This is a story about the Lions of Kubwa Pride. They live in a beautiful savanna, part of their territory reaching into the jungle that borders their kingdom to the west. There are other Prides that live in surrounding areas.
Here are the Prides of all the Lions.
Mufansaa-leader of the Kubwa Pride, father of Sanku
Kaitu-second in command of the Kubwa Pride, father of Kleinsta
Laikin-a huge lion, brother to Kaitu
Nakilu-a smaller, lithe lion that is the best hunter in the Pride
Sanbi-great hunter, father of Nia and Timoe
Cao-brother of Mufansaa, jealous of his brother
Pubna-Kaitu's full grown son, trains the cubs, father of Anili
Pandiin-Kaitu's full grown son, younger brother to Pubna, helps train the cubs
Sanku-the son of Mufansaa, a cub
Timoe-son of Sanbi, a cub
Kleinsta-son of Kaitu, a cub
Sanshu-leader of the lionesses, mate of Mufansaa, mother of Sanku
Kiabi-second in command of the lionesses, mate of Kaitu, mother of Kleinsta
Kiandia-the oldest lion in the Pride, offers advice to many of them
Qureni-great hunter, mother of Pandiin and Pubna, former mate of Kaitu
Hamu-healer, mate of Sanbi, father of Nia and Timoe
Jurnei-watches the cubs, mate of none
Hashi-mate of Pubna, mother of Anili
Claw-fierce fighter female, lives seperate from the Pride in her own cave looking over the grove
Mkali-good fighter, young female
Jino-beautiful young lioness who is an exceptional huntress
Nia-daughter of Hamu, a cub
Anili-daughter of Hashi, a cub
Nashina-huge, nimble lioness, leader of the Haraka Mto Pride
Coal-a huge lion, leader of the Mauvo, with a black mark on his head
Kanitji-second in commaned of the Mauvo, small but strong
Sanku pounced on Nia, flattening her to the ground.
"Gotcha!" giggled Sanku.
"Hey!" Nia purred, pushing Sanku off of her.
Sanku leapt back and looked into Nia's blue eyes. Then he jumped at her and pushed her to the ground again.
"Gotcha again!" he said, giving his friend an affectionate lick on the cheek.
"Now, it's time for bed." The motherly voice came from behind Sanku as he was lifted off the ground by the scruff of his neck.
"Eh!" Sanku cried, frowning. "Mom! Put me down!"
Sanshu chuckled. "It's time for bed, Sanku. See, Hamu is taking Nia to bed, too."
"So!" said Sanku. "Why can't I stay up?"
"Because tomorrow is a big day," replied Sanshu. "You're going out of the grove!"
Sanku beamed. "Finally! I can leave the protective trees and the camp!"
Sanshu laughed and put Sanku down in his mossy bed, right next to her. She licked his ear and looked proudly down at her son.
Sanku closed his eyes and thought of tomorrow. He would be leaving the rock pile that made up the camp of Kubwa Pride and be venturing out into the savanna tomorrow! He was so excited, it would be a miracle if he fell asleep.
Finally he did and all his dreams were about hunting an antelope and catching it on his first try.
Sanku woke up to sunlight filtering through the leaves surrounding the Great Pile. The dense wall of trees surrounded the camp, too dense for a full grown lion to move through. A tunnel allowed entrance into the camp, constantly guarded by a lion.
Sanku nudged his mother. "Mom," he said. "Time to go."
Sanshu stirred and sat up. "Okay," she yawned. Standing up, Sanshu give a slight roar. The other lions around stirred and the cubs hopped up happily. They pranced around, excited to explore the savanna.
Pubna strolled out of the tunnel and into the camp. "Excited, I see," he said. "Ready to explore?"
Timoe and Kleinsta pounded up to the mentor. "Yes!" yipped Timoe. "So excited."
Kleinsta lifted his head high. "Timoe and I will catch an antelope today," he said expectantly.
Nia padded up beside them. "No, Sanku and I will take down a wildebeest."
