It was nearly evening. Of course, the evening fell quickly on this island. I don't know, but it does. I heard various jungle birds chatter and whistle. Laughing birds. Laughing birds and tropical toucans. Certainly most of them were invasive species, Cranky told me once. They were everywhere around me, their feathers shining brightly amidst the leaves. The sun still did shine, but nothing of that mattered. I was sad.
No, actually, I was crying.
Thermidor, my pet lobster, my best friend, had disappeared. He either ran away or got eaten. I would rather not think about any of that. It sickened me. The thought of Thermy being cooked and eaten made me shudder.
And I wept more bitter tears while walking through these jungles, trying desperately to find Thermy as I looked around, not even pausing my bawling even once. I decided to go to my log to cry on that. Maybe I could think of something.
Until something startled me.
It was crying. Loud, harsh, obnoxious crying. Diddy says I cry a lot, but this was true crying. Whoever it was, he cried louder than I did. I squinted through the leaves to see who it was. I could not see so I revealed myself to this unknown person. Well, unknown? I soon saw it was no-one other than Klump, that fat lizard General of King K'Rool. He sat there on a log, on my log. My log, where Diddy and I used to hang out, where I was just about to sit on and cry my eyes out! Speaking of which… why was he crying..?
No, really. Why was he crying? I'd say he was about thirty years older than me, but he still sobbed and snorted like a little kid who would throw a tantrum if he didn't get what he wanted.
Finally discovering that I was eavesdropping on him, the big lizard paused for a bit and threw me a vile look of discomfort.
"Hey! Quit spyin' on me!" he yelled in that loud, raspy, military-man-like voice of his, but soon sobbed again, covering up his fat face with a claw in what appeared to be shame. I frowned. Of course I frowned. What bad manners if I ever saw them!
"I wasn't spying!" I snapped back. Even though he was being rude and occupying my log, I could not find myself to just brush him off. I mean, he was sad. Just like I was.
"I just heard you-… is something wrong?"
As I approached him to hear whatever was bothering him, he attempted to sit up straight and look a bit less like a pansy as he cleared his throat. "No, nothing's wrong, nothing's the matter, everything's…. A-Okay…"
Well, it wasn't. He commenced blubbering. And some more. I couldn't help but feel just a little bit sorry for him. I did not believe him at all.
"But it sounded like-"
He interrupted me.
"Like mah miserable unimportant life is over? That's because…. IT IS."
He wiped away his tears and lowered his voice, and looked at me.
He looked at me. This was the first time a lizard actually looked me in the eyes. I was a bit surprised, to say the least. His eyes were actually a quite pretty shade of grey. I never noticed that before. Of course, when you're being chased, you don't pay a lot of attention to such things.
"Don't waste your time lookin' at a sorry sight like me," he said. "All my years of service and devotion to the king… now I'm just a quivering, sniveling, non-existent thing…"
He did what? I wanted to ask. But he answered it before I got the chance to ask.
"Stripped of my rank… I know my ship has sunk and I haven't got a friend in the world."
Ouch. That had to hurt. Something deep and evil inside me told me that I should make an end to this. Natural enemies and all that. I had a knife hidden in my pocket, just in case. That's required in a jungle like this. And I'm just a young little monkey, an easy target for monsters all around… I reached to my pocket, but his face… He made the most pathetic face ever conceived. It almost made me cry again myself, but instead, I smiled, and made a decision that would probably put both races, and my own safety, at stake.
"Yes you do, Mr. Klump."
He turned his head around to look at me in what I thought was confusion.
I reached forward and gave him a big hug on his big belly. He seemed to like that, and I did too. It was all squishy and warm and soft. Like a pillow. It was like hugging a big, fat, scaly pillow.
He growled. No, actually, it sounded more like purring. It was a deep, happy kind of growling from the back of his throat and I could swear he began crying again. I was still clinging onto his stomach and only after a whole minute, I decided to let go. I smiled at him and he smiled back. His smile was full of fangs. Scary fangs. But somehow it was a friendly smile. A friendly, fangy smile. I could tell he wasn't about to tear me limb from limb like I was expecting to.
He could eat me up in one bite, but he didn't.
I did not find Thermidor but I did find someone else.
Meanwhile, I was wondering how Diddy would react if he saw me returning home with our natural enemy as my new 'pet'.