Where Cubs Come From


Kasjari - lioness, King Mzohari's mate.
Kikora - juvenile lioness, adopted into the pride.
Kori - lion, Kopje guard.
Korzar - juvenile lion, son of King Mzohari and Kasjari.
Mwaliko - lioness, Kiini's mate.
Vikali - lioness, Kiini's mate.

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.

As morning turns into afternoon a few of the lionesses went off to hunt, and seemed to have gotten lucky. A zebra mare was pulled down which will offer food for a few days perhaps for the large pride. Mwaliko is making her way back towards the waterfall to check on the sleeping cubs she left some time ago. Her gaze drifts over the area while she pauses at the water's edge to get a drink.

Kikora is still snuggled up against Balana, though in a much different position than the night before — her limbs are sprawled out in every direction, tail draped over one of her hindpaws. Her fur is still disheveled and she looks as if she -really- needs a bath! She sleeps peacefully, unaware of the world around her.

Kasjari pads back with Mwaliko, looking a bit bashful beside the larger lioness, "Really, if you need me to take a turn dragging, just let me know" she says a bit sheepishly, feeling a bit useless now that the actual hunt is past. She chuckles as they reach the cubs, Mwaliko doing the dragging for the pair of them the whole, seemingly with ease. She remembers the last time she dragged a zebra, it was fairly abysmal. She smiles and pads ahead alittle, looking about for the various cubs, taking inventory as it were.

Not all of the cubs are asleep. Korzar is perched on the edge of the lake, his fur looking a bit ruffled from his recent sleep. He still looks a bit groggy, and he yawns widely as he raises his bottom off the ground, tail twitching slightly back and forth. He suddenly springs, and after a few leaping bounds, he's deep enough to plunge into the water with a big SPLASH! He emerges giggling and soaking wet, and he paddles the short distance back towards the shore. He stands in the knee-deep water and gives himself a big shake, spraying water everywhere and poofing his fur up a bit in the process as well. Well, that's a good way to wake up in the morning… or afternoon, as it is now.

Following a pleasent night - and morning's - sleep in the pleasent jungle where the pridal guardians commence their training, Vikali has left the spot where she and Kiini slept, now making her way over towards Waterfall Cliff. Waterfall Cliff's generally a good place to be. Sun, shade, water, and there's usually a kill or two lying about the place. As the lioness nears the water, she spots the two distinct forms of her pride sisters. Rather than disturb them with a call, however, she merely continues on after them.

Mwaliko humms fiantly while she looks over to Kasjari and chuckles softly as she settles to her haunches. "That's alright.. I didn't mind it, I've been laying around to much lately so I could use the extra movement." She says while lifting a forepaw to rub across her maw and face a few times. Her gaze drifts towards her sleeping cubs before she looks towards Korzar and chuckles softly as she watches.

Wow, what was -that-?! Kikora's ears perk up and her eyes open slightly, suddenly flooded with sunlight. She closes her eyes and squints, nose wrinkling, before clumsily flopping a paw over her face. Too bright! Still… what was that big splash? She groans and lifts her head, keeping her eyes squinted until they've at least partially adjusted to the light. The first thing she sees is Korzar giving himself a mighty shake, which results in Kikora giggling sleepily from her spot near Balana. "Kor!" She calls out to him, lifting herself from her prone position, stretching as she does so. However, Kasjari and Mwaliko come into her line of sight shortly after and the girl is swiftly reminded of something -very- important. "Hi!" She starts out sweetly enough, padding slowly toward the edge of the lake. "Me an' Kor have a question." Her brown eyes tick back and forth between Mwaliko and Kasjari, wondering which unlucky lioness will be the first to respond…

Kasjari blinks at the splash and looks over, spotting Korzar with a grin, "Cubs who like the water, I must be the luckiest mom ever," she whispers to Mwaliko with a grin. She smiles warmly as the place comes to life as they near, chuffing softly to Korzar and watching Kikora scamper about. She tilts her head curiously at the little lioness, "What's on your minds?" she asks, not aware of what she may be getting herself into.

Korzar's ears flick towards dry land as he hears the sudden sounds of voices. Whoa! Where'd everyone come from? Ahhh, whatever. Korzar grins as he splashes his way out of the lake, still dripping water from his legs and belly. He first makes his way towards mom and Mwaliko, nuzzling up against Kasjari's legs with his still wet body. Then he rounds around to the front of the lionesses to arrive next to Kikora, giving one of her ears a friendly little bat in greeting. "Heya!" He listens to Kikora, and quickly catches on with what she wants to ask. There was only *one* thing left unresolved after storytime with Balana last night, and he shudders again as he thinks about it. "Gross," he mutters, before falling silent, and letting Kikora explain what they want to know.

