The Lion King - Fight For the Throne

Original script by Mik Berger and Martina Mau

Translated into English by Tacimur

HTML version by Akril

Narrator: For its inhabitants, the Pridelands had become again what a home should be for everyone in this world. A shelter of peace and happiness. Everyone always found enough to eat and to drink, and everyone could just lie down anywhere under a tree for a nap without having to fear for his life. Of course there were certain rules among the animals and the law of nature applied here as well. Some places were reserved for the stronger ones. At the watering hole it wasn't everyone's turn at the same time, but some came first and then the others. But everyone just drank so much that there was always enough left for the others.

Everyone had his place in nature. Those who respected these rules had a good life. This was ensured by a great and strong King Simba. You couldn't exactly call him 'wise' yet, he wasn't old enough for that. But he had already experienced much in his life, and he knew what was at stake for everybody. Even though everything in the Pridelands was calm, Simba was never sure if he did everything right, for a smart lion would always doubt himself a little bit.

He especially valued the minutes when he stood alone with his son Kopa at Pride Rock and passed a bit of his knowledge on to him. Sometimes however Kopa would ambush him with questions that were surprising even for an experienced king. Questions he had always slightly pushed aside. But then there was that young, open-minded and always curious Kopa who'd just like that and willy-nilly ask the question:

Kopa: Dad?

Simba: Hmmm?

Kopa: Why is the King of the Pridelands always a lion? And not let's say a zebra, a hare or ... or maybe an ant?

Narrator: For a little moment, Simba was speechless. He thought for a second, and then the fitting answer came to his mind.

Simba: Kopa, you're asking many questions, and that's a good thing. Curiosity helps each of us on. You just musn't be too curious, or curiosity will become an abyss that you can easily fall into. But I'll gladly answer you this question. My father Mufasa was King, my grandfather was King too, and my great-grandfather Mohatu was King too. Since we lions can remember, the lion was always called "The King of Beasts." For lions are strong, mighty and very clever.

Kopa: But elephants are strong and mighty and clever too.

Simba: Uhh... yesss... well yes.

Narrator: Simba, who'd always been just, now started to ponder about this himself. First doubts were beginning to nest in his thoughts. Why was the King of the Pridelands really always a lion? Why not a snake? Or a wildebeest or a giraffe? And weren't the elephants indeed superior to lions in strength and size? But Simba could not allow these doubts. He was the King, and he had to give his son a satisfying answer.

Simba: Kopa, just be glad that the lions always supply the king. This way it is sure that one day you'll be my successor as the Lion King. It is a great responsibility but also a great joy to be a good king. And now let's return to camp. Your mother will surely be wondering what's taking us so long.

Kopa: All right... [sound of footsteps]

Narrator: Kopa was young, and just as quickly as the question had come to him he'd already forgotten about it. Excitedly he romped beside Simba back to camp. In Simba's head however things would labor for a long time.

What neither Simba nor Kopa had noticed was that they had not been alone at Pride Rock. Their conversation was overheared by a hyena that had accidently strayed from its way. This was because since Kopa had befriended the young hyena Asante, the other hyenas too dared to venture a little farther back into the Pridelands. The lions watched this suspiciously, but the hyenas only came sporadically, and so far there hadn't been a single accident.

But in all animals there were good ones and bad ones. Scar had been an evil lion, and Asante was a good hyena. The hyena however who had overheard the conversation between Kopa and Simba -- his name was Fisi by the way -- was rather not a good hyena. Even most of the other hyenas didn't like him. Wherever he appeared, inevitably fights broke out. So he often had to walk alone, just like on this day. The search for carrion had taken him farther and farther into the Pridelands. And when he was digging for leftovers of past meals in the cavern below Pride Rock, he suddenly heared two voices. [sound of digging] Quickly he hid behind a rock. From there, Fisi heared every word that was spoken.

Kopa [echoing]: Why is the King of the Pridelands always a lion? And not let's say a zebra, a hare or ... or maybe an ant?

Fisi: An interesting question, hehehehe!

Simba [echoing]: Kopa, you're asking many questions, and that's a good thing. Curiosity helps each of us on. You just musn't be too curious...

