Disclaimer: I do not own the Lion King or any of the canon characters in this story (Timon, Max Pumbaa, Simba, or Kavie, but I did make up her name), Disney does. I do own all characters I made up.

For this oneshot I split the Meerkat Motto into its nine lines, and wrote a tiny ficlet for each one. If you don't understand what's going on in some of them, or don't know the characters, reading my other LK fics might help. I do have some canon in there so people don't go completely insane.

Not beta-checked, but I have sent it off, so will have a revised version soon. I am mad at this editing system, it only saved lines on some of times I put them in there.

Also, the Meerkat Motto can be found at fellowearthlingsdotorg , which is where I found it.


Respect the elders

"She still over there?" She heard them as their voices carried over the flat open area. It wasn't hard to hear them, not many other meerkats came this way.

"Yeah," she heard another voice answer the first. Tanya was only vaguely aware of them. If their attempt at hushed tones wasn't failing like it was, she could ignore them properly. At least they were offering her a sort of privacy.

Tanya sat on her knees in front of a large and cracked old stone. She had placed it there for her mate, in remembrance of him. There had been nothing to bury when he was taken, but Tanya had still wanted something to mark Buzz's time here. Somewhere that she could visit, and bring their son to see. Something solid to remind her that he had really been here, something that would help her reminisce about what he had really been like, and not the version that had been going around the tunnels since even before that fateful day.

"So, what do you think?" One of the two meerkats asked its companion after a while. So they hadn't left yet, she thought

"About Buzz? We weren't even alive then."

"Yeah, but you've heard the stories. He tried to get everyone to fight the predators, that's practically suicide." This voice seemed so sure of itself.

She continued to stare at the stone; someone had drawn a small figure of a meerkat holding a stick in a defensive position. She couldn't remember who had done that; it had been so long ago.

Tanya assumed she could see the side of the argument that everyone seemed to be on. What Buzz had tried to do was crazy, and on more than one occasion she had thought so too. But that had been more for his own welfare – her worry - since he never seemed to care about it. The others were afraid too, but for themselves, and for their own loved ones. She wouldn't want any harm to come to them either, but they didn't see the kind of future that Buzz dreamed of.

Most meerkats didn't see past the tunnels and flat sandy lands, but Buzz saw all the way past the mountains that always loomed over the horizon, past where even the birds flew.

"I don't know," said the voice of the one who'd been asked. "If he really had been crazy and all that, why did she stick by him? Why's she still sticking by him?"

This was when the other meerkat had apparently grown bored and led its friend away, but the questions she'd heard before they left drifted in her mind, and made her smile the smallest bit.

"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I

Teach the young

After digging his way out, Max found and then pulled his nephew out of the most recent mess he'd created.

Timon let out a yelp of pain as Max dragged him back to his burrow. Max didn't really care at this point if he was hurting the boy. He thought he was doing a pretty good job with restraining himself from quite literally knocking some sense into him.

When they both entered the burrow they heard Kavie enter as well, her flabbergasted expression turning slightly into a badly-concealed smile as she took in the sight of them.

"It's not funny, Kavie," Max said as he finally let go of Timon and began his attempt to clean himself of all the dirt that was caked on his fur.

"I know, Max," Kavie agreed, although her tone had a slight chuckle to it. She began to help Timon rid his own fur of the dirt. "Would you mind telling me, though, what exactly happened?"

"Ask your son." He pointed in Timon's direction. Max was still calming down; he didn't think he was up to explaining.

Both his and Kavie's gazes locking onto Timon, the half-grown pup tried to defend his actions. "It wasn't a big cave in, and nobody got hurt. So...it's not a really big deal, right?"

"Any cave in is a big deal!" Max decided that he needed to voice this. "And you didn't answer your mother's question."

He saw Timon's face fall again, he wasn't looking at Kavie. "I...tried to make a hammock." he managed to say in almost a mumble.

"During a time when he should have been working on his dirt-eradicating skills." Max added with annoyance, half still at what had happened, and half that Timon wasn't giving the whole story.

