Jabari's Story

by Renee

Message from the Editor

The person who originally posted this to the Game Pond forums eventually posted a rewrite of the first half of it. I used the rewritten version for the first half, and the old version for the second half since the author never posted a rewrite for the second half.

Chapter 1: Twoleggers

"Jabari, come on!", Juji, my twin sister whined, "I want to see what Zola found!"

"I'm coming!", I said.

I had stopped beside a cliff that fell fifty feet below. The other side was about five feet away, which was far enough to scare me. I took a deep breath and backed away from the ledge. I ran as fast as my short chubby paws could take me and jumped to the other side. My hind legs missed, but I easily pulled myself up. I sighed with relief and we ran to the small cave where my friends, my sister, and me met.

"You're late!", Kosey, my best friend, said as we entered the cave.

Kosey and I were the only male lions out of all our friends. My other friends were Zola, a leader at heart; Miniya, whose mouth ran faster than her feet; Kia, who was so quiet, we didn't notice her, we never even knew how she became out friend; and Sara, she took after Kia.

"There they are!", Zola said, "Are you all ready to see what I found?"

"Yes! You can show us now right?", I panted trying to catch my breath yet too excited to wait for what Zola wanted to show us.

"Come on then, follow me," Zola said and led us out of the cave and into the morning heat of the African sun. She led us past her pride and turned into the deserted lands. We stopped in front of a large group of buzzards eating something (naturally).

"This is it? You led us here to show us buzzards? I have seen more interesting things," Miniya grunted.

"No! It is what they are eating," Zola said.

We chased the scavengers away knowing they only ate dead animals and very rarely attacked cubs of lions. They scattered and flew away.

"Oh my! A dead elephant!", I said getting a good look at the carcass of a massive elephant. "It is the head bull too!"

"We aren't allowed to kill over here! Who killed him?", Juji asked. The elephant was only partly eaten, telling us it wasn't killed too long ago.

"Hey there is something in there, it is all shiny," Juji called out.

"It wasn't a lion," Zola said. "There are no scratch marks and there is a weird shiny thing on its left side. See?"

Zola was a foot away from the elephant pointing to something at the side of the elephant. We walked next to her to see what she was pointing at. There was indeed something in the side of the elephant. I instantly had a quick flashback of something shiny like that whipping past me very quickly and I jumped back.

"Hey, Jabari, what's wrong?", Kosey asked.

"I- I know what that is," I said turning my head from the elephant to my friends.

"You do?", Kosey asked, turning his attention from the elephant to me.

"Yes, you heard about twoleggers right? They walk on their two hind legs and they have very little fur on top of their heads and the rest of their body is just skin." Everyone shook their head yes.

"Well, I was chased by one and was knicked in the tail and saw something shiny fly between my legs. Then something else hit me on my side. It had red feathers at the end. I felt really sleepy and that is all I remember."

"I don't think I like these twoleggers, let's tell my dad about this," Zola said.

We all gladly agreed and ran to Zola's pride as quickly as we could. I, of course, being the last one there.

"Dad!", Zola yelled, somewhat out of breath, when she found her father.

"Yes?", a large lion with a broad chest and long muscular legs said. This was Zola's father, Kotan. He was sitting down at his favorite spot.

"We found a dead elephant. We think twoleggers killed it!", Zola said quickly, still trying to catch her breath.

"Twoleggers? They aren't supposed to be here in these parts!", Kotan said. "Are you sure about this?"

"Yes, I am sure. There are no claw marks on it and there is something in its side that shines like the sun," Zola said.

"And its tusks are missing," Juji said.

"We must inform this to Morathi," Kotan said standing up.

Morathi was my father and the high king of the Volan lands and the Menue pride. We rushed to my pride, jumped the cliff, (which took me longer that the others.) I was last to get there as usual.

"We found an elephant in the deserted lands," Kotan said standing in front of my father.

My father's eyes grew wide as he heard the words come out of Kotan's mouth.

"We have made peace with the Elephants in the deserted lands. We aren't allowed to hunt them there. Who were the lions that killed the elephant?"