Fisi: This has to be the Lion King, hee hee! I must listen a little bit closer, maybe it'll come in handy, heh heh heh.

Simba [echoing]: Since we lions can remember, the lion was always called ĄThe King of Beasts." For lions are strong, mighty and very clever.

Kopa [echoing]: But elephants are strong and mighty and clever too.

Simba [echoing]: Uhh... yesss... well yes.

Fisi: And hyenas are even cleverer! Clever-clever! This all seems very important.

Narrator: The hyena listened to the conversation's end and waited until father and son lion had disappeared. Then, very cautiously, he ventured out of the cave again and hurried, frequently ducking behind trees or rocks, back to where he'd come from.

[sound of footsteps]

On his way back to the other hyenas Fisi thought intensely what he was to do with his newly gained knowledge.

Fisi: If the King himself has doubts if it is right that he's the king, then one must simply make him even more unsure! And one must challenge him. I wil be king then, heh heh heh! ... No... I'd have to fight him then, that doesn't work. .. I have to chat about this with Ed.

Narrator: Upon arrival at the hyena pack, Fisi immediately skulked towards mangy Ed.

Fisi: Ed? Hey Ed, wake up you old carrion crow!

Ed: Uh... [yawns] Who's bothering me...? Fisi is that you?

Fisi: Heh heh! No, it's His Highness Fuzzyhead, called Liiiiiiiion King, heh heh heh.† Of course it's me. Listen up! You have no idea what I heared! As chance would have it, my paws carried me a bit farther then they were supposed to. And guess who I could eavesdrop on, well?!

Ed: Huh...?

Fisi: Heh heh! The Liiiiiiiiion King.

Narrator: Fisi and Ed concocted a scheme, which meant spurred by Kopa's thoughts and by Simba's noticeable insecurity in this question, they wanted to challenge the Lion King to a fight for the throne.† But who was capable of such a thing? Who would be the future king?

Ed: Me, of course!

Fisi: You? Hehehe, you're far too shaky to fight.

Ed: Hey!

Fisi: I am the true Hyena King!

Ed: Fisi a king? This gives me a wildebeest laugh! If you're king for just one day, the whole land will be so quarreled that there won't be a kingdom anymore!

Fisi: What?

Ed: Fisi, an elephant will rather live in an ant hill than you becoming king!

Fisi: Huh. And now? What are we gonna do now? We just can't let this chance go!

Narrator: The two hyenas thought for a long while how they could turn Simba's obvious self-doubts to their own advantage. And finally, Fisi had an idea.

Fisi: I've got it now. Simba must officially be challenged, in front of all others. By one who is something special, one who'd be believable as a king.

Ed: Hum, and what good will that be for us?

Fisi: Hmm, of course it's got to be someone who is just our puppet. One who still owes us, heh heh heh heh.

Ed: Oh yeah, and who is that supposed to be?

Fisi: There's only one candidate. Kesho, the cheetah.

Ed: Kesho? Well, maybe... why Kesho?

Fisi: But that's obvious! A cheetah is something just like a lion.

Ed: Pah!

Fisi: Well, not quite. But in any case it's a cat, and a dangerous one.

Ed: Hmyeah.

Fisi: And he can do something nobody else can do as good as he. Running!

Ed: Ahh!

Fisi: The cheetah is the fastest animal. And he's incredibly full of himself. Kesho thinks he's something better anyway, heheheh.

Ed: Nice so far, if that all works out that'll make Kesho the king. And what use will that be for us?

Fisi: That's obvious, too! Don't you remember that I saved Kesho from starvation once? Heh heh heh, yes, really!

Ed: Ahh!

Fisi: That stupid cheetah owes me! And now we'll help him become king. And I already have got an exact plan. Listen up!

[murmurs and whispering]

Narrator: Fisi was quite unpredictable but his mind worked fast. In no time Fisi had devised a plan that had good chances of success. Now all that had to be done was to let the completely unaware Kesho know of the plan and wait for a suitable moment for its practical application.