"Yeah, right," spat Timoe. "You can't take down of fly!"
Nia growled playfully and launched herself on top of the male cub. They rolled about on the grassy ground, laughing and giggling gleefully.
Pubna stepped in between them, breaking up their squabble. "Save your energy," he advised. "We are going all the way to the canyon and back."
All five cubs rushed over to Pubna. "The canyon?" inquired Anili.
"But that's like, a bajillion miles away!" Kleinsta exclaimed.
"More time for me and Nia to catch a wildebeest!" boasted Sanku.
Pubna laughed. "It is not a bajillion miles away." He paused. "Hmm, more like a kazillion miles away."
Kleinsta's and Anili's jaws both dropped open, nearly brushing the ground. Pubna turned around and beckoned with his tail, beginning to walk towards the tunnel. Pandiin padded after the cubs, to make sure they stayed in line.
Sanku's sides brushed the tunnel walls, his tail sticking up with excitement. This was going to be the best day ever! Then they padded out of the tunnel and Sanku got his first taste of freedom. The savanna was spread before him, long golden grassed blowing in the wind. Baobob trees were scattered about the landscape and giraffes, elephants, zebras, wildebeest, antelopes, gazelles, and numerous other animals grazed in the grass. Sanku licked his lips, ready to catch one.
Pubna beckoned the hesitant cubs out of the tunnel. "Let's explore," he said.
Sanku turned back as the grove faded into the distance. "Isn't this the best?" he whispered to Nia.
"Yeah!" she whispered back, barely able to contain her excitement. "I've waited for seven moons to get out here!"
"I've waited eight!" replied Sanku.
Nia swished her tail over Sanku's shoulder and pounced at a butterfly. She swatted it down with one try, then turning and cuffing Timoe on the head. "Told you I could catch a fly," she said.
"Pah! That butterfly was fat and lazy!" he snorted.
"Then why don't you catch one?" Nia growled.
Timoe waggled his hindquarters and pounced at a fluttering butterful. He missed, but jumped back up and the butterfly rolled away. Again, he leapt in the air and swatted with his claws, although the butterfly hovered out of reach. He sneezed and looked at his paws.
"And you say I can't catch I fly!" muttered Nia, suppressing a giggle.
"Well, I'm just a little tired," Timoe shot back.
Nia chuckled and rolled her eyes. "Right."
Sanku smiled and darted on ahead, spotting an antelope. He crept forward, ignoring the calls of Pubna to get back. Sanku crouched low in the grass and grolwed, creeping towards the munching antelope. Only a couple feet away, the young lion pounced.
Suddenly, a sharp pain hit his ribs and he toppled to the ground. Quickly, he scrambled back up. What had happened. Then he looked over and saw four unfamiliar lions crouching only feet away, yellow tails lashing. The biggest one, one with a black mark on its forehead, snarled at Sanku and took a step forward.
"Well, boys, looks like we have a victim," he growled. "Prey-stealer!"
"This is my land," Sanku defied.
The strange lion rolled his eyes and then flicked his tail. Sanku raised an eyebrow in confusion.
Then a second lion roared and lunged at him. Sanku screamed and backed away, in awe of the huge claws on the lion's paws. He thought he was going to die. But with a flash of gold, Pubna shot out of the grass and sent the other lion sprawling to the ground.
He spun around and looked desperately at Sanku. "Take your friends and run back to camp to tall Mufansa that enemies are here!" He batted at the lion for a moment and then cried, "Hurry!"
Pandiin appeared and tackled the smallest lion, ripping at his mane with a fierce snarl on his face. Sanku sprinted away in fear. He soon reached Timoe, Nia, Kleinsta, and Amili. "Run back to camp!" he cried. "Strange lions are attacking!"
The five cubs ran as fast as they could to the grove around a mile away. A lioness was coming out of the tunnel and she cocked her head at the five cubs running towards her. As they neared, Sanku realized it was Mkali.
