Author: PaintedOpossum PM
When you're born a hybrid, being born a male is just icing on the cake. Abandoned at birth, Mengras, the "half-breed" hyena, is taken in by the most unlikely of animals: a lioness. Growing up in a world where males rule the prides, can he ignore his matriarchal instincts? Note: Doesn't take place in the TLK universe, though feel free to imagine it is.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort/Drama - Words: 937 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-31-13 - id: 3097231
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
On the horizon of the savannah, two figures approached. One a young tan lioness, the other a dark brown lion. While normally the two would hold their heads up proudly, this day their bodies exhibited a somber mood. They walked into the thicket where their small pride was held, greeted by the lionesses and cubs. As the short greetings were finished, Spier, the lion, spoke up, "Kenya will not be joining in the hunt tonight. We've lost Sandawe."
Gasps and exclamations of shock resounded around the group. Kenya, the young tan lioness, sat down, bowing her head. Many of the lionesses came up and rubbed against her in a futile effort to make her feel better. Looking down at the cubs near her feet, some young to others almost fully maned, the tears she had been holding back were let loose. She stood up, running off into the grasslands.
The lioness didn't know how long she ran. Long enough to reach the gorge, which was a fair distance away from their pride. Sitting, she sat and looked down at the deep gash in the earth, eyes blurred by the tears. Watching the salty water fall into the large crack, she heard a low whine beside her, that couldn't be more than ten feet away. Looking over she noticed an indentation in the grass, an indication that something was there.
She wiped her tears off with a paw, trying to judge just what was hidden in the grass. Whatever it was wasn't that big, possibly a jackal or some kind of monkey. Giving out a low growl, she stalked over to whatever intrude on her private time. Opening her massive jaws to threaten the beast, she closed them when she saw what was really there.
Lying in the grass was a hyena cub who was so young, he was still wet from being born. Shivering and covered in dirt, she watched as the cub opened it's long snout and let out another weak whine. She took her eyes off the babe for only a second, glancing around for a sign of life other than them. Seeing nothing, she lied down as gently as she could over the shivering beast. Her ears flattened in shock as he instinctively nuzzled over and began to suckle. She was still lactating, but barely. She sighed as she let the familiar feeling wash over with her, tears renewing at the thought of her lost son.
All was quiet for a few minutes, until there was a crunch of grass behind the two. Her ears perking at the sound, she did her best to turn around and find the source of the noise. The sun was going down, but she could make out the familiar outline of a lioness, "Kenya, thank the light! What are you doing out here?" it was her friend, Opia.
"I found something," she told the dark red cat. Standing up, she interrupted the young cub from his feeding. Again his whining started, and her friend took notice.
"A hyena? What is a hyena doing here? They live on the other side of the gorge," Opia said. She looked at the young cub, shaking her head at his sorry state.
"I'm taking him, Opia," she took the cub by the scruff, until she realized he had no loose fur like a lion cub had. Sighing, she nudged and pushed him in many awkward attempts, until she was able to get him on her back.
"You're crazy, Kenya. Spier will exile you!" the other lioness ran to catch up with her friend.
"Why?" she questioned, "I'm not bringing in someone else's cub. I'm not leading in a rogue lion that will try and take over. I'm bringing in one hyena, something I can raise for a little while until it's old enough to go back to that cracked desert they call a home."
The other lioness sighed, "You know you wouldn't be doing this if you hadn't just lost Sandawe, right?"
"I'm not an idiot, Opia," Kenya laughed, "But, don't you think it is a strange coincidence? I find a hyena cub not even a day after Sandawe dies."
"Like you said, it's a coincidence, and nothing more," Opia said. Looking ahead she saw the pride's thicket, "I'll try to help you with Spier."
The two crawled into the cluster of trees, but only the cubs and Spier were there. Night had fallen, and the lionesses had gone off to hunt. Spier stood up, sniffing at the strange thing on Kenya's back, "What is that?"
"It's a hyena, Spier," Opia explained.
"I know that, Opia," he growled, "I meant, what is it doing in our pride?"
Kenya dropped the cub as gently as she could off her back. Waking up from his slumber, he began to cry and yip, catching the attention of the cubs, who came to investigate, "I'm just going to take care of him until he can go back to his pride, Spier. It shouldn't take more than a month or two."
"We are not helping our enemies, Kenya!" he shouted, making the cubs back up.
She began to clean up the cub, pretending not to notice her leader's outrage, "Hyenas aren't our enemies, Spier. They're barely even a threat unless it's one of us against a whole group of them," she licked the last of the dirt off his tiny mane, "Besides, maybe being raised by lions will make him an ally. Convince less hyenas attack us."
There was a long pause before the leader spoke up again, "He can stay for one week."
"Thank you, Spier."