01/29/09 - Birds and Bugs

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 3:26 PM


Korzar, lion cub, Mzohari and Kasjari's son
Mzohari, lion king
Onaedo, adol. lion, Mzohari and Kenta's son

Kopje Valley
You come down from the edge of the Valley into a large open plain. Small baobab trees dot the landscape. You can see the cliff edge looming above you, sending a shadow over your body. To the north you can see a large cliff with a waterfall flowing from it. To the west you see some beautiful plains, and there is a large and expansive savannah to the south.

You can also see a 'runoff stream'.
A fallen 'umbrella thorn' tree lies across the stream.

Korzar wanders towards the middle of the valley, coming from the waterfall. He'd been left with a *gasp* babysitter. While the growing cub might not need to be nearby mom *all* the time, as evidenced by his and his brother's little adventure out of the pride's territories, that still doesn't mean that he doesn't like being by mom *most* of the time. So, Korzar is following his mom's scent, little nose sniffing curiously, as he pads his way down the gentle slope into the valley's center. "Mmmmom?" he calls out in his little warbly voice, scenting mom's scent growing stronger, but not seeing her yet.

The results of Korzar's calls doesn't bring about exactly the results he was hoping for .. but one's father is almost as good as their mother, right? Having been resting in the shade of the nearby jungle's fringes, Mzohari's mild dozing was interrupted by the callings of his son — and, curious and concerned, the lion promptly abandoned his lazing spot to make his way towards the centerpoint of the Valley. His approach as obvious as ever, with his dark mane blotting out the green of the grasses, Mzo' releases a low rumbling just in case Korzar is somehow unable to see him drawing near.

A cub's mind is easily distracted. A dragonfly, zig-zagging close to the ground, draws Korzar's eyes. "Ooooo…" he murmers, forgetting about his search for now. He bounds after it, but only chases for a few seconds before it zooms high above him. "Awwww, biird…" he calls after it gloomily. But Korzar brightens up again as a rumbling is heard, and he looks over to spot… "Daa!" The cub smiles. Not exactly who'd he been looking for, but if he couldn't have mom, then a dad was definitely the next best thing.

He's too far off to see the dragonfly as it zips away from his son, but he's certainly close enough to be able to hear Korzar as the cub calls out to him. A grin sidles across Mzohari's muzzle as he continues to tromp down the lengthy grasses, though when he finally reaches Korzar, the boy is given a hearty nuzzling across his back and a slobbery lick to the top of his head. "Hiya, kiddo," he greets him. "And just what do you think you're doin' out here all by yourself, hmm?"

Korzar responds to the nuzzle with one of his own, although the little cub is only tall enough to rub against Mzohari's shins. But he skirts away as he feels the lick, shaking his head a bit as he does. Ugh! Dad-slobber! He tilts his head at his dad's questioning tone. He doesn't understand all the words, but he's learned enough to get a general feel for what he's being asked. Unfortunately, he doesn't know enough words to respond to most questions fired his way. He can answer this one though. "Mom!" he says, excitedly, and sniffs at the air again, before motioning a small paw towards the edge of the valley. Yeah, she's definitely thatta way!

His brows lift expectantly as he awaits Korzar's answer — before Mzohari's head swings around so that his eyes can follow the invisible line his son is pointing along. The lion's pale eyes trace up to the fringe of the Valley, letting out a small chortle before he turns back to Korzar. Folding his haunches to seat himself leisurely, Mzo' says, "Your mom's gone wandering off again, has she? Well, I'm sure she'll be back pretty soon after she's taken care of .. whatever it is she's taking care of."

Korzar doesn't follow what's said this time… something 'bout mom. But he gets the idea that dad doesn't want him continuing towards the edge of the valley, following her scent. He remembers what had happened the last time he'd been out that way… dad had been /angry/. Korzar is in less of a rush to find mom now, anyway, now that he's got dad to play with. So, Korzar decides to show off a bit. "Look!" he calls to Mzo, and he crouches and begins to slowly stalk towards an exceptionally long clump of grass that's swaying a bit in the wind. He gets close to it, crouched low to the earth, and pounces! He comes up grinning and looking over to his dad, a small patch of grass hanging from his muzzle for a couple of seconds before he spits it out. Bleagh! Grass tastes bad.

