When Jasiri entered back into her territory, her mother, Chuki, met her with a glare.
“Jasiri, why were you out so late last night?” Chuki asked.
Jasiri smiled a guilty smile. “I found meat!” she said quickly, hoping to gain her mother’s respect.
“Meat? Where? Were you in Janja’s territory?” Chuki asked.
Jasiri laughed. “Yes, actually I was, but-“
“Jasiri!” Chuki scolded. “You know better than to go roaming into Janja’s territory! You could’ve gotten yourself killed!”
“But I didn’t!” Jasiri said. “And I can defend myself on my own, don’t you know that?”
“Jasiri, I wouldn’t want to lose you. Janja is a merciless rogue male, and not the kind of hyena you should be around. He’s a bad influence, and he could very well have it in for you were he to see you.”
Jasiri knew that her mother was right. Janja could have possibly killed her had Kion, the leader of the Lion Guard, not saved her life.
“I’m sorry, Mother,” said Jasiri. “I won’t go back into Janja’s territory again.”
Jasiri wasn’t sure if this was all the truth, but she had to ease her mother’s mind.
“Where’s the meat?” asked Chuki.
Jasiri moved aside, revealing the meat from behind her. “Here it is,” she said, pulling out a leg of zebra. “Neat find, huh?”
Chuki looked up suddenly, her eyes widening. “Oh no,” she whispered between her teeth.
“What is it, Mother?” asked Jasiri.
Then, they both heard a laugh. A chilling, evil laugh.
Jasiri turned around and saw a hyena standing at the edge of the border of the Heshima Clan territory. Wajinga.
“Wajinga!” Chuki shouted. “You know better than to come back to our land!”
“I’m not on your land,” said Wajinga. “But I’ve come back to claim what is rightfully mine.”
Jasiri gulped. The meat that Jasiri had found on the edge of the Outlands yesterday must have been part of Wajinga’s kill.
“What is that?!” Chuki shouted.
“Oh, just a little bit of meat that I got yesterday. Seems to me a thief entered our part of the Outlands and got ahold of it with her paws,” said Wajinga. “I’d like it back, provided you guys haven’t already eaten it.” He lowered his eyebrows and flashed his sharp teeth.
“Jasiri!” Chuki whispered angrily. “Did you steal this hyena’s meat?”
“No!” Jasiri whispered back. “I…I didn’t know it was his!”
Chuki grabbed the meat into her mouth and walked it to the edge of her land, where Wajinga was waiting. She dropped the meat onto the ground. “Here’s your meat. Now get moving,” she ordered Wajinga.
Wajinga bent down and yanked at the meat, tearing a piece of it off and taking it into his mouth. He bit down loudly, and licked the juice of the meat off of his mouth. “That’s what I’m talkin’ bout,” he said. He looked up at Chuki, who was snarling angrily.
“I said take your meat and get out, Wajinga,” Chuki ordered.
“I just have one more, request, my dear,” said Wajinga.
“Don’t you call me that!” snapped Chuki.
“I’d like a word with the thief, if you don’t mind,” Wajinga said.
Chuki motioned for Jasiri. The young female came up slowly.
Wajinga’s blue eyes peered into Jasiri’s. He lifted his eyebrows. Jasiri blushed. She didn’t know him, but he was kind of attractive.
“I know that Janja doesn’t want you in our territory,” said Wajinga. “But if you want to hang out with me, we can score some meat together. And I’ll make sure Janja doesn’t know about it.” He winked. Was he flirting with her?
“Jasiri isn’t allowed to go on hunts with rogue males,” said Chuki. “She is to be kept here, so regardless of what you have to say, Jasiri will have to decline.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Wajinga. “Because see, Jasiri and I would be great together.” He smiled playfully at Jasiri.
“Wajinga, that’s quite enough,” Chuki scolded. “Now get going.”
“Fine,” said Wajinga. “I’ll go. For now.” He chuckled, and started on his way.
As they watched Wajinga leave, Chuki glared at Jasiri. “I cannot believe you, Jasiri!” she huffed. “From now on, you are staying in our part of the Outlands!”
“But mother, I-“
“No ‘but’s Jasiri!” Chuki exclaimed. “It is obvious Wajinga is on the prowl and will be looking for you. If the truth be known, he wants to get you alone so he can get rid of you.”
Jasiri imagined Wajinga’s deep blue eyes and his shiny teeth. “What makes you think he’s such a bad hyena?” she asked.
Chuki stopped dead in her tracks. “Jasiri, Wajinga was exiled from our clan years ago for the way he acted. He does not respect the Circle of Life and he’s no good for you-or this clan.”
Jasiri let her head drop. “Oh,” she said softly. “Well…that’s too bad.”
“Yes it is, Jasiri. It is just too bad,” said Chuki. They both walked into the middle of a group of hyenas who bowed to them as they walked past.
“Someday you’ll find a mate who respects the Circle of Life-and you,” said Chuki. “But it won’t be in Janja’s clan. Janja is an evil hyena who could care less about the well-being of others, and his friends are the same way.”
Jasiri was not ready to find a mate, that’s for sure. But she was curious. What had these rogue males done so badly to get exiled, and why did her mother insist on keeping her out of their land?