Tattle Tale

Edge of the Kopje Valley

You have reached the edge of the Kopje Valley. The ground slopes gently down into the fertile valley. The lush green grass about you is a welcome sight that makes you want to rest there. One large Acacia tree stands not too far away from you. A smile crosses your face as you gaze upon the beauty of the distant valley. A disarming calm comes over you and a feeling of peace fills your body.

Dakarai, lion cub
Gadi, juvenilie lion
Katili, juvenile lioness
Kiini, male lion
Kori, male lion
Lailen, juvenile lioness

It's a good day to explore! Again. It's round two of Operation Exploration of Unknown Lands. Happily, this time Dakarai spies no immediate big lions on the horizon to stop him from taking a peek! But, he /is/ just a cub, and his observation consists of just a quick glance to the left and right. And so, with a smirk, the youngster holds his head high and makes his way towards the borderlands, tail whipping from side to side. He pounces to the left, completely missing a dung beetle that scuttles away, but he scoffs anyway. "Stupid stink bugs," he snorts.

Yes, cub glances would confirm no one to the left, or to the right. But what about behind? Oh yes, Kiini has spotted his son up ahead, and is quietly strolling in his direction. His eye brow is lifted, as Dakarai is quite close to the borders.

Katili lays idly in the long grass not far off, her tailtip flicking slowly as she watches Dakarai. After a second she makes herself known, "I wouldn't do that if I were you…"

Mwuahaha, he's gonna do it this time! Really. Yeah. The stocky boy pauses in his steps, and Dakarai cranes his neck and inhales a deep breath. Oh yeah, he can just smell how much cooler it is over there than it is here. "Monkeys…" he coaches himself as he continues on, pausing briefly again to glance to those deep claw marks on the acacia tree. That is "the mark". The sign that he's supposed to stop and turn around because he's gone too far! There's a moment of hesitation, then a moment of fear as a voice is heard. He jumps, startled, then glances to the right to Katili. Oh, just a cub. A bigger cub, but not a grown up. "How come?" he asks, still blindly unaware of good ol' dad who has an eye on things. "I ain' scared."

Gadi is just coming up on the border, his clay-colored fur not making him particularly stick out, his paws carrying him not towards the gaggle of gathering youngsters and family, but towards the lone acacia. He approaches the rough bark, rubbing the edges of his jaws against the trunk before rearing up to sink his claws, digging his own -if much smaller- furrows next to those of his older kin.

Kiini wanders up to within about seventy feet or so of the cubs, but as the wind is in his favor, they haven't scented him yet. Curious to see what they intend to do, he does nothing to make them aware of his presence. All he does is sit back on his haunches in the grasses to watch Dakarai and Katili. Gadi is noticed a short time there after, but his eyes go back to his son right away.

Katili scowls and her tail tip flicks again, this time in annoyance, "Because…you shouldn't. I don't care if you’re scared or not. If you leave the lands I'll go find a grown-up and tell."

Lailen had been wandering around trying to avoid the grown ups, she knew she was gonna get a mouthful for leaving Kopje and didn’t wanna get yelled at. Looking ahead she saw Gadi and smiled, he always seemed to cheer her up. The girl padded over, "Hey Gadi!" she sayed excitedly as she came near.

Bah! Dakarai's expression flattens at Katili's words, and he presses his ears back. "Taddle tale…" he mutters with a lowered head, but then cocks a brow and raises it again as he moves towards her. "/Taddle tale!/" he says in a stronger voice, nose wrinkling. "You can' tell me what t'do. /You/ ain' my mudder. I can… I can do whatever I wan'!" So there. He lashes his tail one, then blinks over at Lailen's cry to Gadi, then peers towards Gadi's smaller claw markings on the tree, intrigued. Cool.