"Not lions, sir, twoleggers," Kotan said.

"I have heard enough. I will not have humans in my land! You can go and gather up the lions in the area. Jabari show me where the elephant is." My father's voice showed a little anger in it.

I groaned a little bit and jogged back to the cliff. We jumped it and quickly walked to the elephant. My father walked much faster than me so I had to run to keep up. By the time we got to the elephant, I collapsed five feet away from it. My father chased a few hyenas away. I watched as he examined the elephant. I thought I heard a growl a few times.

"Humans certainly killed him, poor Kipan. He died a very horrible death," he sighed.

"H- humans are twoleggers right?", I asked.

"Yes, horrible looking things, aren't they?"

"You met one?", I asked. I knew it was a stupid question, but I wanted to know for sure.

"Yes, I did. That is how I got what they call earrings in my ears, just like you," Father said. His eyes looked as if they were on fire. He picked me up and we left the elephants for the hyenas, who were watching from a distance.

As soon as we were in our pride my father set me down and joined the large group of adults. I slowly walked over to a much smaller group of cubs. There were a few extra in the group now. There was Asha, she was a mean lioness all she ever wanted to do to me was get me in trouble. Koshimo was the leader of the other group, he fought with all of the cubs including me. Tanata was Koshimo's future mate, she wasn't allowed to talk to anyone other than Koshimo. Koratish was nice, she just picked the wrong group to be with.

"Look who decided to join us with his presence," Asha said. She was the first to see me. I scowled at her when she grinned at me evilly.

Zola ignored her remark and started the conversation, "Why is everyone so concerned about this?"

"Because Morathi is concerned, idiot!", Koshimo growled.

"Why is he concerned, if I may ask?", Kosey asked.

"Because the twoleggers can kill an elephant. And if they can kill an elephant, they can kill anything," Koshimo said.

"I can tell that King Morathi is scared of the twoleggers. I bet Jabari is scared of them too!", Asha sneered at me.

"I am not scared of them. Besides, I have seen one and you haven't," I said. Asha was scowling at me by my last words.

"I have a question for all of you. How do we know that the twoleggers are still here?", Zola asked. I knew she was trying to stop Asha and me from fighting.

"We don't know. That's the problem," Miniya said. I was surprised that this was the first thing she said the entire time. She usually flaps her mouth when something like this happens. "Who knows? They could be very good hiders."

"Why don't we just let the grownups handle this if it is so important?", Juji said.

"The grownups! Does it always revolve around them? I think us cubs should do something for a change. We never get to do anything," Miniya said.

"We will be adults soon and be able to handle everything just like our parents do," Juji said.

"I think we should have a part in this," Asha said. "The only question is, what are we going to do?"

"Noth...", Juji started, but I covered her mouth.

"We can find out where the humans are hiding," I said. I let my paw drop from Juji's mouth after saying that. "I know the scent very well. After we find the humans we can tell our parants where they are."

"Ha! The one-eyed freak wants to find the humans, whatever they are. He couldn't even find a sand cat if it were staring him in the eye," Koshimo said gruffly.

"That is Prince One-eyed Freak to you, Koshimo. And humans ARE twoleggers if you were smart enough to know," I snapped. I had both of my eyes, but scars shut my right eye tight. They were made by Kosey when we were not friends.

"I don't think there is anyone smaller than you runt!", Koshimo snapped back.

"Stop it now! We don't need a fight right now. Jabari you should stop provoking it!", Asha snarled.

I was going to say something but I knew we didn't have the time to start fighting.

"Follow me," I said. We easily snuck past the arguing grownups and quickly walked to the elephant. Kosey walked on one side of me, Juji was on the other, and my friends were beside them. Koshimo and his friends walked behind us.

"Being led by a runt who can't see," I heard Koshimo say. I was about to turn around and claw him, but Kosey gave me a disapproving look. I found the familiar scent once we reached the elephant. I had smelt the scent after being knicked in the tail.

