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 were 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 adult male Buffaloes, 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 seems 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.