Fishing For Badiliko


Badiliko - lion cub, found by Balana.
Balana - lioness, Kopje Valley's Queen Mother.
Kikora - juvenile lioness, pride youth.
Uzo - lioness cub, daughter of Balana and Siombe.

Celestial Lake:East Shore
The very center of the valley crator of the Celestial Volcano is also it's
crowning jewel. You stand on the shore of a rather large crator lake. The
pool is so clear and reflective that you swear that you can see the bottom,
and at the same time, every detail of your own reflection. When the sun
shines over the crator, the soft, lulling waves sparkle like a thousand
diamonds in the cool water. On this side of the shore there is a rock
formation that is perfect for sunbathing and relaxing on. One tree
shades a part of the formation to keep those who wish out of the sun.

Move on {t}o the Gardens {S}outh {S}hore {N}orth {S}hore

Mreh! Not move around! Hungry! Uzo wriggles around a bit, only to slacken within a moment till she's set down once more. Once done, the task to find food source resumes, crawling her way to mamma's belly.

From above, Kikora would look splattered on the ground — her stomach is flat against the warm, grassy earth and her paws are splayed out in all four cardinal directions. She's still young and flexible enough to pull off this feat and she takes advantage of it — forepaws palmar-down, hindpaws palmar-up. She swishes the tuft of her tail lazily and lifts her head groggily, blinking away the sleep. Another day in the Volcano!

Badiliko weakly says "Okay" and, once turned around, pads over to Balana, where in a few moments he comes within proper grasp of the elder lioness, ready to be taken up and licked to perfection in a lion's bath. The fur under his eyes are stained with small tear streams, but they seem to be abated for the time being.

Balana stretches herself out so Uzo can feed relatively easily. She doesn't notice Kikora's waking just yet, but pulls Badiliko over between her forepaws. "My name's Balana, by the way. What's your name?" Brief introduction given, she sets about to start grooming the boy between the ears. Probably best not to start with the face while he's talking.

Uzo clamps on and goes to town! Paw kneeding the good thing's belly while suckling away.. happy, quiet cub.

"B…Badiliko…" he says as he gets the ever-so-strange sensation of being bathed. Was he never ever bathed before, perhaps? The dust and dirt on him is caked and required a little bit more effort to be cleaned off, but he's obedient in staying put for his bath.

He must have been at /some/ point… after all, depending on the cub, it doesn't take much to get filthy. Especially a really pale one. "Nice to meet you. My daughter here is Uzo, but she's not old enough to talk yet," she says between licks. The grooming takes a while, but the elder is quite thourough.

Well, not talk in understandable ways.. goodness knows she can vocalize when she wants to, it just doesn't happen very often. With effort focused on aleviating hunger, which isn't very difficult to do, time can be spent on making sense of the other sensations she's having, namely sound.. there's meaning there, but what is it? Hmm!

Kikora seems to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed now, shifting to tuck her hindlegs back beneath her and to raise her head in a Sphinx-like manner. "Hi Bal!" She greets cheerfully, returning back to her old gleeful nature. Despite the epic grounding that's coming with the arrival of the Kopje lions, she can't seem to stay down for very long. "Whatcha doin'?" She watches the elder female groom all the muck off of the little white cub, her round, black-tipped ears perking. "Did'ee eat yet?"

Badiliko gives a timid "Hi" in response to Balana's introduction, the introduction of her daughter, and the newcoming little lioness juvenile. He can't resist a soft purr as he's cleaned and in seemingly friendly company, but he's still a little stiff and slightly worried. He doesn't seem to be thinking of his mother at the moment, which is a good sign. Sort of.

Balana's gaze drifts over to Kikora, and she rumbles a greeting. "I figured he could do with a grooming. This is Badiliko—and this lioness here is Kikora," she says by way of further introduction. "I haven't given him anything."

Uzo seems to be quite content to keep feeding for now.. an ever so light purr floating in the air.

Kikora gives Balana a toothy grin, her brown eyes flashing with curiosity. "Badiliko! I bring 'im a fish?" She asks, clamboring to her paws with an air of excitement about her. She's willing to give it a try, though she knows there's a chance that the little orphan won't like it … but still, she could at least offer him something. She remembers nursing from Kasjari the night that her mother died, and wants to pay it forward in a sense, pass along another good deed to a youngster with whom she shares a sad past. Her tail loops at her hocks and she waits for permission to try her luck at catching a cichlid from the lake, ears still standing at attention.

The youngster looks unsure, but his belly rumbles softly, which would soundly declare his need for food. "Hi, Kikora…" he says softly as well, clearly unused to that level of energy in a lion. Even if he didn't like fish, he wasn't in much of a position to deny it!

"It's worth a try. I don't think we have too much else to eat at present," Balana says as she starts grooming Badiliko's chest. "And it'd probably be more palatable than fruit or grass or something like that, now wouldn't it?" Of course, worst case scenario, he's probably still young enough to nurse if need be. "Anyway, this place is known as the Celestial Volcano. We don't really live here, we're just visiting."