I followed the scent to a circle of trees. We slowed down and crept up to the trees quietly. The trees were circling many unfamiliar things. There was a large box-cavelike thing with bars. Right beside the box was a very large triangle thing and beside it was a very weird shaped thing I couldn't explain.

The triangle thing looked as if it were alive, but it had no eyes or mouth. I motioned the others to stop and I crept ahead. The triangle thing kept moving back and forth. I unsheathed my claws and rushed up to it and attacked, jumping back quickly just in case it really was alive. As I attacked it I heard a ripping sound coming from it. It sounded as if it were screaming. I looked at it when I thought I was at the right distance. There were four parallel marks on it where I scratched. It was still moving, but not wildly like any other animal would. It was hollow too! I could see right into it. There was something walking around it. This time, much more cautious, I walked up to the triangle thing and looked in.

I saw what we were looking for. Something very tall and skinny, and with absolutely no hair, pacing around on its hind legs. In one of its paws, if they were even paws, he held a small box up to his ear. It was talking into the box as if he were talking to something living. I scowled at the odd sight. I walked away much more confident.

"What did you see?", Juji asked.

"I saw a human!", I replied. "It was strange...it was talking in a box. Even I wouldn't be stupid enough to do that."

"Really? Weird. Why do you suppose he was doing that for?", Juji asked. "Oh well, never mind about that. Let's go tell our parents!"

---- END OF CHAPTER 1 ----

Chapter 2: Adventure Beginning

I heard an odd grunt from behind me. I turned around to see the human standing over us. My heart took a great leap and I turned and ran in the direction of my friends, who were headed, back toward my pride. I caught up with Asha, who fell behind. We glared at each other as if we were trying to win a race and we ran faster.

"Hurry up!", I panted. I didn't like Asha, but I didn't want the human to get her either.

I felt something grab me by the nape of my neck. I saw Asha being picked up, too. The human had us and we had nowhere to go. Our friends were too far ahead to notice that we were missing. I looked at the human's hand and saw it bare, with only flesh. I bit into it as hard as I could, tasting a large amount of blood rush into my mouth. The human screamed loudly and dropped both of us holding onto his hand.

"Run!", I yelled and ran the direction of my pride. Suddenly a hyena jumped in front of us, blocking our way home. We swerved to another direction away from the hyena and the human. We climbed the nearest tree, Asha scrambled up first. My lungs burned as I climbed the tree. I heard the hyena climbing right behind us. I turned around, with only my hind feet hanging on to the tree, and hit the hyena on the side of the face making it lose its balance and fall.

"We have to get down. Now the hyena will be able to wait until we die," I whispered to her. She listened and we were off the tree and ran away from the hyena who was too busy trying to get its breath and clean its wound to bother with us. We ran as far as we could and both of us collapsed to the ground, very exausted.

"Where are we?", I asked looking at my surroundings as soon as I caught my breath. I saw the same usual grass but the trees weren't the same, though. They were much thinner, as if they hadn't gotten any water for a long while.

"How should I know?", she said. "I thought you were keeping track of where we were going," Asha snorted.

"So that means you don't need to keep track of where you are going? Besides I was just asking a question. You didn't need to be so rude," I growled.

"Oh, look who's talking, Mr. Know it All. I am sure we wouldn't be in this mess if you and your poor idiotic friends didn't convince us to go!", Asha spat.

"Don't talk about my friends like that. Besides you were the one who wanted to be a part of this! So you got into this mess as much as I did." I bared my teeth. "Why can't we work together to get out of this mess?", I asked. I was now sitting up on my hind legs. My cheeks felt hot, my head hurt, and there was a terrible pain in my chest.

"Because I don't like you!"

"If you don't like me then why are you following me around?" I knew that was a stupid question. She had no choice to follow me. I got up quickly backing up a little.

"Hey! Watch where you're going," a tiny voice said from behind me. I looked beside my left hind leg. There was a small odd looking mouse and its tail was right under my foot.

"I'm sorry," I said moving my foot off the mouse's very long tail.

"Oh dear! Please forgive my rudeness sir!", the mouse started backing away slowly. "Please don't hurt me."