Mwaliko chuckles softly and nods to Kasjari. "Nothing wrong with not being scared of the water that's for sure." She offers while glancing towards her cubs a moment before the voice gets her attention and she looks to Kikora and tilts her head. "Well.. Ask away." She offers with a smile, pondering what it might be about.

Kikora's ears perk up as both Kasjari and Mwaliko appear to be willing participants. As Korzar bats her, she ducks playfully and swats at his tail — claws in of course! She drops down to her haunches, scooting her forepaws around nervously now that she has the two grown lionesses' attention. "Kor and I wanted to knoooow…" she starts out, but is interrupted when Korzar says 'gross' — this strikes her as -hilarious-, and she laughs loudly in response. Finally, after the last of her chuckles have dissipated, the cub peers up at Kas and Mwaliko with wide, curious eyes. "Where do cubs come from?" -Gasp-. The dreaded question.

Kasjari listens curiously, looking between the two cubs as commetary and giggles pass between them, her ears perk a bit as they get to the point, and she smirks softly, wondering who put their minds on this track. She grins softly, glancing aside to Mwa for a moment before looking back to them, "Why do you want to know?" she asks in response.

"Mmmomm," despite his intentions, Korzar's whining a little. "Gramma Bal sed mommies eat cubs! And cubs grow in mom's belly! And… yuck!" He's not able to even finish. And okay, these weren't the *exact* words Balana had said, but this is what Korzar was able to deduce from his grandma's vague explanations, once he and Kiko had put their heads together. He looks up almost pleadingly at his mom. She hadn't ever ate him… right? And then thrown him back up? Again, he mutters, "Gross!" a little more forcefully this time.

Mwaliko just blinks at the questions and ers faintly before glancing to Kas an then looks back to the cubs. "I see.." Is offers before she smirks a moment. "I'll have to thank gramma Bal later.. An no, mommies do not eat cubs and then throw them up when there ready.." That would be a lot less painful for sure though!

Kikora's ears flatten in despair when it appears as though Kasjari and Mwaliko won't be answering such an important question. "Balana told us a story 'bout Siombe and Zalima," see? She promised she wouldn't forget the story! "and they had -five cubs-! But how did they -have- them? Balana saaaaid that they were in Zalima's belly until they were 'ready'. Ready?" The poor cub looks rather confused, and she doesn't understand why everyone is avoiding the question. She deduces that the explanation may in fact be -worse- than mothers eating their offspring…and she backs away a little, taking a few steps behind Korzar. Great. Does she -really- want to know now if it's worse than her initial thought?

Kasjari smiles gently, leaning down to nuzzle the confused cubs gently, "When a lion and a lioness decide to have cubs they appear in the lionesses belly. You were very small then, and no I never ate you Korzar. The cubs then grow in their mom's belly until you are big enough to live on your own, on the outside, where you keep on growing bigger and bigger," she grins to Korzar, "And fuzzier, in you and your brother's cases," she teases with a smile.

What could be worse than mothers eating cubs and throwing them up when they're ready? Korzar definitely doesn't know… but then, there's a lot Korzar doesn't know yet. Still, he's comforted a little by the fact that both lionesses firmly say that no, mothers don't eat there cubs. He's even willing to accept that, yup, cubs appear in lionesses bellies when they decide they want 'em. But he's still a little unsure about something, and he almost bites his tongue, but in the end his curiosity wins it. "Buuut… how cubs get outta the belly?" He shoots a confused look behind himself to Kikora, who has backed away a few steps. Maybe she's understanding all of this better than he is?

Mwaliko as faintly at this, findingit amusing but at the same time strange. She peers at Kas seeming to say, his your son so its all for you to answer this question. She looks to Kikora and blinks while smiling softly. "Its alright.. Really.." Heck her cubs are just learning how to talk and these guys are already asking about cubs.

