Life in the Mala-Mala
Life in the Mala-MalaDisclaimer: Xander belong to Joss Whedon, the animals from the “Life” series belong to BBC (loosely speaking).
The yowling of their oldest caught Xander’s attention. Something was off, it was too early for the evening (and too late for the afternoon) to hunt.
The yowling came once more, and now it carried the obvious notes of pain – something was wrong. Xander and his female (or was it the other way around?) got on their feet and sounded their own cries, implying that they were coming for support. Soon, the rest of their now-grown family echoed as well, clearly implying that the hyenas were going to war.* * *
As Xander had half-expected, it was all because of the lions, who managed to get a fresh kill earlier in the afternoon. How much earlier it was hard to tell, for hyenas – even members of the same family – tend to take time gather completely, and now it was completely dark, it was night. Grim and humourless is the night, and of all the languages, it understands the one of cruelty the best.
On the other, non-mystical side, however, the lions had acquired their kill during the afternoon, and there was nothing gentle either about their bruising of the lonely hyena – but now that hyena had the support of its family, and the situation has changed dramatically. Now, Xander, his consort (or was it the other way around?) and their eldest (who had recovered from its mauling by the lions) were harassing the lions while the rest of the family went directly for the lions’ kill.
As always, it was the circumstances that had settled everything: the bigger part of that kill was already eaten by the lions, who didn’t think it was worth it to fight for the remains, and preferred to retreat instead – up a tree, leaving the prize for the hyenas.
‘It’s a living,’ Xander mused silently, as he and the others tore into the lions’ remains for their first meal of the night. ‘It’s a living’.