Chapter three – Get out!
Sunny has been in the pride for over two years.
He no longer looks like a cub, in fact he’s as big as Mum now - and bigger than his sisters. He’s also started to grow a fluffy tuft of hair on top of his head.
He’s not scared of jungle cats anymore, in fact he’s not scared of anything… well maybe except Mum. And when the pride goes hunting, he goes too.
Waiting in bushes, they watch their favourite snacks, chital and sambar deer, nilgai antelope - and if they’re feeling especially brave, giant buffalo.
They wait, wait, wait…until they find one that looks just right - a little bit smaller, a little bit slower - then spring out of the bushes! Pow!
A lot of the time it doesn’t go that well and the speedy deer or gazelle, springs away. But this doesn’t matter too much, they can always nab someone else's dinner - like the cackling hyenas nearby or from jackals or leopards. Together the pride is strong, they rule this part of the forest and nothing in it dares cross them.
Sunny doesn’t spend as much time playing as he used to, his favourite thing to do now is sleep, for nearly the entire day. Sometimes in the sun, then in the shade, then under the glowing moon, next to Mum and the rest of the lions. Batting away the annoying smaller cubs as they try to pounce on his flicking tail.
Life is perfect.
But one day, things go wrong. Sunny’s woken by roaring. Looking around lazily he sees the lioness-es standing around him.
They want him to leave the pride.
He doesn’t want to go, the pride is his home and his safety. But only lionesses are allowed to stay in it forever and now he’s grown-up he’s supposed to go. They growl at him and swat him with their paws. Where’s Mum?
He’s no match for the group of lionesses and they’re snarling and hissing like they mean business. Roaring they start to chase him and he runs. They tear after him, banishing him from his land, from his pride.
He runs and runs, through the forest, darkening in the sunset, and out into sparse, dry plains, he’s never seen before.
He’s about to settle down to sleep by a lone tree when he smells something. Lion. This is someone else’s area, there’s claw marks in the tree - and it wasn’t here that long ago. The sun finally disap-pears and roars break out across the plains, a lion chorus from another pride. The roars are close and Sunny isn’t safe.
He starts to run again. He can see well in the dark, every bush, bat and boar, but he has no idea where he’s going. Just away from the lions.
He reaches an open area. The forest and plains are gone, there’s funny square structures and smells of animals he doesn’t recognise and then, suddenly…
Watch out for chapter four coming soon!
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