He'd been ready to go through the entire process of lying down — until he catches onto the game that Korzar is playing. Having seen it many times, Mzohari knows better than to dare interrupt the stalking of the wily grass — its sharp senses could pick up on the movement of his overly large paws, and then it'd run off! And so the lion freezes in a posture halfway between lying down and sitting up .. until his son makes his leap and lands with a puff of dust. That miniscule cloud is soon accompanied by a much bitter one as Mzo' plops the rest of the way down, grinning as Kor' hacks out the vegetation. "Pretty good," he says with a nod to the cubling. "But .. what about THAT?" A front paw is used to point to a rather fat beetle that is trundling its way up a small shrub nearby.

Korzar follows his dad's pointing paw, until he spots the beetle. Hmmm. But it moves! So much harder to catch stuff that moves. Korzar creeps over towards the little shrub, trying to move sloowly while he crouched. like he'd done with the grass. After all, it hadn't gotten up and taken off, so he must have done something right! He slowly places one paw in front of another, taking his time. Lots of playing with his brother and attacking of tail tufts has trained Korzar well… at least for a goofy little cub. He approaches his target, arriving right up next to the shrub, before squirming and pouncing again. He's got the beetle between his paws for the slightest of seconds… but with the bending back of the little plant, Korzar loses it in the vivid green and it's able to wriggle away and soar into the air, spreading its wings. Korzar raises onto his back paws for a moment, waving his front ones at the little bug, but it's already way out of his reach, and he tumbles back down onto four paws. Ah, well. It was a valiant effort.

He watches in silence, though his eyes are working away — observing each subtle movement that his son makes, the way he holds his body and where he places his paws. They are the eyes of a teacher watching a student and preparing a critique. When Korzar does finally pounce, and winds up losing the beetle to its ability to fly, Mzohari chuckles and crosses one of his broad forepaws over its matching counterpart. "Good!" the lion says. "But you still have a lot to learn, kiddo. If you think beetles are tough .. " But the sentence is never finished as a different thought occurs to him. Lowering his head a bit, he now uses a paw to point after the track the insect took. "What was that?" If Mzo' is right .. the word 'bird' will likely pop out of the cubling's mouth.

His dad knows the cub well, and soon enough… "Biirrd!" pops out of Korzar's mouth. He grins over towards his dad, and pads his way over to the big lion. He purrs, and rubs against Mzohari's big, fluffy mane. He hadn't let that bit of praise slip past him… a cub is always listening for approvement, especially from a mom or dad. He turns his attention to the beetle again, eventually picking out the small black dot out from against the clear sky. "Bird," he repeats. All those things that zoom and soar up there in the sky are birds, right?

Wrong .. and Mzohari was pretty sure that his son had the idea that everything with wings and the ability to fly falls under the class of 'bird'. So the lesson this evening is going to clarify that little misconception. Hopefully. Shaking his head to Korzar when the boy pads over and snuggles into the thick expanse of his mane, Mzo' leans his head down to nudge his nose against the back of Kor's head before shaking his own. "No," he says gently. "NOT bird. Bug. Buuuuuug." Looking about the two of them for an example, he spots a ladybug that isn't too far off — and, of course, points to it. "Bug." And again, he points after the beetle that fled. "Bug."

Huh? "Buuuuug?" Korzar repeats, tilting his head confusedly up at his dad as he repeats the word. "Buuug?" He can sorta see the similarities as he's pointed to a couple of examples of bugs… first the ladybug, then the beetle. They definitely didn't look like the *other* animals he's ever seen… which really is only lions and birds. Still, the 'bugs' looked a lot alike… and the message appears to have gotten through to Korzar. "Bug," he says again, more firmly now. But then he asks a question, using what limited vocabulary he has. "Biiird?" What's that?

He watches closely as the meaning behind the words sinks into Korzar's brain, and an immensely pleased grin curls across Mzohari's muzzle. It remains as the word 'bird' is now voiced as a question rather than as a statement, and the lion lifts his head up once more and takes yet another look around. From their vantage point, though, no birds are to be seen .. but maybe that can be changed. With a nudge to Korzar's side, Mzo' shoves himself to his paws again, shaking out his mane and grass-riddled coat as he does so. "C'mon," he says to his son, motioning with a nod of his head for Korzar to follow him as he begins to make his way over towards the fallen acacia by the stream.

