That's the title of a National Geographic Documentary that I remember from back in the late 80', early 90's I believe. It was an excellent documentary that showed the never-ending struggle for dominance of the wild by these two species of animals. I taped it and watched it many times.
The lions were the good guys - the John Wayne's of the African Plain - noble, proud and unafraid. They were the fearless hunters, overpowering their prey, taking them down and exacting their death blow quickly and almost humanely, so to speak. A deadly but somehow honorable predator. Even its roar commands respect.
The hyenas were the villains - gangly, ungainly, oddly lowslung hindquarters, ugly and with a menacing, threatening countenance. An animal whose darting eyes betray the calculation of the proverbial sucker-punch you know is coming the moment your thoughts stray and you lower your guard or turn your back. A creature that bites and tears at the backside and soft underbelly of its prey in panicked flight, quite content to eat its hapless victim alive and in flight and through its tortuous death throes. All the while "laughing" with its haunting yips, whines and baying bellows.
No hyena is a match for any lion - they cower in their presence. But a pack of hyenas is a different story. A large pack of hyenas can surround and swarm a lion or even two or three and defeat them. Hyenas as a rule avoid the male lions though, they much prefer to harass the slightly less aggressive and smaller females. It's a disheartening thing to witness - the noble lion being overwhelmed by a swarming pack of ugly, snarling, vicious hyenas but it's a fact of life and if the lion survives it may come back to exact its revenge another day - and it usually does.
In this documentary, towards the end of the film, the dominant male of the pride of lions - a young, massive, magnificently-maned brute whose name is Intwydamayla, (which means "He who greets with fire") sees the rival pack of hyenas in the open with it's matriarch (hyenas are led by females) and immediately charges them. The cowardly hyenas are caught unaware and scatter in a mass panic. The huge male locks his sights on the matriarch and pursues his hideous prey with a vengeance.
He catches the beast in a swirling cloud of dust and locks his vice-like jaws down into the matted filth of its wretched being and shakes it like a rag doll to near death. He then throws her to die in a bloody heap to watch him calmly walk away as the final insult.
Rarely does a lion take down its prey and not eat it. But this time he does. This one was just for pleasure. And the lions were in charge again.
The hyenas had previously backed the lions down by the sheer force of numbers and swarming and perhaps they thought they would dominate them from that point on. But they miscalculated because the lions came back and they came back with a vengeance.
So even though the hyenas may occasionally seem to be in charge, it's only a matter of time before the lions come back and set things straight.
It almost brings to mind the never ending struggle between good and evil and how you know that somehow, sooner or later, in the end, good will prevail.
The Good Lord willing...
God forgive us, God Bless us.