"Mkali!" he cried. "Pabnu and Pandiin are under attack by strange lions! Go help them!"
Mkali, fear etched upon her young face, bounded up to them. "Where?" she demanded.
Anili gulped and pointed her tail in the direction of the skirmish. "That way. Hurry!"
Mkali took off in that direction, running like the wind. Sanku ran in the opposite direction, aiming for the grove. It was important that the other lions heard of the predicament. Pabnu and Pandiin could die!
"Mufansa!" cried Nia, passing Sanku and running through the thorn tunnel. "Mufansa!"
Sanku caught up to Nia and stood next to her as several lions surrouned them. Nia began to tell the story, panting, "Pabnu and Pandiin. . . strange lions. . . fight. . . they need help!"
Mufansa growled. "The Mauvo have invaded our land!" he snarled. "That is it." He turned back to face several other lions. "This is war!"
Then he got to work. "Nikalu, Kaitu, and Claw," he ordered, "come with me." The three lions gathered around their leader, their tails lashing and their teeth bared. "And Sanshu, Liakin, Kiabi, and Cao, scout the land and make sure there are no other Mauvo lions on the territory of the Kubwa Pride!"
The four lions growled and pounded out of the tunnel. Mufansa roared and flicked his tail, gathering the other lions to go with him. They sprinted off into the grasslands, leaving the five cubs and several lionesses standing around.
"Qureni, Hashi, and Jino," said Kiandia, "go hunting and get food for the Pride. We will need some. And Hamu, prepare your herbs. This battle will be vicious, I can tell."
"Yes, Kiandia," Hamu replied, bowing. She dissappeared into a den made out of tightly woven vines and brambles. The three other lionesses nodded and raced off.
Sanku gulped. "Do you think they will be okay?" he asked. "This is going to be a dangerous battle."
Kleinsta nodded. "They'll be fine. Kubwa Pride is the best Pride in all of Africa!"
"Yeah!" Timoe backed up his best friend. "We'll win!"
Sanku nodded. I hope so, he thought. Those lions looked really scary and strong. I hope they will be defeated.
Mufansa roared again when he rounded the top of a hill and looked out over the battle. Pubna and Pandiin were fighting tough and strong against the Mauvo lions, but it was simply too much. Four against two was unfair and dangerous. It was a good thing there were not any more of them.
"Kubwa Pride!" cried Mufansa, his mane billowing in the wind, "charge!"
The four lions plunged down into the battle, and the Mauvo Pride lions looked up for a moment in fear. Too late. Mufansa launched himself forward and landed on top of one of them. He did not know his name, nor did he care as long as the enemies got off of Kubwa territory.
"Rawrrr!" screeched the lion, slashing at Mufansa. Mufansa ducked and kicked the enemy in the chest. He staggered back, trying to get air. Mufansa took the advantage and tackled the lion, scratching his back. Blood seeped from the wound and he roared in pain. Mufansa leaped off and pushed him away. Then he turned and watched the battle. Pubna and Pandiin had now took on one lion and Claw was handling two. Nikalu was fiercly fighting to protect the fallen body Kaitu.
Mufansa roared and jumped towards that lion. Then he rocognized the lion and growled. "Coal." The leader of Mauvo Pride.
"Mufansa!" chuckled Coal as he batted Nikalu away. Then he lunged at Mufansa.
Mufansa leaped out of the way and batted Coal on the head. Coal snorted and swiped Mufansa's legs out from under him, bringing him to the ground. Mufansa snarled and kicked up with his back feet, nailing Coal in the stomach.
Coal staggered back and Mufansa scrambled up. He lunged towards Coal, but Coal just jumped in the air and then landed on top of the leader of Kubwa Pride. Mufansa's knees buckled and then he tumbled down. Coal began to bat and slash at him, opening several gouges and gashes.
Suddenly, the weight on top of Mufansa vanished and he slowly got up. He could see Mkali and Coal rolling around on the ground. "Thank you, Mkali," he muttered before leaping into the fight.
