The Lion King – Friends For Life
Translated into English by Savu0211
Corrected by Rinjapine
HTML version by Akril
Narrator: After the hyenas had left the grasslands, everything in the Pridelands went back to its usual ways. Every morning the red sun rose over the horizon and shone on a life of peace and friendship. Simba, the rightful King, ruled wisely and justly.
Meanwhile his friends, Timon and Pumbaa had returned to jungle after they had helped Simba to defeat the evil Scar and his sinister allies, the hyenas. Both of them had just become so attuned to the lush greenery that the barren grasslands were not sufficient for a permanent home.
The rest of the inhabitants of the kingdom lived in peace together. There was enough water and food for everyone. Actually only one was full of impatience and thirst for action: Kopa, Simba's and Nala's son. Although Zazu tried to force him to become a worthy future King, Kopa was not interested in any lessons.
Zazu: No, Kopa! You don't chase after the birds, but stride with dignity over the grass as a King would do!
Kopa: But I'm not a King! I am a Kopa!
Zazu: Have I to repeat myself over and over again? Your great-grandfather was King, your grandfather was King, your father is King and you will be King of the Pride Lands one day!
Kopa: "And you will be King of the Pride Lands one day"...blah-blah-blah! But what if I am more interested in chasing birds?
Zazu: It's not a matter of what you prefer to do -- it is a matter of I will be in big trouble if I can't teach you how to behave as a future King!
Kopa: Hey, Zazu? Are you not a bird too?
Zazu: Eh, sure. Why?
Kopa: Because even now I am still more interested in hunting birds....
Zazu: No, no! Leave me alone!! Stop it!
Narrator: Zazu flattered away quickly. Once again he wasn't able to teach the little Prince what he had taught Simba many years ago: the bearing of a king, which alone could be enough to scare enemies and receive the respect of the other pride members. But Kopa was not like the other lions in the pride -- there were no other ones his age.
While Simba and Nala were in the jungle, the other lionesses in the Pride Lands suffered under the terrible reign of Scar. Shortly after Simba became King, Kopa was born, but the other lionesses gave birth to their cubs much later as peace had returned and with it a new future for the Pride Lands. So the newborn cubs were much too young to play and measure their strengths against Kopa -- that's why Kopa became more and more wild and impatient.
That evening, Simba and Kopa went to Pride Rock as usual to take a look over the Pride Lands. But this time it was Kopa who interrupted the restless chirping of crickets before his father could tell him about his adventures.
Simba: Yes, Kopa?
Kopa: Will you fight with me?
Simba: But Kopa, don't you think there were enough fights in the past? And don't we still need to fight even today? From time to time rogue lions try to intrude our pride and again and again there are still the evil hyenas who want to attack us. So why should father and son fight as well? You are already big and strong enough to care for yourself.
Kopa: But Dad...!
Simba: Yes, Kopa?
Kopa: Why are the hyenas evil? Why don't you like them?
Simba: Lions and hyenas have been enemies as long as lions can remember. Every time we meet each other there are only arguments and fights. They try to steal our prey and threaten our cubs. Always remember, my son: never trust a hyena or you are lost!
Kopa: Am I allowed to fight against a hyena?
Simba: Kopa, what's wrong with you? Zazu told me that you refuse to learn your lessons!
Kopa: Zazu is a geek...
Simba: Zazu helped me to learn how to behave as a King and he will teach you that, too. Listen to him. Apart from Rafiki and the old elephant Kia, he knows best about life in the Pride Lands. But today I also want to give you two pieces of advice: learn to deal with your impatience and stay away from our enemies, the hyenas!
Kopa: Alright....but I still want to fight now....
Narrator: It's not easy for a King; he has to ensure that all animals get along peacefully with each other, that all goes well, and he must always expect that something could happen to him and then there has to be a worthy heir. Later that night, Simba talked to Nala, Kopa's mother, about their son.
Nala: You need to have a little patience with him, Simba.
Simba: Well, I know that he has no friends here and I know how important good friends are, but if he wants to become a King, he has to learn to behave like a King.