"Wait, what's a hammock?" Kavie asked. Max thought it was a pretty irrelevant question at this moment, but Timon answered her before he could say anything.

"It's a big leaf or something that I can tie up between two posts to make something to lie on."

"Oh...well, that's...imaginative of you, Timmy." Clearly Kavie hadn't heard of the thing either.

"You didn't tell her what you used for posts." Max prodded him in a rhetorical way. He turned back to Kavie. "Support sticks for the new tunnel! We hadn't put them in twenty minutes ago!"

"I didn't know they would break!" Timon said apologetically, matching his uncle's volume probably so that he could be heard.

"Of course they would! They aren't meant to hold a meerkat's weight!"

"But they can hold up all that dirt and rock?"

Max's train of thought halted at Timon's question. He had been so focused on being annoyed that it kind of threw him. "What I meant was, they aren't meant to be jerked at from the middle with your weight attached."

"Ok, so duly noted. No more underground hammocks." Timon said after a moments pause. He was obviously trying to end the conversation, and thus avoid any sort of punishment or long-winded rant. He even began to turn around and retreat to his own smaller side-burrow, but Max grasped his shoulder and he turned back around.

"Oh, no you don't! We're gonna have to figure out what to do with you."

"What Uncle Max means is, this isn't really something you can just apologize to us for, it's going to take a little more." Kavie said with a stern look at Max.

Timon looked from Max to Kavie. "So...what's the verdict?" He seemed to be waiting for the worst.

Whatever Max could think up on the spot, he was apparently just not as quick as Kavie. "We'll let you know, now go on."

Not looking entirely relieved, Timon still got out of the room as fast as he could. Once they were both sure he was gone, Kavie spoke again.

"Well, a public apology to everyone is definitely in order." She was searching, but Max still thought that was a flimsy punishment.

"But that can't be the whole thing!" Max protested. "He needs to learn, and apologies aren't gonna do that."

"Oh, and what would, exactly?" This sounded more like a challenge than a question. Still though, Max searched his thoughts to try and find something...and came up empty.

"I dunno. He hasn't learned anything from me, what would a punishment from me do?" He was putting himself down without Kavie knowing it. No matter how much he hated it, he knew that in some way, shape, or form that Timon's screw-ups were really his fault. He spent the most time teaching him about things.

He knew Kavie had been doing her part as his mother too, but he still couldn't help but berate his own skills as a sort-of parent every time the boy did this kind of stuff.

Not that he would ever admit it to anyone, especially not Kavie.


Cooperate with the family

Well, Timon was certainly having a busy week.

If Simba wasn't climbing up into the trees – far from where he or Pumbaa could see him – or playing "Stalk Timon", "Pounce Timon" or any combination of the two, he was swimming over water falls! Every minute making Timon and Pumbaa rush after him. Who knew taking care of a lion cub would be so much work?

"Alright, that'sssit!" Timon shouted as he tried to walk a straight line back over to Simba. The cub had been flinging him up into the air with his paws, spinning him continuously. When he'd finally dropped him, Timon had to wait for the ground to stop spinning before he could even attempt to stand up again.

Determinedly making his wobbly way over to Simba, Pumbaa came up behind him and guided his friend along with his tusk.

"Simba, I ssthink we need to have a little talk," his voice was firm, if only a little slurred. "Whoa, and I ssthink we should have this talk with me sitting down." He then plopped down onto a rock.

Pumbaa hovered over him, looking unsure if he was going to fall over again. "Timon, are you alright?"

Timon gave himself a moment before speaking again. "Yeah, I mean no! I mean…I think my head's back right now," Pumbaa sat next to him as he spoke. Timon was glad to hear his speech was back to normal. "But I think we need to have a few words with junior over there."

"What? What'd I do?" asked Simba, who stood a little farther from them.

"I'm not sure Timon liked the game you were playing." Pumbaa answered for him, but Timon wanted to speak for himself.