Gadi digs his claws through the splintering bark, growling out a satisfied note at stretched muscles and popping joints. An ear twists back as his sister's voice reaches his ear, and he turns mis-matched eyes over his shoulder to regard the grey juvenile with a soft chuff. "Hey." He murmurs to her before he drops back down to his paws. Eyes carry past her towards the younger cubs and his uncle, just catching the end of Dakarai's words and grunts out. "…then you're an idiot." He mutters, ears flattening. "Out there, things kill you."

Lailen lowers her ears as she hears his words to Dakarai, she would have a hard time telling him what she had done but he was her brother hopefully he would understand. "Gadi?" she said softly to get his attention, "You know when you said we needed to find a land where we could stay?" She paused a moment, "Well I went to find one and I got lost in the kopje…..I think I’m gonna be in trouble now. Nabana came and got me…."

Katili perks one eyebrow at the slightly younger male cub, Katili was not amused. "Then go ahead…see what happens when I tell my daddy or grandma Balana…or maybe I'll find /your/ mom and dad and tell them what you've done…"

Kiini listens to the conversation from where he is, smiling at Katili and Gadi's responses to his son's lust for adventure. He continues to wait though, just to see how this one ends up playing out.

Kori has arrived.
Kori goes In-Character (IC).

Idiot? That's not a word he knows, but it sounds like a bad one, which means it's a word he should start using more often! Dakarai snorts at the cool boy cub Gadi. "/You/ a idiot." Now that felt nice! But what's all this about being killed? Luckily, his attention is turned to an easier concept. Katili. "Tell'm! Dey ain' gonna do nuttin' to me." … Maybe. "I'm gonna tell granpa you bein' mean," he retorts matter-of-factly. "An' he'll…he'll /bite/ you."

The scruff of a mane running down Gadi's neck bristles black and brown and clay, muzzle crinkling in the starts of a snarl. But any retort to Dakarai is taken up by Lailen as she talks, and his muzzle turns into a deep frown. "…what were you /thinking/?!" He barks out at her, tail snapping behind him. "We ain't big enough to go out there! You coulda got hurt!"

Lailen sits and winces back a bit as Gadi scolds her, she pouts a bit then looks to her brother. "Well…well you had said…we needed lands to stay in…so..so I thought I could go find one and then come tell you." She lowers her ears and looks to the ground knowing Gadi was angry at her, she cared more about what he thought then the adults and hated making Gadi angry at her.

Lailen shifts the dirt in her paws a bit, "I'm sorry…." she looked up to Gadi. "I just wanted to try and help."

Katili blinks then stands up growling at the younger Dakarai, the fur along her spine bristling as she begins to take slow measured steps towards him, "Okay stupid, You go an tell him that, Then /I'll/ tell him how you were sneaking off the lands, disobeying the rules of the Kopje, putting yourself in danger and because of that putting all of us in danger too! We'll see who gets bitten, You-little-dummy." She pokes his chest with her forepaw with each of her last three words for emphasis.

Oh boy, and now his son is turning to idle threats and Lailen seems to have wandering on the mind. Kiini rises up, stretches out some, and then starts towards the gathering of cubs. If she hasn't seen him already, Katili quickly will, as he's padding up directly behind where Dakarai is. That, and Gadi and Lailen will be pretty quick to notice the adult, too.

Hey, no growling! Dakarai's mouth opens then closes at Katili's show of hostility, and his ears fold back again. "/You/ stupid.." he counters back in a show of quick wit and utter brilliance on his part. His eyes narrow vaguely, and he growls back at her. A gurgling sound that'll be rather impressive and scary when he's his father's size. But at the moment…eh.. And then his chest is poked at, which causes him to backstep a half pace. "Granpa wouldn' bite /me/. He likes me th'best outta everybody. An' /you/ are a /big/ dummy," he says back, claiming back his step to poke her in the chest in return. Nyeah!

"That ain't for a long time." Gadi mutters to his littermate, expressions softening, but still serious. "Just stay here. Don't need mom worrying anymore." He utters with a weary sigh before the uproar from the other two catches his attention, as does the final approach of Kiini. "Grandpa ain't ganna like /any/ of us…" Mutters the boy with a snort, mostly for his sister instead of public commentary as he lumbers towards the others.

