(A/N: Just watched "The Muppets: Christmas Carol" for the first ever time and it put me in a mood of sharing. With Thanksgiving and the holidays just around the corner, I came up with this idea. Enjoy.)
"Well this stinks!" exclaimed Timon, pushing some branches out the way as he stormed into the clearing. "Pumbaa, we've got to do something about Simba. He's eating all the bugs! I can't even find a termite 'round here!"
"Perhaps he needs extra bugs to fill his appetite," Pumbaa reasoned, making his way over towards his friend. "I don't know, Timon. Perhaps we should teach Simba to hunt like a lion after all. That way he'd leave some bugs for us."
"Pumbaa, are you crazy? If he learns how to hunt, he'll come after us! He's an adult now."
"But we're his friends now, Timon. He would never attack us!"
"Pumbaa, are you even listening to yourself. If we taught him how to hunt…he'd come for us…and that's final!" Timon exclaimed, crossing his arms and turning his back on Pumbaa, putting a period on the debate. However, Timon soon relaxed his posture. "But…" he reckoned, "…we're his friends now. So perhaps we could teach him to hunt…he'd never attack us now."
"Oooh, I like the way you think, Timon!"
"But what to teach him to hunt?" Timon pondered.
"Well there's those big bugs."
"There's also birds."
"I think a gorilla would be too large."
"There goes my plan of an elephant then."
"Wait a minute…" Timon and Pumbaa chorused. "…Okapi!"
"So…what do I do?" asked Simba, crouched behind a small thicket with Timon and Pumbaa, hidden from the sight of the okapi.
"Just run out of the clearing and pounce on one of the okapi like you like to do with me and Pumbaa. Just…you're allowed to use your claws this time."
"And my teeth?"
"Yes, Simba. Whatever you need to do to kill it."
"Alright," Simba replied, although still a little uncertain. "Here it goes."
The adult lion crouched down onto his feet and took a step towards the prey, parting his way through the thicket. He knew he needed to get as close as he could before he made his move. Simba continued to push his way through the branches, but eventually broke through one of the twigs.
The okapi's ears perked up and looked in his direction.
"Now, Simba! Move it!"
It took a second for Timon's message to register, but Simba was soon off into a sprint. However, the herd of okapi was all ready well ahead of the danger, and had run off out of the clearing. Simba didn't even bother giving chase. He knew it wouldn't be worth it.
"Ah, don't worry, Simba!" Timon reassured him, walking out of the thicket. "You'll get them next time!"
"Yeah," Pumbaa agreed, "as my buddy Timon here says, if at first you don't succeed, then you're doing something wrong."
"Exactly!" Timon exclaimed. "What you need is a different approach."
The next day:
"Guys, I don't think this is going to work," stated Simba, standing on a flimsy tree branch fifty feet above a herd of okapi.
"Well you're not very good at chasing, so I figured we'd try an attack from above."
"Do you think this tree branch is going to hold?"
"Of course it will!"
"Then why are you guys refusing to stand on it?"
"Never mind that. Now remember, when you jump off, stick your claws…"
Timon and Pumbaa both cringed as they watched Simba fall through the air and face planted into the solid ground fifty feet below.
The okapi were sent scattering off into the distance as Timon and Pumbaa safely made their ways on down to join him.
"Simba, Simba! Are you okay?" asked Pumbaa, making his way up to his friend.
"D'ohhhh…" wheezed a dizzy Simba, struggling back up onto his feet.
Timon, joined in on the commotion with his arms crossed and a frown on his face. "Did you at least remember to stick your claws out?" he asked.
Simba nodded as a response, then figured he'd lift one of his paws up to show Timon and Pumbaa his claws.
The duo gasped.
"S—Simba," stammered Pumbaa, "you did it!"
Simba was confused. He looked over at his set of claws. His eyes widened.
There, dangling on to the end of his claw, was the tail of the okapi he had been standing above, having cleanly been severed from the body of the okapi.
"Well what are you waiting for?" Timon exclaimed. "Eat it!"
Simba was still smiling upon the discovery of his accomplishment, but then he faltered. It was time for him to open up to Timon and Pumbaa.
"Guys…" he called, "…I don't think I can."
"What do you mean, Simba?"
"I'm full," Simba replied earnestly. "I think I ate too many bugs today. I just needed to get a head start for the winter. I'll try and save you guys some in the future."
"Well that would be nice of you," said Timon.
"Yeah," Pumbaa agreed, "sharing's what it's all about! So what are you going to do with that tail?"
"I suppose I shouldn't let it go to waste…but I don't want it."
"Ewwwww…" spat Timon, cowering back as Simba held the flesh over in his and Pumbaa's direction, "we don't want it!"
"Well someone's got to have it," said Simba. "Perhaps I'll give it to one of the vultures."
"Oh, those guys get to eat whatever they want!" Timon snapped back. "You don't need to be fattening them up any!"
"That's not exactly what I had in mind, Timon," replied Simba.
Two hours later:
"There you go," said Simba, piercing the flesh through the rest of the vulture's claw, while holding the captured vulture firmly in place with his other paw. He let it go and the vulture took off. "Take it to someone who needs it."
The vulture wasn't listening. He was just as determined to get as far away from the lion as possible. However, he was finding it much more difficult to fly than usual. It felt as if he was being pulled down by a weight. Perhaps he was just tired. A quick meal would relieve some of this weight from him.
Still, the vulture's first priority was to get out of this jungle and away from that lion. As the vulture flew out of the jungle, however, he encountered nothing more than a vast desert, which contained no form of life for him to chow on. The vulture flew on through the day until it turned into night, the desert progressively growing less and less sandier below him. As the vulture flew on, the desert turned into nothing more than just dry savannahland.
Aware that it was unlikely that he would find any signs of life here, the vulture took a turn upwards. Perhaps the stronger winds up there would carry him to somewhere better.
As the vulture changed altitude, the piece of okapi flesh dangling from his talon slipped and began to freefall through the air. The vulture began flying upwards higher, feeling the weight from below being lifted off of his feet.
About a mile below, a starving lioness was shaking in the cold, seeing nothing but death around her, and hearing nothing but her stomach rumble.
All of a sudden, the large piece of okapi flesh crash landed in front of her nose. The lioness heard the fall and could smell the flesh. She lifted her tired eyelids and jumped at the sight at what was in front of her.
Quickly she gasped as she realized her mistake. She glanced around her, making sure that none of the hyenas had seen. If any of them caught a whiff of the fact that there was proper food around, she would miss out on this meal…a meal that she needed, and may have just saved her life.
With a smile on her face, the lioness, named Nala, moved in on the okapi flesh and gobbled it up. She savored the taste with her eyes closed and let it nutrients sink into her blood stream. This is what food was like. This is what she had missed.
Still lost within the moment, the lioness reopened her eyes and gazed into the stars above. She didn't know how that food had got there…but it had came from the sky. Whether it was from the great kings above or someone somewhere else, the easiest conclusion was that someone had sent it to her.
"Thank you," said Nala, staring into the stars, knowing that that meal may have just saved her life. "Thank you…whoever you are."
Happy holidays everyone.