The Lion King:
The Legend Continues
Note: The following is the recommended reading order of my fan fiction novels and short stories:
The Lion King: A Father's Concern (short story)
The Lion King: Sarafina (short story)
The Lion King: Mheetu (short story)
The Lion King III: The Lost Prince (book)
The Lion King IV: The Rogue Pride (book)
The Lion King: Responsibilities (short story)
The Lion King V: Man Comes to the Pride Lands (book)
The Lion King VI: Fall of Man (book)
You can find all my fan fictions on my profile page. Technically, Responsibilities takes place before The Lost Prince but I recommend reading Responsibilities last and then Man Comes to the Pride Lands because Responsibilities is a midquel of Mheetu with a final section that takes place after The Rogue Pride, so it will probably spoil some of the plot for Mheetu, The Lost Prince, and The Rogue Pride.
The Lion King:
Traditionally, males did not leave Pride Rock until their manes had grown upon their chests. Things changed when Mufasa died and Scar took the throne. In the beginning of his reign, Scar took no action against the male cubs of the pride but the lionesses eventually recognized the contempt and paranoia in his eyes whenever he regarded the youths. In time, madness set in and Scar began to view all young males as potential usurpers. Mothers began sending their sons to Rogue Haven where they would be safe in the care of their fathers. Two of the youths hastily sent away were Simba and Nala's childhood friends Chumvi and Tojo. But there were some mothers who hesitated in sending their children away, and they paid a terrible price.
Sadaka was a large aging lion with a graying red mane, brown eyes, and a scruffy chin. He waited anxiously on the outskirts of the Pride Lands. Soon, he discerned four feline shapes hurrying towards him. As they came closer, he discerned Sarabi, widow of King Mufasa. Three slightly younger lionesses accompanied her, all bearing a striking resemblance to the former queen. One of these females, a thinner lioness with a scruffy chin hurried forward and nuzzled Sadaka affectionately.
"Naanda," Sadaka sighed, returning his mate's tender nuzzle.
"Sisters," Sarabi whispered, gathering the three other lionesses close, "there's not much time. Sadaka, I'm glad you made it. I'll take that to mean you received our message."
Sadaka nodded. "One of Tojo's bluebirds brought news to Rogue Haven. I left as soon as I got word. Is it true? Is Scar sending the hyenas out to slay any male lions still living at Pride Rock?"
Sarabi nodded. "There are only three young males left; your sons Hija and Fukuza, and Sarafina's son Mheetu."
"Where are my sons?"
"They're with Sarafina," Dwala replied in a frightened whisper. As the youngest sister, she was the most timid of the four. She anxiously scanned the area for any signs of hyenas. Sarabi nuzzled her comfortingly.
"They took a secret route," Diku explained. "We were intercepted by a hyena patrol and had to split up."
"Here they come," Sarabi whispered, indicating the approach of four more leonine shapes, one a full grown lioness followed by a trio of three-year-old youths, their manes just recently grown over their chests."
Sadaka and Naanda hurried forward and nuzzled their sons in relief. Sarafina walked around the family and approached her former queen. Keeping in close step with Sarafina was her son Mheetu, a young white lion with brown eyes and a light brown mane.
"Where's Dad?" Mheetu whispered.
"He and the other rogues were out hunting when the messenger came," Sadaka explained. "I'm sorry, I couldn't wait for them."
Sarafina nuzzled Mheetu. "It's okay Mheetu. You'll see Leo when you reach Rogue Haven."
"That's unlikely," a mocking voice declared from nearby. Without warning, several dozen cackling forms materialized from the grass like phantoms, surrounding the nine lions on all sides. The speaker was Shenzi, the hyena's alpha female. "Scar wants those three dead," she explained, "so they won't be going to any haven."
"Unless you count our stomachs as a haven," Banzai chuckled as he took his place beside Shenzi.
There was cruel laughter from all around.
"Sisters, defend the boys," Sarabi growled.
"Get our sons out of here!" Naanda told Sadaka before she rushed to join her sisters. With ferocious snarls, Sarabi and her three sisters rushed at the hyenas, hoping to give the young lions the chance they needed to flee.