"Not just that, kid. You've been running wild almost since day one here."

"Am I not allowed to play?"

"Sure, but you don't know that much about the jungle and…" Timon trailed off. How could he put this? "Look, we're your friends, and we don't want ya to get hurt."

"What Timon means is, we worry about you." Pumbaa added.

Timon shot a look up at him. "Don't tell him what I mean, I know what I mean. That's not what I meant!"

"But I thought Hakuna Matata meant you had no worries," Simba said, now looking confused instead of regretful.

"Exactly," said Timon assuredly. "That's why I didn't say that. I just want him to listen to us. I mean, it's not like we're his parents or anything." He said it jokingly, but he saw that Pumbaa wasn't laughing. He looked like he was thinking.

"Well, I know we're not, but we are still like a family," he said finally. "In a way."

"What?" Timon said. Was he serious?

'I mean, we're all friends, and we care about each other. I don't think Hakuna Matata means that we can't worry about our friends. Plus we're all each other has."

Timon just sat there on his little rock. He hadn't actually thought about it that way before. Even though he didn't admit it, he did kind of worry about the kid, and he did care what happened to him, and Pumbaa.

After a little while Simba came slowly closer to them, a little more subdued than he'd been a minute ago. Closer to the way he'd been when they first found him.

"Look, I'm sorry Timon. I know I should listen to you guys. I've just been having so much fun here."

The annoyance he'd been feeling towards Simba had vanished over the last few minutes. He wasn't sure the kid would remember his own words, but the apology was enough, he thought.

"Thanks, kid."

Simba then looked back up from Timon to Pumbaa. "So…can I go back to playing now?"

Cubs, a one-track mind. The words Pumbaa said that had made Timon stop to ponder didn't seem to faze him.

"Sure" Timon said with a slight smirk. Simba then bounded away.

"Wait! Stay where we can see you!" Pumbaa called as he followed him through the jungle vegetation, leaving Timon by himself, still on the rock.

"Boy, we are the weirdest family I've ever seen," he said to no one in particular.


Play when you can

It was almost time for Mel to begin his shift on the digging crew, and he assumed his eldest son Max would again accompany him.

Ever since the first day Mel had invited him to tag along, young Max had jumped at the chance. He extended the invitation to his youngest son as well, and sometimes Leo did decide to come, but there wasn't much that could keep that pup's attention for long, at least not in the tunnels.

So this morning as he prepared to depart the burrow, he could hear the boys in the adjacent chamber. It wasn't often that they fought, but wanting to retain his title as peacekeeper of the family (and because their mother would shout at him if they got hurt) he followed the sound of their argument.

As he entered, he could see Leo – the smaller of the two – grabbing his brother's tail and practically begging, "Please, Max? Can you please play with me today?"

Max, seemingly even more annoyed than he'd sounded through the dirt wall, was attempting to shake Leo off, kicking up dust into both their fur. "Come on, Leo! Get off! I always go with Dad, and I wanna learn everything there is to know so I can start working in the tunnels already!"

Mel had to laugh a little, shaking his head. Max was in such a hurry to grow up, and yet he still quarreled with his kid brother like this. Didn't he see how special this time was, that it went by even faster than he seemed to wish it would? No, Mel supposed not. The young don't often, he didn't when he was Max's age.

"Alright guys, that's enough," he called to them, trying to sound stern. Max ceased his task of trying to shake Leo off, and Leo coughed up a good amount of dirt but other wise still clung tight to Max's tail. Frozen in their stances, they looked up at their father.

"Dad, tell Max he has to play with me today!" Leo moaned.

"Dad, tell Leo that I need to go with you so I can learn to be an adult, unlike him!" Max said in a similar fashion.

Mel shushed them both, giving him time to think. They both actually had a reason, so no one was at fault, but they were both so stubborn that that wouldn't really matter unless he pointed that out to them…and possibly not even then.

He started with Leo's point. "Max, why can't you play with your brother today?"