It wasn't all too hard to convince Kesho that he was the right one to claim the throne. First of all, Kesho was so proud of his speed and his good looks that he felt like a prince anyway. What difference would it make if he was also the king, Kesho thought. Secondly, a cheetah was very fast, but nowhere near as strong as a lion. A lion was well able to defend itself against several hyenas at once, but a cheetah facing a pack of hyenas would always get the short end of the stick.

When Fisi and Ed brought several hyenas as backup when explaining the plan to Kesho, he didn't have any other choice but to say 'yes'. Now all that was left was to wait for an opportune moment. A moment when Simba couldn't simply say 'no'. A moment when all animals were gathered, ensuring the maximum attention and surprise.

Strictly speaking, there was only one moment when all this would be like that and when the cheetah and the hyenas could sneak in without being noticed: The Great Palaver that took place regularly at Pride Rock at the turning of the moon. [sound of distant voices] At the Great Palaver, all animals of the promised land gathered at Pride Rock to discuss their problems among each other, to meet animals they hadn't seen for a long time, and just to swap some savannah gossip.

Simba: Friends! Fellow inhabitants! Animals!

[animals hushing]

Simba: I'm happy that you all came for the Great Palaver once again. Let us now hear what worries are troubling you. Who is the first one?

Giraffe: Me! Me!

Simba: The giraffe! Say, what's on your mind?

Giraffe: Ahh... my neck is aching.

[animals laughing]

The treetops have been eaten bare and I have to bend down too far to get some green leaves, and even farther for grass.

Simba: This is indeed a grave problem, giraffe. Does anyone know a solution for this?

Fisi: Bunch of nonsense!

[shocked sounds from the animals]

Simba: Who are you? What brings you here?

Fisi: Heh heh! The question is, who are you? The Liion Kiiing, hah hah hah! By what right?! Did you fight for it? Did the animals cast their vote and decide that you will be the king? No! And because of that it is time that you are challenged!

Simba: Yes, uhm, no. I mean, I... I don't understand. Well, ...surely, but nobody even wants to challenge me.

Kesho: Yes! Me!

Animals: Who is there? -That's impossible. -Who dares? - It is Kesho! -Who is that?

Narrator: The animals became all excited. Never before had someone dared to challenge the King! It was even said that, if some ever should be so insolent, he was threatened to be flung from Pride Rock to his death and that the king himself had the right to carry out this punishment to guarantee peace and quiet in the animal kingdom. Breathlessly, everyone was waiting for Simba's furious reaction. But something very different happened.

Simba: You, come to me!

Ed: Fisi, what is the old fuzzyhead going to do to Kesho?

Fisi: How am I supposed to know, Ed? Just wait and watch. Simba is a giant wuss. He's not going to harm Kesho. Look! Kesho's up on Pride Rock with him now.

Simba: So, Kesho. You're very courageous for daring to challenge your king in public. And that is why I am going to give you a chance.

Narrator: In this moment, Nala angrily made herself heard, who so far had silently watched the proceedings.

Nala: What?! You want to give this cheetah a chance? No way! It's a holy law that traitors must die! Go, fling him off the cliff, Simba.

[animals agree]

Ed: Fisi, do something. Our whole beautiful plan is threatened.

Fisi: Eh!

Narrator: And truly, Fisi dared to rise cold-bloodedly to speak.

Fisi: Simba! Think carefully what you'll do now. If you send Kesho to his death, nobody is ever again going to believe your fairytale of the big, strong and just king, ya know? Prove your claim to the throne, Lion King! By defeating Kesho in a fair fight!

[animals talking excitedly]

Nala: Simba! You're not going to listen to a mangy hyena, are you?

Narrator: But very cunningly, Fisi had found just the right words to grasp Simba by his honor.

Simba: Calm down, Nala. Fisi isn't all wrong. But I'll put Kesho in his place, though not by a cowardly murder but in a fair fight worthy of a king. So be it!

Nala: And might I just know what kind of fight that is going to be? Go on Kesho, say what you had in mind.