Nala: My dear Simba -- it's lovely that you still remember your good friends Timon and Pumbaa and how they helped you during a hard time. But did you forget how you were as a cub? Don't you remember how we went to the elephant graveyard secretly and the fun we had to escape Zazu? Have more understanding for your son. He is still a cub.
Simba: Of course you are right, Nala. We should give him more time, to learn more about the world on his own like I did when I was young. Do you still remember Zazu's panic when he was not able to find us anywhere?
Nala: Yes, he was afraid Mufasa would have been mad at him. The same way he is afraid of you today.
Simba: Afraid of me? Am I so scary?
Nala: No, but you are the King!
Narrator: Kopa didn't know that Nala and Simba had spoken about him -- he just knew that he was still dissatisfied.
Kopa: I am sooo bored.
Narrator: That's why Kopa walked through the lands the whole day instead of appearing for Zazu's lesson. As usual he had a lot of fun chasing after smaller animals, but on the other hand he had to give a porcupine a wide berth -- once his sensitive nose had made acquaintance with their sharp spines. But now Kopa wanted to relive a real adventure. For too long the sunrise had begun the day and the day ended at sunset. What all happened in between?
Kopa: Nothing happens here... Maybe I should go to the elephant graveyard?
Narrator: Kopa began to shiver by thinking of the elephant graveyard. Every animal in the Pride Lands knew about the story of Simba and the hyenas. And everyone knew that the graveyard was dangerously close to the borders of the kingdom.
But what could happen? After all, every hyena was expelled once and for all from the Pride Lands. No one had seen a strange animal there for a very long time and even the King himself had told him that he was strong and old enough to care for himself.
Kopa: I've made my decision! I want to know what the elephant graveyard looks like.
Narrator: No sooner said than done! Immediately, Kopa set out on the road. Just once he stopped when he arrived at a column of ants, which had been upset by a hungry gecko. When the ants saw the danger they ran around wildly, but the long tongue of the gecko was faster.
Suddenly the high grasses began to rustle and even before the gecko realized what was happening, he was eaten by a snake. Kopa fumbled two or three times after the snake, but had to pull it back immediately -- many times, snakes were poisonous. Kopa had already learned that much and in the last few minutes he had learned much more than Zazu could ever have taught him in the same time just by seeing it.
Such was the law of nature: the big eat the small, the stronger, the weaker. Everyone had their place and every living being was good to eat for something, and the ones who wanted to survive would have to be very careful all the time when they met someone else. Thoughtful, and even more cautious, Kopa walked to the elephant graveyard. As closer he came to it, the more barren and dismal his surroundings became.
Kopa: Well, I wouldn't want to take my nap here.
Narrator: Finally Kopa arrived. Nearly no grass grew there, only naked rocks, as if a giant had thrown them into the land, and from time to time giant tusks arose from elephants' skeletons. Kopa took a long look around the area and was already about to turn away when he heard a rustling.
Kopa: What is that?
Narrator: But it was just a big bug, who tried to escape Kopa's paws in a hurry. Kopa turned away, relived. He was proud that he had seen the elephant graveyard and lived his own real adventure.
Kopa: What a pity that there are no hyenas anymore. I would have loved to fight against one or even more at the same time.
Narrator: Regaining his courage, Kopa turned his back on the elephant graveyard and had jumped maybe just five steps to the place where the grasses began to grow closer and the first trees stood, when he heard a rustle again. But this time it was much louder and accompanied by scratches. Scratches as if claws scratched on the ground and there, not ten feet away from Kopa, there was a hyena -- although actually the hyena wasn't obviously recognizable as a hyena at the first glance, because you could only see her backside together with two short legs, which were wrapped around by a long, brightly patterned snake.
Kopa was speechless and frozen in shock, but then at the second glance it was a very strange sight. Of course hyenas were the enemies of the lions and Kopa was very afraid of snakes, even if he didn't want to admit to himself -- but this hyena was obviously helpless because her front half was stuck in a hole. She struggled desperately with their hind legs to get free again, but she was prevented in her movements by the snake. In addition, the snake seemed to be strangling her. Kopa carefully crept closer to the scene.