Kikora's ears relax a bit as Kasjari nuzzles the two of them gently, but she's still a little wary of the whole thing now. It seems as though the web of confusion about cubs has begun to unravel a bit, but she still spares an unknowing and helpless glance to her friend, giving her head a gentle shake. After Korzar poses the question about how cubs get -out-, she wants to know how they get -in-. "But how do the cubs get in bellies? Moms and dads just -decide-?" This has been bothering her all night, from the moment that Balana mentioned Zalima's pregnancy. She could have accepted the whole 'mother eats cub until it's ready' line, but … but where do the cubs -come from- to begin with? She looks between Mwaliko and Kasjari expectantly, moving around Korzar's side until she's settled next to him again.

"I'll tell you if you wanna know so bad." Kori says as the dark lion who has been lingering near by in the thicker parts of the grass rises upwards to his towering frame. Giving his thick, black mane a hard shake away from his face, the stoic juggernaut ambles over to Mwaliko's side, slowly settling back upon his tight muscled haunches. Lowering his glowing, golden eyes slowly towards the cubs, his raggedy notched ears lift upwards upon his thick black blanket. The scars along the side of his face has healed to pink, jagged lines, which only give the stare he wields a more ominous sight.

Kasjari smirks a little, ah, young curious minds, she'll have to remember to thank Balana as well. She appears ready to speak after a long moment of gathering her thoughts, when Kori appears and pipes up, the lioness smirking slightly towards him, "As much as I appreciate your offer Kori," she says to him with a bit of a sharp look, "It is not your place to decide when my cubs are to be taught the matters of life." She looks back to the cubs and smiles gently, "There will be times in your lives, dears, where I will have have to tell you that you are not old enough to know all the secrets of our lives. This is one of those times. For the time being it will have to suffice for you to know that you were conceived, carried and birthed in a state of love. We'll fill you in on the details as you guys get older."

Korzar blinks, but nods right along when Kikora adds her question. Yeah! How do cubs get inside the mommies in the first place? When another voice joins the group, Korzar turns towards the noise in suprise. He hadn't known anyone else had been around. Korzar doesn't know Kori all that well, except that he's always out patrolling and Gadi seemed to be mad at him a lot. Besides that, nothing. Kori is no doubt an intimidating figure, but Korzar is usually an unafraid cub, so he's not nervous… though he does speak after a slight hesitation. "Okaaaay," he says slowly. Finally someone who seems like they might give the cubs a straight forward answer! But then mom goes off on a her little lecture, and Korzar, sighs, resigned to the fact that they might not *get* an answer. But… he does shoot a curious glance towards Kori after his mom finishes, like he wouldn't mind if the big lion went ahead and ignored his Kasjari's prohibition.

Mwaliko blinks while looking to Kori and just peers at him faintly while a smirk crosses her maw. "Kori.. I don't think they need to know every detail.. An Kasjari said no." An what Kas or one of the other lionesses say goes right? Well some lions listons to the lioness after all.

Kikora glances around, her ears raised as a new and unfamiliar voice breaks through the peaceful gathering of lionesses — a male's voice. As the dark-furred lion crests through the grasses, Kiko' huddles instinctively against Korzar, her eyes narrowing slightly. "Who's that?" She whispers to her friend, trying to keep calm with the large lion looming ever-closer. When Kasjari informs them that she won't be giving away any of the details, something dawns on her… "Heeey… she's not my mama… so maybe I can still know?" She peers toward Kori and Mwaliko with a look of 'yeah, yeah?' She means no disrespect, but she isn't Korzar's sister or anything… so maybe… just maybe?

Glancing over at Mwaliko slowly, Kori gives her a dubious look as his stony features crack only for a moment. It's obvious he doesn't care if Kasjari said 'No', or not. Turning his head back towards them, he speaks in his usual low, rumbling tone as his tail curls around his hip slowly. "Cubs are not eaten by their mothers. That makes no sense, and the idea of it is stupid." He says with a snort as his gold eyes focus instead on Kikora. He just won't 'directly' tell Korzar then. In fact, he won't even pay attention to the little boy cub. "You see, Kikora…" He knows her name. Shazaam! "When an /adult/ male lion, and an /adult/ lioness fall in love, and decide that they want to have cubs, they go off on their own for a few days, and they spend quite a bit of quality time together." He pauses for a moment, tail twitching. "They hold each other very close in a warm hug, and they whisper softly to each other that they love one another. Within that warm embrace, comes a miracle, one born from the wishes of both parents. It is the father's -willpower- combined with the mother's -love-, that creates the cubs inside the mother's stomach. Then the father watches over his mate until the cubs are ready to be born." He says as his tail swishes about. Ears lifting, he says, "Then it is up to the Gods when the time comes for the children to be born."

