Simba, Nala, Zazu, Rafiki, Timon, Pumbaa, Sarabi and Sarafina are all made copyright by Disney. This is a comedy that combines The Lion King and Angry Birds. Enjoy!
“Hammer, hammer, hammer!” commanded Simba, holding his paw out waiting for his mate to give him the hammer.
“Got it!” replied Nala, finding the hammer and handing it to him.
Simba nailed the final board in.
“Phew!” he exclaimed, throwing the hammer down onto the floor and lying down on the damp mud. “Well…glad that’s over with. Got the eggs?”
“And the paint.”
“Good,” replied Simba. He took another deep breath, and then said reassuringly: “he’ll get over it.”
“I hope so,” replied Nala. She lied down next to Simba. She looked up at the flimsy structure that they had just built together: a bunch of sticks, logs, and rock slabs hurriedly put together just enough to keep the wind and, most importantly, hornbills out. Behind them was a small cave that went into the ground. So small, in fact, that only one of them could probably fit in it at a time, which was the other part of the reasoning behind building, what essentially was, a natural tower out in the open.
“Do you think it will hold up?” asked Nala.
“It’s better than nothing,” replied Simba.
“I really should have got some decorations.”
“Nala…really…we have much bigger problems than that right now.”
“Want me to get started on the painting?”
“Sure,” replied Nala. The lioness got up and walked over towards where the eggs and paint were, safely stored in the cave at the back.
A gust of wind suddenly blew and caught the top of the lion-built tower. Simba and Nala watched anxiously, hoping that nothing would break or fall as the top of the tower creaked as it moved.
The strong wind resided and Simba and Nala both let out a huge sigh of relief. Nala looked back down towards the eggs and the paint, and then found another item that she’d completely forgotten about.
“Simba,” she called.
The male lion looked over at her.
Nala tossed it through the air and Simba grabbed a hold of it. Simba pressed the ‘on’ button and turned the camera towards him. Nala settled down to begin painting the eggs, and Simba pressed record.
“So…hey…this is me, Simba. Eh…it is early April, and Nala and I have confined ourselves into this den for a few days. Say ‘hi’ Nala!” exclaimed Simba, turning the camera slightly to the side so that it would pick up his mate.
Nala smiled and waved.
Simba turned the camera back towards him. “Yeah, so…we thought it would be a good idea to keep a log here, so that in case we died, people would know that we are trying to do a good thing here. See, Nala and I were assigned this year by some communitarian government to provide all of the Easter eggs to the nearby prides. Well…we were on a tight deadline, because they didn’t tell us until about two days ago. Anyways, Nala and I had no choice really but to take eggs from a local group of hornbills. Uh…anyways, as you guys probably know, I have a hornbill as my advisor and…well…see…um…” Simba turned his head around, “Nala…I wouldn’t call this theft, would you?”
“I probably would actually.”
“Oh…” Simba turned back to face the camera, “yeah, we pretty much took these eggs from the hornbills without their permission. Now, we’re pretty certain that these eggs aren’t fertilized. Ninety percent.”
“Seventy,” came Nala’s voice.
“Eighty,” replied Simba. “But…we don’t think Zazu’s going to feel that way. Or…none of the hornbills are going to feel that way. See, for some reason, hornbills feel as if their suppressed as advisors, and so a long time ago they formed a union. Well…this union basically ended up becoming a club, long story short. Eh…this club is called the ‘kamikaze club.’ Now it’s not fatal, no. Zazu’s never told me that anyone’s ever died in the kamikaze club. Eh…injuries, yes. But deaths…no, no deaths.”
“Well…there was that one time…”
“So it’s a harmless club, but, the reason it was formed was because the hornbills realized that they’re strongest weapon was the ability to fly and hit stuff, and that if they approached from an upwards angle, they could curl up into a ball just before impact and hurt or destroy…whatever it is that they intended on hurting…or destroying. And so…” Simba pointed the camera upwards, “Nala and I have built this tower. Okay…well I built the tower…”
“Hey! I helped!”
