The night was warm. The insects were singing their song. Two cubs nestled close together with their Mother `Cassie` watching over them.
"Mother?" Said the smaller cub quietly, its eyes blurry with sleep. The lioness looked down at her, her eyes gentle.
"Yes, Mango?" She replied, leaning down to nuzzle the little lion, trying to coax it back to sleep.
"When Sage grows up, will you still love me?"
The lioness chuckled and nodded. "Of course, I love all my cubs. And you are no exception."
The cub's eyes closed and she drifted back off into the dream.
"Move! I'm going to be the Queen, I should eat first!"
"Is so fair!"
"I'll tell Mother!"
The sound of scuffling ensued. Sage, her piebald pelt, was on top with her paws wrapped around her sisters head. The smaller cub let out a wail and sunk her teeth into her sisters leg. The little cub shrieked and scrambled off.
"No fair! You bit me!"
"You were hurting me, what was I supposed to do?"
Sage huffed, turning her back and sitting down. Mother would tell her it was childish to sulk. But she didn't care at this moment. There was a moment of silence and then her little sister rubbed herself over her, chuffing quietly.
"I'm sorry... Please don't me mad!" Mango cried, and the piebald cub's face broke into a grin.
"I'm not mad, but you hurt me." She complained, her sister lowered her head in apology, and she cuffed her ear gently.
"Lets go, Mother's back with food, I can smell it."
A caterwaul rose up above the trees. Three cubs wrestled on the ground sending dust flying up into the air. A pale cub splattered with brown kicked the stomach of the dark furred cub furiously while her sister battered at its ears. The darker cub released its claws from the sister's flank and scrambled to its paws, darting away to hide with his mother. Sage glanced over at Mango.
"Are you alright?" She panted, Mango nodded.
"I'm fine, he didn't really get me."
Their Mother bounded over to them, sniffing the small cuts that welled with blood. "What happened here?" She questioned, sniffing for any scents of danger.
"`Dara`'s cubs were talking bad about Mango again." Complained the little piebald cub, her ears flat against her head. "She said that she wasn't going to be anything, but we told her that Mango was going to be a better hunter than all the lioness' in the world, and then she got angry..."
The Mother shook her head gave both of her cubs an affectionate lick on the ear and went off to hunt. Soon, Mango would be leaving her sister for longer stretches of time in order to hunt for the Pride, to provide food. But for now, both of them were content with spending as much time together as they could possibly get. Even if they got into mountains of mischief in the process.
"Why can't Sage play today?"
"She's got to got to go with the Queen so she can learn how to rule a Pride. She doesn't have very long to learn these things, and I've told you time and time again. She can play when she gets back." Chided her Mother gently. The lioness cub sighed.
'But she's always tired when she comes back from training.' She thought sulkily.
Meanwhile the young piebald female was wrestling fiercely with another adolescent, her claws dug deep into the other's shoulders until they screeched, struggling to release them self.
"Enough." Spoke the low mature voice of the current Queen `Vlad`, and the piebald lioness glanced up, releasing her opponent.
"The sun sets now. Go back to the Pride and eat. You will be training tomorrow, and even future Queen's can fall victim to exhaustion and starvation."
"And then I pinned him down and you should have heard his cry, I'm getting really strong, Mango, you should come watch me train one day, I think you'll be really impressed!" Sage bragged, her white splotched face broken by a wide grin.
"I... I'll try, but I've been really busy hunting lately, the herds are migrating and there is less and less food every day. Mother says that in a few moon cycles we'll as skinny as a blade of grass..." Mango was making up excuses, it was really obvious. Sage gave her a look, trying to look her in the eyes, but Mango quickly looked away.
"What's wrong, we never talk anymore. You always avoid me like I'm infected with a disease." Sage complained, her tail hitting the ground in frustration. Mango's ears fell flat against her head in guilt and she quickly blurted out her reasons as to avoid further guilt and pain.
"You're going to have this grand big destiny, leading the Pride and deciding whats happening. All I'm going to do is hunt and look for water! You're going to be too busy for me and then you'll forget all about me and Mother!" Mango whined, feeling her heart clench pitifully. Sage gave her a stare, as if you say 'Are you dumb?'
"I'll never forget you, never ever! You've been my best friend since we were born. You're the only one I can talk to about my problems and the only one who understands yours, nobody understands me as well as you understand me. Its like our ancestors knew we'd make a good pair and birthed us together." Sage said fiercely, nuzzling her face into her sister's fur and making noises as close to purr's as she could get.
"Next time I have to train you can come with me, and then I can go with you when you hunt, that way neither of us is left out."
Mango smiled at her sister, her oddly marked sister, the one who had just said so many nice things about her and promise never to forget about her. Her heart warmed and she returned the odd purr noise with a laugh.
"That sounds nice."
• Lab Test frog 1/1
• Snarky Pose 1/1
• Added Applicator: Inverted Brawl 100% 1/1
• Marking Opacity Changer 3/3
-> Slot 5: Chocolate Paw Carving (36%) to 100%
-> Slot 6: Maroon Sable (17%) to 100%
-> Slot 10: Fiery Mottled Fissures (57%) to 100%
Stud fee: 350sb 1gb