Mkali bit at Coal's feet as Mufansa landed on his chest. Coal gasped in pain and his eyes went wild as he struggled for air. Mufansa growled and then drew his claws across Coal's face. Coal howled in pain and attempted to scramble up, but the lion and lioness held him down. He roared and batted with his front paws.
Mufansa roared back and pinned his front paws to the ground. Then he slash Coal across the side, drawing blood and ripping the skin. Lastly, Mufansa did one more thing. He bit into one of Coal's hind legs and ripped a tendon, a vicious move that his father taught him. It would cripple Coal for almost a moon.
Coal screeched and began to whip his head back and forth, acheving nothing but foam spattering across him and his assailants.
"Get off, Mkali," said Mufansa.
The she-lion nodded and leaped off, still snarling and ready to fight. Mufansa bent his head and looked into Coal's face. He snarled and bared his white teeth. "Do not come back here," he growled, "or you will get worse scars."
The great lion backed off of Coal and roared as loud as he could, echoing across the savanna. The three other invaders looked up in fear and then backed away from their fights. Mufansa grinned and roared one more time. The Mauvo lions took off, staying at a slow pace to help their hobbling leader.
When they were about fifty feet away, Coal spun around. "This is not over, Mufansa!" growled the leader before trotting back to his land miles away.
Mufansa turned to his warriors. "You fought well, today, lions and lionesses," he said. "Go home. I'm sure some of the others have been hunting."
Mufansa beckoned Claw over. "Go back to the camp with me. Then we will leave and make sure the lions left Kubwa land."
Claw dipped her head. "Yes, Mufansa. I shall obey you."
Claw ran off after the others and left Mufansa to stroll back alone, a little behind the rest of them. Mufansa slowly walked back, carefully taking in his surroundings. The antelopes hopping through the grass. The zebras trotting lazily around. The giraffes reaching up to the highest branches, coming back down with juicy leaves. The elephants, splashing in the water. The wildebeest, charging at one another in mock fights. The monkeys, darting through the scant trees, annoying the other animals.
He smiled. Kubwa land was perfect, serene, and beautiful. The one time he had ever been to Mauvo, it was not like Kubwa. The land was a wet swamp and smelled horrible. Few animals lived there, making it very diffucult for Mauvo to thrive. But they do, in a set of customs completely different from Mauvo. There was a strange beauty to the Pride of the swamps.
He sighed contentedly as he strolled through the tunnel and into the camp.
Sanku looked around for his father as the limping, tired, bloody lions walked into the camp. Where was he? Was Mufansa okay? Sanku anxiously looked into the tunnel.
There he was. Mufansa came walking in with blood dripping off of his pelt. The huge lion padded through and many of the lionesses and cubs crowded around him.
"Did you win?" asked Anili.
"How was the fight?" Qureni asked.
"Are the bad guys gone?" pestered Timoe.
"You need to see Hamu!" Sanshu gasped.
"Did somebody call my name?"
Hamu walked out of her den, several leaves in her mouth. Her eyes fell on Mufansa and she beckoned him over. "You look hurt," she muttered.
Mufansa shook his head. "Treat the others first."
Hamu nodded after a brief hesitation and then beckoned Kaitu over, since his wounds were the worst.
Nia, Kleinsta, Timoe, and Anili ran up to Nakilu and began to pester him. "What was it like?" asked Kleinsta.
Nakilu paused for a moment. "It was scary. The lions were big and tough and it was hard to fight one," he began. "But we won. Because Kubwa Pride is the strongest of them all!"
"Yah!" the four cubs screamed.
Sanku rushed over to them. "DId you fight the big lion?" he inquired.
"No, no," said Nakilu. "I did not fight Coal. Your father did."
"Did he win?"
Nakilu nodded. "But he almost didn't. It was thanks to Mkali that he did."
"What happened?" Nia asked. "Tell us!"