Korzar trails after his father, a curious expression fixed onto his muzzle. He doesn't really know where they're going, but he realizes that his question has caused this abrupt movement. He stays close to his dad's side, brushing lightly against his hind leg every few moments, several steps behind him. He's soon able to figure out where they're going… over towards the small stream, and the big tree draped across it. The cub knows the word 'tree', but doesn't instantly connect it to the big thing laying across the water… he's used to trees standing straight up. "Biird?" he questions again, this time eying the sideways tree. But he'd thought birds were up in the sky… he waits for his dad to explain, not blurting out anything else until Mzo talks again.

The base of the fallen tree is reached soon enough — though Mzohari bypasses the gnarled, messy portion of the exposed trunk with it's tangled roots sticking off in all directions. Instead, he stops beside the section just above that — where the trunk is widest but free of any sort of snagging roots or branches. Turning halfway around, Mzo's head drops and he moves to grab gentle hold of his son by the nape of his neck — though just why he's doing this is still unclear.

Korzar continues to follow his dad as they approach the fallen tree. He only waves his paws a bit wildly as he's scooped up for a moment, and soon he's relaxed and limp. After all it's his dad… and the last time he shifted around when in the muzzle of a lion, he'd been poked by a tooth. He didn't want that to happen again.

With a firm grip on his son, Mzohari rotates himself around until Korzar is left hanging overtop that thick portion of the fallen tree's trunk — and a second later, the boy is set down atop it. Now, Kor' is up significantly higher and as such, should have a much more widespread view of the terrain about the two of them. After placing a front paw just beside the cubling, setting it there in case Korzar shows signs of accidentally toppling off, Mzo' now says to him. "Shhh .. Quiet. But watch."

Korzar nuzzles affectionately at the paw placed protectively besides him. He shows no signs of moving… for once he's still and silent. He's more interested in checking out his much more expansive view. In the silence, the first thing that he notices is chirping. Scanning the sky, he's soon able to spot two of those flying things… swooping and zooming around each other in the sky. But… they were different than 'bugs', too. They looked different… fluffier somehow. "Birds?" he asks, uncertaintly, as he's been wrong before, but he continues to follow the feathery things with his eyes, head bobbing a bit as they swoop and dive.

He follows his son's eyes and soon he, too, is watching the motions of the duo of birds — and Mzohari grins, bobbing his head in a nod. "Birds," he agrees. With his paw still settled beside his son, the lion turns slightly so that he is now facing away from the boy — looking towards the Patch with it's tangled canopy of sheltering branches. Sucking in matching lungfuls of air .. they are released in a short but bellowing roar which blasts its way over to the Patch. A flock of birds — the ones responsible for all that chirping — promptly burst out of it, airborn, rushing overhead and passing close enough so that both Mzo' and Korzar are washed briefly in the breeze made by the combined actions of their wings. "Birds!"

~ Mzohari holds his head high and ROARS!.

There is another making his way towards where pair are among the tree, though Onaedo has no idea of this until he gets ever closer. The roar is what gets his attention and he blinks while peering around after the birds have taken flight. He blinks before smirking as he catches sight of the pair finally. "Hey.."

Whoa! Korzar jumps at the unexpected roar of his father right behind him, and it's a good thing that big paw is there keeping him anchored or he'd likely slip off into the water below. He looks up, heart pounding excitedly, towards his dad just as the birds swoop overhead. He giggles as the birds get pretty close. "Birds!" he yells out, repeating Mzohari in his own squeaky voice, and grins up at his dad. Caught up in the excitement, he does not notice Onaedo approach or his words… maybe because his ears are still ringing with dad's roar.

"Birds." The word is said for what feels like the fiftieth time — but Mzohari hopes the point was made, that there is more than one 'class' of things with the ability to fly. Unlike Korzar, the grown lion is still paying enough attention to the surroundings to catch sight of Onaedo as he meanders closer. A rumble of greeting is given to the adolescent, his ears tipping forward inquisitively from within the heavy tangles of his touseled mane. "Hey, Ona'," he calls over. "What're you up to?"