Katili's eyes narrow and her paw half raises as if she was going to go upside Dakarai's head and fix that brain of his. But she stops when she sees Kiini coming their way, and lowers her paw again scowling at the small male who was confronting her, "Now your gonna /get/ it." She replied in scathing tones before looking back up and beyond the male cub, "Kiini, know what This guy was gonna do?'

Lailen nods and sniffs, she moves forward and gives her brother a nuzzle. "Ok…I promise I won’t go past the borders anymore." She hears soft footpads coming near and turns eying Kiini, her ears go back as she frowns wondering if it was her time to be scolded or if that would come from Dad.

Kiini makes his way up behind the cub, giving Lailen a quick look that suggests she's /very/ lucky that his son is also in trouble right now. Kiini clears his throat, "You're a little heavy on the name calling and threatening, don't you think?" He asks Dakarai, coming to a stop up along side of him. "She's trying to help. And doing a rather fine job of it at that." Kiini looks to the older cub before looking down to his son.

Katili smoothly slips back into a sitting posture, It seemed Kiini did in fact know what Daka was planning to do. The little lioness tilted her head and wondered how long her grown cousin had been watching them all and not doing anything. Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully. Imagine a small lioness cub giving her relatives a Clint Eastwood sort of squint.

That's right, you'd better lower that paw girlie-girl! Dakarai, who deems this as a win for him, smirks smugly at Katili but soon looks confused by her statement. That is, until he hears his father's voice behind him. Uh oh.. He winces, then turns around with perked ears and a large grin on his face. "Dad!" he greets as his father sits at his side. "She called me names first. She said I wassa lil-dummy," he states with wide doe-innocent eyes. "An' I didn' even do nuddin'." It's true! He didn't cross any borders…yet.

Kiini frowns outright at that innocent little smile, "If you had listened to her in the first place, she wouldn't have used that name, would she?" Oh dear, the fun looks to be over. "Now, explain to me why you thought wandering past the borders was such a good idea?" Kiini decides to all out reveal just how much he heard. "And then explain to me why grounding you to the caves for the next moon wouldn't be a good idea either?"
Already connected.

His father's frown is answered with a small apologetic smile from Dakarai, and he ducks his head a little. He does know humility and how to act appropriately around adults. Especially his father. His first question is pondered, but not spoken upon. Kiini's second question is far more thrilling to answer. "I wasn' gonna go /past./ I was jus' gonna go close'n look! Dis boycub, I don' remember his name, he said /he/ wen' out an' saw cool stuff. Like monkeys!" His smile grows to a grin at the mentioning of them, and he bounces a little on his paws. "You seen a monkey before, Dad? I…" He pauses there and stops his bouncing. That last question is just now sinking in. "…I ain' done nuddin', Dad. Please don' ground me. Pleease."

Katili stands after a moment and walks over to sit beside Kiini as Dakarai makes his plea for mercy, Katili may have been just a cub, but she was a sharp one. and she now had a question for her cousin once He had finished dealing with his son. Her tail tip flicked idly back and forth as she watched and listened.

Katili blinks as Kiini doses off suddenly, She supposed watching after cubs was difficult but never knew it was this tiring. She turns her eyes back to Dakarai and offers him another Clint Eastwood look that almost spoke out loud on its own, you feel lucky? Then she adds softly, "See? You knew you were being bad."

Spared! For now. Dakarai watches as his father goes of to take care of business, and he exhales a slight breath of relief. But his expression flattens again as he looks back towards Katili. "Wudever, stupid," he snorts before promptly turning to trot towards the acacia trees. "You ain't never gonna have no friends, taddle tale."