Narrator: During the discussion of his fate, Kesho had become all subdued. He already saw himself plummeting into the depths below Pride Rock. Generally, he hadn't imagined it all to be like this. If he just hadn't let Ed and Fisi talk him into this! Fight against Simba, against this strong, invincible lion, never in his life! There was only one way out. A thing that he knew he could do a thousand times better than Simba.

Kesho: Well. I propose a race.

Nala: A race? Hah! Don't make me laugh. A race is a game for children that can't be taken seriously. But it seems just like you to make such a suggestion. Running, especially running away is what a coward like you can do!

Kesho: What?!

Nala: But a king must be able to defend his people. He must be strong, just like Simba is! If you dare to challenge your king, then fight him! Properly! Face to face, a fang for a fang, and claw against claw! Do you agree with me, you brave animals of the Pridelands?

Animals [cheering]: Yes! No race! Long live Simba! Our Simba!

Narrator: After the initial shock of the unthinkable that had taken place during this year's Great Palaver, most inhabitants of the Pridelands awaited the great event that they were going to witness full of joyful excitement. The great fight for the throne was scheduled for the next solstice in the Valley of the Thousand Eyes. Most animals didn't particularly like vain Kesho and nobody seriously doubted that Simba would win easily. So this event promised a welcome change in the sometimes rather dull jungle everyday life. Only Kesho didn't feel comfortable at all in his spotted pelt, for he too couldn't imagine at all how he was to prevail against Simba. He could only hope for help from his accomplices Ed and Fisi, so he left for the hyenas' camp on swift paws.

Ed: Look who's coming, Fisi, our ranger! [giggles]

Fisi: Heheh, yes I see him, Ed. That horrid yellow is blinding me! Wonder what he wants?

Ed: It was clear that he'd come. Without us he doesn't stand a chance against Simba.

Fisi: Of course not! And that's good. Heh heh heh! After all we have to keep our future king under our well proven control right from the beginning!

Ed: Yeah, exactly right. But hush now, he's almost here.

Fisi: Heh heh. Kesho! How are you?

Kesho: Hi Fisi, hello Ed.

Fisi: What's the matter, old fighter? I see deep furrows of worry on your noble brow.

Kesho: I've got any reason for that! What were you thinking to bring this mess upon me?

Fisi: I have no idea what he's talking about. Do you understand this, Eddy-laddy?

Ed: Ehh, not a bit, Fisi-Pisi.

Kesho: You don't have to act all innocent! Who wanted me to challenge Simba? That was you! It's all your fault, you made me do it!

Fisi: If I remember correctly that was pretty easy.

Ed: Mhh, right! You were immediately red-hot for the idea! In your thoughts you were already lounging on Pride Rock and let yourself be spoiled by cute young lionesses with tender gazelle filet!

Fisi: Heh heh.

Narrator: Kesho didn't know an answer to this because the hyenas were right. He had wanted too badly to enjoy the privileges of a king. He hadn't wasted a single thought on troubles or even such a huge problem as he had now.

Kesho: It was still your idea! And you have to help me out now!

Fisi: We "have to" nothing, just to make that clear! But in our selfless loyalty to our old friend [Ed chuckles] we've already designed an exact battle strategy for you.

Kesho: How... ...what do you mean?

Ed: Come a little closer. No need for everyone to hear what we have to talk about.

Kesho: Mh-hm.

Narrator: Whispering the hyenas explained their mean plan to Kesho. When they had finished, Kesho was impressed and relieved at the same time.

Kesho: Ahahahahahaa! You're brilliant! That's a murderously good plan! Yes! Yes, this way I can beat Simba! Ha ha ha! See you at the solstice!

Fisi: No worries, old lad!

Ed: Just don't forget about us when you're king.

Kesho [laughing]: That's a matter of honor.

[hyenas laugh loudly, footsteps]

Fisi: Him and honor! I'm laughing my tail off. But either way. We'll remind him of us ourselves when the time is right, won't we, Ed?

Ed: Exactly.

Narrator: And then the day of the solstice had arrived. All animals had gathered in the Valley of the Thousand Eyes to watch the great spectacle. Near the valley, the elephants had built an arena for the fighters from broken-off tree trunks. The rules said that this field was not to be left during the fight. The other animals had already taken place around the arena and tensely awaited the arrival of the two opponents. Kesho appeared first. He trotted into the arena with elegant, lithe steps. [animals oooh and aaah, hyenas cackle] But only the hyena pack applauded him.

