- Mayai: "Oh, this is going to be such fun."
Pamba: "Are you sure we should do this?"
Mayai: "Oh, Pamba, you're such a scaredy-cat. This will be fun."
- —Mayai and Pamba argue over spreading rumors
Mayai has the ordinary ostrich appearance.
- Cheka: "Okay. We'll tell Zazu that Mayai is missing. You get on Lulu's back and hide with her in the forest near the river."
Mayai: "Oh, boy!"
- —Cheka and Mayai
Mayai is similar to Cheka in the sense that he is much less cautious concerning disobedience than his sister. He is outgoing, fun-loving, and enthralled with the idea of spreading rumors. He thinks of it as a game. Though his intentions aren't bad, the consequences of his decisions don't seem to effect him until the very end of the story.
- Cheka: "How can we fool Zazu this time?"
Mayai: "Maybe we should pretend there's another strange beast wandering all over the Pride Lands."
- —Cheka and Mayai
After formulating a plan to get Zazu in trouble with Mufasa by spreading rumors, Cheka and his friends meet with the baby ostriches and fill them in on the plan. Mayai asks Cheka if all they had to do was wander around and ask the other animals if they'd heard of a strange beast wandering the Pride Lands. His sister, Pamba, asks why they would do that, and Lulu explains that they wanted everyone to start worrying. Sukari explains that all the animals would get spooked, and Zazu would report it to Mufasa. Mayai is excited and exclaims about how much fun this was going to be! But Pamba is still hesitant, and asks her brother if they should really do this. Mayai calls her a "scaredy-cat" and reminds her that this was going to be fun! Nzuri tells her not to worry, for it would be "a hoot" to watch Zazu get yelled at by Mufasa. To herself, she's relieved that the ostriches have already forgotten how she and her friends were chasing them just the other day.
The rest of the day, Mayai and Pamba go around the Pride Lands and ask the other animals if they'd seen or heard of a strange beast wandering the plains. The other animals have not seen the beast, but promise to keep a look out for it. After the plan is an initial success, Cheka and the gang gather at the waterhole. Cheka asks the others how they could fool Zazu this time and Mayai suggests they pretend another beast was roaming the Pride Lands, since he'd had so much fun running around and telling everyone the false news. But Pamba wants to do something different, and Lulu suggests they make weird noises in the middle of the night. But Nzuri points out that that wasn't too different from their first idea. Cheka then suggests they report someone missing. Lulu is excited and Cheka proclaims that Mayai will be reported missing. He then tells the little ostrich to hide with Lulu in the forest. Mayai gets on Lulu's back and the two head for the forest.
Later, Zazu is flying over the waterhole when he sees the young animals waving urgently at him. He lands beside the waterhole and Pamba runs up to him, exclaiming that she can't find her brother; maybe the beast got him! Zazu asks where she last saw him and she explains that they had been playing "hide-the-feather" in the trees near Five Stones. She had gone to hide the feather, and when she came back, Mayai was gone! Zazu calms Pamba and assures her that he would find her missing brother. Pamba makes Zazu promise not to tell her mother, and Zazu comments, "Sometimes it's better if bad news waits until it can become no news." He then flies off to tell Mufasa. He reports the missing ostrich and suggests that the beast may have caught Mayai!
Mufasa is the greatest tracker in the Pride Lands and immediately sets out to look for Mayai. He runs to Five Stones with Zazu flying overhead and they search the area thoroughly. When they find no trace of Mayai or the mysterious beast, they search the Elephant Graveyard, but once more, find no luck. Mufasa suggests they search the forest, and upon reaching it, they hear a strange rustle. A moment later, Mayai and Lulu come trotting out of the forest, as if nothing is wrong. Mufasa demands to where they'd been and tells them that Zazu had heard that Mayai was missing; he'd thought Mayai had been caught by the beast! Lulu explains that he hadn't been lost; they'd just been playing in the forest. Mufasa is content and expresses his relief that everyone is safe. Zazu starts to mention Pamba, but Mayai interrupts that his sister is "an airhead." Zazu realizes that Mayai is right; ostriches were known for getting excited about nothing. It was unwise for him to trust an unreliable source. A bit perplexed, Zazu bids Mufasa farewell and flies off.
At the end of the story, Zazu explains to Kopa that the young animals felt so guilty about lying to him that they confessed to Mufasa. The king was furious, but fair. He told the young ones to tell their parents, and they once more confessed. Nzuri explained how fed up they'd been with Zazu's nosiness, but they now understand the danger of lying; especially to someone who looked out for their safety. Their parents were angry and wanted to punish them severely, but Mufasa gave the animals a different punishment. From then on, they were to gather news about all important events in the Pride Lands. That way, they would recognize the difference between fact and fiction and would always have to be responsible for their words. This is the last time Mayai is either seen or mentioned.