Nakilu sighed. "So, I charged into battle and Kaitu and I attacked Coal. But Coal was vicious. As I tried to rip off his mane, he bit Kaitu in the shoulder and then kicked him in the chest. Kaitu collapsed and I began to fight a hard fight against the leader of the Mauvo. He was too tough for me. He drove me back and I was doing all I could to protect Kaitu."
All five cubs huddled together, their mouths open in awe. "Woah. . . " they all droned.
"I was losing," Nakilu said, his shoulders hunching. "I twisted and turned, batted and slashed, bit and clawed," he reanacted these movement, "but it was not enough. I was losing the battle and I knew it. Then, out of the sky, came Mufansa roaring down on Coal. He drew Coal towards him as I began to draw Kaitu to safety.
"Mufansa batted and slashed at Coal and they tackled each other, ripping their mane fur off and tearing at each other's flesh. Then Coal swiped the legs out from under Mufansa and went to stand on him. But Mufansa was faster and he kicked out at Coal's chest, striking the lion right over the lungs! He staggered back, gasping for breath. Mufansa got up and it looked like he was about to win the battle as he lunged. . .
"But Coal performed a move of trickery and jumped over Mufansa, landing on his back. Mufansa collapsed to the ground and Coal began to tear him, scratch him, bite him. Mufansa did everything he could to get back up, but Coal's weight was just too much.
"In fear and awe I watched as Mkali leaped out of the grass and pushed Coal away from Mufansa. Mufansa rushed to them as Mkali began to bite Coal and jumped on his chest. He slashed Coal across the face and drew a long scratch on his side. Then he spun around a ripped a tendon in Coal's leg, crippling him for a moon.
"Mufansa said, 'Mkali, off.' Mkali jumped off, still ready to fight. Mufansa growled and bent down close to Coal's face.
"'Do not come back here,' he ordered, 'or you will get worse scars.' Then Mufansa backed off of Coal and roared a dominant roar, showing his control of the savanna. The three lions helped Coal up and began to run back to Mauvo territory. But Coal spun around and snarled, 'This is not over, Mufansa!' Then they began to hobble back to the swamps of Mauvo. The battle was over and we had won."
Mufansa approached and nodded. "It was not that grand," he said, "but the details were mostly correct. What happened is over and now we must make sure the Mauvo have left the lands of Kubwa Pride." He waved his tail. "Claw, Nakilu, come with me."
The two lions walked up to him. Sanku looked at them with jealousy. "Can I come, father?" he desperately asked.
The patrol spun around and Mufansa studied Sanku. "You did well today, son," he replied. "You and Nia may come. If there are still enemy lions on the savanna, we cannot risk sending one of three lions back here. You and Nia will serve a purpose to warn the others if that were to happen.
Sanku brightened up. "Come on, Nia," he said. "Let's go explore!"
Nia and Sanku ran after the three bigger lions as they walked into the steadily sinking sun.
Chapter 6 Edit
Sanku pounced at a beetle, sqaushing it under his paws. He growled and stalked forward, looking for something else to pounce. Then he saw his target. Nia was sitting under a tree, drinking from a small spring of water bubbling up from the roots.
Sanku roared and pounced, landing flat on Nia's back. She splashed into the water, and the clear droplets flew into the air, dousing Claw and Mufansa.
"Stop that tomfoolery," Mufansa lightly growled. "We have not the time to play. The sun is sinking and we must reach the river before it is too late."
"The river?" asked Sanku.
"Yes," Claw replied. "The river is where the northern boundary of our territory ends. The mountain is the eastern boundary, the jungle the west, and the long wide path of humans is the southern boundary."
"Oh," said Sanku. "Is the river big?"
"Huge," assured Nakilu. "The biggest river in the world."
"Woah," Nia and Sanku said in unison.
The five lions padded away from the tree and towards the river. They soon reached it and Sanku stopped in awe, looking over the bank twenty feet above the swirling water. It had to be three hundred feet wide! Crocodiles snapped in the brown water below, looking up at the new lions.
