Born into a pride of lions in the beautiful savannah, Ko and Lavi were inquisitive. While the other lions were happy living within their established boundaries, it didn’t take long before the two cubs realized that their world was too small. It was forbidden for any lion to go beyond their territory, but temptation was too strong. When the moon shone down, the cubs slipped away from the rest of the sleeping pride. It was in the dark of night, that the cubs found a new happiness. Night after night they explored beyond the places the rest of the lions would go. As soon as the hint of light tinted the sky, the cubs would dash back home, laughing at each other and daring to go further next time.
As they aged, Ko and Lavi were faced with a decision about their future. All lions were given the choice to stay with their pride or leave to become a part of another pride. For most this was a difficult choice, but the two lions already knew what they would do. They would leave the pride, but instead of seeking another, they would experience life beyond any pride boundaries. For years, Ko and Lavi roamed the vast lands beyond the savannahs. They experienced the heat and intrigue of a desert. They wandered through the cool and dangerous forests. They danced across plains and splashed in new rivers, streams, and the wide ocean.
As they traveled, Ko and Lavi met creatures that appeared impossibly strange. The lions learned how these animals lived, and learned to appreciate the customs and ideas that helped each new species thrive.
Occasionally, the pair would visit their original pride. They brought back new foods, new ideas and shared stories of everything they had seen and learned. Ko and Lavi laughed as they re-enacted some of the most unbelievable stories for each other and their friends. On those nights, the entire pride stayed up late listening to the wonders that Ko and Lavi had seen and done.
The years passed and the two lions continued their journeys, until they were forced to slow down. Ko had become ill and the illness seemed impossible to shake. Despite the new, more settled life, the friends continued to laugh. The excitement and mirth the pair felt retelling all of their adventures made each experience feel new again. As they relived each story, Ko and Lavi found a rhythm in each telling that brought them even closer. Their enjoyment in each other’s company as they retold those stories brought a new sense of satisfaction in the life they had chosen.
One morning Lavi walked in and found Ko motionless. Lavi knew that the day had finally come and the two would be parted. As Lavi approached, Ko looked peaceful and a small message rested under the friend’s paw.
I’ve lived and loved. I've hunted and danced. And thanks to you I leave with no regrets. I'm off to a new adventures. I'll tell you all about them when I see you again.
Lavi smiled through the tears and quickly set off; for the next time the two would meet, Ko would not be the only one with new stories to tell.