"Sure," Harufu said, following. They walked in silence for a while. Harufu enjoyed the scenery. Sensing they'd just eaten, the zebras and most of the other animals largely ignored them, and Harufu found himself much closer than he thought they would let him stray.
But by far the most captivating part of the scenery was the lioness walking before him. There was something about her gait, the way her tail flicked back and forth. He found himself looking and then sharply turning away whenever Niani turned her head left or right, but then glancing back when she stared straight ahead. Once or twice she almost caught him, he thought, and he began to bite his lip nervously. What's wrong with me? he thought. The other girl leopards never had this effect on me. Maybe that was why I left, he thought, grinning to himself.
Niani can't help but wonder what Harufu is thinking about. When she glanced back at him, to see why he hasn't said much during the trip, only to see him gazing forward with a dopey grin on his face.
Thinking about him, she can't help her own grin. He's definitely odd, for a lion. His walk has a sense of quiet agility to it, instead of the powerful lumbering she's used to. He's also quite funny and sweet, and always seems willing to please her.
Suddenly feeling a tad playful, she turns to the distracted lion and tackles him, pinning him on his back. "Distracted, Harufu?" Niani practically purrs, nuzzling her face against his mane. "We could rest a bit if you're tired."
Harufu knew the game was up, and breathed a sigh of relief that Niani didn't seem to mind. "Rest? Are you kidding? I was just enjoying the scenery! Please, continue," he said with a grin, but then put his arm over her shoulders as she nuzzled his mane. "But if you're tired, well... I suppose we can do this for a while." He closed his eyes, enjoying the sun on his face, enjoying the sensation of her purring body pressing against his neck and chest.
"I'm fine." Niani grins, then licks his nose. "Let's keep moving. Before we get too comfortable." She rises off of him and shakes some loose sand out of her fur. "However, I am starting to get a bit hungry. Perhaps we could catch some food?"
"Oh yes. And it's my turn." Harufu shot up, scanning the trees. "Hmm..." He sniffed the air. "Ok. Stay here. Actually, stay by that tree over there. That way I'll be able to find you easily." Then he took off into the long grass.
Harufu hunted through the grass, feeling both nervous and excited. He had to find something that would impress her. Drat - he should have asked her what her favourite animal was... no wait... gazelle. She said she liked gazelle. Ok, so gazelle it was. But what did they even LOOK like?
A short time later, Harufu emerged from the grass, dragging a gazelle by the neck between his legs. He dragged it up to Niani and sighed as he dropped it, then grinned. "Hope you like it!"
"Yeah... I remembered you mentioning something about gazelles." He walked up and nuzzled Niani, then sat down by the carcasse with a sigh. "It wasn't easy to get though. First I had to ask this hyrax what a gazelle was, and he told me it was the long-necked things but I already knew that was wrong - and he was laughing at me, so I ate him. Then his brother told me it was any of the antelope-like animals, so long as they weren't antelope. I just thought antelope was the generic name and gazelle was a specific. But it's not. Well, it's more specific but not THAT specific. So anyway this hyrax's brother then sent me to this specific watering hole nearby but he didn't know where it was. So I had to ask a cobra. But then on the way I bumped into this warthog who told me it was the other way but I secretly think he was conspiring with gazelles to throw off predators. So I followed his direction but it just led me further into the hills so I knew that wasn't right. I doubled back and found it but by then all the gazelles were gone, so I followed their tracks back this way along the river and I just happened to find that warthog again. He was accepting some sort of grazing rights for misleading a lion? And they were all laughing... and so I jumped up and killed the gazelle, and the warthog ran into the river squealing, and a crocodile got him. So some hunting trip eh? Anyway you want a leg?" he started chewing through the leg at the hip.
Harufu smiled, then stood up and sat down, so there sides were touching. Then he reached up and gently but firmly pushed her onto her side and said, "I feel the same way," and nuzzled her neck below her ear. "Thanks for caring for me, when I was chasing down that zebra. Giraffe," he said, and grinned. "And it's nice to have someone laugh at my jokes instead of just rolling their eyes. You can roll your eyes too though. Just so long as you're also smiling." He grinned, looking down at her, one forepaw across her shoulders.