Leo smirked up at Max, who shot back at Mel, "I knew you would take his side!"

"I'm not taking anyone's side. I'm just saying that you've been coming with me every day since you were old enough to, maybe you need a break."

"But I don't want a break, I wanna work with you." Max had gotten in a few minor shakes and finally managed to slide through his grip.

"I understand that, Son. I'm sure Leo does too, right?" he looked down at Leo purposefully to emphasize. Leo nodded.

"You both understand that you'll have to learn skills so you can function as an adult meerkat, and I am grateful that you're so adamant about it Max

"And Leo, I know you love Max and want him to stay with you all the time, but I need you to remember, that he's in a different stage than you. You'll get there soon enough, but if you really want to stay with him, you might have to stick with tagging along for now."

Leo, now standing, shuffled his feet. Max held his arm on his opposite elbow. Neither looked up at him, But Mel could tell they got the message.

Mel smiled. "Now, as for what you'll both do today, I'm voting for you two going out to play. You'll have much more fun play-fighting outside than actually fighting in here."

Max looked like he was going to groan again, but Mel stopped him. "No matter how much you may dislike it, you're still a pup. You need some time to be one. Go have some fun with Leo."

Leo Jumped with excitement then grabbed Max's paw, now leading him out of the burrow. Max rolled his eyes but conceded, giving a last look back to Mel.

"Thank me later," he said with a chuckle.

"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I

Work when you should

Kavie felt herself ease out of unconsciousness as she lay on her nest bed. She turned over but did not open her eyes. Once her brain had woken up the first thing it did was remind her of what today was.

Today she would be going back to her duties, and leaving Timon in the care of a babysitter.

Max had been saying that he should be being sent out with the rest of the pups long ago, from the week that he'd gone back to his own work. She still couldn't believe he'd only waited a week, he'd been his brother.

He was right though - and Kavie knew it – but she just couldn't bring herself to leave him. Every time she looked at Timon, she remembered Leo. She saw him in their son, especially when he smiled.

She wanted to protect him, to keep him close. She had not been there for Leo, not when he'd been hurt. Sometimes she still pondered that in the back of her mind. If she had only gotten to him when Max had…she could have done something to help.

If she stayed with Timon, he wouldn't be harmed. That was her duty as a mother.

Except, what about her duty as a leader? Whenever she would begin to feel she couldn't leave, a larger part of her mind reminded her that she needed to. She had more responsibilities, more meerkats counting on her.

Her grandmother had been handling things for the month since it happened, and Kavie knew she wouldn't be able to for much longer. Even if she could, she wouldn't want to…she had passed the torch.

Kavie sighed, eyes still closed. The longer she waited, the older Timon would become as he remained in their burrow cut off from pups his own age, and the longer the colony would have to live with a substitute matriarch who was sadly losing her spark, all while she stayed confined to her room as she selfishly continued to mourn a mate that would have wanted her to move on long ago.

Sighing once more, she opened her eyes. It would be hard, she knew it. The colony would be different. Life would be different, but change was nature. She had to try.

She would live for him, and for all of them.

"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I

Rest in-between

"Ok, Myla, it is really time for sleep now." Myla's mother said as she wrestled to get her young pup to settle down in their makeshift nest for the night. She seemed to be much more interested in climbing the tree that they were at the base of then sleeping under it.

Myla jumped down from a surprisingly high branch and landed about a foot from her mother. She scooted over the rest of the way to sit on her lap.

"Goodness, what is with all this energy all of a sudden?" They had been following their colony (the term here used very lightly. More like the colony they were affiliated with) as it migrated for the last three days, and she couldn't understand why Myla was so excitable all of a sudden.

"I don't know," was her response. She laughed at this. Such differences were her actions from her words.

"Oh really, the way you've been jumping around I'd think you had something to be happy about."

She leaned back against the tree and Myla snuggled closer. She began to stroke her fur absent-mindedly as her eyes turned skyward.