Sarafina ushered the three youths to Sadaka. "You can't take them to Rogue Haven," Sarafina told Sadaka. "It's not safe there or anywhere else in the Pride Lands. You must take them away - far away from the kingdom!"
"No, Mom," Mheetu protested tearfully. "Please, I don't want to go. I don't want to go!"
Sarafina nuzzled Mheetu and then shoved him over to Sadaka. "I love you," she whispered, and then rushed at the line of hyenas. She viciously clawed at Scar's cronies to make a clear path for Sadaka and the three young lions. Once a route had been cleared through the hyenas, Sadaka bounded forward with the three youths keeping close. Miraculously, the four males broke through the army of hyenas and fled towards the outskirts of the Pride Lands.
"Don't look back!" Sadaka roared, ushering the three youths ahead of him. "Make for the Zuberi River and keep going even after you've crossed!"
Despite Sadaka's order not to look back, Mheetu couldn't stop himself from glancing over his shoulder. Seven hyenas were hot on their tails, their maniacal yipping growing louder as they approached.
Sadaka skidded to a halt and spun to meet the hyenas. "Don't stop!" he ordered the three young lions one last time. With a fearless roar, he charged at the pursuing hyenas.
Naanda wept pitiably in a corner of the Pride Rock den, her three sisters comforting her without success. The rest of the pride sat or lay about the room listening sadly to the grief-stricken lioness.
"He died bravely," Diku assured Naanda. "Because of Sadaka, your sons escaped. He saved their lives."
"I've lost my husband and my children," Naanda whimpered.
Sarafina sat on the other end of the den, holding Nala close.
"Mother, where's Mheetu?" Nala asked, tears in her eyes.
Sarafina nuzzled Nala's cheek. "He's safe," she assured Nala, her voice quivering. "He's gone from the Pride Lands but he's safe."
Working together, the three youths survived the wilds beyond the Pride Lands. They settled for a while in a jungle downriver, where they received news from the Pride Lands via Tojo's bluebirds. It was on a gloomy cloudy day beside the Zuberi River that the bluebird Jua informed them of the latest news.
"Nala's missing?" Mheetu gasped.
Jua nodded, perched on a tree branch overhead. "She fled the Pride Lands after Scar tried to force himself on her."
"And you don't know where she went?" Mheetu insisted desperately.
"No, I'm sorry." Jua sighed deeply, his body looking bonier than the three lions remembered. "Things remain the same. It's gotten to the point where it's not even safe for male cubs to remain at Pride Rock. Just the other day, a lioness named Kula took her newborn Afua and fled to Rogue Haven. The only males protected from Scar's paranoia are the cubs of his new mate Zira – for the moment, anyway. I doubt very much that Zira's sons will stay in Scar's good graces for much longer."
"Kula went to Rogue Haven?" Fukuza gasped. "Are you saying the lionesses are also abandoning Pride Rock?"
"Not all of them, just a few. It's no good, though. Even Rogue Haven has been consumed by the drought. Your mothers say to stay away from the Pride Lands. Even three strong males like you wouldn't stand a chance against the hyenas. They've multiplied to staggering numbers."
Hija sighed deeply. "Tell our mothers we're all right," he instructed. "Tell them that we love them."
"I will," Jua promised, flapping his wings and rising from the tree branch. "I have to get back. You three take care of yourselves."
Watching the bird's departure, Mheetu slumped to the ground in despair.
Hija and Fukuza regarded their white furred companion sympathetically. The two brothers greatly resembled their mother and her sisters, though they possessed red manes like their deceased father Sadaka. Hija had lighter fur and Fukuza was slightly taller. "Mheetu, it's time we moved on," Hija said. "There's nothing we can do for the Pride Lands."
Mheetu looked at his companions wretchedly. "I don't want to go anywhere," he muttered. "I just want to stay here."
"Mheetu, there's nothing for us here," Fukuza explained.
"Go if you must," Mheetu snapped, rising up and stalking away. "No one's stopping you."