Kikora hops a few times, clearly enraptured at the chance to go a'fishin' for someone other than herself or Korzar. The lanky cub barrels down toward the lake, rustling through the grasses and disturbing a few grounded birds. Ah, well — she didn't do much harm, as they resettle just a few yards away. When she reaches the banks, she scopes out the clear, undisturbed water for a few moments before finding a few of those same dull-colored fish, cruising around and picking at the submerged vegetation. Their proximity to the bank means that she doesn't have to get all wet this time, though she manages to soak herself as she plunges an expert forearm in, clumsily scooping out one of the larger cichlids. Success! It seems all the lessons her father gave her have really paid off. As the fish flops vigorously in the short grasses, Kiko' smacks at it with her wet forepaw and stuns it, giving her enough time to gather it up between her jaws and trot back in Balana and the cubs' direction. She drops it gracelessly and gives it another pummeling, this time kicking it toward Badiliko. "There!" She huffs, grinning almost ear-to-ear.

Badiliko, as best he can, watches Kikora do her thing. "Oh…so where's your home?" he asks Balana back as he's cleaned and as he watches the fine art of lion-fishing. It all looks so strange to him, every little bit of it. And nonetheless he's awestruck by it all and curious. Success on averting his attention!

"It's called the Kopje Valley. It's not too far from here, but I came here to have my cubs. Long story," she says by way of explanation. It might not help a whole lot, but it might be a little much for the moment. Balana glances aside at Kikora, and then back to Badiliko. Well, he's… mostly white again. Still some spots along his flanks and such, but food might be a higher priority. "Why don't you have something to eat? You're almost clean anyway."

Kikora seats herself gingerly, folding her lean haunches beneath her and flicking an ear back curiously. Her grin remains plastered on her face, eager to see how the little white cub takes to the strange — but delectable — offering. "I c'n teach ya how to fish if you like it. It's fun!" She exclaims, twitching her tail-tuft at her paws. She lifts her gaze to Balana and gives her a look, as if to say: Did I do right?

"Y-yeah," he mumbles as he looks at the strange fish. It seemed…thin, but he was terribly hungry and wouldn't complain. Once released from the cleansing paws of Balana he moves closer to the fish, and timidly places his paws on either end so the fish can't possibly squirm away. From there he goes on to nibble at first, then feast on the fish. Thanks to Balana's efforts the whiteness of his fur is mostly revealed, and with enough care it could be quite the coat of fur ever seen in Kopje.

Balana looks aside to Kikora and gives her a nod. She did fine! Of course, it might well take some time to get this kid situated, but it's off to a good start. Although she doesn't even know where he's from, Balana guesses from the look of him that he doesn't have anybody else to look after him at this point.

Kikora does all she can to keep from blathering out about ten questions at once, wondering if Badiliko -likes- the fish, or if he's eating out of necessity. Korzar didn't seem to trust the way the scales shined in the sunlight, but it turned out that he liked 'em almost as much as Kiko' — something that surprised and pleased her. "I c'n go get s'more, too …" she manages to say, trying to stay calm for the sake of the new little kiddo.

The fish, although not in record time, is soon devoured. Badiliko seems much more satisfied than before, although he looks down at it, then back at Kikora. "Is there?" he asks half-timidly. Hey, he's not sounding quite as timid. That's a good sign!

"I think Kiko there is more than happy to take the opportunity to play in the water," Balana teases lightly before from her to the young male. "You're quite welcome to it."

More? Well, yeah! Kikora beams and hops back up to her paws, trailing through the grasses in the same fashion as before. This time she's gone quite a bit longer than before, concentrating at the lake's sandy bank. The distant sound of two distinct splashes can be heard, and a small, triumphant cry from the bigger cub. After another few moments, she cruises down the overgrown path with -two- stunned fish in her mouth, leaving only the tiniest of teethmarks in their soft flesh. She deposits them in front of Badiliko again, tail all aswish. She's a good little hunter, and only promises to get better when she graduates from aquatic things to terrestrial things like impala and gerenuks and wildebeests!

With the first hint of a smile Badiliko begins working on the other two fishies, working through them with renewed vigor. Before long those fish are likewise picked clean and there's just a happy cub in their place. "Thank you!" it responds gratefully.

Liveliness usually accompanies being fed. And so it is in Badliko's case, it seems. Balana simply watches the pair as the cub goes on eating. Well, he's in a better mood… so she'll probably leave the question of what he's doing out here all by himself until later. "I bet that lake hasn't been fished much in… years."

Kikora drops to the ground without going through the motions of sit-stretch-sprawl, instead just … well, sprawling. She rolls to her side and heaves a heavy sigh, flicking one ear idly at a few evening gnats. "Fishins is tiring today!" She explains to no-one in particular, closing her eyes halfway. With Balana's comment, the cub manages a final retort before completely dropping off the face of the concious earth: "More fishies for meeee!" Hehee. She zonks out unceremoniously near the five cubs and elder, portraying a skill true to her species: the ability to visit dreamland without hesitation.

Well…that's different. Badiliko sort of recoils from that and…lets out a glimmer of a laugh. Maybe something is turning up for a change, he may be wondering. "She's…funny."

Tongue flicks out over her muzzle, and she smiles gently to Badiliko. "Don't mind her. She's a little… wilder than most of the rest of us. Most of the others of us are a little calmer."

"Uh…okay," he says timidly as he finishes his pickings and turns back to Balana. "Thank you…" he says, almost on the verge of choking up. "I…"

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