See, she loves you too much and…”

“No Simba, it won’t work because I told her about the bet!” said Nala, angry at herself.

Simba looked at her. “So wait…why’d you…”

“She would have grounded me, if I hadn’t…grr, I’m so…this is so unfair!” shouted Nala, to no one in particular.

Simba finally worked out what had happened. He chuckled.

“Don’t start Simba, please…”

He chuckled a little more.

“Simba, if you begin laughing at me, I swear I’m gonna…”

But Simba didn’t take the warning. He began cracking up and he rolled over onto his back. He repeatedly kept pointing at Nala and managing to get out the word “you…” before he’d begin laughing again.

With every passing moment, Nala got a little more infuriated. After about five seconds, or rather what had seemed like five minutes to Nala, of Simba’s laughing, the female cub lunged at him, and the two began to get into a heated tussle.

Nala was dominant in the bout but Simba continued to anger her, every time he got some breathing room he would laugh and point again. Nala wasn’t playing though. She was delivering some serious blows to Simba’s head. Finally she went a little overboard, and Simba yelled out “Ow!”

Nala held her paw up in the air, ready to deal another blow, but then Simba placed a paw gently onto his cheek. Nala stopped breathing. He was bleeding. She’d made him bleed.

“Hey Nala, I know you’re a little upset about the way this morning played out, but I just wanted to…” but the new voice stopped. Nala gulped. That was her mother. And here she was standing above a bleeding Simba with her paw held up in the air…ready to deal another blow.

“I—I’m bleeding,” said Simba, checking his paw. Nala looked back down at him. He was looking at his paw that he had just had held to his cheek. It had blood on it. Simba’s face was growing a little white. He was about to scream.

“SARABI! MUFASA! GET IN HERE!!” yelled Sarafina out into the savannah.

Nala jumped off of Simba. This was not good. But it was unfair. This was really, really not good. But it was unfair. She was about to get into big trouble. But it was unfair. Would that stupid voice shut up? But it was unfair. But…but…But it was unfair.

“You!” yelled Sarafina angrily, advancing on her daughter. “What do you have to say for yourself?”

At first Nala was scared. She was about to have the living daylights beat out of her. This was not good. But it was unfair. Nala frowned. Then some strength began to build up in her. She understood what that voice wanted her to do. She looked back up at her mom.

“He deserved it Mom and you know it!” Simba had finally begun screaming. Sarafina looked over at him. She snapped back to face Nala.

“You think anyone deserves that?”

“Yes I do! It wasn’t my idea to scare the whole pride with the hyenas, it was his! It wasn’t my idea to scare Sarabi with the lizards, it was his! And it wasn’t my idea to hide from you when the fire was in the Pridelands, it was his!”

“I already knew all that!” spat Sarafina. “But you carried it all out and that was just as bad. But this…” she said, signaling over to the beat up Simba.

“Actually,” said Simba, “the lizards was sort of your idea.”

Sarafina and Nala both looked over at him, surprised. Hadn’t he just been screaming?

“Uh oh,” said Simba. The looks Sarafina and Nala had been giving him had been enough for anyone to realize the mistake that he had just made.

Nala smiled.

Sarafina saw this, but she tried to pretend that she hadn’t. She cleared her throat and then looked down at her daughter. The two met each other’s gazes, both wearing serious expressions.

“What’s going on in here?” asked Sarabi. She and Mufasa were standing at the entrance to Pride Rock.

“Nala and Simba got into a fight,” said Sarafina, no particular emotion in her voice.

Sarabi gasped and ran over to her son. Mufasa close behind her. Nala looked down at the ground. She knew it was coming.

“You’re bleeding!” exclaimed Sarabi. “Sarafina…do you…?”

“I beat him up, alright!?” yelled Nala. “He made me do all those terrible things to the pride because he knew I wanted to get grounded by Mom! We had a bet that if that happened, I’d get to have the first pounce at Zazu, but it didn’t! And now look, I’ve got the whole pride upset with me and I’m not going to get the first pounce at Zazu, and Simba has a scratch on his cheek. Doesn’t this seem just a bit unfair?”

