Obbler, Emperor of the Stones, after defeating his greatest enemies Jafiya and Jet, banished them (and their followers) to the desert lands - but not before robbing them of their cubs, Jot, Sula and the youngest, Kyra.
Immediately after being banished with his King and Queen, Kudan (Jafiya's second-in-command) rallies a small posse - his mate Lilly and an aged lioness ally called Gantua - and the three set out on a secret mission to save the cubs.
Named after how an osprey will trick another into letting go of its prey, this daring plan of Kudan's was dubbed 'Operation Osprey'
''Nearly across the border,'' said Kudan in a whisper, his whole being tense and alert as he led his team through Obbler's territory. ''I can't believe that worked.''
''Kyra's quietened down,'' smilingly reported Lilly from behind Kudan, who turned to look wearily at the cub his mate was holding in her mouth. Kyra, having settled down, was trying to stare up at Lilly's face with wide baby eyes.
''Hm, she's got a healthy pair of lungs,' remarked Kudan ruefully. ''Nearly cried the whole of Obbler's camp awake. Now you, young man, '' Kudan went on, turning his attention to Jot, the wriggling male cub he himself was carrying, 'Don't you start. Not when we've made it so far.'
'This one's quiet as a flower!' panted old Gantua, trotting doggedly at the rear with little black-furred Sula. 'Let's get these cubs back to their dad 'n' mum!'