Asante: Let me go! Help!
Narrator: Now Kopa was standing directly over the hyena, but still kept a respectful distance from the head of the snake.
Kopa: Hey! You, in the hole!
Asante: Help me to get out of here! I can't breathe!
Kopa: Wait! I will help you!
Narrator: Determined, Kopa swatted at the snake and tried to disengage it from the hyena's backside, but the snake resisted; it was nearly two meters long and quite thick in the middle. Kopa desperately tried not to come too near to its head for he was afraid of the fangs. Maybe he should just run away?
Kopa: No, I can't run away!!
Narrator: So he kept fighting. The snake was very strong and had wrapped itself tight around the hyena's body. For a long time nothing really happened, but then, very slowly, Kopa succeeded in pushing a paw between the snake and the hyena. Now less than ever he wanted to give up! He pulled and tugged with all his strength. The snake let up a little bit due to his efforts. This was Kopa's opportunity to push a second paw under the snake. He pulled with all his might. Suddenly the snake gave up and Kopa flopped onto his backside. For a moment he was stunned. The snake began to wind around his body, and immediately Kopa came back to his senses and threw the snake away as far as possible. With a loud crash the snake fell on the ground and slithered away. This was too much for it -- it had nothing against easy prey, but to fight against a real enemy... no no no!
Asante: Phew, that was close. But who are you... OH!
Kopa: Hi. I'm Kopa.
Asante: Eh... yes.... aren't you a lion?
Kopa: Yes, I am a real lion and you are a hyena, right?
Narrator: Kopa and Asante circled each other. They didn't dare turn their back on one another – after all lions and hyenas were sworn enemies.
Kopa: Do you have a name?
Asante: Yes! Even hyenas are that sophisticated! My name is Asante -- that means “thank you” by the way -- thank you for saving me from the snake.
Kopa: No problem. I'm not afraid of snakes.
Asante: No? I am. Usually only of poisonous snakes. Although this one was only a constrictor, she caught me in a rather stupid moment.
Kopa: Oh that was a constrictor? I mean, obviously that was a constrictor ... That's why I could throw it away so easily. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to help you. But tell me, what did you want with your head stuck in the ground?
Asante: To eat.
Kopa: You eat dirt?
Asante: Nonsense -- the snake buried its eggs there. I wanted to get them. I was terribly hungry. Snake eggs are a real delicacy. Did you not know that?
Kopa: Did I know that? Of course I do! Snake eggs, obviously...however, we don't have very many snakes.
Asante: You live in the Pride Lands, right?
Kopa: Yes, I live in the Pride Lands. The most beautiful and best country ever! It is quite large and one day I will be .... my .... eh .. one day I will know all of it fully.
Asante: Well, I don't know it very well because hyenas are not allowed to go there.
Kopa: Lions and hyenas are indeed enemies, right?
Asante: I think so ... again, nevertheless thank you for saving me! Without you I would never come back out there. Well, now I have to go back to where I am coming from.
Kopa: Now? I mean, of course. I also have to go back! Actually I should not even be here. So be safe.
Asante: You, too, Kopa.
Narrator: On this day, once again Zazu wasn't able to find Kopa in order to teach him. Nervously he told that to Simba.
Zazu: Yes, Simba, my dear King – I'm sorry. I have looked everywhere but I didn't find Kopa...
Simba: Have you searched everywhere?
Zazu: Yes, I mean no....there is still the Elephant Graveyard -- because even I am a little bit scared of that place -- but I do not think that he went there ...
Simba: Mmpf! I think I have to talk to my son once again!
Nala: Simba, let me talk to him. Sometimes it is better if a mother speaks with the voice of her heart.
Simba: Do you think I have no heart?
Nala: No, no Simba. But fathers prefer to listen to their minds instead of their feelings. My gut tells me that this is not the right way now.
Simba: All right then, Nala – if I had always listened to you, many things would have been spared from me. Maybe Kopa is smarter than I.