Niani giggles. "You're such a sweetheart. I'm sure my old would love you and trust you with my care." She sighs and relaxes against him. "Could you tell me more about your parents? The ones that adopted you?"
Harufu put his head over hers, purring as he thought. "My father's name is Baboya. He's the one who found me. He has yellow eyes. All black otherwise, like most leopards in the jungle. Very good hunter. He's very serious." Harufu leaned back, looking into the distance. "I think my sense of humour's sort of a rebellion against that. Mother's name is Enat. Green eyes and still dark, but her belly has leopard spots. She's a musician, and is quite famous in the Congo. Delightful woman. Even after she had cubs of her own she always treated me like her own son. I spent most of my cubhood with her and then travelled with my father, who taught me to hunt. Solo, of course." He looked her in the eye. "Only since meeting you have I ever hunted WITH someone."
"At least you can be yourself, I suppose?" Harufu said. "Anyway, you don't need to change. You're perfect the way you are." He licked her cheek. "Now, what about your parents? Tell me more about them... if you want anyway. Or if you don't mind."
"My father was named Zanari. Really wise, and often strict. Mother used to say he was spun from gold, because of his coloring. He was killed by Nazu, the lion that replaced him. My mother is Lani. Beautiful lioness she is, and my father used to call her his flame, because of fiery personality. Sometimes, it was like she ran the pride instead of him." Niani laughs.
"It's lion politics. If a lion comes and proves himself stronger by killing or driving out the old leader, then the lionesses have to comply." Niani sighs. "Yes, my mom is still there. She's the head lioness; they look to her for leadership."
Help! Help! I'm being chased by..the gazelle's last words rang before colliding with the talking lioness.Ughhhhhh...owwwwww!! The gazelle lies on its side currently dizzy from the collision.Ohhhhh, my head!the gazelle tries to look at the figures but cannot make out the "blobs" Please; don't let.. them... catch.... me..... The gazelle passes out in front of the lions;his life at their mercy..
the gazelle opens his eyes; barely at first but then widens after clarity. Uh oh...um hi. he looks up at the two lions looking down at him.um..uhh...before he can respond, there is a loud snap behind the lions as two hyenas emerge from behind. They look at the lions and decide whether to attack.
There is a pause but the hyenas decide not to attack and run away
The gazelle then looks at both lions...Hey, um thanks for saving me...I guess. Well, I better go.
He hurriedly gets up and turns around looking at the two lions and backs away. slowly...
The riskier the bet, the greater the reward or loss.
the gazelle looks at the lion. I've had a few bad run-ins as you can tell...the gazelle turns to let the lion see the claw marks on his hind legs. I'm not sure how long I can last out here by myself without a herd. I've managed to get by, but getting by isn't cutting it anymore. I'm chased every day; there is no peace for me.
He looks down for a moment.But at least I'm safe for now. The gazelle swivels his ear as confirmation to his safety at the present situation.He notices something sticking out behind the lion.
Harufu looked over his shoulder, then looked over Niani's. "This thing? It's a tail," he said, giving it a few swipes. "You have one too. It's just shorter." He turned to Niani. "I always found gazelle tails to be rather cute. I like the way they can flick them so quickly. Like..." he made the motion with his paw, then smiled at the gazelle excitedly. "Can you do it for us? Flick your tail?"
Sure I can! as the gazelle obliges by flicking his. The lions both watch as he turns in a circle. You two are really nice for lions; well nicer than most of the predators that try to catch me. He looks at the lions. Are you two in a pride? Or are you just wanderers because I...I....uh...um...
the gazelle eyes dart around towards the ground as he figures out what to say.
What I mean is..hypothetically, if an animal, lets say is a predator, happens to meet a lone prey cub whose been chased by other predators and is defenseless.Would the predator try to eat the prey cub or help it?
Usuki looks at the lions with his big yellow-brown eyes; you can tell there's an underlining message in his hypothetical thoughts.