“…so that the hornbills can’t get to us straight away.” Simba tilted the camera back down at himself. “You see, you’d think that the best decision would be to go up to the hornbills and ask them for the unfertilized eggs, explaining that they are necessary for us to hand out all the Easter eggs to all the local cubs. You’d think that hornbills would be reasonable, that they would understand that, that this would be the best decision.” Simba slowly began to shake his head. “No,” he replied.
“Nala, you’ve been painting for three hours now.”
“There’s a lot of eggs,” the lioness murmured back.
Simba patted the ground hard next to him. “Come over here,” he called, “take a break. The air’s stuffy back there.”
Nala gently rested her paintbrush and the egg down on the ground, and then did as Simba said.
“This all seems a bit extreme,” she said as she lied down.
“It seems surreal; kicking ourselves out of our own home because we’re helping the local cubs.”
Nala sighed. “I miss Pride Rock.”
Simba stared at her. “Geez, Nala. We’ve only been gone three hours. It’s right next door too.”
“Well don’t you miss it?”
“Kinda. I kind of miss the feeling that I’m not about to have a bunch of hornbills come and attack me more.”
Nala laughed. “Yeah, I can certainly understand that.”
Nala’s chuckles resided and Simba wrapped his arm around her. “You know,” said Simba, “they haven’t attacked us yet, maybe they would be okay if we just went up to them.”
“Hmm,” replied Nala. Suddenly though, she caught sight of something: a silhouette. The dark shadow had just appeared on the other side of a plank of wood standing up on the ground, held up by several logs standing on end, holding up the rest of the structure. The silhouette took a very monkey-like form.
“Oh my gosh,” whispered Nala excitedly, “Simba…it’s Rafiki! Why didn’t we ever think of him? If anyone has a good solution to all this – he does.”
Simba’s eyes widened. “Gods, you’re right! RAFIKI!” he called, hoping the mandrill would hear.
“Simba – is dat you in dere?”
Simba and Nala’s faces lit up. Simba got up and walked towards the board. The wind had picked up outside so he didn’t move it, but he could still speak to the shaman through the plank.
“Rafiki, I’m sure you know what’s going on. About the Easter eggs?”
“I sure do.”
“Great…then you can tell us how to fix this mess!” exclaimed Simba, hope finally swelling within.
“Build more boards!” exclaimed Rafiki louder. Simba and Nala’s faces fell. “Boards – rocks – wood – sticks! Build it, build it, build it! Save yourselves from the hornbills you crazy egg thieves!”
“But Rafiki, they’re unferti…” began Nala.
“De hornbills won’t listen, Nala! Dis is war! Dere is no compromise! Dey are coming!” and with that Rafiki ran off to save himself.
Simba and Nala turned to look at each other. They both gulped.
“Nala…now…I know you hate getting wet.”
Nala smiled. “But what Simba?” she asked.
“Well…it’s raining…and there’s only enough room in that small cave for one of us.”
“Well I’m sorry, it’s occupied. You did a fantastic job at building that tower though. I’m sure the roof will keep the water out for the night.”
“Well…if you were to look visually, with your eyes, you could see that…it’s not quite working out that way right now.”
Nala shrugged. “Ah, sorry about that.” She wrapped her paws around her painted eggs. “I’ve got to protect these guys though, you know. We can switch over tomorrow night…when it’s not raining.”
Simba shook his head. “I’m coming in,” he said.
“What? No – Simba…”
“Make room,” said the lion, walking over his mate and using her back and the wall as a wedge to slide down in between, which pushed Nala out into the mud.
“No…now come on,” said Nala, getting back up onto her feet and pushing the eggs away from the two of them. “I was here first.”
“But I’m here now,” replied Simba with his eyes closed.
Nala grabbed a hold of Simba’s back legs with her paws and dragged him about two inches out into the mud. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for her to take advantage.
“I’m back here!” exclaimed Nala, sliding back into her spot.
Simba tried to adjust so that he was back in the cave section without having to force Nala out.