The sun had just set and as the sky became darker, the tiny pinpoints of stars were appearing.

"Looks like it's going to be a lovely night," she said more to herself than to Myla. She was beginning to think Myla had drifted off to sleep when she heard her speak again.

"One of the other pups spoke to me today."

She looked down at her daughter. "That's why you're so happy?" This really surprised her. Myla looked up at her and nodded, a smile on her face. Her heart sank as she looked into Myla's eyes. They still looked so like Zosti's, especially now when they held so much hope.

"When I was looking for insects, one of them asked me if I'd found any. Then I guess he saw who I was, because then he ran back to his friends."

She sighed sadly. "Sweetie, that is really great," she lifted Myla's chin with her paw. "But I don't think you should take too much from that. I just don't want you to get your hopes up."

Myla nodded again, and then shifted her gaze down past the paw. "I know, Mother." When she looked back up at her her mother gave her a warm smile, hopefully to banish those sad thoughts she must be thinking.

It was getting a little colder. Myla was starting to shiver, so her mother brought her closer.

"Mother," Myla asked quietly, "Why won't they talk to us? Why can't we sleep in the group with them?"

This was something that she had known was going to happen, but she had never fully prepared for it. Myla was still so young, yet she was now old enough to understand that they were not living as normal meerkats do. She was beginning to question. She paused a moment before she spoke.

"Those are some big questions, darling. It takes a long story to answer them, and it's getting later and later. How about another time, ok?"

Thankfully sleep was catching up with her and Myla was too out of it to argue. So, now she had a little more time. It would be difficult to explain. How can you tell your child that her very existence is part of why you both live like you do, on the outskirts of your former home? She hoped to anything that Myla would forget about those questions until she was older. Her mother knew she couldn't handle them now. Neither of them could.

"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I

Share your affection

It was the biggest insult of her life. Not only did Molly not get chosen to be matriarch of her colony, but her sister was picked, and then kicked her out! Molly still cringed at the injustice of it all.

True, she had been scheming to take the colony out from under her…and she'd been so busy with her plan that she wasn't watching those pups that got eaten, but other than that there was no reason. She should have looked over those things! After all, they were family.

Now, to make matters worse, she'd been discovered wandering around the outer-territory of another colony, and by the biggest doofus she'd ever laid eyes on.

Ugh, that fur of his was so dirty, and his green eyes were looking everywhere but at her, and darting away quickly every time he did.

"Um..a-are you lost?" he asked. He had a stutter too, wonderful.

Molly knew that however wimpy this guy was, she wasn't exactly allowed to be in his colony's territory, so she answered in a knowing and annoyed tone. "No, I'm not lost, and I know I shouldn't be here. Just let me catch a few bugs and I'll be out of your hair." She waved a paw in his direction and began to walk past.

As she started to search for her lunch she noticed that he hadn't gone away. She tried her best to ignore him.

After a few minutes of ignoring him, she thought maybe he'd finally left, until she heard him pipe up again from somewhere behind her.

"Hi, I'm L-Lee. You don't have to be afraid…you know. I won't run you o-out if you want to stay."

Molly scoffed, like he would try otherwise. "Thanks anyway…Lee, but I'll just catch some food and then I'll be on my way." She matched her tone from earlier.

She heard him slowly shuffle away after that, but then much sooner than she would have liked, he was back. Now though he wasn't saying anything. Was he trying to stalk her, or did he really want her to leave and was just really bad at it?

After swallowing a beetle she'd found she decided to turn around and see what he was doing. The weirdo who called himself "Lee" – as she had figured – was still not looking directly at her.

Waiting for this guy to talk was like waiting for the grass to grow. Molly decided she'd had enough and wanted to leave.

"Well Lee, it's been weird. See you around…possibly" She highly doubted this, but it was something to say as she tried to go as quickly as possible.

"Wait, um…" she rolled her eyes as she heard him speak at last. "You don't have to go…you c-can stay here, in m-my colony."

