Princess Kairia, was engrossed as she listened to her grandfather, Simba, as he told her a story of one of the adventures he had with her grandmother when he was a cub.
Simba's reddish brown mane had changed in his older years it was no longer the rustic brown from his youth. Now it had taken on a fading shade of pale auburn.
Kairia had dark brown fur like her father Kovu, like her mother, she had a caramel colored tuff of hair on top of her head, she also had inherited her mother Kiara's red eyes.
Simba said excitedly "There grandma and I were cornered by the hyenas they were moving in for the kill, I did the only thing I could think of, I roared at them."
Kairia looked at her grandfather impressed and asked him eagerly "Wow, grandpa did that scare them off?"
Simba laughed heartily at his granddaughter and said wryly "No, Dear One I'm afraid it didn't."
Kairia asked confused "But grandpa if it didn't work then how did you and grandma get away?"
Simba laid down next to Kairia and replied warmly "Well, after my roar didn't scare them off I truly thought grandma and I were done for then my father came to our rescue, it was very scary but also exciting, dad made those hyenas run to the ends of the earth!"
Kairia laughed and said keenly "Grandpa that was a really cool story,can you tell me another one?"
Just as Simba was getting ready to tell his granddaughter another story Kiara his daughter now queen of the pride lands found them sitting on the top summit of Pride Rock.
She said relived "Father, Kairia so this is where you have been hiding, I've been looking every where for you both, what have you two been doing here all morning?" She laid down next to her father.
Kairia answered happily "Grandfather has been telling me the coolest stories about when he and grandma were my age, oh mother they are so cool, you should ask he has had some really crazy adventures!"
Kiara turned towards her father she gave him subtle angry look.
She then replied coolly "Yes I should ask him more about that, please go on Daddy."
Simba said backtracking "Um,that is enough stories for one morning dear one, why don't you go off and play now."
Kairia said disappointed "But grandpa I really want to stay here with you and listen to more of your stories."
Kiara stood up and replied firmly "Kairia, you have spent more than enough time with your grandfather this morning, now why don't you go off and visit aunt vitani and cousin vitana ,they are laying on the south side sunbathing rocks, your grandmother is there too, you mind her for the rest of the day, I need to go and scout the perimeter of the pride lands."
Kairia's ears perked up in excitement and asked eagerly "Mom can I come too?"
Kiara bent down and replied softly "No Kairia it's too dangerous, you run along now all right, we'll spend more time together soon I promise."
Kiara swiped her daughter up with her right paw hugged her tight to her chest, and licked her.
She gave her father a small nuzzle and said warmly "Well I need to get going, daddy why don't you go and take a nap you look exhausted, Kairia you mind your grandmother."
Kairia sighed and said obediently "Yes, mother I will I promise."
The young queen smiled and gracefully scaled down off the top summit of Pride Rock.
Kairia asked her grandfather sullenly "Grandpa why won't mom let me go with her, I never get to go anywhere or do anything fun."
Simba laughed and said nostalgically "You sound just like me when I was your age."
Kairia looked at her grandfather and replied sourly "I bet great-great grandfather let you do whatever you wanted and go where ever you wanted to go."
Simba laughed once again that day and said kindly "No he was very strict and hardly let me go anywhere without Zazu."
Kairia looked at Simba and asked curiously " Really why was he like that ?"
Simba looked at his granddaughter and replied wisely "Well you see dear one, when I was prince I used to think just like you, I wanted to go and do everything my father did, but I soon realized that the things that sound fun and exciting are usually the most dangerous."
Kairia looked at her grandfather and said quizzically "I don't understand, grandfather."
Simba nuzzled his granddaughter and said assuredly "You will one day dear one you will."
Kairia sighed then said sadly "I hope so grandpa."
Simba laughed and replied gently "I promise you you will Kairia, now let's get you to the south sunbathing rocks, I'm sure everyone is waiting for you."
Kairia asked happily "Grandpa will you tell me a story tonight before I go to sleep?"
Simba nuzzled his granddaughter slowly and replied "We'll see Kairia."
They finally had made it to she south sunbathing rocks.
Simba gave Kairia a slight nudge with his nose and said adoringly "Go on now have a good time with vitana, say hello to your grandmother for me I'll see you tonight."
Kairia ran back to her grandfather nuzzled him and said "Okay, grandpa see you tonight."
Simba watched her clamber down the large rocks towards the south sunbathing ones.