"I won't hurt you," I said, hoping the mouse was going to be useful. "I need help. Can you tell me where I am?"

"Sure, of course, sir. You are in the Kytolan lands. Are you lost?", the mouse asked.

"Well yes, do you know where the Volan lands are?", I asked.

"They are right next to these lands here," the mouse said very excitedly.

"Can you show me? I really need to get back to the Menue pride," I said.

"Yes, sure, of course. Anything for sparing my life," the mouse said. "By the way, my name is Rana."

"My name is Jabari and this is Asha." I pointed my head to where Asha was still standing.

"It is a pleasure meeting you both." Rana acknowledged Asha with a headshake. He jumped on top of my head.

"You are going to let a jumping rat lead you home?", Asha snorted.

"I am not a rat, I am a kangaroorat. There is a difference," Rana said.

"Which way do we go?", I asked, ignoring Asha's comment.

"That way," Rana pointed. It was pretty hard to see his tiny paw, but I was able to see where it was pointing.

I turned to Asha, "You can follow us if you want." I turned away and walked the direction Rana pointed. I heard Asha sigh and soon after, her footsteps.

It took a few hours to get to my pride. When I saw it, my mouth fell open in disbelief.

"What happened here?", Asha asked, walking up next to me. Her face showed deep concern.

"Humans," I growled. I had a strong scent in my nostrils that I knew only too well to be a human's scent. My face grew hotter as anger filled inside of me. There was no living creature to be seen. The ground was covered with the scent of blood and human.

"I want to know where all the animals went, if most of them made it out alright," I said.

"Yes, that would be a very useful thing to know," Rana said agreeing.

I walked to my father's favorite spot to lay. I wasn't able to catch any smell of their blood, but I smelt my aunt's, and my grandparents' blood. I did catch my parents' scents leaving the pride, which relieved me. What worried me was they were going two different ways and my mother's scent had a very unfamiliar scent with it.

"Juji's and the other's scents are not new, so it seems they haven't been here during or after the odd happening," Asha said. She was frowning. I knew as well as anyone else that she really wanted to know what happened.

"I have to find my family and friends, you can do whatever," I told Asha. She frowned and left me alone with Rana.

"You can go if you would like," I said to Rana.

"I don't think so. You are young and stupid, no offense and I am old and wise. I can help you," Rana said. He sounded very brave, since he was insulting me, but I understood him quite well and I didn't say anything. "I want to help out the soon to be king of Volan lands."

I cringed at those words. I really didn't want to be king. I had to take over lives, lives entrusted to me, and make decisions that would mean life or death to one or all the members.

"Don't start. I know I will be king, but until my father is dead and we really know it, then I will be king. Right now I am just Jabari."

"Ok, I understand. Where exactly are we going anyway?" Rana asked. I had started walking in the direction of the elephant.

"Where all of this started," I said. I jogged, still very tired from the run, to the elephant. I was extra nervous about jumping the cliff since I had another life to keep. I found the scent of the humans and followed it.

"I don't understand, where did everything go?", I asked when I entered the circle of trees. The only things there were indents in the ground.

"I am afraid I can not answer you. What I can say, though, is they can move fast if I know what you are looking for," Rana said. "Humans can go faster than a cheetah, with something special they use."

"That is what they do, huh? Kill unfairly and run away like cowards. That is sick!", I growled.

I found the scents of my sister and friends and followed them back to the way I came. After a few yards the scents all split up. I followed my sister's immediately. We were at the edge of my pride when I smelt another familiar scent.

"Mother! My mother is alive!", I said. My hopes sprang up when I smelt my mother's scent.

I stayed on the scent as I ran, hoping very much they didn't get very far. The scents turned away from my pride and led me to a large gorge. It was about twenty feet deep and twelve feet wide. It was pretty hard to climb down, but I managed. I lost my footing only to get it back as soon as I could. I found my mother's and sister's scents again.

"What are you doing here?", I heard a voice behind me ask.