Nala saw this and laughed. “There’s only room for one I’m afraid, Simba.”
Simba groaned. “It’s evident that this conflict must be resolved by a third party,” he said, standing back up.
“Oh?” replied Nala, raising her eyebrows. “And who might that be?”
“Well…he goes by many names. Tickler…evil tickler, tickle monster…”
Nala rolled sideways. If she kept her belly up next to the wall then Simba wouldn’t be able to get to her. However, this tactic had failed many times before. Simba reached over and tucked his paws between Nala’s chest and the wall.
Nala looked up at her mate, trying her best to plead through her eyes.
“You can surrender now if you want,” said Simba calmly.
Nala didn’t reply. She just hoped that the eyes would work.
“No? Alright, here goes…”
Before Simba could begin however, a loud whistling sound came from behind him, followed immediately by a loud crack and a clattering sound as a hornbill cannonballed into the top of the tower.
Nala and Simba both got to their feet.
“Oh no…that’s them.”
Between two logs in the poorly built structure, moonlight made its way through and Simba and Nala could see a slight glimpse of the outside. A wounded bird was flying back off into the distance.
Simba looked down next to him. The camera was resting down on the ground with the lens already pointing up into the air. He hit the ‘on’ switch, and then pressed ‘record.’
“So this is what we’re dealing with here. Angry birds. They’re mad because we stole their eggs and now they’re trying to destroy our structure in order to get to us.”
Another loud whistling sound was heard and another crack and clatter as a hornbill smashed into the top of the structure. Simba and Nala watched as the wounded bird flew off again…and then the roof began to groan.
Nala’s ears dropped back. “Oh no,” she said. A large rock had been displaced onto a large plank that rested with one side on the top of the cave and the other side on top of a supporting log. The plank suddenly broke in half under the rock’s weight, and Nala ran in and stood on her hind legs, catching the rock before it could move anywhere. She leant her back up against the supporting log in order to stop it from bringing the tower down.
“Simba!” she cried as she strained underneath the weight of the rock. “Push this rock up and onto the cave roof – then we can worry about the log!”
Simba did as he was told and he helped Nala thrust the rock up and over. After achieving that, Nala turned around and pushed the log into a more secure position. “Is there more of them?” she asked concerned.
“I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be.”
“Bwa-bwaak!” exclaimed another hornbill, as he approached the structure almost parallel to the ground, and he took down the board that Simba had spoken through to Rafiki. A gust of wind suddenly shot through the den as the board came down, and the force of the wind almost blew the supporting log back out of place, but Nala pushed it back.
The hornbill looked up and grinned. There was now a wide opening in the side of the structure…and he could see the eggs. Suddenly, however, a creaking sound was heard from above and a giant rock fell off the roof. The hornbill looked up in horror, but fortunately was able to fly back enough in time, just before the rock slammed down onto the ground where the board had been before, thus sealing off the opening once again.
Simba and Nala both let out a huge sigh of relief.
Nala chuckled. “Heh…I guess…I guess you did do a nice job of that tower.”
Simba smiled. “Thanks. Well done handling that rock and that log. I didn’t know you handle stuff that heavy.”
“Well,” replied Nala, “I think I did my front legs in holding it up. I’m going to go back and sleep in the cave now. It’ll give them a rest.”
“Yeah…it sure wi…wait…oh no you’re not!”
Nala was pleasantly surprised when she woke up and it was morning: that meant that the rest of the night had been hornbill free. Considering that she had been in a new bed in a new cave, she had slept extremely well. She gave a long yawn and then lifted her head up.
“Ow! What the…?”
Nala blinked. “Eh…Simba…what is that?”
“A bed, so I can sleep in the dry.”
“It’s a shelf…and it’s above my head.”
“You are more than welcome to take the top bunk. I’ll warn you…it’s rather cramped.”
Nala could see what Simba was saying: half of the lion’s body was hanging over the edge of the shelf. Nala knew, just by looking, that Simba’s night couldn’t have been completely without rain. Suddenly, a loud creak was heard and Simba’s bed-shelf collapsed, resulting in the lion falling on top of his mate.
