Mufasa couldn't be happier. A small red, blue,
and green butterfly
landed on a small branch ahead, and he pounced at it like a small golden
lightning bolt. The insect must have seen him coming, because it flew
into the air just before being captured.
Another cub was practicing pouncing nearby. His darker skin helped
him look like a shadow in the grass. "I'll show you how to pounce," he
silently told his victim. "You're gonna be the next king, so it's my
obligation to teach you how to do this right."
In reality, the entire pride recognized how much potential both
cubs had for the future. Mufasa was the stronger, taller, and more
impressive cub, but Taka could convince anyone to do anything for him
with his intelligence, and never got into a fight he couldn't talk his
way out of, which basically was all of them. Everyone knew they would
both would make fine kings one day, and any rivalry was done in fun with
a laugh in the air.
Taka closed on his target, his brother. "Stay quiet, don't let
them know you're coming." He crouched, preparing to leap out. Before he
could, however, he noticed a growing shadow circling his brother.
Mufasa was so intent on the butterfly he failed to notice the
shadow until too late. He turned and, with his mouth falling open in
fear, saw a large hawk descending on him. He would have tried to run and
hide, but the bird was on him before he had the chance.
Using everything he had learned in fighting practice with Taka, he
tried biting and slashing at the hawk. Unfortunately the hawk had the
ability to fly, something he had never had to deal with before.
Taka was stunned stiff for an instant, then regained his senses.
He leaped out, but instead of pouncing on his brother, he pounced on the
hawk. The bird landed on it's back, but kept fighting with both talon
Both cubs fought as a team, trying to stop the danger without
getting hurt. However, only a few seconds into the fight the hawk's
right foot connected with Taka. He was knocked away, but came back and
fought as best he could. Mufasa glanced over when he could, but he was
on his brothers right side. The only thing he could see on Taka was a
little dirt and some blood dripping from the end of his muzzle.
Eventually the two killed the hawk, with Mufasa ripping open it's throat
with his claws. Finally he got a chance to look at his brothers wound.
"Taka....." was all he could say. Taka's entire left side of his face
shone bright red. His eye was swelling shut, and blood was dripping off
his cheek like a small stream. "We gotta get you home!"
Not having the strength to protest, the two started walking home
together. They weren't out of sight from the hawk's body when Taka
stumbled. "I...can't..." he said.
"Yes, you can!" Mufasa tried helping his brother up, but Taka
couldn't stand. "OK, you wait here. I'll get dad!" Taka's eyes closed
watching Mufasa running off. "OK, will do" he said weakly.
Taka woke up, then wished he hadn't. He slowly started crying, and
was surprised to hear a sigh of relief. "Hey, you awake Taka?" The voice
seemed far away yet it rebounded in his head, making his headache worse.
Still, it was unmistakably his father's voice.
"It...it hurts....." was all he could say between whimpers.
His father gave him a long lick over the left side of his face. It
helped clean the wound, but also had the healing property of any parents
kiss. "that any better?"
Dispite his headache, the little cub managed to smile. "Yeah,
thanks." He opened his eyes, but everything looked weird. He tried to
stand, but immediately got dizzy when he tried to walk. "What's wrong
His father held him close and nuzzled him softly. "you lost a lot
of blood. that was a nasty cut you got." He paused before saying
anymore. Then he bit onto a large turtle shell full of water, left there
by Rafiki for the cub to drink. He pulled the shell over to his son.
"Look in the water and see."
the cub got up and, with help from his fathers paw, made it over
to the shell and looked at his reflection. His left eye was large and
red, swollen completely shut. The "cut", a long deep gash, could be seen
going over that eye. "Am I gonna stay like this?" he asked, his eye
hurting as it worked to tear up with its partner.
"No, Rafiki says your eye will open, you just need time. The cut
will leave a scar though." he paused, trying to think of the right way
to say what was next. "Taka, Mufasa told me everything that happened.
About the hawk, your getting back up and everything. Son....I want you
to know how..."
"Upset you are, right? That I wasn't smart enough to get out of
the fight without getting hurt?" He was still teared up, yet somehow
found a way to approach tears.
"No, how proud I am of you. You saw that hawk come down, and you
knew how dangerous it was. Yet you still jumped on it and probably saved
your brothers life. Even after nearly having your eye cut out, you
fought with him side by side. If you were smart, you would have run away
when you saw the hawk. Since you ran ahead instead of away, I'd consider
that scar a mark of bravery and love."
Taka was confused, mainly because he had lost too much blood to be
paying attention to anything. Then he saw his brother walking backward
toward him, dragging something. "I thought you could use some food to
get your strength back." Taka looked, as best he could. His brother had
dragged the hawk all the way to Pride Rock.
Taka looked at his father and brother, then turned to see his
mother, who had held him in her paws till he woke up. Then he walked
over to the hawk and started eating, feeling more loved then ever before
in his life.
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