The Way of the Lion (excerpts from a book I wrote on Lions)


“Mister Tenant, your days are numbered. Hope you have packed your load” Tete said mockingly as she passed by his side and patted his rump with her paw.

“Get off me,” he snarled.

He leaped up to lunge at her. But out of the corner of his eyes, he caught sight of her mother and his other three stepmothers watching them keenly.

His anger rapidly subsided and he walked away from his half-sister.

“Hey Didi, where are you running to? You scared of your own tail?” Tete called out.

“Enough! Tete,” her mother snapped.

“I was just joking with him.”

“Enough! I said.”

“But Didi is still going to leave, right?”

 ”Yes, our custom demands we send him away from the Pride. But, don’t make an enemy of him, for your paths might still cross.”

“He won’t last a day on his own,” Tete replied.

“Never say never,” said her mother quietly.

“He is a wimp.”

 “Your father was once like him.”

“My father is a warrior,” Tete said.

“Yes, he is. But he was not born one. He became one.”

“Didi does not have the balls.”

“He will grow it.”


“Lack of options often makes a hero of the weakest of us.”

“He can’t even hunt on his own.”

“He will learn.”

“Who will teach him when he leaves the Pride?”

"Time and chance happen to us all. Life will teach him using hunger and loneliness."

“I still don’t agree with you mum. You don’t know Didi.”

“I have been a Lion longer than you have been my child. I know Lions and I know a warrior when I see one.”


“My child, your father is my 3rd husband. I have seen many things that your mind is yet to understand. So be careful not to make an enemy of your brother.”

“Even if he comes back, I will be ready for him.”

“No my child, if he comes back, he will be too much for you.”


    Didi walked away from the Lionesses. He knew when the time comes; they will join his father to attack him. The thought of being an outcast made him shiver.
    “How will I survive?” Didi asked aloud, “what if I decide to stay?”
    He had two options, leave gently or fight his father for the right to stay. His mind flashed back to a year earlier.
    He had had two older half-brothers, Kini and Niki. He was quite close to them and loved to always hang out with them.
    However, Kini had tried to mate with one of the Lionesses, and their father, Daka, had seen him.

    Thus, their father had demanded that Kini and Niki left the pride. But Kini stood his ground and Niki backed him up. He had watched as their father took the two of them on and in minutes, the fight was over.
    Kini lost an eye and Niki ended up with a broken spine. Niki died within 2 days and Kini died 2 days later from hunger or an infection or maybe both.

    “I can’t fight Father,” Didi said to himself, “I will be dead in seconds.”

    He watched as his 3 younger half-brothers played with their mother. He was older than them. And at just a year old, it would be another 12 months before they also became outcasts. His own eviction was just a matter of days or maybe hours.

    Twice, his father had chased him when he tried to feed on the animals hunted and killed by the Lionesses. So he had had to wait for his father, the Lionesses, and other cubs to finish eating before he could eat.

    “They are lucky to have each other,” Didi whispered as he remembered his siblings and mother.

    About 18 months earlier, his siblings, a brother, and two sisters, as well as his mother, had been killed in a hunt gone wrong. The Pride had ambushed a herd of Buffalo that was grazing close to the den. The cries of the Buffalo they caught in the stampede had attracted the other Buffaloes to come back. The herd, led by the bulls, had attacked the Lions and chased them right into the den. His siblings were trampled to death while his mother bled to death from being gored. Didi grew up being cared for by the other Lionesses.

    “Maybe I should leave before they chase me away,” Didi deliberated, “at least it will be on my terms.”

    Suddenly, he felt chills that made the hair stand up on his neck. Didi looked up and saw his father, Daka, staring at him about 100 meters away.
    He stood up looking at his father for what seemed like an hour but actually was just a minute. As he watched, his father started to move slowly towards him.

    Didi looked at his right and saw the Lionesses were now paying close attention to the scene.
    “Has my time come?” Didi thought in terror, “fight or flight?”

    Slowly, the distance between him and his father disappeared.