With her mate’s tail draped over her face and eyes, Nala chose to groan as a reply.
“You know, you could have just slept on top of me.”
“I figured you wouldn’t have liked it.”
Nala chuckled. “Like you care. You always do it.”
“When you fall asleep during s…”
“Hey, how about you just finish up those eggs?”
“Sure. You’re more than welcome to help, by the way.”
“I thought you’d say that, so I did one last night.”
“Really?” asked Nala, eyebrows raised. “Where is it?”
“Here,” Simba replied, holding up an egg proudly. Two uneven black jagged lines ran along the top and bottom of the egg, which was painted white with smudges where Simba had squashed the brush against the egg. A yellow band with jagged edges ran through the center with blue dots running around it, which were meant to all be the same size…but weren’t. And on one side, Simba had decided to draw a smiley face: two dots for eyes with one bigger than the other, and a smiling mouth that went up much higher on the right side than the left side.
“You didn’t even try, did you?” asked Nala amused.
“Hey! I spent two hours on this!”
Nala rolled an unpainted egg towards her mate. “Here, practice makes perfect.”
Simba and Nala jumped as another hornbill gave a call, just before it darted into the structure. A couple of cracks were heard, but nothing came tumbling down. The two lions watched through the cracks as the hornbill flew back off into the sky.
“I thought that was the noise chickens made,” whispered Simba to Nala, “not hornbills.”
“Well I guess we were both wrong,” replied Nala.
The two lions watched on as a rock fell off the roof and broke through a log before coming to a rest on a plank below it. Another rock fell over, but they were still protected from the outside elements…which consisted mainly of hornbills.
“You can’t stay in there forever, you two.”
Simba and Nala’s ears perked up. That was Zazu!
“Zazu, I command you to stop,” said Simba authoritatively.
“Ha! I’m afraid you don’t have much of a choice, sir. If I don’t do it, the rest will. I can’t turn around and tell them to stop, I feel that my dignity is low enough at times even with the fact that I am accepted by the club. From an ethical standpoint, you two stole our eggs, and if you won’t return them peacefully, we’ll force you to return them. And one more thing…my club name is Blue Carrot, the Kamikaze Chicken…not ‘Zazu.’”
“Zazu, it’s for the cubs! You know that!” protested Nala. “Tell him, Simba.”
Simba, however, was rolling on the floor laughing. “Ha ha! Blue Carrot! The Kamikaze Chicken? Zazu, you’re a hornbill!”
“Simba!” whispered Nala angrily, “I really think that this would be an excellent time not to make Zazu mad.”
Nala looked back up the tower to see if Zazu had heard her. Where there had been a silhouette before, however, there now was nothing. Apparently Zazu had flown back off.
Simba’s laughs resided. “Yeah…yeah…you’re right,” he said getting up. Suddenly reality sunk back into Simba. A really long and loud whistle was approaching their structure from the side. Simba’s face fell. “Oh no…stay behind me, Nala!” he shouted, jumping in front of his mate just as a hornbill blasted into the side of the structure.
A terrifying sound echoed around the den as the wall collapsed and the roof began to cave in. Simba and Nala ran back into the cave as best they could while the structure continued to slowly tumble. Fortunately for the lions, it eventually stopped, and they still fully protected from all angles, but now their floor and ceiling space had both been reduced by half, and their external structure was growing ever weaker.
The heartbeats of Simba and Nala were now racing ever quicker. Tons of questions were floating through both their heads.
When was the next attack going to come?
How much longer could their tower hold up?
Would the hornbills think of something else?
How was the pride doing without them governing?
“Celebrate good times, come on!” sung all the animals of the savannah, from the lions to the zebras, together as they danced around to the music.
“When will they be back?” whispered Nala to Simba. “Why do they keep disappearing?”
“I don’t know,” replied Simba. “Perhaps they’re thinking of a Plan B. Perhaps they need time to recuperate. Perhaps one of their guys is injured. I really don’t know.”
