The Straw That Made the Camel's Back [COM]
“Run away, Simba...run…” commanded Scar, a small twinge of sincerity buried beneath a devious demeanor. “...run away, and never return.”
Without another word, the still despondent lion cub bolted away, leaving his uncle and his father’s corpse behind him. The gully was silent save for Simba’s feetpaws running and the tears still streaming down his face.
Then, out of seemingly nowhere, the sound of three more animals running joined the subtle ambience.
From the growling sounds he could hear, Simba knew that the hyenas who had confronted Nala and him in the elephant graveyard would soon be upon him. He was mortified by the thought of being torn to shreds by them and made a break for the lip of the gully. Upon reaching it, Simba was terrified to find a steep drop into some briars beyond. However, he had no other choice and, without a second thought nor much room to breathe, he leapt off the drop and into the brambles. Though they picked and prodded at his fur, Simba still made it out relatively unscathed and raced away across the arid sands beyond.
“Hey there he goes, there he goes!” Simba heard one of the hyenas shout. One of them must have landed in the briars as he could hear a few yelps of pain moments later. Simba could thankfully barely hear anything they said beyond a faint “Kill ya!” which faded as he continued on.
A few hours had passed and Simba found himself exhausted. With no source of food or water in sight, it wasn’t looking good for him. He collapsed to the ground and watched as buzzards began to circle overhead. Simba closed his eyes and began to accept his fate as an outcast. His last thoughts went to his father, his mother and Nala. As a buzzard swooped in for the kill, both it and Simba could hear something racing across the sand. Whatever it was dove right at the buzzard and his friends.
Though woozy, Simba could just barely make out what appeared to be a meerkat riding a warthog beating the tar out of the buzzards, knocking them out before they could even think of harming the cub.
“I love it! Bowling for buzzards!” the warthog declared triumphantly.
The meerkat hopped down and dusted himself off. “Gets ‘em every time!” He watched the buzzards fly off, each struggling due to their injuries.
The warthog then trotted over to Simba, lifting one of his paws up barely. “Uh-oh…” it said, seeing the light left in the young lion’s eyes. “Hey, Timon, you better come look at this…”
The meerkat was confused. “Eh? Whyzat, Pumbaa?”
“I think the little guy’s still alive,” Pumbaa replied.
Timon walked over, initially hesitant to even consider checking the lion over. A soft gasp was heard along with a bit of debate between the friends. Simba soon faded out of consciousness again, the last thing he heard and felt being Pumbaa scooping him up in his tusks.
“Agh!” Simba said as he wiped some water from his face.
“You okay, kid?” asked Timon as the lion cub came to his senses.
“I-I guess so…” mumbled Simba as he initially struggled to stand.
“You nearly died!” Pumbaa exclaimed, helping him to his feet. “But then we saved you!”
“More like I did…” Timon muttered under his breath.
Simba smiled. “Well, thank you.” He then looked around at the surrounding area. “What are your names and where are we, anyway?”
“Well, I’m Timon and the big guy is Pumbaa,” the meerkat declared.
“As for where we are, this is the watering hole! It’s where we refuel before we head home,” Pumbaa said excitedly.
“So drink up! It’s the finest water in the savannah, guaranteed!” said Timon excitedly.
“We’re gonna be over here if ya need anything - just make some noise if you do!” Pumbaa said with a chuckle.
As the two left for their usual spot, Simba went to go find his own. Most of the spots around the main hole had been taken by larger animals, but thankfully Simba managed to find a spot near a similar watering hole which happened to be fairly close to Timon and Pumbaa. Simba then drank weakly from the watering hole, energy returning to him slowly. As he slurped some more of it up, Simba began to feel rather odd. For starters, his neck now jutted out slightly further than it had previously, leaving his head underwater for a couple of seconds.
“Phuh!” sputtered Simba as he shook his head to get the excess water off. “Is the watering hole supposed to be this shallow?”
“Not that shallow! Why do you a-YIPES!” Timon squeaked as he turned around to look at Simba. “Pumbaa? Pumbaa! Turn around…” he mumbled, tugging slightly on Pumbaa’s tail.
The warthog rolled his eyes, annoyed, but followed his friend’s instructions. “Alright, alright! What’s wr-” Pumbaa’s eyes went wide.
Simba’s fur had turned a lighter shade of orange, nearly as bright as the sand around them. He had also gained a fair bit of height and mass as his feline face had pulled out slightly, his facial features shifting alongside it. A small hump pushed out from about midway down Simba’s body just as his tail shrank back and turned a similar color to the rest of him. His legs thickened up while his paws turned to leathery pads. With only a few small adjustments here and there, Simba was now a young camel!
“Wh-what just happened?!” Simba questioned, spinning around a bit to get a good look at his new form. When he looked upon his reflection in the watering hole, Simba gasped. “I’m a camel?! But how?”
Timon and Pumbaa couldn’t provide a reasonable explanation. This was the first time they’d seen anything like this happen and neither quite knew what to say.
“Well uh, kid, hate to tell ya this but…you’re probably stuck like this…” Timon admitted, his face crossed with a look of concern.
Simba backed up, looking around and trying to snap himself out of this dreamlike situation.
“S-So what do I do in the meantime? I can’t go back home!” he cried in desperation.
Timon rubbed the back of his neck as his mind began racing for possible solutions. None of them seemed particularly appealing.
“You could come live with us!” interjected Pumbaa enthusiastically.
“Wait, really?” asked Simba excitedly.
“Yeah, of course! I mean, three is company after all!” chuckled the warthog before Timon jumped up and grabbed him by the ears. “Hey, what’s the big idea?”
“Pumbaa, think about it, what if he turns back and then tries to eat us?!” shouted Timon. “It could be catastrophic!”
Pumbaa shook his head. “Relax, Timon! He didn’t seem that hostile towards us. We’ll show ‘im how we live and maybe that will convince ‘im not to eat us in any circumstance?”
Timon thought it over in his head a moment. “Alright, that sounds like a plan! But if it doesn’t work, I get your watering hole spot. Deal?”
The two then turned to face Simba once again. “Yeah, of course!” Timon began. “Just follow us and we’ll show you the best relaxation spot around!”
With that, all three set off for the secluded jungle Timon and Pumbaa called home. Of course, Simba knew he would have to find a way back to the Pride Lands to face Scar and return himself to normal, but for now those thoughts went to the back of his mind as he headed deeper into the jungle to spend some quality time with his newfound friends.
After all, what would they have to worry about for the rest of their days?
Thrown Overbard [COM]
...no this isn't a Brand New Animal TF story but I do have ideas for a Michiru TF at some point soooo stay tuned for that.
In any case, readers, no need to be on the attack as this is "The Straw That Made the Camel's Back"!
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