Hyenas: You're the greatest! Bravo! To the future king!

Narrator: Graciously Kesho inclined his head towards the hyenas.

Kesho: Thank you, my friends. I won't disappoint your trust in me.

Narrator: In the next moment, Simba held entry into the arena. Proudly, head held high with his mighty mane flowing around it he was an image of power and beauty. The sun let his fur glow golden, and in this moment every single animal was proud without end of this noble king. He was welcomed with cheers.

[animals cheering and calling Simba's name]

Simba gave a friendly nod to the many animals. After that, Kopa as the crown prince pronounced the rules of the impending battle.

Kopa: Inhabitants of the Pridelands! Hear what I have to say! Today, you all will witness the fight for the royal throne between Simba, your noble Lion King and his challenger Kesho, the cheetah. The arena must not be left during the battle. The winner and as such the new king will be whoever manages first to put both forepaws on his opponent's chest. The loser will leave the Pridelands for all times. This is how it shall it be done.

Narrator: The fight began. First, Kesho and Simba stalked each other by circling with lithe movements. Then, Kesho tried to provoke Simba to take the first strike.

Kesho: Well, you noble Lion King? Afraid of dealing a blow to your strong opponent, are you? Come, bring it on!

Simba: You'll be lying in the dust sooner than you want to, Kesho.

[Simba strikes, Kesho hisses in pain]

Narrator: Simba dealt a first, light blow to Kesho. [hissing] Kesho hissed and struck back. But before he expected it, Simba had already dealt a second blow with his clawed paw to Kesho's head. He was already beginning to bleed there lightly.

Kesho: Just wait! You'll pay for this!

Narrator: And with a mighty leap, Kesho jumped at Simba.

One of the bystanders [Nala?]: No!

Narrator: ...who however was able to quickly dodge him, so that Kesho hit the ground hard.

Simba: I don't like to fight, but I have no choice!

Narrator: With these words Simba leaped at Kesho, who was still on the ground. Instantly the two bodies were entangled and rolled on the ground.

Kesho: You'll never defeat me, you stinking lion! Yarrgh!

Narrator: But in the next moment Simba made a quick and powerful turn and lay on top of Kesho. The animals of the Pridelands already pictured Simba as the winner. [animals cheering Simba on] But before Simba could finish his work and roll Kesho on his back, something outrageous happened. Using all of his strength and flexibility, Kesho slid out of Simba's grasp and leaped for the boundary of the arena with two huge jumps.

In another huge jump he leaped over the tree trunks. At this place, the animals who had watched yielded fearfully and made way for Kesho. Quickly, Simba had recovered from his surprise. He went after the escapee.

Simba: Stay here! Running away is against the rules!

Narrator: Naturally, Simba couldn't know that this whole maneuver was part of the plan that Fisi and Ed had devised for Kesho. At the end of the valley, Kesho stopped abruptly in front of a big scrub, and faced his pursuer.

Kesho: Now kill me, if you can!

Simba: I don't want to kill you, but defeat you. The way the rules say it.

Narrator: Then Simba leaped at Kesho with teeth bared and claws unsheathed. But this time the latter was prepared exactly for this. He leaped aside himself, over a patch of thistles. Simba crashed right into the violet blossoms of the thistles, and into their especially large and solid thorns. The thorns dug through Simba's fur deeply into his body.

[Simba screams in pain, then pants heavily]

But still, Simba didn't let up. He freed himself and pursued Kesho again who was already running back into the arena. Doggedly, the fight went on there. It seemed to be only a matter of time until Kesho would be defeated for good. But suddenly, something peculiar happened. Simba's movements began slowing down and losing their power. Nala was the first to notice that something was wrong.

Nala: Simba, what's wrong? Hang in there!

Narrator: But it was already too late. From one second to the next, Simba dropped powerlessly on his side. Without any resistance, Kesho could now roll Simba on his back and put both paws on his chest as a sign of triumph. All animals were like petrified. Only the hyenas screeched their cheer out loudly. [Hyenas screaming hooray to Kesho] The first one to regain her speech was Nala.