Nala groaned. “Ooh…what do you think they’re doing right now?
“Okay, so you dislodged one rock, that’s one hundred and twenty points, snapped a log in half, that’s two hundred points. So that’s three hundred and twenty points. Now, Yellow Beak…”
“…yes, indeed. You broke a plank so that’s three hundred points…”
“Hey! Its three hundred points, okay? And Bolly Brown, we are kamikaze chickens, alright? Not kamikaze owls.”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
Nala clutched on tight to her mate. “Oh gods Simba, I’m so scared!” she whispered.
“Hey, it’s alright,” Simba replied, “these guys aren’t going to hurt us. They want their eggs back intact. All they want is to bring our tower down so they can get to us.”
“But if we don’t make it to Easter…just think of the consequences! We’d be accused as criminals, the cubs won’t get their eggs…we’ve got to make this last!”
“And we will. Trust me. Just give it ten more minutes and, if we don’t get attacked again, I’ll go up and make some repairs. You just keep on painting, okay?”
“Okay, Nala, I’m seriously worried about you.”
“What, I’m painting eggs aren’t I?”
“Nala,” said Simba, picking the egg up, “this egg has a picture of you on it, and above your head you have a golden halo, and you’re wearing white robes with wings on the back, you’ve got clouds in the background, and at the bottom you’ve written today’s date along with the words ‘please God, take me now.’”
“Okay, okay, I’ll paint over it,” said Nala, taking the egg back. “How did the repairs go?”
“Magnificent,” replied Simba. “I was able to use some of the debris as extra reinforcement in some of the weaker areas.”
“Oh, clever you,” Nala replied. She chuckled. “I guess this egg was quite disturbing, wasn’t it?”
“Just a bit,” replied Simba.
“I’m sorry,” replied Nala, “I understand this is just temporary, and that we’re probably going to be okay. It’s just that when I hear…”
“Aargh!” both Simba and Nala screamed. They ran up to each other and embraced each other tightly. Yet no whistling nor crashing sounds followed.
“Phew! It was a dud,” said Simba. A new sound suddenly emerged though: a rumbling sound…which came from Simba’s stomach. “Huh,” commented the lion, “I guess I’m hungry.”
“I’m thirsty,” replied Nala admittedly.
The two lions were still embracing each other in fear that they would be attacked again.
“Well I don’t have any water,” replied Simba.
Nala gave her mate a weird look. “I never asked if you did.”
“I bet you do.”
“You bet wrong.”
“Well…I guess we’ll see about that.”
The two lions broke up the embrace and stood back down on the ground. Outside seemed really quiet, and here they were standing, facing each other with nobody else around them.
Nala smiled. “You…eh…you want to go into the back cave?” she asked seductively.
Far off in the distance though, a whistling sound was now approaching Simba and Nala’s temporary home.
Simba gulped. “Yeah, the back cave sounds like a good idea.”
The two lions were just able to make their way into the back cave, just before a crashing sound echoed from the structure above. Simba and Nala looked up.
Nala gasped. “Simba, isn’t that one of the supporting logs?”
“Only for the top of the tower,” replied Simba.
A couple of rocks that had been supported by the log fell down onto a couple of wooden panels below them, lowering the top of the structure by about three feet.
“Bwa-bwaak!” came another call.
This one was coming from the side.
“He’s going straight for the rock, I think,” commented Simba.
Indeed, the next hornbill flew right into the rock that protected the lions from the side. The rock didn’t budge.
“Ooh…” said Simba and Nala together, but they both couldn’t help but smile.
“Paper beats rock, rock beats hornbill, hornbill beats paper,” commented Simba.
This time the hornbill came back from above. Right above, actually. The feathered animal flew through a plank on the top of the roof and then busted a log that lied horizontally below it. A couple more panels fell through and landed on the floor next to Simba and Nala.
For a moment the two lions feared that the hornbill might now be able to get to them, but instead he flew off.
