Kion awoke the next morning in the Lair of the Lion Guard with Bunga tugging at his ears.
“Kion!” Bunga whispered loudly, “Get up! It’s time to train!”
Kion groaned. “Okay, Bunga,” he said. “I’m ready.”
The two of them left the Lair, to meet up with Fuli, Ono, and Beshte, who had already ventured out to Chakula Plains for the day’s training.
When Kion and Bunga reached the meeting point, Ono looked worried.
“I have bad news, Kion,” Ono said. “I caught sight of Janja and his hyenas on the edge of the Pride Lands this morning. They weren’t causing trouble yet, but we’ll definitely need to keep our eyes open.”
“Thanks for the warning, Ono,” said Kion. “Guys, today we’re going to do some stealth training. Beshte, you-“
“Uh, Kion?” Beshte interrupted. “Do you hear something?” “I do!” Fuli shouted. “We have an oryx stampede!”
The Guard turned around to see a herd of oryxes kicking up a mountain of dust, heading straight in their direction.
“Ono, take to the skies!” Kion commanded, “See if it’s Janja!”
“Affirmative!” Ono agreed, as he flew into the air to scan the Pride Lands.
“I have the target in sight!” he continued. “It’s Janja, Cheezi, and Chungu, and they’re headed this way!”
“After them!” Kion shouted.
The Guard split up, determined to calm down the herd. Once the oryxes had passed, Janja’s hyenas were in sight. It didn’t take much convincing to get them moving.
“I’ll make sure they get back to the Outlands!” Kion shouted. He chased the hyenas across a log, then, before he could stop, he slipped into the stream and began his course down a fast-moving river.
“Hevi Kabisa!” he shouted. But it was too late. By the time he could stop, the only way to get back to the Pride Lands was to meet back at Flat Ridge Rock, but he’d have to go through the Outlands first.
Jasiri’s plan had worked. She had managed to sneak past the two hyena guards at the entrance to the Heshima Clan territorial boundary by making laughing noises that echoed into the neighboring caves. She’d fooled ‘em good, and now she was on her way to meet up with Wajinga. At least, that’s what she hoped. Maybe he’d show her how to catch some meat-and maybe she could prove to her mother that he wasn’t such a bad hyena after all. She stood atop a large cliff where she could see into the Pride Lands. Then, she caught the smell of an animal. It smelled like….lion. On cue, a yellow flash sped beneath her. It was a lion cub, with a tuft of red hair on his head. It was Kion-the leader of the Lion Guard. Meeting with Wajinga could wait. Trailing the leader of the Lion Guard was more fun.
Janja returned to the den angry that afternoon. Simba’s son had thwarted him and his teammates, Cheezi and Chungu again. This was starting to get old.
Suddenly, Cheezi heard a rumbling sound. “Aaah! Janja!” he exclaimed. “It’s thunder, Janja! Make it go away!”
“It’s not thunder, fur brain,” said Janja, “it’s your stomach!”
“I got an idea!” said Chungu, “let’s go see if Wajinga has meat!”
“Forget it,” said Janja, “I got a better idea. Let’s sneak around for a while here on the edge of the Outlands, and see if we can get a sniff of anything. I’ll lead, and you guys follow behind.”
Kion was in trouble. He had a hyena trailing him, who called herself Jasiri, and she was very persistent about helping him. Somehow, though, he couldn’t find the nerve to trust her. Lions were to never trust hyenas, Simba had told him. And the only hyenas he’d ever met were bad. So what was he supposed to think?
A chameleon skittered along the ground in front of him and licked up a bug. “See that?” Kion asked. “That’s the Circle of Life for ya.”
“But you think I don’t know about the Circle of Life?” Jasiri asked. “We’re more similar than you think, Kion. Sisi ni Sawa.”
“You’re saying we’re the same?” Kion asked. “I don’t think so.”
They began to walk along, with Jasiri leading Kion all the way to the edge of the Outlands toward his destination. By the time Jasiri and Kion had gotten there, she had finally managed to convince the lion that perhaps they weren’t so different after all. Kion thanked her for getting him there, and they soon went their separate ways.
Jasiri hadn’t gotten very far when she got a sniff of something strangely familiar. It smelled like…she gasped, “Janja!”
She turned around and found herself nose-to-nose with the hyena who had just ran her out of his den two nights before. If her mother knew about this…
“Well, well, if it isn’t Jasiri,” Janja snarled, “thought I told you to stay off our turf!”
“Just passing through,” said Jasiri, “so move, or do I have to move you myself?”
“Big talk,” said Janja, “coming from some one who’s all alone.”
Janja motioned for Cheezi and Chungu to take a strike at the young female. But Janja was quickly disappointed, as Jasiri soon had them lying flat on the ground.
“Enough playing around!” he shouted, annoyed. Quickly pinning Jasiri to the ground, he decided that this time, he would finish her off. But just as he began to growl, a lion cub threw him backward.
“Kion?!” he exclaimed. The Lion Guard leader arrived to save Jasiri, and to send Janja’s clan packing.
Jasiri was grateful, and, after the battle, Kion told her that he was quite impressed with her fighting skills. Jasiri had made a friend in Kion, but she still had to get back home.
Jasiri ran as fast as she could through the Outlands. She was panting loudly when suddenly a voice stopped her.
Jasiri came to a dead stop. “Who is it?” she asked, a little nervous.
“It’s Wajinga,” said the voice. “Over here!”
Jasiri peered behind a large rock and spotted Wajinga’s poufy mane as he emerged into the clearing.
“Wajinga!” Jasiri exclaimed. “W-what are you doing here?”
Wajinga walked up to Jasiri. “I could ask the same of you, “ he said, “but I won’t. All that matters is that you’re here. That you and I are here, together!”
Wajinga bent down to bow to Jasiri. “Jasiri, I humbly ask to be your friend. Will you be mine?”
“Wajinga, I don’t really know you,” said Jasiri. “So, I can’t really answer that. You’re a member of Janja’s clan, so I highly doubt we’ll get along, but…”
“Oh, Janja! Don’t mind him! He…he has no idea how to get meat! No idea! See, that meat you stole from me a couple days ago- Janja was jealous-that’s what he was. He only wishes he could get meat!” Wajinga boasted.
“Well, it did look good,” Jasiri said. “I wouldn’t blame him for being jealous.”
There was a long pause before Wajinga broke the silence.
“Well, ya wanna do sumthin’, Jasiri?” asked Wajinga. “We could, uh, do whatever you want.”
Jasiri noticed that the sun was over halfway through the sky. It was time to get home.
“Wajinga, I need to get home,” she said, “I’m sorry.”
“Oh that’s okay,” said Wajinga. He lifted up his paw and touched it to his lips. Then, he blew Jasiri a kiss. “Until next time, Jasiri.”
The hyena then strutted away, as if he was living in a dream. Wajinga was a rather strange hyena, Jasiri concluded, but certainly didn’t seem to be as bad as her mother had said.
As Jasiri was walking back home, she suddenly realized something: She-a hyena- had made friends with a lion. Kion-a lion- had made friends with a hyena. This was legendary-something that had never before existed in the history of her clan-or any other clan that she had ever known. That’s when Jasiri realized that maybe she had something inside her that no other hyena ever had. Maybe she could usher in a new era of peace for hyenas and lions. The more she thought about it, the less likely she realized that such a thing could ever happen. But she wasn’t ruling it out yet. If a hyena could be friends with a lion, then nothing was impossible.