"I am looking for my parents, Asha," I said. I knew exactly who it was for I could recognize her voice. "And what are you doing here?", I asked.

"The same as you. My pride was deserted just like yours except no blood," Asha said. "But why am I talking to you anyway?"

"Because you asked me a question and I answered it, and I asked you one and you answered it. Does that satisfy you, miss picky?", I asked, outraged. I was going to say more bad things but I decided I would be nice, in hopes that she would return the gratitude.

"You can come with us if you like," I said.

"Why would I want to walk with you and don't tell me you still have that mouse with you," Asha said.

"I am not a mouse, I am a kangaroorat and I have a name. It's Rana!", Rana growled. "If, for your information, we walk together, it would be much easier to spot danger."

"Yah right," Asha said.

Before I could talk back another rude comment, another familiar voice yelled out, "RUN!"

I turned around to see who it was that said that. I saw my father running toward me and a large amount of water behind him. Asha was already climbing up the side of the gorge. I felt my father's familiar teeth pick me up by the nape of my neck and carry me up and carry me swiftly to the edge of the cliff. I climbed as soon as my feet touched the ground. I slipped a little while going up. Only my front feet were hanging on. I felt scared until my father nudged me up higher.

"Hurry up, Jabari!", my father cried. A second later I felt freezing cold water wash me off the cliff back into the middle of the gorge.

"DAD!", I yelled, frantically trying to keep my head above water.

"Don't worry, Jabari. I will return," I heard dad say as I was washed underneath the water again.

"Jabari!", I heard a scared voice call out. "Wake up, Jabari."

I felt something push on my side. I felt weak, tired and hungry. I couldn't manage a word out the first few minutes I was awake. All I could do was groan.

"You're alive," Asha said. She sounded relieved. I felt confused. She didn't like me at all. Why did she sound relieved I was alive?

"Is that worry I hear?", I coughed. It hurt to talk but I knew I had to start as soon as I could. "I thought you didn't like me."

"Well, it is going to be my fault I let the next king of the Volan lands die in front of me," Asha said.

"Dad?", I said and broke out into a coughing spasm.

"I- I couldn't find him. But I am sure he is ok," Asha said.

I sat up feeling dizzy. I had stopped coughing but felt I would start soon.

"Rana? Is he...?"

"He is one very strong mouse," Asha said.

"Kangaroorat!", I heard Rana say from the top of my head.

"You got me out of the water?", I asked a bit more recovered.

"Yes, you were hanging onto the wall of the gorge, unconscious," Asha said.

"I owe you my life. Thank you," I said.

"I think that made up for me teasing you and stuff," Asha said in an ashamed voice.

"Still, I owe you my life. Even if you tease me that doesn't make up for it," I said.

"We better be leaving soon. It is going to get dark. I know a place that might not be deserted."

I stood up, my legs were weak, but I was sure I could walk on them.

"As long as we don't run I will be fine."

I followed Asha. When we arrived to the place she was telling me about it was dark. The place we were at was out of my land. The lions here weren't awake and they were very few. I walked beside Asha as we stopped at the first lioness.

"Dalina," Asha whispered.

"Who is it?", the lioness whispered, sitting up.

"Me, Asha. I have come because my parents are missing," Asha said.

The lioness stood up. I felt small once she did this.

"That is not right. Do you have any idea where they might be?", the lioness asked. She then turned to me, "And who might this young fellow be?"

"He is Jabari. He is the prince of my land," Asha said.

"Oh really?", the lioness was about to bow.

"Please don't bow," I said. "I don't like it."

"Ok." She turned back to Asha, "Now can you tell me if you know where your parents are?"

"I think twoleggers did something to them."

"Twoleggers!", Dalina looked alarmed.

"Yes and they attacked Jabari's pride!"

"The Menue pride? Did the king survive?", Dalina asked.

"He survived, but he got washed away in a large flood."

"He is going to be back," I said. "I know he is strong."

"I am sure he is alive, but right now I think you are the king until we know if he is alive," Dalina said.

"But I am only a cub. How am I supposed to be a king. Especially one with his pride scattered everywhere?", I said.

