"Must run. Must run. Must run." A small lion cub ran through the desolate outlands, leaving clouds of dust where his paws hit the dry ground. His light blue eyes stared blankly into the distance, the sun glinting off his light brown fur. The tips of his ears, his paws, and his stomach were all dark brown, as were a set of rings around his tail that go thicker until they reached the tip, melding into the puff of fur on the end. There was a loud roar behind him, and his ears pricked back. He sped up, just slightly, his fur bristling.
"Must run. Must run. Must run." He repeated over and over. Suddenly, his paws got tangled up in one another and he tripped, rolling head over tail into a small gorge. He came to a stop and tried to get up, but his legs were too drained from having run so far. He collapsed back onto the ground, gasping for breath. He closed his eyes and curled up into a ball, whimpering in sadness.
"Hello little one!" the young cub's eyes jerked open, ears perking up to catch the voice that had spoken and attempt to recognize it. He didn't recognize it.
"Who...who's there!" he cried, getting up and backing up, away from where the voice came from.
"You don't need to worry." The voice came again. Female, not so much older than himself. She sounded nice. She was also getting closer.
"Who are you?" he asked, voice still slightly shaky, "What pride are you from?"
"My name's Adina." The voice responded, "I'm from the Azikiwe Pride, ruled by my father, King Akinyemi. Who are you? And why are you looking in the wrong direction?"
"My name's Jelani." The cub replied, lowering his head unhappily as he trailed off instead of answering the second question.
"You didn't answer my other...Oh..." Adina said, suddenly realizing why Jelani hadn't answered, "You're blind aren't you." Jelani nodded sadly. Adina's voice paused a second in thought.
"You're lost right? Or a runaway?" she asked, "You can come live with us. I'm sure my father wouldn't mind!" Jelani looked up in surprise.
"Really?" he asked hopefully, "You mean it?"
"Sure, why not?" Adina replied, sounding happy. Jelani grinned, excited at the prospect of a new family and a new life. But should he go? Could he trust this 'Adina'?
Then, everything in front of him exploded into light. He could see! Adina was right in front of him, and she was only a little older than him. Her fur was a dusty yellow-brown with darker brown spots leading down from the middle of her back to the end of her tail. Her ears were the same color, and, from the elbow down, so were her left front leg and the two middle toes on her paw. Her kind, golden brown eyes were smiling at him.
A light from his left drew his attention, and he looked over. He saw a bright golden lioness with long fur covering her glowing blue eyes off in the distance. She smiled at him, and nodded at him. He understood now, he was supposed to go with Adina. Then, all faded back into darkness.
"Here, grab my tail in your mouth." Adina instructed, "I'll lead you to our pride." He felt the furry tip of her tail brush past his nose and opened his mouth, biting down, but not too hard, on the end of her tail. She began walking, and he followed close behind.
Up on a rocky outcrop, far above the two cubs sat a heavily pregnant lioness. Her light grey fur with dark grey paws, ears, and stripe down her back glinted in the hot, African sun. The dark grey around her eyes gave her a tired, slightly unstable look, but it was clear from her bright yellow eyes that she was watching what occurred with immense concentration.
"So..." she said, grinning widely and revealing long, yellowed teeth, "He is taking refuge with the Azikiwe tribe. High Lord Busiris will be pleased to hear this." She rose and began walking in the opposite direction as the two cubs, grinning and laughing to herself.