Playing Hunter


Hali - lioness cub, daughter of Kiini and Mwaliko.
Johari - lioness cub, daughter of Kiini and Mwaliko.
Kikora - juvenile lioness, pride youth.
Lailen - lioness cub, daughter of Kori and Nonceba.

Kopje Valley - Bottom of the Waterfall Cliff
You come to the bottom of a large cliff. Just above you is a massive promontory jutting out of the side, it sends a shadow across the waterfall. A large torrent of water comes down, creating a large 'lake' at the bottom of the cliff. Many sweet grasses grow on the edge perfect for grazing animals. As you look up the cliff face, you see a small path leading to the promontory and then stretches further along the cliff.

To the [K]opje [V]alley [Climb] up to the Promontory
[E]dge of the [S]avannah

A sparkling and cool lake
You can see the 'end of' a runoff stream.

Life is wonderful as a cub! Johari is convinced of it! The girl has managed to wedge herself inbetween siblings, so as soon as she wakes up she's rather warm. Too warm.. The cub works her way out of the pile of cubs and starts to wander a couple of feet from mommy.

The eldest lioness of the pride has taken to playing with the cubs, looking over them… and also doing some thinking. Gaze is set off to the distant border, mind set somewhere beyond. She doesn't take notice of Johari just yet.

Her little legs have gained quite a bit of coordination. At least, for walking. Pouncing is another store entirely. For now, she's more worried about finding someone else to play with than anything else. The cub starts to wander the immediate area, peeking at the piles of cubs in hopes that someone is up and about.

Longing gaze, longing gaze… wait, what? Cub movement! Coming out of her partial daze, Balana's gaze drifts to Johari, and she lets out a soft grunt to the girl.

Johari's little paw starts to poke at a cub when she hears a grunt. Oh good, someone's up! Grinning widely, the little cub marches over to Balana. "Gramma Bawana!" The cub exclaims, "Pway with me!"

Paw reaches out to lightly pat at Johari as the girl comes closer. "Why would you want to do something like that? I'm sure you'd much rather… have a /bath/," Balana says as she attempts to snag the girl with the forepaw and pull her close.

Johari squeals playfully as she's caught up before she can figure out a strategic retreat from the oncoming bath. "Gramma Pway!" She tries, "I don't want bath!"

Kikora had fallen back into a light doze after her odd dream woke her up — she's slowly waking up, her ears lifting from their relaxed state, eyes blinking in the light. She's still sleeping near Kizingo, sprawled out in a childish fashion, paws everywhere.

Wouldn't you just know it? Great grandma zones out on her. The cub swats in a frustrated fashion before moving on towards the next grouping. Namely, Kizingo and company. With any luck, she'll find someone to play with afterall!

Kikora issues an impressive yaaaaawn, her tongue lolling out between her bottom eyeteeth. She smacks her jaws a few times after her 'waking up' display, ears pulling back a bit. Once she clears the sleep from her eyes, she noticed a smaller cub toddling toward her — ohh, what's this? "Hi there!" She calls toward Johari, a smile forming on her face. She hasn't seen a cub her size since, well … since before. "Whatcha doin'?"

"Hi!" The smaller cub exclaims, heading straight for the larger cub. "I wanna pway." Johari explains, sounding rather hopeful.

Kikora glances toward the sleeping form of Korzar, a rather weird expression crossing her face — she'll just have to talk with him about cooties and other childhood wonders a little later on. "Oookay, what do you wanna play?" Kikora asks, climbing to her paws lazily. She isn't one hundred percent awake yet, but she's working on it! "Oh, I know! How about hunter! I'll be the big fat antelope and you can try to catch me!"

Johari grins outright at this suggestion. "Okay!" She exclaims. This sounds like fun, though she's never really played it before. She can chase another cub though!

Kikora mimics the younger cub's grin, her ears perking forward. "Neat! I'll run around and you try and catch me!" She giggles some and stretches her hindlegs out, giving her tail a few good swishes … and then she's off! She's considerably bigger than little Johari, so she ambles at a pace that's -juuuust- out of the younger cub's reach, occasionally trying out the famous stotting jump of the gazelle species. "Gotta caaatch me!" She calls to Johari, giggling a bit louder now.

Johari charges off after Kikora as best as she's able, which isn't too great as a whole. She's bound and determined to try though, and so matter which direction that Kikora goes, Johari is right behind her.

Kikora slows down a bit, trying her hardest to keep the game fun and enticing to the little one. With Johari at her heels, Kiko' swishes her tail a few times, offering her something to start with — once she has the back end of the 'antelope', it'll lose its balance for a sure victory to the mighty hunter!

Johari is trying her hardest to pull this one off! The cub finally tangles up her paw in Kikora's tail tuft. With a fit of out of control giggling taking place, she half tumbles into Kikora instead of making something that looks anything like a pounce.

Ack! The might hunter has captured her prey! Kikora makes a huge display out of it, purposefully entangling her paws until she keels over on her side with an audible 'oof'! "You got me, you got me!" She laments playfully, laying prone so that the smaller cub can get her in a proper pounce.