"Calm yourself, young one. There are still lions asleep," Dalina said. "You know that you will make the right decisions. Like what you are doing now. You are looking for your family instead of thinking they are dead and start ruling and forgetting about them."

"I would never forget about my parents!", I said.

"Ok, I am sorry. I shouldn't have went there," Dalina said.

"Can you help us find our parents?", Asha asked.

"I will try, but we should get some sleep first," Dalina said.

We curled up next to Dalina when she laid back down.

I was wide-awake, when they were both sleeping. I wondered where my friends and family were, what was going to happen to us and if we were ever going to survive. I watched as the sun rose. I wondered if my father was right about there being more things to see other than blacks, greys, and whites. I felt Asha move beside me. Later when the sun was a few inches higher...

"What are you looking for?", Asha asked, sitting up.

"Nothing really. I was just wondering something, though. But why do you care anyway? I remember what you said two days ago!", I said. I knew right then that I said the wrong thing.

"Well, I was trying to be nice and see what you were doing. You aren't in a good mood are you?", Asha asked.

"I am sorry. It is just that my parents are gone and I am sleeping next to a stranger and a lioness who doesn't like me. My pride has been torn apart and I was shoved into the middle of it because I just became king."

"I didn't know it was like that," Asha said. I could see she felt sorry for me but she added, "I still don't like you."

I smiled to her, weakly believing her very much.

"I bet you two are hungry," a new voice said, scaring me.

"Erin! Yes, I am hungry," Asha said. I scowled knowing she forgot to mention me on purpose.

"And you? Are you hungry?", Erin asked turning to me. I shook my head scowling at Asha. "Good because we just got a good catch this morning."

She led us to a wildebeast with a few other lionesses eating. Both Asha and I found a spot and started eating. After we got finished we talked to Dalina and we decided she would come with us.

We wasted no time in leaving. Dalina said her good-byes and we left. We went back to the gorge. We couldn't find my sister's scent. We found it far from the gorge by Dalina's nose.

"It is odd that the flood came. The raining season isn't until a few months from now," Dalina said, trying to make a conversation.

"If we find my father he might know. He was in the gorge before us," I said.

"Maybe," Dalina said hesitantly.

"But I think that we should try to find my mother and sister first," I said.

We stayed on Juji's scent for as long as we could into the night. We fell asleep the second we stopped. The next morning Dalina got us up early.

"As my mother used to say, the early bird catches the worm. I want you two to learn how to hunt since something may happen," Dalina said. "Usually we don't hunt in the morning but these are odd days as you can tell."

I smiled widely. I always wanted to learn how to hunt. I looked at Asha and I could tell she was excited, too.

We followed Dalina to a small herd of three gazelle. Dalina signaled us to stay where we were when we were in view of the gazelle. She crouched and slinked to the gazelle, making sure that she didn't frighten or get any of their attention. I watched with excitement as she neared the small herd. I saw which one she was going to go for. It was a small one just about smaller than the other three. She got about five feet away from the gazelle before she sprang up and chased after her prey.

The gazelle saw her jump up. They ran for their lives. Dalina was fast and agile she caught up to her prey fast and easy. She grabbed onto its neck and pulled, making it fall to the ground. She held onto its neck as it tried getting away. It was no use, it only made Dalina's teeth sink in deeper, I could tell.

When there was no more movement Asha and I walked up to Dalina's new kill.

"You are good!", I said admiring the kill. The gazelle was larger than I was.

"Well, you should start watching us hunt when you see. That will help a lot on training. But usually you can practice on small animals," Dalina said.

"Like mice?", Asha asked. I looked at her surprised. I thought she was telling me something about Rana, but I could still feel him.

"Yes, mice are very good to practice on," Dalina said. "In fact, mice were the first things that I started hunting. Now dig in. We still have to keep on Juji's scent."

We quickly ate our food and left the rest to the hyenas, which I hated doing since all they were were scavengers and they almost killed me.

"Could she really get so far so fast?", I asked an hour later.

