Ch 1: The Beginning

On a hot day in the savannah, under Africa's hot, golden sun, a little hornbill was quietly sitting under the shade of a baobab tree. Her azure feathers were all relaxed as she sighed and lowered her small red bill onto her tiny stomach in content.

"Ah, this is the life." The hornbill said wistfully. "Absolutely no worries, always a cluster of miracle fruit around, and never having to be in such a-"The little creature was cut off as she heard rustling near her ground level branch. She was slightly shakened, but her majordomo voice came to rescue her from her fears. It's alright, Zuzu, her inner thoughts tried to comfort her slightly scared demeanor. Probably just another Pridelander looking for shade, who wouldn't with that blasted sun over 3,000 degrees. Zuzu was just about to go back to her resting when suddenly a low growl came from the brush followed by a dark chuckle was heard.

Before her mind could even respond, Zuzu screamed harder than Bloody Mary and she took off flying as fast as her brightly colored wings would let her. "Heeeeellllllpppppppp mmmmmmmeeeeeee! Anybodddddyyyyy," she shouted in a horrified face to any Pridelander in sight as she tried to get away, but she wasn't quick enough. The "aggressor" chased closely behind her, and all you could see was a silhouette of a dark, small blur behind the little bird as she raced to get away. As she was just about to drop from exhaustion, Zuzu spotted a pair of mandrills. "Emem! Rafiki! Help m-!" Zuzu was pushed to the ground by a pair of paws into muddy dirt and pieces of fruit, ruining her freshly groomed feathers.

The elderly mandrill Emem chuckled lightly while the one month old Rafiki looked like he was about to die laughing his tiny lungs out. They stopped as the paws gently lifted themselves off of miniature Zuzu and helped her stand up, but when Zuzu turned around, the owner of the paws received an angry look from the mud-covered hornbill. At first, the attacker's ruby red eyes widened, but were quickly closed, showing crème patches over her eyes except for her eyelids, which matched her dusty brown fur in color, as the young animal began to laugh uncontrollably loud.

"URU!" Zuzu shouted over the lion cub's laughing while waving her wings in frustration. The she-cub finally quieted down as her future domo shout her raging looks. "Oh sorry, Zuzu. But you know how hard it to play gently when there's no other cub in the Pridelan-" "THAT'S STILL NO EXCUSE! DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO LOOK THIS ELEGANT AND NOW, YOU RUINED MY FEATHERS, UUUUGGGGHHHH!" Zuzu turned her back to her friend and hmped, still obviously upset at her. "Please don't be angry Zuzu. I'm sorry I ruined you're look, but you can just-"Uru was cut off midway through her sentence when she was thrown a ball full of mud and rotten fruit, from the large baobab tree they were under, to her pinkish-brown nose. "Hey!Geez, I said I was sorry!" The dark cub wiped the waste off her nose and now looked equally angry. This resulted in a stare down between the cub and the hornbill chick that lasted for a good 2 minutes before the month old mandrill spoke out in an irritated voice, " You two should apologize to each other, as Uncle Emem would say, ' Think before you act, because even the smallest mistake can lead to a lonely road of consequences.' "The two girls looked at the tiny mandrill as he proudly finished his sentence, then looked at each other and sighed.

" Zuzu, I'm sorry for making you think you were gonna be in danger and pouncing on you like that." Uru apologized to Zuzu as her eyes drooped with some guilt. Zuzu sheepishly smiled and flied on perched on her friend/ future Queen and said, "I apologize too, Uru. And I am truly sorry for throwing that mud ball at you." The chick finshed with a hug are the cub's neck, which Uru returned with her paw patting on Zuzu's back. Then the girls turned and grabbed Rafiki into the hug as they both thanked him for his words of wisdom.

Finally, Emem remembered that he and the children had to be at Pride Rock and spoke in a soft voice, "Children, we must go. King Mohatu said he had important news and that everyone in the Pride Lands MUST be there, it is a MADNATORY meeting." The wise elder finished and started walking to Pride Rock. "Awww." "Can't it wait?" "But I wanna play!" The kids whined, but before long, they started walking with Emem. To create conversation, Uru asked Rafiki (who was using Uru as a horse to carry him since he walks most of his days), "So what'd you learn about today, Rafiki?" Zuzu, who was riding on top of Uru's head, being her natural nosy self, joined in the conversation. "Was it about medicine or learning what to make paintings out of?" Rafiki replied, "Nether, actually Uncle Emem taught me self-defense moves." Uru and Zuzu both raised one of their brows at little Rafiki. "Right Rafiki. Self-defense, THAT will be the day." Zuzu spoke a little rudely as they continued marching forward to Pride Rock.

Uru then approached Emem and asked, "Mister Emem, would this meeting happen to be concerning to the drought the pride members have been talking about?" The old mandrill smiled at the she-cub and replied, "Perhaps, Princess Uru. It wouldn't surprise me if it was, considering the ration limitations your father put into law." The princess smiled back at the mandrill, but she still didn't understand it. Maybe when I'm Queen I'll be able to understand this "grown-up" stuff. She thought to herself.

"Uru look. We're here!" Shouted Rafiki to 6 month old Uru. The princess nodded her head and began to race up the base of the great rock, with Zuzu and Rafiki still riding her. Despite their pleas for her to stop, she didn't hear them. All her focus was on getting to her father so that he could officially start the meeting