Did he always sound this nervous, or had he never seen a strange female before? It was clear that he liked her; he made it so obvious it was almost sad. She was sure she didn't want to be part of any colony he was in.

"No, that's really ok." She said as she was walking away from him.

"But…my mom's the matriarch. I-I could put in a good word for you."

Would he ever give up? But hold on-it took Molly a second to process what he'd said, as she had only been half-listening. His mother was the matriarch?

She stopped and turned back around, Lee's big eyes now looking straight at her, he looked so hopeful. She then suddenly saw him in a different light. He definitely had potential…the potential to aid her in a rise to the top. Hanging around him could be bearable if it meant she could cozy up to his mommy.

Flashing him a soft smile, she went back over. "You know," she said, using a completely different voice, one over-flowing with sweetness. "That doesn't sound like a bad idea."

His eyes went wide and he gulped as she came closer. She batted her eyes and linked arms with him.

"I do need somewhere safe to stay, and I am so very tired. Let's go see your mother."

Now the doofus was dumbstruck, he looked like he couldn't believe his luck. Molly thought that it was almost too easy.

It may not be her sister's colony, but if this loser could get him leadership in this new one, who's to say she couldn't take over her sister's land as well later on?

"I"I"I"I"I"I""I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I

Voice your feelings

Kavie was late again today. Laita couldn't understand it, her friend was usually always at this spot to meet her every morning. She dearly hoped she wouldn't have to forage all alone.

She watched the other meerkats milling about, starting their morning routines. She knew that none of them were actually stopping to stare at her, yet she could still feel all their eyes on her somehow. Was it because she didn't talk much that she felt like this? It was true that she hadn't gotten to know them, but none of them had shown much interest in getting to know her, either.

Of course, she couldn't blame them. It really was mostly her doing. Ever since Nalmo left she'd only really had Kavie to talk to. Well…Kavie and her grandmother, and sometimes others. But she did miss her brother. He'd left to be a roving male as soon as she was old enough to care for herself. Laita didn't want to hold him back, so she let him leave.

She was beginning to think that she should go ahead without Kavie when she froze. Emerging from one of the farther holes was someone she was very glad to be so far from, and at the same time not.

If she found it hard to speak with the other members of the colony, she knew that speaking to Max would be downright impossible.

Strong-willed, efficient, passionate Max, she never really understood it, but there was just something about him that made her insides flutter. Her heart, her stomach, sometimes both…she didn't know any other way to explain it, since she hadn't told anyone about it, not even Kavie.

For the moment forgetting all about looking out for Kavie, Laita's eyes followed him as he came towards her general direction. He was looking straight, but his eyes seemed to look past everything that came within his line of vision, even her.

Laita felt a jolt of what might have been hope as he came closer, coming parallel to her…then finally passing her. She might as well have not been there at all. She got that a lot, but it felt ten-times worse when he looked through her like that.

As he walked away she watched him find another meerkat and begin talking to him. Once they had disappeared down into another hole, Laita suddenly remembered what she was doing and quickly looked around again...still no Kavie.

She'd go on without her, and hopefully she wouldn't be mad. Kavie always kept telling her she should be more open, and Laita thought she had been trying as hard as she could.

Laita was starting to wonder whether or not it might be too late to do so here.

"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I"I

Leave your mark

Boy, this sure brings back some memories, Timon thought as he surveyed the dusty dry land. This was the site of his former home, the place where he and his mother and the rest of the colony had come from…the old family stomping grounds.

There hadn't been much to see back then, and Timon wasn't surprised that there still wasn't. The lone tree covering the large rock at the edge of the tall grass was really the only landmark.

He didn't really care about venturing into the tunnels; they didn't hold much nostalgia for him. Well, none of this did really, but for some reason his ma had thought it a great idea - when the kids started asking questions about their family - to bring them here. Myla had been conveniently busy, so he brought them alone.

He heard something scurrying out of one of the old tunnels, laughing exuberantly as it came closer. Timon turned to see his young daughter go into a full sprint, looking behind her and giggling the whole way, stopping short a few feet away when she spotted him.