Nala: Kesho has not won! You all saw it, he left the arena. That was against the rules.

[animals agree]

Narrator: But the hyena Fisi didn't let his and Kesho's victory be challenged.

Fisi: Shut your trap, Nala! You're a sore loser. Kesho defeated Simba inside the arena, and that's all that counts! Get lost now! You're no longer queen!

Nala: I don't know what foul trick defeated Simba, but you won't get rid of me! Never!

[hyenas laugh mockingly]

Narrator: With that, Nala turned away to take care of the wounded Simba. Meanwhile, hyenas carried Kesho towards Pride Rock in a victory parade. The other animals scattered in the savannah with worried faces. This was not how they had imagined the outcome of the fight. Kesho as the new king! That could virtually mean only trouble. And their worries should be proved correct.

Affectionately, Nala began to lick Simba's fur, who was still lying on the ground. It was terribly disheveled, and in some places he was even bleeding. But fortunately he was still breathing. After several minutes, he opened his eyes.

Simba: Ahhh... Nala... it's you. That's good.

Nala: Shhh... don't talk, beloved.

Simba: Nala, where am I, what happened? Ahh... my head.

Nala: Shh... everything is going to be all right.

Simba: Nala, you're not honest with me, I know it. Nothing is all right. You have to tell me what happened.

Narrator: So Nala had no choice but to answer Simba's questions. With few words she reported to him what had happened during the fight.

Simba: Oh, what a big disgrace!

Nala: No, Simba, please believe me! Kesho can never have won by honest means! There was a very dirty trick. And I bet, the hyenas are in it, too.

Simba: It doesn't matter. Lost is lost. I can't prove that Kesho cheated. And a true king should also not let himself be tricked.

Nala: But he left the arena during the fight. He wasn't allowed to!

Simba: He defeated me inside the arena, just as the rules dictate. I'm no longer the Lion King now. I shall leave the Pridelands today and never return, just as I vowed to before the fight.

Nala: Simba, you mustn't do that! We all here need you. Kesho will lead the land to its doom as the king. You must seek revenge!

Simba: My brave Nala. It's no good. I lost my face and forfeit my dignity as a king.

Nala: Simba, I'm trying to understand that you have to withdraw yourself in this hour. But I will never leave our people! And I hope you will soon realize that you are making a mistake.

Narrator: But Simba couldn't be made to change his mind. Once more, like in the times when he had lost his father, he retreated to the jungle outside the Pride Lands. [jungle noises] This time however he wasn't all alone, because his son Kopa accompanied him.

Kopa: You know, dad, we've been here in the jungle for three moons now. I already learned a lot about hunting from you, but... I'm missing our lion family.

Simba: Oh Kopa, I understand you very well. But try to see my point of view. There is no way that I can return.

Kopa: I know that, dad. And I'm going to stick with you, no matter what.

Narrator: Proudly, but also a bit melancholy, Simba looked at his boy. By his fault this splendid young lion would never ascend to the king's throne. The pain almost cut his heart in two. And again, like so often recently, Simba's thoughts trailed to his people and he asked himself how the others were faring. If he had guessed what was going on there under the reign of Kesho and the hyenas, his despair would have been boundless.

Kesho: Hi Fisi, hi Ed. Aah, I'm bored to death again. Let's hunt a few little gazelles together!

Fisi and Ed: Heh heh.

Fisi: My dear Kesho! Don't imagine things! Since you've been king you've become fat and slow!

Kesho: What...!

Fisi: Yeah! Without us hyenas as beaters you can't even tell a gazelle from an elephant! Because you don't get close enough!

Kesho: How...! Do you dare to talk to your King like this, hyena?!

Fisi: Ha ha ha! Are you trying to threaten me, pussy? Don't make me laugh! If you just harm a hair on Ed's or my head, our pack will make mincemeat of you!

Ed: Mmmmh, Fisi is right, my dear. You're king, but you're only a cheetah and no liiiion. So don't act up.

