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A Brotherly Bond, Part 2
(Note: This takes place when Mufasa is a teenager and Taka is a cub.)
"Moof. Moof. Moof." Mufasa's eyes remained closed. "MOOF!" His brother's eyes opened. "Aw, Taka, what now? It's so early." "Play with me! And my name is Scar." "Go back to sleep!"
"No, Moof, NOW!" Taka whined.
"No! And I told you not to call me Moof!"
"Rrrr!" The cub growled.
The voice of their mother was heard. "Mufasa. Play with Taka. Please. Me and Dad are busy."
Moof sighed. "All right, all right. I'll play with him." They went out into the morning sunlight. They looked ahead of them, gazing far, far out at the Great Jungle. Mufasa had been there a few times, but not often. It was a vast jungle, easy to get lost. There was really no purpose to go there, except that there was a big river with cool, fresh-tasting water that occasionally the animals would drink from. Not much other than that, though. Taka jumped out at a tree, and when he extended his claws quickly his tiny claws stuck in the bark, making him stick like tape. Mufasa couldn't help but laugh. But he straightened up and said, "Now, don't go to close to the jungle. It's dangerous."
"Aw, come on." Taka grinned. "Don't be such a worrier." Taka continued up the tree, never slipping, He was a very talented climber. He jumped down out of the tree, and started wandering away from his brother.
"Taka-I mean Scar! Scar! Come back over here before you get lost!" Mufasa called. "Scar? Taka-where'd you go?" Silence. Worried, Moof started walking in the forest. "Taka?" He heard a high-pitched scream. He ran farther. Horrified, he called out his little brother's name again. Only a moment went by. BOOM! Taka with a cheetah on his heels zipped out of the bushes, seemingly at the speed of light.
"Mufasa!" the cub screamed again. Mufasa jumped in front of Taka's pursuer, teeth bared, a threatening look on his face.
"Pridelanders!" the cheetah growled. "Stay in your own home! Don't bother our kind!"
"Who are you?" Moof growled back.
"I'm Tono. I live here. Who are you?"
"I am Mufasa. He is my brother Taka."
The other cat hissed. "The king's sons? Ha! Your father is a fool! He is not a good king at all! He invited Cheetahs to become Pridelanders, but oh, we knew better. He cannot rule a pile of dirt!"
"Stop saying such things about my father!" Moof bared his teeth.
"Oh yes, you little rat! They are all true. And now your brother will die!" Tono held up his extracted claws towards Taka, frightening the poor child.
"No, he won't, for I am fighting in his place!"
"What?! No, Moof! What are you doing?" Taka cried.
"I told you I'd make it up to you." Mufasa stared into Taka's eyes. "And I keep my promises."
"How touching," sneered Tono. "You just better watch your BACK!" He pounced on Moof from behind, but Mufasa was too fast, and swerved out of the way, causing Tono to hit the hard ground. This would not stop Tono, of course, and so he snuck up from behind Moof and sank his teeth into his neck. Moof yowled in pain. He caught Tono and threw him against a tree. Tono pounced back at him again. The fighting caused them to smack into Taka, sending him rolling along with them.
"AH!" he yelped. There was a gorge not far from there, and soon they rolled close to it. Taka tripped and started to roll down the edge. "Taka!" Tono shoved Taka's brother over the edge, but lost his footing and fell too.
The next thing Taka knew was that he was on the ground, with a throbbing headache. "Ohh," he groaned. He sat up. "Mufasa? Moof?" Moof and Tono were lying there, not moving. "Oh no! Moof! No!" Taka started to cry. "No. No."
Moof's eyes opened. "Taka?"
Taka's tail started to wag. "Oh, Moof! You're alright!"
Moof smiled. "Taka. You're all right, too." They hugged.
"I thought you were dead."
"Not really." Moof smiled.
At first, no one saw Tono awaken too. "ROWR!" He jumped upon Moof and they went tumbling into the side. He pinned Mufasa down. "Thought you could get away, huh?"
"Mufasa! The rocks!" Taka pointed. The rocks at the top of the gorge were starting to crumble. "Avalanche!" Taka couldn't help but scream. He and Moof were quick to get out of there, but some rocks fell on Tono, pinning him. Taka and Mufasa helped each other to scramble to the top, arriving safe. The rocks had stopped falling, silence once again. "Where's the cheetah?" Taka asked. There was a pile of rocks, but no sign of Tono. Mufasa shook his head sympathetically. Taka looked sympathetic, too, but he smiled at his brother. "It was an accident."
"Yeah." Moof muttered. "Thank you for sticking up for me."
Taka nuzzled him. "Mufasa."
"It was nothing, Scar." Moof grinned. But then he groaned. "I think I hurt myself when I fell."
"Come on," Taka said, putting his paw around his brother's shoulder. "My friend Rafiki's cousin, Pendo, is a doctor. In fact, Rafiki is his apprentice. Pendo's tree is not far. He can help you." Moof and Taka walked slowly, eventually reaching the mandrill doctor's home.
"Hello, young princes. What brings you to my home?" Pendo asked cheerfully.
"My brother had a little accident. He fell into the gorge." Taka said. The monkey stepped over to the young lion.
"My goodness." he said, looking Moof over. He put his hand on Mufasa's side, examining. "Looks like you cracked your ribcage. But it's a problem easy to fix." He turned to Taka. "We'll go into my examining room. We'll be done in an hour. You brother will be all fixed up by the time we come back out."
"All right, Pendo." Taka said. They came out an hour later. Mufasa's whole back was covered with a stiff cast-like cloth.
"This should keep your back straight for a while. Wear it for a month. Try not to run too much." He smiled.
"Thanks, doctor." Taka smiled.
"Thanks so much." Moof smiled, too. They walked out the door towards home.
"Take care now!" Pendo called after them.
"Bye!" they called back.
When they arrived home, their mother came running out of the cave, tears streaming down her face. "Taka! Mufasa! We were worried sick!" she ran up to hug them. "Why are you in a cast?!" she asked, horrified.
Alembi walked up. "I would like an explanation, son." He glared at Moof.
Moof sighed and told his parents the whole story.
"Oh, Mufasa, you have a good heart." Alembi smiled and said, "Sons, I am sorry I have been too hard on you lately. You will have my trust forever." They all nuzzled.
"Thanks." Moof smiled.
"Thanks." Taka smiled, too. He was so happy to have such a great family.
A few weeks later, Moof's cast was off and one day when it was almost nighttime he and Taka were wrestling and playing again. "Hey, Moof, I've always been wondering, why did you save me from the Cheetah?" Taka asked.
"I care about you, little bro. You stood up for me, and so I stood up for you. Keesari would be proud."
Taka's eyes brightened a bit. "You think so?"
"Yeah, I do." The sunset was shining in the African sky.
"You're the best, Mufasa."
"You are too, Scar."
With smiles on their faces the two brothers (and best friends) went home.
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