Now slowed down to a walk, the little speed demon grinned sheepishly up at him, her laughter now sparse and nervous.

"Heh heh…Hi, Pop," she said as reached the short shadow he cast on the ground just outside the cool of the tree's own shadow. "If you're wondering, that was not what you thought it was. I did not just come out of that deserted tunnel."

Timon smiled wryly and nodded, looking first down at her and then over her head back to the entrance of the tunnel.

"Oh I believe you, Angya, and I guess that's not your brother coming out of the tunnel right now either."

He watched Angya's head swivel around and look back to see the figure huffing tiredly, trying to make it over to them as fast as Angya had.

Timon took in the state of his son. Both pups' fur was covered in dust and dirt, but his was almost completely covered from head to foot. Even the dark red fur on the top of his head – which usually matched his sister's – was more brown than anything now. He looked more worn out than Angya, but he managed between deep breaths to glare at his sister.

"Why'd you leave me like that? It was scary in there!" he asked her, only a hint of whine in his voice.

"I didn't know you'd get lost, I thought you were behind me!" Angya answered defensively. Her blue eyes glanced up at Timon for a second, as if to say that she really meant that.

"Ok guys, no more tunnels. Just dust yourselves off while we go through here," Timon indicated to the tall grass past the tree and rock. "And stay with me this time, alright?"

The pups followed close to him as he pushed through the grass. He was pretty sure he remembered where it was, the spot they were headed towards. It was a while's trudging before the grass receded to reveal a small open area. It wasn't hard to find the marker, when the colony could bury their deceased, for some reason no one had bothered to use this place but his family.

He knew the largest stone had nothing below it, but the symbol was the same as the three beside it that did. All four stones were spaced out in a row. The oldest one, with its etching of a stick-wielding meerkat on its old and cracked surface, the smoother off-white one placed close next to the first, the humble brown one, and the flat dark gray one. All were sitting, warmed by the sun, all were familiar to Timon.

"Well, here we are," He said lamely to his children. It wasn't the most interesting of places, he was sure they'd be bored within a minute. But hopefully they'd be mature enough to try some reverence.

"That one's Buzz, right Pop?" his son asked, pointing to the oldest stone. The pups inched closer to the stones, looking up at Timon every so often as if to make sure they were doing as they should.

"And this one is Tanya, then Great-Grandpa Mel, and Grandpa." Angya recited as she gestured to each one. She had stopped at Tanya's stone, but Timon and his son kept going until they were in front of the final one.

He had never heard anything bad about his father. The stories the colony told of him never had the mixed fame and infamy of Buzz's. It made Timon wonder if – in a few generations – anyone would remember him at all. It didn't seem fair, especially since he knew he himself was on his way to going down in the colony's history.

He placed his paw on his son's shoulder. Angya had come to stand beside them now, both were uncharacteristically quiet.

"Grandpa Leo," his son almost whispered. "I wish we could have known him."

Me too, Timon thought. He had never felt cheated or empty at the thought that his father wasn't there, but he couldn't help including himself in the "we".

He let out a sigh; this is what they had come for. Even though it hadn't been his idea, he was kind of glad they had come. It didn't make him want to stay any longer than they needed, but this at least had been worth it.

"Ok, how about we start heading out? Pride Rock's not too far if we walk until nightfall." He said with only slightly more energy as he began to turn around.

His daughter looked up at him, her anxiousness proving that she was back to normal. "Oh, can't we stay longer?" she pleaded.

"You're not getting back in those tunnels, little lady."

As he watched Angya go back through the grass, Timon noticed his son was no longer beside him. He turned back around to see him – almost kneeling – before the flat stone.

"Leo, come on," Timon called. He was a tad wary about his son's expression…so grown up in its solemness. He seemed to have gotten out of this exactly what Timon had.

Standing slowly, little Leo made his way back to his father, giving a last look to each stone as he passed.