"But – but we've been together for so long," Hija protested.
Mheetu slowly lowered himself to the ground, curling up beside a boulder. He refused to acknowledge the other two lions.
Fukuza regarded Mheetu sadly. "Goodbye, Mheetu," he sighed. "May the Great Spirit watch over you."
It had been almost half a year since Fukuza and Hija parted ways with Mheetu, the two brothers heading downriver to find their destiny. Mheetu lamented his decision not to go with them. He missed his companions terribly but was too proud to go looking for them. Not long after they left, Mheetu traveled further into the jungle, far from the river so that when Tojo's bluebirds came looking for him and his two friends, the messengers could not find them. In time, they came to the conclusion that Mheetu, Fukuza, and Hija had either moved on or met their ends in the merciless jungles.
Mheetu eventually returned to the Zuberi River, his wanderings leading him nowhere meaningful. He resettled in the area where he and his two friends once lived, hunting and sleeping along the bank of the Zuberi River. One evening, while Mheetu lay on the riverbank, his jaded eyes settled on a log that was slowly floating past. He gazed on the log for several moments without really comprehending what he saw, taking in the contrasting color of wet gold fur against the log's dark brown surface. His eyes flew open when it finally dawned on him that there was a half-drowned lion cub clinging weakly to the driftwood.
Mheetu rushed into the waters, paddling towards the helpless cub. "Hold on!" he called.
The cub, half awake, didn't seem to hear Mheetu. Its head swooned backwards and he slipped into the water.
"No!" Mheetu protested, diving down into the water to find the cub. Beneath the surface, he saw the tiny creature suspended almost ethereally in the waters, limbs floating limply. Mheetu gently took the drowning cub in his mouth and rose back up to the surface. Water sluiced off Mheetu's fur as he came back to shore. Carefully, he set the cub down and gently nudged it with his nose. "Wake up," he pleaded. "Come on."
The cub coughed, vomiting up water from its tiny lungs. He mewled helplessly and Mheetu wrapped his forelimbs about the cub to comfort it.
"Where on earth did you come from?"
The cub looked up at Mheetu through half-lidded eyes. "Come from?" he mumbled softly.
"You know," Mheetu insisted. "Where's your home?"
"Home?" the cub mumbled. He thought for a moment. "I don't know."
Mheetu leaned down and nuzzled the cub. "It's going to be all right," he assured the cub. "I'll protect you. I promise."
Proposed Semi - Canon Voice Cast
Diku - Kelly Schmidt
Dwala - Nicholle Tom
Fukuza - Billy Burke
Hija - David Thewlis
Mheetu - Keith David
Naanda - Susan Eisenberg
Sadaka - Kevin Conroy
Notes: Naanda ("Originate"), Diku ("Somewhere"), and Dwala ("Rock") were three lionesses dropped from an early draft of The Lion King. In the original script, they were Sarabi's sisters. One online source states that Naanda was originally going to be Nala's mother, making Simba and Nala maternal cousins. It was also stated that Mufasa would have been Naanda's mate, making Nala and Simba paternal half-siblings in addition to maternal cousins. Naturally, I nixed that part of Naanda's history. According to the same online source, Sarabi's other sister Dwala was meant to be more childlike than her three sisters. No information is available about Diku. Though they are never mentioned nor have any lines in the film, it could be assumed that Naanda, Diku, and Dwala are among the lionesses taking part in the final battle with Scar and the hyenas – and it would also explain why several of the unnamed lionesses in the first movie look so similar to Sarabi.
In the comic book The Lion King: An Unusual Choir, Simba is revealed to have an uncle and aunt who have just had two newborn cubs, Simba's cousins. These cousins are referred to as lions (as apposed to lionesses), indicating they were his male cousins. Although the aunt, uncle, and cousins are all unnamed in the comic, it is specified in my fan fiction that the aunt is Sarabi's sister Naanda, her mate (Simba's uncle by marriage) is named Sadaka ("Sacrifice"), and their cubs are named Hija ("Pilgrimage") and Fukuza ("Expelled").