Sarabi was still cross, but she could see Nala’s point. She looked up to Sarafina and said: “Well Saffy, she’s your daughter,” before she turned around and went back to check on her son.

Sarafina sighed and lied down, putting her head in her paws. “Oh no, no, no, no,” she muttered, groaning and shaking her head in disbelief.

“Mom?” addressed Nala, wondering what she was doing.

“Nala…” began Sarafina, placing her paws back down on the ground and thinking of the right words to say, “…Nala, you have put me in the ultimate parenting test right here.” She smiled. “I think it is unfair, yes, but I can’t let you have the first pounce at Zazu.”

Nala frowned. “So you want to ground me?”

“You can ground her Aunt Saffy,” called out Simba. “We’ve called off the bet.”

“No we haven’t!” protested Nala.

“Well I have then,” said Simba.

“Can he do that?” asked Nala to her mother.

Sarafina shrugged. “He made the bet, and so he has every right to call it off.”

“We made the bet.”

“Look, it doesn’t matter anyways Nala, I’m not going to put you in a lose-lose situation, that would be unfair.” Suddenly, a switch seemed to have flicked on in Sarafina’s brain. She had an idea. “Um…Sarabi,” she addressed, calling back over to her friend, “how long have you grounded Simba for?”

“Two days. If you wanted though you could…”

“No, no, that’s fine Sarabi. I think I know what to do.”

Sarabi frowned. “Alright,” she said, and then she left Sarafina with her daughter again.

“Now Nala, what was the bet?” whispered Sarafina.

“If you grounded me, then next time we went pouncing, I would get the first pounce at Zazu.”

“Okay…and who’s ‘we?’”

“Um…me and Simba.”

“Okay,” said Sarafina. She got up, that’s all she had needed to hear. She looked around. Mufasa and Sarabi had just walked out of the cave. Sarafina, Nala, and Simba were now the only ones left in. “Simba, for you, next time you go pouncing with Nala, you get the first pounce. Nala, you’re coming pouncing with me.”

Nala smiled. Simba’s jaw dropped. Nala would get to go pouncing while he was still grounded? That wasn’t fair!

“Tomorrow,” added Sarafina however. “Today you’re grounded.”

“But…but…” stammered Simba.

“Something you want to say Simba?” asked Sarafina.

“But…Aunt Saffy, that’s not fair, she did those things…and now you’re just going to let her get her way anyways? She’ll be so happy being grounded that it won’t seem like a punishment to her! She’s just going to sit there and make fun of me the whole entire day!”

Sarafina was still smiling. Both the cubs looked at her, both hoping they’d get their own way.

“Who said she’d be grounded in here?” asked Sarafina.

Thirty minutes later:

“…but I said to the antelope, the lions will agree not to hunt you as much if you push your herds back to the other side of the waterhole! Of course he wasn’t too happy about that rule, so he said to me that…”

“Zazu,” addressed Nala, interrupting the hornbill and then yawning as she rested under the small tree that Zazu called ‘home’ during the nights, “no offense Zazu, but your story’s really boring.”

“Oh, but young Nala, the next part is really interesting!” Zazu exclaimed. “See, then after I’d told this to the antelope, he explained that the wildebeest were hogging the southern waterhole! Isn’t that unbelievable!?”

“Sure is,” replied Nala, really wishing she’d fall asleep right now.

“Oh Nala, this next day is going to be so fun! We’ve gotten to the first conflict already, and you’ve only been here for half an hour!”

Nala wanted to cry. She felt like it had been five hours. But at least there was still hope. Tomorrow, she was going to pounce on this guy so hard, he wouldn’t be able to tell any more of his stories because she will have knocked the voice box right out of him. And then, she’d get to run into Pride Rock and tell Simba all about it. But for today…

“…well I went over to the wildebeest, and this was where things were starting to lighten up because they had a rather simple demand…”

“Today…was just your best day,” said Sarabi to her friend, both standing afar. Sarafina smiled at her friend’s compliment. She’d passed the parenting test.