Nala’s face fell grim. “I see daylight,” she said, looking at a wide patch of sunlight that now appeared on one of the supporting rocks. “Simba, I’m worried that hornbill’s gone back to tell the others!”
“Bwa-bwaak!” came another call.
This hornbill flew right into a critical element of the structure: it hit a supporting log on the top, which meant the log fell over and knocked another log next to it down, and then another, and then another, and then another until the domino effect worked its way towards the back of the cave. A loud groan echoed off of the walls inside Simba and Nala’s den. They both embraced each other tightly again.
Everything that had been supported by the logs fell down one level and slammed down onto the rocks below it. A massive boom echoed off of the walls, but now not a lot of movement was going on.
Simba opened an eye and looked up. He could hear a distinct creaking sound coming from the center: and now he could see why. A rock, positioned with two supporting beams resting on each side of it, was slowly being pulled down by gravity. If that rock fell, the supporting beams would lose their support, and then the structure would surely fall.
Nala looked up too and smiled. “The daylight’s gone.”
“Nala! See that rock there, we can’t let it fall!”
“But it’s falling,” said Nala, watching gravity slowly pull it down ever further. Next to her leg, however, Nala found a log that had broken off of their tower earlier. If she could prop it up underneath the rock, it would be enough to hold it up for…at least until Easter.
Nala picked up the log and shoved it underneath the rock just before it was able to slide out from beneath the two supporting beams.
Simba patted her hard on the back. “Good thinking there, Nala.”
“Thanks,” the lioness replied. She looked at the rock and how it was supporting the beams. “Ooh…I see what you mean. If that rock falls down, we’re done for.”
“It’s supporting the entire weight of the structure.”
“Is there anything you could do?”
“Why bother?” asked Simba, smiling. “This is great Nala, we have access to the key part of the tower. If we can just keep this rock in place, we’re going to be okay.”
Nala frowned. “What was that?”
Before Simba could reply, however, Bolly Brown, the Kamikaze Owl, who was actually a hornbill, smashed into the middle of the structure and pushed one of the logs over. A rock fell down onto the rock that was supporting the two beams, and it took the hit. Everything remained standing in place.
Simba and Nala’s faces lit up.
“I’m proud of this rock,” said Simba, putting his paw up next to it. “It’s doing a good job.”
“And that’s what we’ll call it,” added Nala, “Pride Rock.”
Nala woke up in the middle of the night, truthfully quite content with her surroundings. She looked at the pile of eggs in front of her. They were almost all done now, and Simba had gotten much better at painting. When she tallied, she had done about forty, and Simba was catching up: now having done three. Nala looked out at the tower. Pride Rock had not budged since Nala had stuck that log underneath it. What was left of the structure was holding up well and, most importantly, was protecting them from the outside elements, otherwise known as hornbills.
So why had Nala woken up? She was usually good at being able to sleep through the night without interruption. She only ever woke up if it was morning or if something was wrong. She ran her tongue around her lips.
Now Nala realized. She still didn’t trust Simba on this issue. She was sure he had some somewhere, otherwise why would he have been defensive?
Her mate had chosen to sleep out in the mud. It hadn’t rained anytime recently, so really it wasn’t that bad, and it was much more comfortable than trying to fit both of them into the small back cave.
Suddenly, Nala’s eye caught sight of something shiny to her right. Where the cave ended and the structure began, there was a small stagger in the wall, and Nala could tell that something was there, hidden behind the wall and next to the structure.
The lioness got up and made her way by the cave, and then she caught sight of it: a water bottle.
All this time, for some or no reason, Simba had been hiding it from her. She picked it up. It was still completely full. Maybe Simba was planning on saving it for the final day, when they really needed it. But if that had been the case, why couldn’t he have just told her?
Nala shook her head. If hide-and-go-seek was really the game that Simba had wanted to play, then she had won. She took the lid of and chugged the entire bottle. She put the cap back on it and tucked it back behind the wall, and then made her way back to bed.
For the next day, until Easter, there would be no more water left in the cave.