He shouted after her worriedly "You be careful today you hear me dear one!"
Kairia shouted back assuredly "Yes grandfather I will!"
She finally made it to the south sunbathing rocks.
Kairia ran towards her cousin and best friend Vitana who was being bathed by her mother Kairia's aunt vitani.
She said causally "Hi Vitana."
Vitana looked up at her and said happily "Hey, Kairia."
Kairia whispered in her ear secretly "Come on grandpa just told me about this really amazing place."
Vitana replied annoyed "Kairia I'm kind of in the middle of a bath."
Nala said warmly "It's time for your bath as well, dearest."
With that Nala grabbed Kairia by scruff of her neck and started bathing her.
Kairia struggled out of her grandmother's grip.
She protested irritatedly "Grandma, grandma stop your getting me all wet you know how much I hate getting wet!" Nala smiled and released her.
Kairia shook off the excess saliva on her and replied hurriedly "All right, I'm all clean can we please leave now?"
Vitana asked curiously "So were are we going, it better not someplace be stupid."
Kairia replied enthusiastically "No it's really awesome."
Nala asked slyly "So were is this really awesome place?"
Kairia said distractingly "Oh, um around Rafiki's Tree."
Vitana chimed in disappointingly "Rafiki's Tree what's so great about Rafiki's Tree?"
Kairia bent down and whispered in Vitana's ear fiercely "I'll show you why when we get there!"
The notion dawned on Vitana and playing along she whispered back knowingly "Oh right."
Turing around to face her mother she asked innocently "Oh, um, mom can I go with Kairia?"
Vitani stared at her daughter for a second.
She then looked at Nala approvingly and asked concernedly "Hmm, what do you think Nala?"
Nala looked at the two cubs and said uncertainly " Well,...-"
Kairia and Viatana smiled extra sweetly and chorused "Please!"
Nala relented and replied nonchalantly "It's fine with me."
The two cubs rejoiced happily jumping up and down.
"Yeah, all right!" they shouted in unison happily.
As they were leaving Nala said pointedly "As long as Zazu escorts you."
Kairia and Vitana were crestfallen.
Vitana said annoyed "Kairia you've got to do something we can't have that bossy dodo around."
Kairia nodded and replied craftily "Your right I'm going to see if I can get grandma to change her mind, wait here all right?"
Vitana said impatiently "Okay, hurry up Kairia."
Kairia ran back to her grandmother and asked irritated "Grandma does Zazu have to come with us, I mean why can't Vitana and me go by ourselves?"
Nala who was washing her paws replied steadfast "I'm sorry but you either let Zazu escort you or you stay here."
Kairia sulked and said complacently "All right."
She ran back to Vitana and said brightly "No go, but don't worry I've got a plan."
Vitana asked curious "So were we are really going?"
Kairia whispered "The old elephant graveyard."
Vitana's eyes grew wide with excitement and she said loudly "Whoa, cool!"
Kairia whispered "Ssshh, Zazu will hear you!"
Vitana replied "Right so how are gonna ditch the Dodo?"
The two cubs then began whispering in the tall grass about their plan to loose their pesky and annoying escort.
Zazu, landed down in front of them and asked rather hotly "Why haven't you two picked up the pace, it is nearly midday and we aren't even half way to the tree yet, what is the problem?"
Kairia whispered in Vitana ear "Let Operation Ditch the Dodo commence."
Vitana nodded slightly.
Kairia then said slyly to Zazu, "We're thirsty Zazu, I mean we've been walking for at least three hours, why don't you go the watering hole and get us some water, that way we'll get to Rafiki's Tree faster."
Zazu looked at her with scrutiny and said knowingly "Oh no you don't your grandparents pulled a similar trick on me before and I will not fall for it a second time I will not be swayed form course, besides there is a small pond near the tree you can both have a drink when we get there, now come on you two let's get moving!"
Kairia stayed where she was and replied slyly "All right we'll go but I would hate to tell grandmother and mother that you disobeyed a direct order form the princess, I don't think they'll like that at all, what do you think Vitana, do you think they'll like it ?"
Vitana shook her head and replied " No they won't they'll probably strip away your majordomo position, and kick you out of Pride Rock."
Zazu who was in mid take off stopped and went back down to the two cubs he replied smugly "In case you two didn't know I have been the majordomo to this royal family since Kairia's grandfather was a cub they would never banish me I am far too important!"