"Sanku, get back!" warned Mufansa.
Too late. The loose soil under Sanku collapsed and he went rolling down the steep banks, tossing and turning uncontrollably. "Help!" he cried, but dirt filled into his open mouth.
Finally, then rolling stopped and Sanku scrambled up, but his foot caught on the root of a reed and he tumbled back down.
"Hold on, Sanku!" Mufansa cried. "I'm coming."
The crocodile slithered forward, eager to tear apart the fresh meat of Sanku. Sanku cried out in fear. "Daddy! Help me!"
An crocodile snapped at Sanku's struggling feet, but luckily he moved them out of the way. Before it could strike again, a rock tumbled down the bank and hit it on the forehead. It snarled and shook its scaly, green head.
But more alligators moved forward and soon they would devour Sanku. He was dead meat. Literally. How could he possibly get out of this? There were at least twenty crocodiles coming towards him, fighting with each other to eat Sanku for supper.
"I don't want to be eaten!" screamed Sanku.
"Sanku!" Nia yelled. "Be brave!"
Sanku gulped as a huge crocodile grew close to him and opened its jaws wide, ready to snap down on the lion cub.
"You shall not have this cub!"
A large, nimble lioness bounced off of one crocodile and landed right on the jaws of the impending one. The snapped shut and the croc growled in pain. The lioness scratched its eye and then picked Sanku up by the scruff as three crocodiles surged forward. She jumped up in the air and scrambled to get hold of the loose soil on the bank. Four feet below, the crocodiles jaws snapped at nothing but air.
Sanku stared wide eyed. Who was this she-lion? And why had she saved him? He looked up and saw her struggling to climb up the steep, steep banks. Was she going to make it, or would she and Sanku fall back down and be ripped to pieces by the crocodiles? He screamed out in fear when the lioness slid down the bank, loosing at least ten feet of progress.
But then her shoulders hunched, muscles flexed, the lioness pulled herself up step by step, until she crawled over the edge and dropped Sanku down onto the grass. He scrambled back, away from the precipice. Mufansa curled his tail around Sanku and Nia ran up to him.
"I'm so glad you are okay," she whispered.
He flicked her with his tail, eagerly watching the lioness as she stood up proudly. She looked into the eyes of Mufansa and nodded.
"Thank you, Nashina," Mufansa said, "for saving my cub."
Nashina nodded. "The lions of Haraka Mto do not let innocents perish at the maws of crocodiles, unlike some lions."
"What are you saying, Nashina?" Mufansa asked, his voice edgy.
"I'm not implying anything, Mufansa," she replied. "I'm simply just saying. Now, make sure your insolent cubs don't get close to the edge again. We will not always be here to help."
With that, she bounded down the bank and darted across a falling tree that took her mostly accross the river.
"Who was that, dad?" asked Sanku.
"That was Nashina, the leader of the Haraka Mto lions," Mufansa said. "Now, see that dark place down there?"
Sanku followed his gaze and saw a shadowy place far, far away. "Yes."
"That is where the Mauvo live, when the river creates a swamp. Across the river is the territory of the Haraka Mto, a very stubborn pride. Past them is the Weusi, which are dangerous like the Mauvo, but not as dangerous to us because they are so far away. And way over there, beyond the mountain and the path, is the territory of the Amani, the peaceful pride. Their numbers are great, twice the size of Kubwa. They are strong, and never turn down a lion in need."
"Wow," Nia gasped. "I never knew the world was this big."
"This is only part of the world, Nia. A small, small part of it. Now, let's go back," Mufansa said.
The five lions turned and walked into the dusk light towards the camp of Kubwa Pride. Sanku looked back and could see Nashina prancing away towards her camp. The world was so big.
Sanku crawled into his nest, curling his tail around himself. He closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep. No dreams came to him that night. He was probably just too tired to think of anything.
Sun streamed through the branches of the trees when he woke.
Henryjh98 17:55, May 13, 2012 (UTC)