Narrator: Offended, Kesho curled up on Pride Rock. That was not how he had imagined kingship. He wasn't allowed to give any orders. The hyenas dictated everything to him. For example he had to drive the vultures out of the Pridelands, because the hyenas claimed all carrion for themselves. But they only tore out the best parts, the rest was left to rot. A foul smell was already hanging over the entire land.

Some animals had become so sick from it that they died. Others had left the land to find another more beautiful home far away. But those who stayed became more and more displeased and the call for Simba's return became louder. The hyenas persecuted everyone who uttered Simba's name, but in the end they couldn't prevent that a small delegation lead by Nala left to find Simba and maybe change his mind once more. And suddenly, on one of his strolls through the jungle, Kopa faced his mother.

Kopa: Mom...! Oh Mommy, did you return to us?

Nala [laughing happily]: Kopa, my little one! How big and strong you've become here in the jungle, I am so glad to see you!

Kopa: And I'm even gladder!

Nala: Kopa, listen to me! You have to take me to your father as fast as possible.

Kopa: What happened?

Nala: You'll see in an instant, hurry!

Kopa: Yes, mom.

[sound of quick footsteps]

Narrator: Kopa lead Nala to Simba's den as quick as he could. After a wild greeting, Nala quickly began talking about the bad condidions in the Pridelands. Simba listened to her calmly.

Nala: ...and this is why you must fulfill your duties as a king now. I accompanied you back once before, Simba, now I'm pleading you again: Come back! At least do it for me.

Simba: Nala, you know that I love you more than everything in the world, but even for your sake I can't return. I lost my face, a true king mustn't lose a fight. He must be a model of power and strength for his whole people.

Narrator: At this point, Kopa chimed in, who so far had listened silently to his parents' discussion.

Kopa: But dad, didn't you say that he must also be an example of knowledge and wisdom? You are the better king. Every child knows that.

Simba: Kopa, you don't know what you're talking about. You're too young for this.

Narrator: But Kopa had learned much in the meantime. And he was of a different opinion than his father. So the little lion took advantage of the first unguarded moment to set out and help his father. Hadn't his father long ago admitted that the elephants could be the true kings? Kopa thought:

Kopa: Well, then either an elephant would have to be king, that would still be better than that cheetah, or an elephant must help dad to become king again.

Narrator: And Kopa already knew exactly who he'd turn to. Nobody was better suited than Kia. Kia was a lone, white elephant, big like a mountain, very old but also very wise. Kopa just had to find him.

Kopa: Ooh, those vines everywhere. I hate them!

Narrator: Laborously, Kopa had to struggle through the jungle. Not an easy task for a young, unexperienced lion. Without Simba, Kopa got scared sometimes.

Kopa: Hopefully I'll find Kia soon. I don't really know where I am anymore.

Narrator: In this moment, an ear-deafening noise resounded. [trumpeting] And a huge white elephant crashed through the undergrowth directly in front of Kopa. Kopa flattened himself against the ground in fear.

Kia: Oh-ho, what kind of cute little tomcat do we have here?

Kopa: I'm not a tomcat but a lion. Can't you see?

Kia: So, so. A lion. And a cheeky one, too. That's highly interesting. But tell me, bold little lion, who or what made you wind up in my territory?

Kopa: I'm looking for Kia.

Kia: So, so. Kia it is you're looking for.

Kopa: Mm-hm!

Kia: And what do you want from the great Kia, pipsqueak?

Kopa: That's...none of your business.

Kia: Ha, ha, ha, ha. And what if I happened to be Kia?

Kopa: You? Heh, oh, uhm... well of course, what a luck. You must help me.. no, I mean, us, no, I mean my dad.

Kia: What? Simba the mighty Lion King needs my help of all things? I cannot believe this.

Kopa: Yes, it's true. Listen.

Narrator: Kopa told the whole, sad story. A few times, Kia thoughtfully inclined his huge head. Finally, the big elephant began to speak to the little lion.

Kia: If someone had the right to be king, it would be me! But I don't want to be king at all, I just want to have my peace and quiet.

Kopa: But you must help!

Kia: I must do nothing at all.