Kairia replied coolly"I doubt that Zazu because I heard Mom and Dad talking yesterday and Mom was saying how frustrated she was because she couldn't catch anything for dinner the day before, she said she was so mad she might just fire you."
Zazu looked more closely at Kairia and finally his expression faltered and Kairia knew was going to give in to her request.
He sighed and said complacently "Oh all right I'll go but it's not because I believe your ridiculous lie I just don't want you two to get dehydrated, stay right here I'll be back in a flash."
Zazu then took off for the watering hole.
As soon as Zazu was out of sight Kairia turned to Vitana and said keenly "Come on let's go."
Vitatna replied eagerly "Yeah let's get out of here!"
The two cubs then ran all the way the graveyard.
They clambered up a large elephants tusk, to get a better view looking down at the whole yard they were in awe.
After a few seconds Kairia said excitedly "Whoa this place is amazing!"
Vitana nodded her head and replied unsure "Sure is but it's pretty creepy."
Kairia nodded and said adventurously "Yeah, but isn't it awesome."
Vitana said worriedly "We could get into huge trouble."
Kairia giggled and replied mischievously "Yeah I know."
Suddenly Kairia spotted a large elephants skull and said impressively "Cool look at that !"
They ran towards it and Vitana wondered out loud "You think it's brains are still up there?"
Kairia started walking towards it she said eagerly "There's only one way to know, come on let's go check it out."
Suddenly Zazu appeared before them and said authoritatively "Wrong the only checking out you will do will be to check out out of here right this instant!"
Kairia groaned annoyed "Aw, Zazu come on we were just having fun."
Zazu ruffled his feathers and replied indignantly "Fun, princess we are way beyond the boundaries of the pride lands, this place is riddled with danger, now come along now you two we need to get back to the pride lands before anyone notices we've gone!"
Kairia didn't move form her spot she replied nonchalantly "Zazu grandpa told me that the hyenas cleared out of here years ago, so relax there isn't anything here expect old bones."
Zazu said anxiously "Princess, I implore you to see reason even though the hyenas are gone there are still grave dangers here, we must go now!"
Just as Kairia was about to retort to Zazu they all heard a loud growl.
Out of the shadows of the graveyard came a large and powerful leopard.
The trio huddled together in a circle Kairia in front as the dominating predator came towards them.
The leopard just stared at the frightened threesome for a few minutes then it spoke in a voice dripping with a crazed sweetness "I am Solmari, who are you and why have you entered my home?"
Kairia puffed herself up stepped forward and said confidently "I am Kairia daughter of Queen Kiara and King Kovu."
Solmari's crazed sweetness possibly got even sweeter as she replied manically " So you are the future queen of pride rock, I have always wanted to kill a member of the royal family!"
Kairia scoffed and said nonthreatening "You can't do anything to me!"
Zazu spoke up nervously " Well, princess, actually she can we are on her land."
Kairia replied confused "Zazu you told me that she was just a mangy good for nothing predator?"
Solmari threw back her head and roared angrily then she grabbed Zazu by his neck and flung him.
The horn bill went flying through the air.
Solmari then turned her attention to Kairia and Vitana she spat out acidly "I start running if I were you right... now!"
With that she gave chase and pursued the two cubs throughout the graveyard.
Finally they reached a large cliff face that was too steep for them to climb.
They were trapped.
Kairia was scared out of her mind.
She did the only thing she could think of she roared .
Unfortunately it wasn't strong enough to even scare the powerful leopard.
Solmari laughed and said tauntingly "Oh come now is that the best you can do, surely you a future queen can do much better than that ?"
Kairia stood her ground and roared at the Solmari again but it wasn't her roar that came form her mouth.
In a flash her mother leaped between the two cubs and Solmari.
Zazu ushered them against the cliff side out of the way of the ferocious battle.
Solmari was strong but she was no match for Kiara and with a few swipes of her paws she was able to pin down the leopard
Kiara said angrily "I'm sparing you, I'm letting you go on by the cause of pure ignorance, but I warn you if you ever come the pridelands or my daughter, it will result in your permanent end. "
She then said with false formality "Yes of course, your highness."
Kiara roared and Solmari ran off.
Zazu looked at Kiara proudly but she gave him only a angry glare in return.
Kairia stepped forward she said apologetically "Mom I-"
Kiara whipped around to face her she spat out angrily "You completely disregarded my direct orders!"
