2011 Chapter 2 - Charity Begins at Home

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"Life's not fair, is it?"

Truer words have likely never been spoken. For our trio of lions and their ever-present cheetah companion, life never stopped throwing new challenges their way. Although nothing seemed to surpass the slaughter of his father's pride, little challenges kept coming at Mohatu and his family nearly non-stop.

Like all things in life, however, everyone had a choice: run from adversity or learn from it.

For Mohatu, the lessons he'd begun learning at Pride Rock were preparing him for the day when he might need to step up and bear the mantle of ruling a pride. Diplomacy, constantly needing to maintain an even-temper, and even charity were things he'd never faced before coming to the Pride Lands. Even if he didn't aspire to be a king, the Circle of Life tended to lead individuals to the role they needed to fill more than the one they wanted or expected to fill. As he and his mate fled their former home, their only concern was survival and the birth of the coming litter. Planning anything beyond that would have been a waste of resources. After having found shelter at Pride Rock, Mohatu and Tetema end up at odds with one another about how best to proceed with their lives.

Mohatu seems content - or at least accepting - of the idea of remaining at Pride Rock, despite his insistence that he has no aspirations to be a king. His wariness at speaking with others is slowly fading as he grows more accustomed to being looked upon as the representative of his ragtag group of critters. Time is slowly dulling his pain, though the memories of the slaughter of his former pride are still as crystal clear to him as ever.

Tetema, burdened by the layered losses of her friends, family, and two-thirds of her litter, is far from content. The situations in which she and Mohatu find themselves have made her increasingly uncomfortable and it seems to be slowly driving a wedge between the two mates. The traumas the lioness has endured have also made it difficult for her to accept the fact that she has a role in the new life her family is forging.

Ahadi, having been born after the atrocities his parents had to endure, is growing up virtually care-free. Tending to make fast friends, he proves to be a source of frustration for his parents who want to focus on their small family and have no intention of building a pride. The young cub may prove to be the ultimate diplomat, though, if his ability to make friends one day leads to Mohatu's decision to form an official pride.

The trio encounters others on a pretty frequent basis. A few weeks after the thunderstorm which led to the "Great Kings" lesson, a young juvenile lioness arrived in the Pride Lands. Uru's origins are still sketchy - she hasn't seemed very willing to talk about her past or where she comes from and whether or not her parents live is still unknown to those with whom she has been staying.

Mishwasha has continued to perform dual roles for the nascent king. When Mohatu and his family sleep, the cheetah spends her time hunting for herself and prowling the boundaries of the Pride Lands - scouting for potential threats and other things of which Mohatu might need to be aware. When the family is awake - Ahadi specifically - the cheetah helps out by trying to keep an eye on the growing youth, but the recent addition of Uru to the group is proving challenging for both Mishwasha and the lions.

Just recently, another cheetah has arrived in the Pride Lands - Mishwasha's grandson. While Mohatu has granted the spotted feline permission to remain on and hunt within the Pride Lands, only time will tell whether or not the lion will continue to tolerate the male's presence.

Outside of the circle of Mohatu and Tetema's immediate circle, contact with the Kopje Valley pride has happened on several occasions, all of which were peaceful encounters that left both sides with more knowledge than they had before. The nature of the encounters left Mohatu feeling a little less worried about the safety of his family remaining at Pride Rock. The other pride seemed to accept the new residents and did not seem to pose a threat to the lion or his family.

Just as things seemed to be settling down, tensions spiked between Mohatu and Tetema. The two got into a veritable shouting match over any and every point of contention between the beleaguered pair. Mohatu's overwhelming concern revolved around Tetema's growing distance from both him and their son, while Tetema's enmity seemed to be rooted in her inability to cope with the massive amount of strife, terror, and anguish she's faced in recent months. Things remained unresolved as Tetema stalked off into the distance and left Ahadi with Mohatu, apparently assuming the male would be able to handle all of the cub's needs.


As Mohatu and Ahadi settle in and grow accustomed to life at Pride Rock, the rift continues to grow between the cub's parents. Tetema's absence is starting to wear on Mohatu and Ahadi keeps asking when his mother will return, but that's a question Mohatu just can answer. When he encountered the lioness while he was patrolling recently, the brief confrontation left him feeling dispair that his mate might not come home. Only time will tell how the lion's family will make it through the rough times that have beset them...