Narrator: Nala found her son lying in front of a hole. He was thinking back on Asante and his so unexpected and exciting experience. Nala didn't know that of course, but soon Kopa, who never had secrets from Nala or Simba, told her all about it.
Kopa: ...And she is called Asante.
Nala: A hyena?
Kopa: Yes, Mama, but I could not leave her alone and let her be killed by a snake. Anyway if you and dad can be friends with a meerkat and a warthog, why shouldn't I talk to a hyena?
Nala: No, Kopa, you've done the right thing. You have to help animals in need. Hostilities must not be for all eternity. It's just.... hyenas are the natural enemies of the lions and we will never forget our experiences with them. You wouldn't understand it, Kopa. You were born much later.
Kopa: I know ... I know.
Nala: And... Kopa...?
Kopa: Yes, Mom ...?
Nala: Where was the place you met the hyena?
Kopa: At the Elephant Graveyard ....
Nala: Didn't we tell you never to go there?
Kopa: Yes, Just as King Mufasa had told to his son Simba a long time ago!
Nala: Oh, I give up...
Narrator: Of course Kopa knew that he wasn't allowed to go to the Elephant Graveyard and he also knew that he should stay away from the hyenas. But shouldn't he also become the King of the lions? And didn't a King need to make decisions on his own soon enough? Didn't a King need to help everyone? Try to get along with everyone? And explore uncharted territories? Kopa did not feel guilty, but he left a perplexed Nala behind.
Nala: That's what I get for talking about minds and emotions! How should I tell this to Simba?
Narrator: But somehow, Kopa had the feeling he had to make up for something. That's why in the days that followed Kopa appeared always appeared on time for Zazu's lessons. Soon everyone had forgotten the meeting between Kopa and Asante, until the day Kopa went for a long walk through the savanna on a free afternoon.
Kopa [speaking to himself]: Are you afraid of the next future King? I am not afraid of anything! HA!
Asante: Hey! There he is! The fearless Kopa! Why are you quivering?
Kopa: Eh? Do I? I think it is very cold today, isn't it?
Asante: Oh indeed! So cold that the waterholes dry up! Do you want to play with me?
Kopa: Yes! What do you want to play?
Asante: Throwing bones!
Kopa: What? Yuck!
Asante: I was joking! How about hunting crickets?
Kopa: Sounds great!
Narrator: Both were in a mad rush for every animal they hunted, which were either fast enough to escape or small enough that they were not a danger for them. Both of them knew that they were not allowed to play with each other and both of them were far away from their homes, and although they knew that lions and hyenas didn't fit together, they soon would learn something completely different…
Kopa: Asante! Look!
Asante: Oh... a line of ants... so what? I am not an anteater. Don't you have something more delicious than that?
Kopa: Maybe you just have to wait a moment. Sit down there!
Narrator: And indeed, a few minutes later the same thing happened that Kopa had seen days before. The grasses began to rustle and a gecko appeared. And again the long tongue of the gecko upset the column of ants.
Kopa: Do you see that? The big ones eat the smaller ones.
Kopa: The last time suddenly a snake appeared and ate the gecko. No one can change the course of nature. Snakes and geckos never could be friends and geckos and ants couldn't as well.
Narrator: In that moment Asante took the gecko and shoved him aside.
Asante: Look -- you can change the course of nature. Now I am a friend of ants. Who would have believed that?
Kopa: I see, I see... friendship... Why couldn't lions and hyenas become friends too?
Asante: We are friends, aren't we? And now, catch me if you can!!
Narrator: Happily, Kopa and Asante played through the savanna. While they were running, destiny took its course unnoticed -- a few feet behind them, next to the line of ants, a snake slithered out of grasses and struck quickly. Within seconds the gecko was eaten, whose life was just extended by Asante for few minutes.
Kopa and Asante met each other more often. They played with each other and were telling each other their secrets. For example Kopa told her about a tree, which gave shade all day long so that you didn't even have to get up if you wanted to be lazy the whole day. And Asante knew a den with a great echo. If you barked or roared into it, the sound came back to you immediately.