Johari isn't going to let this one ride! Johari gets back up and with a playful "Mrowl!" she jumps on Kikora's side.

"Noooo!" Kikora says and swings her forepaws around a few times, mimicing a struggle. After a long moment, she stops moving and sighs, closing her eyes and letting her tongue loll out of the side of her mouth. Johari has successfully caught the big, fat antelope! Spoils for the whole pride! She remains this way just long enough to make the effect last, bursting back to life with a string of giggles. "What's your name?" She asks of Mwaliko's spawn, shifting a little so she can raise her head to look at the younger cub.

~ Hali lets out a small cry.

Lailen opens her eyes and yawns softly waking up from her sleep. The girl stands and stretches softly her silver fure glistening in the daylight. The lioness cub smacks her lips and walks over slowly to the edge of the water. Dipping her muzzle in Laile takes a few laps of the cool refreshing water.

Guess she wore poor little Johari out with the hunting game! Kikora has been resting on her side, trying to catch her breath from her stotting and cajoling, sprawled out like a discarded teddy-bear. But wait … is that movement by the water? She climbs to her paws and gives herself a quick shake, loping toward the rest of the group; she spares a quick glance to Korzar and Wingu, seeing that they are both asleep! Grr. Oh well … that pale-colored cub looks like a perfect playmate, 'bout the same size as Gadi. "Hi!" Kikora calls out to her as she approaches, a friendly grin already plastered on her maw.

Lailen jumps not expecting anyone to be behind her. She turned and smiled seeing the cub she had yet to meet, "Hello!" she said excitely her tail swishing back and forth. "I'm Lailen.." she said introducing herself. The girl then looked around curiously wondering if her brother Gadi was around anywher, she usually didn't like being too far away from him or he might go away like her sister Kio.

Hali hasn't known much about the world apart from ending up in a different place recently and hearing a constant roar of new sounds. Not to mention smells…but she doesn't quite understand that thing on the end of her face just yet. Hmph. The little lioness cub pokes her head up from among the fuzzy masses of her siblings. Her side has gotten cold and it seems that one of those fuzzballs has gone missing. Hali's not about to sit by quitely and let this go unnoticed.

~ Hali lets out a small cry.

Kikora weaves her way through the grasses until she's near Lailen, plopping down on her haunches gracelessly — she's such a little tomboy, this one. No prim and proper displays just yet! "I'm Kikora. Who're you?" She asks in an amicable tone, her head tilting to the side some. "I only know Kor and 'Goo and Gadi. I didn't know there were this many cubs in the valley!" She's absolutely enthralled with it! As an only child, the poor kid didn't get much company back in her birth pride.

Lailen smiles and sits on her haunches as well happy to meet a new fur. "You met my brother?! Gadi is my brother. Have you seen him here I dont want him to go." She looks around again and hears the soft whine wondering what other small cubbies are around.

Hali wrestles against the confines of the other little bodies wedged up against their mother's side so that she may pop her head up slowly. Two little dark-tipped ears flick about as a pair of sapphire eyes blink open in the sunlight to search out the guilty culprit who left her side. A little frown plays crossly upon her muzzle as she spots to other, slightly larger, fuzzies by some big sparlkling thiny.

Kikora's ears lift at Lailen's statement, and she issues a soft-toned 'ohhhh'. "Yup, he's back in the vaaalley. We were playin' the other night. I won, of course!" She boasts with a sparkling grin. Movement from the nearby Mwaliko catches the girl's eye and Kiko turns her head, peering curiously at Hali. "Hi! Miss your sister, huh?" She asks in a big-sisterly voice, her tail twitching softly against the ground. "Don't worry, she's not too far away."

Lailen smiles as she hears her brother is at least in the valley. The girl stands and walks with Kikora towards the newborns. The lioness sniffs them softly, it had not been too long since she had been the same. The lioness licks softly at the cubs cheek smiling.

Hali drops her head immediately once her eyes meet with those of the larger cub's. Instinctively she huddles tighter into a little ball, pulling her head in toward her body as her little ears flatten themselves against her head. "Rrrrr'owwww!" she hollars, screeching out at the two larger cubs as they approach her. She'll defend herself if she needs to!

Kikora giggles a few more times, mostly at Hali's reaction to them. "S'okay! We're not gonna hurtcha." Thinking back on how frightened she was of the large lions when she first arrived, Kiko' settles down on her stomach and lowers her head to the smallest cub's level. "See? We're just like you, only a little bigger!"

Lailen smiles and nods, she lays down as well next to Kikora and sets her head to ground level. The giurl purrs softly to help ease the tension the cub may be having. "It's ok we can be your friends if you want." Lailen didnt know if the small one could understand her words but that didnt matter she hoped the cub would understand by thier actions.