Stunned Kairia said shockingly "Mom, I'm - I'm sorry I didn't mean to br-"
Kiara said curtly "Enough, let's go home!"
As they all walked home Vitana whispered to Kairia gratefully "I thought you were very brave, thanks for saving me cousin."
Kairia whispered back doggedly "l didn't really but your welcome."
They stopped in the plains halfway towards Pride Rock.
Kiara shouted bluntly "Zazu!"
Zazu landed down near Kiara and said quietly "Yes, your majesty?"
Kiara ordered "Take Vitana home, I need to have a talk with my daughter."
They were in the plains and Kairia slumped down into the tall grasses fearfully.
Zazu swept over to Vitana and said cordially "Come along Vitana."
Before leaving Zazu went over to Kairia put his wings on her shoulders.
He looked at her with sincerity replied "Kairia good luck you'll need it."
With that Zazu and Vitana left for Pride Rock.
A few seconds of silence passed before Kiara said angrily "Kairia!"
Kairia winced at her name being called by her mother but obeyed and walked slowly to Kiara her head hung low in shame.
She sat down beside her mother.
None of them spoke for a few seconds.
Finally Kiara sighed and said sadly "Kairia I am very disappointed with you, do you realize you could have been killed today?"
Kairia nodded her head and said shamefully "Yes I know."
Kiara continued disappointingly " You purposely disobeyed me and what's worse you put Vitana your own cousin in danger!"
Kairia exhaled on the verge of tears said "I was just trying to be brave like you and grandpa."
Kiara said softly "Your grandfather, and I are only brave when we have to be, to protect the ones we love Kairia being brave does not mean you go seek out trouble."
Kairia exhaled again and replied knowingly "Mom nothing scares you, I mean you aren't afraid of anything."
Kiara bent down so that she was at eye level with her daughter.
She said honestly "That's not true I was very scared today."
Kairia asked curiously "Really, you were?"
Kiara bent down more and replied warmly "Yes I was afraid I might loose you."
Kairia said understandably "Oh I guess even queens get scared don't they?"
Kiara nodded her head and replied softly "Yes they certainly do."
Kairia whispered in her mother's ear jokingly "But you know what?"
"What?" Kiara asked softly
Kairia replied mockingly "I think that leopard was even more scared."
Kiara laughed and said teasingly "Because no one messes with the Queen, least of all my own daughter, come here you!"
Kiara then swept Kairia up and started licking her all over.
Kairia said annoyed "Oh no, mom stop get off !"
She pushed her mother down and the two of them chased each other around the plains.
Finally Kairia tackled her mother and grabbed onto her tail pulling it she said triumphantly "Ah, I got you, admit it your defeated!"
Kiara said tiredly "All right all right you win."
Kairia replied happily "Yes I won!"
The two of them were laying on the plains Kairia laughed and clambered atop her mother's back and onto her head.
Kiara sat up so that she could position herself more easily.
When they were both settled Kairia asked innocently "Mom we're best friends right?"
Kiara laughed and replied warmly "Right we are the very best of friends!"
Kairia then asked endearingly "We'll always be together won't we mom?"
Kiara said wisely "Kairia let me tell you something your grandfather told me, look at the stars, the great kings of our past look down on us form every single one of those stars."
Kairia asked awestruck "Wow really mother?"
Kiara nodded and replied knowingly "Yes, so always remember whenever you feel alone or scared just look up at the sky and those kings will always be there to guide you, when my time comes I'll be up there too, that way we'll always be together."
The two of them just stared at the sky for a few moments.
Kiara took a deep breath and said tiredly "Well it is very late, I think we should call it a night don't you?"
Kairia replied sourly "Aw mom we were just starting to have fun!"
Kiara laughed and said jokingly "Oh I would think you would be tired of fun after everything that's happened today."
Kairia shook her head and replied eagerly "Nope I am always up for fun!"
Kiara laughed again and said competitively "Okay then how about a little race to Pride Rock, you up for it?"
Kairia laughed and said happily "Oh yeah defiantly!"
Kiara said eagerly "All right then, on the count of three we start one, two, Three!"
Kiara darted forward as soon as she said three.
Kairia said annoyed "Hey no fair you got a head start!"
Kiara shouted teasingly "Come on slowpoke come and get me!"
Kairia ran happily after her mother she shouted confidently "Don't worry I will!"