Onaedo tilts his head while peering at the pair as he settles back so his sitting, a slight shrug is seen. "Not a lot.. Was just wandering around checking to see if anyone might be awake and stuff." He grins a moment. "So Korzar got to see what birds are huh?"

Korzar hears Onaedo this time. Looking around, he shifts carefully from atop the upturned tree, staying close to dad's paw placed next to him. "Ona!" he calls, obviously still excited. "Birds!" he repeats, yet again. The lesson has been hammered into the cub through repetition… and really that's the best and easiest way for Korzar to learn anything.

A few nods are given to Onaedo's first comments, before his grin widens yet again as the teenager asks about what was going on with his half-brother and the local feathered residents. "Kor's known what birds are for a few weeks now .. Problem was that he thought EVERYTHING in the sky was a bird. So I was just trying to fix that by showing him birds versus bugs. We'll see if it sticks, though." Mzohari's eyes drop to watch Korzar cautiously turn himself around — and he takes that as a cue to put the boy back where he belongs. So once again, the lion shoves his muzzle towards his son to try to take ahold of him, just as before.

Onaedo chuckles at this and nods while grinning. "Should have see what happened when I tryed to teach him to say tail." His little siblings are amusing that's for sure. A grin is offered towards Korzar. "Birds huh?"

Korzar allows himself to be plucked from the tree trunk, going just as calmly and maybe even more willingly than before. It's not the water that scares Korzar, as he actually loves water, but it's the height which he doesn't like, and it's a pretty big drop for a little cub from where he's standing. "Birds! Bugs!" he says, grinning, as his dad repeats the other word he's learned today.

And Korzar is deposited back on the ground, and Mzohari pointedly faces him AWAY from the banks of the stream, so that he doesn't get curious and go toppling over into the stream itself. "Tail?" Onaedo is echoed, and the look on Mzohari's face clearly indicates that he's not even sure he wants to hear about what might have happened with THAT — especially if Wingu was around! "Well .. I have to head out on patrol, so don't you go teaching him any words that are TOO unpleasant." More words like 'fart' are okay though, so long as Kasjari doesn't find out that Mzo' gets a giggle out of the boys blurting those lovely terms out now and then. Wink-wink. With a final nudge of his muzzle to Korzar's side, Mzo' turns and heads for the border — bumping his shoulder to Ona's as he goes. "Back in a couple of hours."

Onaedo grins at his little brother before looking back to his fatehr and nods with an innocent grin, he teachs his brother a bad word? Hardly! He watches there father leave, a faint sigh escapes him before turning his attention back to Korzar and smiles. "So.. You know bugs and birds.. Wonder what else I could teach ya.."

Korzar is just happy to be back on the regular ground. But he's also still excited about his recent little achievement. So, he bounds playfully… a little tiredly, but playfully… towards his older brother, skidding to a halt in front of him, seemingly not sure what exactly to do now. He looks up expectantly to the much-bigger lion. He's gotta have something fun to do, right? Of course, if Ona chose to try to teach the little cub another word or two, Korzar, still flushed with victory, would definitely be up for it.

Onaedo grins at Korzar while pondering a word. Though really this isn't something his that good at. His tail flicks about and wiggles in front of Korzar seeing if he might want toplay while he works on a word that will be interesting.

Oooo. One of Korzar's favorite games. Those tails, and especially their fluffier tufts, always provide fun for the cub. He bats at the wriggling tail, hopping side to side a bit as he tries to hit at it. A grin is soon displayed widely across his muzzle… tails really are fun.

Onaedo blinks and chuckles softly, oh well maybe they will play the name game another time? His tail flicks about while he lays down watching his little brother. "Oh well.. Not like you'd remember anything I'd say I bet."

Hey! Korzar's starting to learn *some* words, when they're repeated again and again. He's still vocally behind his brother Wingu, but he's come to learn some words that he's heard a lot. He can't string sentences together yet, but he's slowly but surely building a bigger vocabularly. After playing with his big brother's tail for a little while longer, Korzar displays his slightly expanded knowledge of words. "Ona… sleeeeep," the cub says, yawning, eyes suddenly drooping. Mom's on the border, and dad just left on a patrol, so the cub curls up next to Ona, and pretty soon he is fast asleep.

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