But even if they had so much fun with each other, none of them dared to introduce their new friend at home. Too great was the antagonism between their races, for too much had happened in the older generation's past. But much more would happen before their situation changed...
Asante: Come on! Come on!
Kopa: No, Asante. I am not allowed to go so far away from home. That is the Shadowland!
Asante: Oh come on. I know this place very well!
Kopa: I am not sure... after all it's forbidden.
Asante: Are you a lion or a mouse? There is a great river, which we can throw stones into!
Narrator: Kopa followed Asante hesitantly step by step further into the unknown land. But after a while he forgot his fear and they ran side by side to the river. They not only could hear the river, but also literally smelled it. It wasn't a stale smell like coming from a waterhole, or a fresh one of a jungle river, but it was a strong smell, which tasted like wind and rocks... and a little bit like an adventure.
Because of that Kopa forgot all his wariness. Soon Asante and Kopa romped around on the riverbank. After a while something changed. There wasn't much sunlight anyway because of all the river mist, but suddenly the sky turned completely dark. A black cloud appeared.
Asante: What's that? Do you see that, Kopa?
Kopa: Mh...yes. It seems to be a swarm of locusts...I know this already. That's fun!
Asante: Mh, I don't think that this is a swarm of locusts...
Narrator: Sometimes it could happen that locusts came around in giant swarms. Indeed, they were not dangerous for lions or other carnivores, but because of their incredibly high numbers they could eat everything green in their path -- the grass, the leaves, the flowers -- so that herbivores couldn't find food anymore. But Asante quivered with fear. She knew that there was something going on which had never happened before. The dark cloud began to roar...
Asante: There is something wrong! That is not a swarm of locusts!
Kopa: What else could it be?
Asante: A storm!
Kopa:What...in this season? That's impossible!
Asante: But it is one! Don't you hear the thunder?
Kopa: Thunder? What's that?
Narrator: Actually Kopa never had seen a thunderstorm before. A rain shower -- yes -- but no thunder or even lightning. Tropical storms were very rare there. But if there was one, they were violent and Asante knew that. She also knew that the riverbank would become very dangerous if they stayed there.
Asante: Kopa, quick! We have to get out of here!
Kopa: Why? Just because it's raining?
Asante: Yes! Quick!
Narrator: And suddenly the weather changed drastically. Before they realized what was going on, the storm was directly overhead, and rain pelted down. Lightning and thunder came from all sides and a strong wind set in, so strong that the trees bent almost to the ground. The river swelled and grew bigger and bigger. The ground soaked up the water so fast that suddenly the whole world seemed to be underwater. Asante ran on, still calling for Kopa.
Asante: Kopa! Hurry!
Narrator: But Kopa was scared stiff. He couldn't move -- and then it happened: suddenly the ground under Kopa's paws started to move. A big chunk of dirt broke away from the riverbank and fell into the river together with Kopa.
Kopa: Asante!! Help me!
Narrator: But Asante couldn't help him anymore... or maybe she didn't want to. Kopa just saw her run away. In desperation, Kopa realized that he drifted more and more into the stream of river. The clump of earth, which was made of many intertwined roots initially held, but over the time it was beginning to break apart. Kopa had more and more difficulty holding on.
Kopa: That's what comes of it! Maybe it's good that Asante could escape. She couldn't help me anyway...She just would have fallen into the water as well. But what will happen to me now?
Narrator: Kopa cried for help. Faster and faster he drifted along the streaming water and there was almost no clod of dirt to hold onto anymore. Meanwhile the storm had moved on. Where was Asante? Did she really just run away? Or did she have an idea to help Kopa?
Asante: I have to make it! Hopefully they are there....
Narrator: Asante ran as fast as she could until her paws became wounded by the hard ground. She was single-minded: she wanted to help Kopa, but how?
Asante: Crocodile! Crocodile are you there? Why don't you answer?
Crocodile: Who is there? Who is disturbing me?
Asante: Crocodile! Thanks be to Gaia! You have to help me!