"Not unless a cheetah picked her up and ran. Is there any other scent you can smell? Because I can't smell a cheetah."

I sniffed the air. It smelled the same except old animal scents and an odd scent. I almost thought I smelled my mother's scent, but it wasn't like Juji's.

"I smell a very weird scent," I said. "Do you think it is the twoleggers?"

"Let's hope not. I heard they can travel faster than the highest wind," Dalina said.

I scowled. I didn't like the idea of walking for the rest of my life looking for my family, but I would do anything to get us back together. We continued walking into the afternoon and after sunset, taking breaks only for drinks.

"Listen!", Dalina said suddenly after a long quietness.

I listened in the quietness of the black world but heard nothing. "What is it? I hear nothing at all," I said.

"Me either. I can't hear a thing," Asha added.

"Roars," Dalina said. "They sound distressed. Come on." We followed her as she walked somewhat off the path. She roared, scaring us. I gave her a dirty look as I saw her listening.

"We must hurry. I told her to keep roaring," Dalina said and walked faster. We had to start to run.

I looked at Asha, "Her? Told?"

Asha also gave me a look like she had no idea what was going on either. Soon, I was able to hear the roars easily.

"That's my mom!", I said and ran faster. I abruptly stopped when I saw light, like when the sun was up.

"That is the twolegger's doings," Dalina said. "I am sure of it."

A deep growl came from my throat. I raced over to the nearest bush to the lights. They were brighter than I thought. I looked around. I saw a familiar triangular thing and I also saw where the roars were coming from. It was a twolegger's machine. It held both my mother and my sister.

"Mom! Juji!", I cried out with glee and ran up to them without thinking.

"Jabari!", both my mother and my sister said in unison.

"What happened?", I asked as I came up to the very large thing.

"Too much. We will tell you more when you find a way for us to get out," Mom said.

"Do you know where my pride is?", I heard Asha's voice behind me.

"No. The twoleggers here chased some other twoleggers away before they could kill many of the lions," Mother said.

"Come on, Asha, let's get them out," I said.

"How are we going to get them out of that?", Asha asked.

"Well, how do you expect they got in? There has to be an entrance way or something," I said. I walked to one side of the odd thing the twoleggers had kept my mother and sister in. Sure enough there was a large door.

"How are we going to get THAT open?", Asha asked looking wide eyed at the door.

"Stand up over there," I said, pointing to the part where it opened.

"Why?", Asha asked as she stood up on her hind legs at the spot where I pointed.

"I am going to climb on you," I said and jumped on Asha's shoulders. I reached for a latch that looked like it may open the door. "Can you stand a little higher? I can't reach."

"I... hope this... works...", Asha breathed as she lifted me higher to the latch.

"Believe me, it will," I said. I grabbed the latch and twisted it open. The door moved a little. "See?", I said triumphantly.

Suddenly something picked me up by the nape of my neck. I knew what it was the instant I was picked up. I struggled to get out of its grip. The twolegger that held me turned me around so I was able to look it in the face. It was a twolegger, but not like the one I was caught by earlier. This one had hair and had female features. I tried to scratch it but I missed. I looked over to my left to see Asha struggling to get out of the same twolegger's grip.

The twolegger brought us into the triangle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw both my mother and sister slip away. I slightly smiled. I was glad that they got away but not for the fact Asha and I were now caught now.

The twolegger that was holding us put us in a small cage. The twolegger said something then left.

"Everyone ok?", I asked.

"I am ok. I just don't like the mess that we are in," Asha said.

"Rana, how about you?", I asked.

"I am fine, too," Rana's small voice said.

I turned my head as two twoleggers walked in - the one with hair and the one without. They were saying something, but I wasn't able to understand them.

"I wish I knew what they were saying," I said, watching as they seemed to be arguing.

"They are saying something about your eye - the one that is closed," Rana said.

"How can you tell what they are saying?", I asked.

"It is very simple really. They talk like we do except with voices out loud," Rana said.

I listened hard and was able to understand. I wondered why it was so hard to understand them before.

---- END OF CHAPTER 2 ----

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