Hali lets out a squealing little growl, uncomfortably squirming into her mother's side more and more the closer the two of them get to her. Goooo'way! The little lioness cub peeks out from a tuft of her mother's somewhat long fur so that only a pair of bright blue eyes glare out—as menacing as her tiny self can be. >:[

For a brief second, Kikora considers scaring the wits out of the little Hali-cub … but decides against it. That would be too mean! "Aww, you're not as friendly as your sister was, are you?" She asks in a voice that sounds almost sad, giving a sidelong glance to Lailen. "Wanna leave her alone and go talk?"

Lailen stands and backs off as she looks a bit angry at them. She looks to Kikora and nods softly, "Sure!" It had been a while since she had talked much with anybody but Gadi. She and her brother were best of friends, something that had seemed to happen after Kiokata's supposed death. Losing another sibling wasnt something she wanted to happen again.

Hali wiggles a little more in the confines of her furry fortress, giving a death-glare to the two larger fuzzies. It looks like the two of them are coming to some agreement. Good, gooo'way. Hmph. The little lioness cub takes the opportunity to resume kneading her mother's shaggy fur in the process of drifting back off to sleep.

Kikora spares one last curious glance over her shoulder to Hali, raising to her paws and padding away a short distance. "So your Kori's kid? 'Goo told me 'bout … what happened." She says this in an innocent manner, her little ears turning back some. "Bad lions killed my daddy. My mama took me away from there but ended up gettin' kicked by a zebra. Over there …" she says, gesturing off in the distance, past the savannah. "I don't like bad lions, nuh-uh!"

Lailen nods softly to Kikora's first question, "Yeah and Nonceba is my mom." As soon as she mentions 'what happened' Lailen's ears turn back and she looks down at the ground. Hearing the cubs story perhaps gave her a bit of relief knowing that she had experienced some bad times with another other than her brother and parents. "I'm sorry…" she said softly hoping Kikora would be ok.

"Noooo!" Kikora says in a soft voice, looking at the silver-furred cub. "I like it here lots better. Nobody wanted to play with me there. Daddy was too busy playin' with his -other- cubs. He taught me how to swim an' how to catch fish, but … nah, I like it here better." She displays a dazzling grin, her ears returning to their normal post, up high and alert. "'Sides, nobody there was as cool as 'Goo or Kor." She glances over toward the sleeping brothers, only slightly disappointed that they haven't been around to play today.

Lailen lifts her ears at the girls happiness to be here. She nods softly, "Yeah, everyone is nice here. I dont know alot of em but me and Gadi play with others lots." She scratched softly at the ground, "Mom is still sad so we don't see her alot but Dad is around so we dont go off alone."

Kikora nods. "Yup, Kor is grounded 'cause he went off into that cold forest past the grasses. That's when I met him and 'Goo and King … and Kiini …" she lists off names, giggling some. "Kiini-too-loud. An' the other daaaay, I got lost! I chased a stupid lizard out by this big volcano!" Her voice gets a bit louder as she says 'volcano', still terribly excited about it. "An' Balana said we can go see it when Kor's not grooounded, and if I'm good." Her tail swishes a bit, and so far she hasn't had any problem with being 'good' — chasing the monitor out of the valley was an accident!

Lailen smiles and nods softly, "Maybe if me and Gadi are good Dad will let us go with you. Could you ask Balana if we could go?" She was anxious to get out of here as she and Gadi had pretty much been under house arrest since the incident with Gadi and Kiokata.

"Yeah! I asked Gadi if he wanted t'go too. I guess it's up to your dad." She glances over to where she last saw Kori and, indeed, he's still there — only sleeping. "He taught me an' Kor 'bout where cubs come from -and- about …" she lowers her voice in a little whisper, ears turning down some, "… cooties. Yuck!"

Lailen tilts her head curious at this, "He taught you what??" She hadnt spent much time with her father lately, he was always out on patrol and even when they did spend time he never talked to her about stuff. Her mother wasnt much help, she still seeme dto be caught up in depression after losing Kiokata.

Kikora blinks at Lailen, and then erupts into a new bout of little giggles. "Cubs! He said that cubs happen when mommies and daddies hug each other, and they're made from love and … and will-power!" Of course, she has -no idea- what this means, but is happy enough to spread the information around to all the younger Kopje members. "And cooties, -gross-! They happen when you hug, too, 'cept they're itchy! And only lots of baths can get rid of 'em." She wrinkles her nose, tail thwapping against the ground in displeasure. All of this had come right after a rather rough-and-tough game of wrestling with Korzar, and she was -positive- that he had given her his yucky boy cooties. Blech!

Lailen chuckles as she listens having not been told any of this. She watches the wrinkle of Kikora's nose and smiles. "Did you get cooties from someone?" She stands and scratches at the ground again happy to have a playmate she can get to know well other than her brother.

"I dunno!" come Kikora's response, glancing warily at the sleeping Korzar. "I don't -think- so, 'cause Kor and I not huggin'. Just wrestling!" She grins, being a big fan of playing rough and getting muddy. She yawns a little, up especially late tonight — but everyone else seems to be sleeping! The bigger cub smiles at Lailen, one ear perked up and the other relaxed.

Lailen nods softly smiling, "So are you gonna stary her in the valley with us and live?"

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