Kopa: If you don't help you'll leave us all to misery!

Kia: So what?

Kopa: Then everybody will run here and you won't have any quiet at all!

Kia: Hmm, that's something different... Then I must help... So... so I will challenge Kesho.

Kopa: But... then you're the king.

Kia: Do I have to say everything twice? I just want everything to stay as it is.

Kopa: Ah! [giggles] Then what are you waiting for?

Kia: What are you waiting for? Come on, get on board!

Narrator: At the speed of wind, the old elephant hurried through the jungle with the young lion on his back. When they reached the border of the Pridelands, a pack of hyenas lead by Fisi tried to stop the strange pair.

Fisi: Ey, gramps! Come off it! You can't go through here!

Kia: I can't what?

Fisi: Are you deaf or what? This is the end of the line for you! Only exclusive personages are allowed into the realm of our noble king Kesho! And you're not one of these, Wrinkly! And especially not the little snot on your back!

Kopa: We go wherever we want!

Kia: And now we want to go to Pride Rock, so get out of the way!

Kopa: Period!

Fisi: No waaa...ouch! You big jerk!

Narrator: Without further ado, Kia had stepped on the hyena's paw and determinedly continued his way. Nobody dared to stop him anymore. And so it came that Kia and Kopa reached Pride Rock after just a short time, where Kesho was having another lazy nap in the sun. At Kia's entrance however he awoke startled and distressed.

Kesho: Oh!! What by the Holy God of Thunder does this mean?

Kia: You're just about to find out, cheetah. Either you admit right now that you cheated in the fight with Simba, or I'll have to talk to you a bit.

Kesho: I.. I.. I... I don't understand...

Kia: All right... I don't have this much time. If that's how you want it...!

Narrator: Quickly, Kia gripped Kesho with his powerful trunk and swung him over the precipice below Pride Rock.

Kesho [panting]: Heeelp! Are you crazy?

Kia: Maybe? And if you don't tell the trick by which you won right now, I'll let you fall! Understand?

Kesho: Yeees! Yes. All right, you've convinced me. Well, it was like this...

Kia: Louder, louder! The others want to hear something as well.

Narrator: And indeed, the message about the happenings at Pride Rock had spread among the animals like a bushfire. All had hurried to watch.

Kesho: But it's not my fault. The hyenas talked me into it.

Kia: Into what?

Kesho: Well, now, I... I had to lure Simba into a certain shrub, and... and that's also why I left the arena.

Kia: Come on, spare me the suspense. My trunk is getting weak.

Kesho: Nooo! I'm telling everything, I'm telling everything! Well, in this shrub, lots of sleep-thistles are growing. When Simba wanted to grasp me, I quickly jumped aside, so that he landed right in the thistles. And... and then it took only a few minutes until he couldn't keep fighting for tiredness. Yes, yes, that wasn't fair, and... and now please let me down.

Kia: Heh-heh. Now, inhabitants of the Pridelands, what do you say to this confession?

Animals: Boo! Traitor! Fie! Fie!

Kia: Exactly! And that is why you are going to run for it right now, you miserable wimp -- understand?

Kesho: I'm already gone! I don't want to be a king anymore anyway...nobody liked me, anyway.

Animals: Simba! Simba is our king!

Narrator: For once, Kesho was right. He was never seen in the Pridelands again. Instead, Simba was brought back in an incredible parade of triumph. After he heared how maliciously he had been tricked, he'd agreed to his return at once. For after Kia too had returned to the jungle, and thus really had made no claim to the royal throne -- the old elephant just didn't like to be in the limelight -- there was no reason against Simba's triumphant return.

[animals cheer loudly]

Simba: I thank you, my friends! I am glad to be back with you. And I am also glad that you want me as your king again. But nobody can rule all alone, I realized this. Without Kopa's persistency and Kia's help, evil may have prevailed.

Narrator: This way order was restored in the Pridelands at last. The hyenas didn't dare to oppose the strong Lion King and left the land, just as Kesho had before. Under Simba's prudent leadership the Pridelands soon became the paradise that it had been before. After all, a lion shall be the true Lion King.

The End