Crocodile: By all the water spirits...? Oh Asante! You are such a nice, young hyena. You are allowed to disturb me.
Asante: Oh Crocodile, a friend of mine needs your help immediately!
Crocodile: A friend? You have a friend? That's good. You never can have enough friends. I have a lot of friends too.
Asante: Only you can help him!
Crocodile: But how?
Asante: I don't know. But he fell in the river and I think he can't hold on any longer. He is a lion.
Narrator: In a panic, Asante told the old crocodile the whole story of their great misfortune while she was pushing him back to the water. Meanwhile Kopa battled for his very existence.
Kopa: I am lost! If there is no miracle, I will be drowned!
Narrator: Kopa's tail and hind legs already hung into the water. Only one root was left and Kopa clung to it. The little lion was running out of energy -- even if he were close to the riverbank Kopa would have been too tired to swim, but fate had sent him out into the middle of the wide river. Kopa didn't know that Asante already called the old crocodile for help. And even if he did, how could a crocodile help him? But it already had an idea.
Kopa: Huh? What's that? The root got caught by something....a tree trunk! Oh, there is another one...and another one!
Narrator: With the last of his strength Kopa climbed on the tree trunk. The next one was just few centimeters away. Kopa jumped from one to the other until he reached the riverbank. What a strange accumulation of tree trunks! But the main point he was safe now.
Kopa: I made it!
Narrator: Suddenly one of the tree trunks opened a huge mouth with a lot of sharp teeth and growled with a deep voice.
Crocodile: You must be Kopa!
Crocodile: I am glad that I and my friends were able to help you.
Narrator: Kopa almost collapsed. He was not saved by tree trunks, but by crocodiles! Usually lions were wary of them, especially while drinking at the river. This day had turned on its head everything that Kopa had known about life.
Kopa: From now on I will teach Zazu....
Narrator: Crocodile didn't understand what Kopa meant, and the lion turned on his side and fell asleep immediately.
Asante: Kopa! Kopa! Wake up! It's getting late!
Kopa: Where am I? Asante! You are still there?
Asante: Of course I am. After all it was me who went for help!
Kopa: Really? You? Thank you so much!
Asante: No problem. Anyone would have done that! Can you move?
Kopa: Of course... well... I don't know... Being in the river was just really exhausting for a lion.
Asante: Well, I will bring you home. Certainly even you wouldn't find your way back home in your condition....
Narrator: Indeed Kopa didn't feel as good as he wanted, especially as a lion and as the next future King, so he was glad that Asante went with him. He didn't want to go the long way home alone anyway. Maybe now they were true friends. Asante went with him until they nearly reached the lion's den.
It had been a long time since a hyena was brave enough to go that far and even Asante didn't feel very comfortable now. Kopa looked at Asante appealingly; he wanted her to meet Simba and Nala. Kopa knew if he didn't destroy the old hostility today there wouldn't be another chance. But Asante just shook her head.
Asante: Today I saved your life and you have already saved mine. One time me, another time you... so now we're even. But don't expect me to go with you! You are still a lion and I am still a hyena...Both of us know that we don't belong together and that's the reason why we must part our ways here.
Narrator: Kopa hung his head. He tried to find some word to convince Asante. Was this really already the end of their young friendship? Again he looked sadly at Asante and went very slowly to the den. The sun was already low and Kopa would have to explain a lot to his family and Zazu.
Kopa turned his head back around, expecting to see the silhouette of Asante against the setting sun, but Asante was already gone. Sadly Kopa moved on...
Asante: Kopa, wait! I have changed my mind! Do you still want me to meet your parents?
Kopa: Of course! That is great!
Asante: Well I am still a little bit afraid of them... but we are friends after all, right?
Kopa: Of course we are! You and me! Come on, let's race there!
Asante: You're always so slow!
Narrator: So the story still got a happy ending – an end, which was just the beginning of a new way of existing between lions and hyenas. For Kopa and Asante, who had saved each other's lives, it was definitely a new beginning: the beginning of a lifelong friendship.