Ahem. There is a loud clearing of the throat from behind all the small cubs, as the powerful form of the black knight comes into view from the borders, moving with his usual dangerous, and slow lumber. The battle scarred lion narrows his golden eyes slowly as he sizes up the young rascals, then says in a deep tone of bass. "You shouldn't say that, Darkarai. She may have saved your life." It seems that the pride's guardian was eavesdropping the entire time from within the thicket of the lush grass, having kept an eye on his own two children.
Katili opens her mouth to retort looking down her nose at the other cub, but closes it again the moment she hears Kori's voice, she turns too look back at him with eyebrows raised and a curiously shocked expression, and not shocked as in surprised, more like shocked and appalled at the behavior of the adults around here…another one just watching and staying hidden?! What was it with the grown-ups around here?

Gadi has been sitting quietly, a thoughtful frown planted on his face as he watched the conversation between Kiini and Dakarai. His tail absently smacks against the ground, black against the green, though his eyes seem to focus more sharply as soon as the dark form of his father arrives. He doesn't say anything, either in anyone's defense or tattling, but then he's fair certain his father is well aware of it all anyway.

Dakarai blinks and pauses as another hidden lion comes into view. His ears raise and he turns to eye Kori, though he doesn't seem to take the large lion's words to heart. Save his life? Pft. He gives Katili a brief yet sour look before he disregards her wholly and continues his short trek to the tree, bounding the last few yards to come to a skidding stop. "Hi," is spoken to Gadi.

Watching the young boy wander off, Kori lets out a soft snort, before ambling his way over to the girl, leaning over to whisper against her ear. "You are not stupid, and you will have lots of friends." He says in his usual stoic manner, as if he had to assure the girl herself. Swaying his tail about his heels slowly, he lifts his ears upwards, regarding Gadi for a moment, before clearing his throat. "Son." He regards the other boy cub for a moment.

Gadi regards Dakarai blandly, an ear flicking at his greeting. "Hi." He mutters, raising a paw to run his tongue over his claws, clearing out the last few lingering scraps of wood pulp and bark. He stares at the younger male, though he doesn't really say much of anything. Socializing, apparently, isn't one of his strong points. His eyes then look past Dakarai to his father, a slow blink and a swallow his initial reactions. "Hey dad. Um… hey uh… coulda maybe…teach me some stuff?"

Katili blinks as she is whispered to and then smiles softly leaning closer to nose Kori and give him a small lick on the cheek. Shyly looking down then and whispering back, "Thank you…" not that she took the smaller male's words seriously mind, she knew they were the frustrated attempts of the boy to get back at her, but it was sweet what Kori said anyway.

It's likely that Dakarai would do most of the socializing between himself and Gadi, if it wasn't for the fact that Gadi's now talking to the big lion who apparently is his father. He glances to Kori again. Nope. Not hardly as cool as his dad! But now he's left with a problem. Kiini's gone. Gadi's occupied. Katili will forever be ignored. And he's left with not a soul to play with! Where's a sister when you need one? He pauses long enough to eye those clawmarks on the tree again. One of these days his will be up there too! But for now, with a roll of his shoulder, the youngster heads off to search for playmates.

Tail swaying back and forth, Kori gives a slight dip of his head to the young girl, before settling back upon his strong, black furred haunches. Taking in a deep breath into his large chest, he squints his eyes in thought at Gadi's question. As Dakarai starts to head off, his gaze tracks him for a moment, before saying, "You want me to teach you stuff? I only know how to do two things, Gadi. Patrol, and to kill. I'm willing to teach you one of them, only because I am not proud of the other." He says in a low tone.

"I know." Mutters Gadi as he hoists himself up from the ground, taking a few steps closer to his father. "I know." He says quietly as he takes a seat in front of Kori, tucking his tail over his paws. "I wanna learn to patrol, so I can help." He remarks, a glance passed first to Dakarai and then to Katili as they both seem to begin wandering.

"Then I will teach you how to patrol." Kori says as he leans in to push his muzzle against his son's shoulder, then starts off for the borders, motioning for him to follow. "Come along, Gadi. We are going on patrol. Don't plan on going to sleep tonight." And with that, he starts off through the thick grass silently, lowering his head slowly.

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