Korzar glances doubtfully at Kikora, and then shoots a questioning look to Mwaliko too. "Rrreeally?" he asks, uncertaintly. It kind of makes sense… at least to a cub that doesn't know any better. And it sure as hell sounds better than moms eating and barfing up their cubs. So, maybe it's partly because he *wants* to believe it, but Korzar slowly is coming around to agree with Kori's explanation. Hey, at this point, it works for him, and he just wants to move on… except, one thing is still bothering Korzar. "So how cubs get outta belly?" He just won't give that point up.

Mwaliko smirks as Kori and shakes her head slightly while she looks off to the water, her tail swaying a few time. Well, most of the time the father will watch over the lioness. Her maw twitches a moment while her tail curls to her side. "Not bad.." Is offered to Kori, at least it wasn't to graphic.. She blinks at Korzar's question and oys softly while glancing towards him and then to Kori while she grins faintly.

Kikora's innocent little ears are bombarded with Kori's explanation of how cubs come to be. As the story progresses, she finds herself growing more and more nervous… moms and dads hugging each other, will power and love? She makes no comment on the fact that Kori called the cubs' original idea 'stupid', but she does file that away in her memory — just like when Vikali swatted her. "So… cubs come from love?" That…still doesn't settle her nervous feeling. She suspects that there's more to the story, but since everyone is so adamant that she and Korzar don't know the details, she just leaves it alone, hoping that she'll eventually become privy to it. When Korzar asks about the cubs' grand arrival into the world, she simply sits next to him, her eyes focused on the big, dark lion.

"Yes, cubs come from true love, when two adults make a commitment to each other." Kori says with a nod of his head slowly as he leans in to settle his weight against Mwaliko's shoulder for a gentle nuzzle. As for Korzar's question, he clears his throat and thinks for a few moments, and says, "When the Gods decide that it is time for the cubs to come out of their mother's belly, they take them from her while she dreams, and lay them to rest at her side. So that when she wakes in the morning, she has her cubs at her side, hungry, and ready to greet the first morning's sunlight." Tilting his head upwards, he takes in a deep breath, staring up at the sky. "The Gods created the Circle of Life, so it is them who decides how the circle turns. They easily take life away, and they easily help create it."

Whoa. Now a lot of this is just flying over Korzar's head, and he has no idea what's going on. He sorta knows about Gods and the Circle of Life a *little* bit, but most of what Kori is saying is new to him. He's still doubtful, but at this point, realizes that this is the best answer they're gonna get. So, he just agrees, "Ok." That's enough talking anyways. He rises onto his paws, stretching his forelegs in front of him a bit as he prepares to do something new. His curiosity has been satisfied… mostly… and now it's time to move on!

Kikora gives Kori a wary look, one ear turning back as Korzar stands and begins to stretch. The expression on her face seems to read 'sure, and when that nice little scene DOESN'T play out for me, I'll remember this conversation!' — but she's got -years- to go before any of THAT can happen. She gives a curious glance to Korzar, tilting her head to the side before asking, "Nap?" Even though there wasn't much play this afternoon, she's tuckered out from trying to drag all of this 'cub business' out of the adults.

Nodding his head slowly, Kori rises up to his paws once more, then quietly clears his throat. "I have a border to protect now." He says softly as he gives himself a long stretch of his body, then starts off through the grass. "Gadi is at the caves if any of you wish to play with him, and Lailen. He is sleeping now, but you should wake him." He lowers his head, then disappears as the grass snaps about his frame.

Well, if Kiko was going to sleep too, there'd be no one to play with, and really no reason to stay up either. "Kay," he says, and yawns suddenly. Looks like he's tired, too… it really was hard to get these adults to talk about *anything* interesting. And look! A conveniently placed Kasjari! Korzar takes only a few steps, before slumping over at his mom's side, sliding over a bit to make room for Kikora, bumping into Wingu in the process. "Play when wake up…" he says tiredly, as his eyes begin to blink close.

Kikora watches curiously as the dark-furred lion cruises through the grasses, giving her head little shake. Weird! She grins as Korzar moves toward Kasjari, turning on her paws and padding toward her friends. "Lotsa play!" She agrees, flopping over on her side between Kor and 'Goo. She leans her head comfortably against Kasjari, letting her eyes close as she drifts off for her scheduled afternoon nap.

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