Nala awoke again. This time she knew why. It didn’t help that a small leak in the roof was resulting in drips of water coming through.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Nala cursed under her breath. She already knew how the conversation would go.
“Simba, honey, where should I go for the bathroom?”
“Why do you need the bathroom?”
“Well…I drank all the water.”
If Simba was thirsty, boy would he be mad. Nala sighed and admitted defeat. It had to be done. The lioness got up and walked over towards her mate. She gently rocked him by the shoulder.
“Hmm?” asked Simba, realizing that his mate was trying to wake him.
“Simba…did you make any kind of…you know…back entrance?” Nala asked.
Simba shook his head slowly. “No…sorry Nala. We’re completely closed in. What do you need one for?”
“I’ve got to go,” replied Nala.
“Number one or number two?” Simba asked, lying his head back down.
“Just do what I do. Go in the bottle.”
At this instant, Nala’s face fell utterly grim. “What?”
Simba frowned. “Is that a problem?” he asked.
Before he could evoke a response though, his mate was coughing wildly and spitting out onto the ground.
“Nala, are you okay?”
“Oh gods, Simba! Now I really need water!” Nala retorted.
Nala didn’t reply, she just kept coughing and spitting and brushing her tongue off with the backs of her paws in order to dry it out.
Simba caught sight of the plastic bottle. It was empty. “Nala…you didn’t drink that bottle, did you?”
“All of it,” replied Nala, staring down at the ground. “I thought it was water,” she added admittedly.
Simba turned away from his mate, completely lost for words. Nala spat a couple more times before she heard the first sounds come out of her mate’s mouth: laughter.
“Simba,” cautioned Nala.
But now the lion had lost his balance and rolled onto his back. Nala wanted to cover her ears to block his chortles from entering them, but then she heard something even worse:
A hornbill crashed into the side of the tower, resulting in a standing rock falling over and being shoved right into the log that supported Pride Rock, shoving the log out of place.
Nala gasped and ran up under Pride Rock. She stood on her hind legs and tried to push it back up so that the supporting beams wouldn’t budge.
Simba was already back up onto his feet.
“Simba, can you take this from me?” asked Nala, struggling under the weight of the rock.
“No, you’ve got it good,” replied Simba. “I’ll get the log and we can put it back up.”
“But Simba, I need the bottle!” cried Nala.
“Oh yeah, good point,” replied Simba, running up next to Nala under Pride Rock. “Here, I’ve got it.”
Nala let go and Pride Rock sagged about a foot.
“Oof – damn, it is heavy!” exclaimed Simba, as another hornbill smashed into the tower above. Some debris fell around Simba and the roof creaked and groaned above him. Simba turned his head sideways, Nala had already ran behind the side of the back cave with the bottle. “Nala, uh…if you could hurry up…that would be great,” he said, as the rock pushed Simba ever further downwards.
This hornbill hit the tower from the top, and a rock toppled off of the roof…and down onto the top of Pride Rock.
Simba buckled ever more under the weight. “Nala, hurry!”
“It’s an air raid!” he exclaimed, as another hornbill flew into the side of the structure and sent debris flying. A loud groaning noise echoed around the den, but Simba didn’t dare look up. He had his eyes clenched tight and now was practically kneeling down on the ground as Pride Rock was being pushed down further and further.
“I’m coming!” called Nala, as she ran back into the mud. She grabbed the log from the floor and shoved it back up under Pride Rock.
“Come on, push it some more,” encouraged Simba, as Nala began to use her paws as well as the log in order to make more room under the rock. “Watch the beam!” the lion exclaimed, as Nala finally was able to make Pride Rock move.
Nala checked back over her shoulder and saw that one of the supporting beams had indeed slid off of Pride Rock. Nala spun around and was able to catch it before it hit the ground, but the structure had begun falling. Nala lifted her head up just as a large rock came down on top of her, and the lioness was knocked out cold.
“Come on Nala, wake up,” called Simba, shaking her shoulder and pinching her side ever harder. “Don’t make me have to throw the ‘water’ over you.”
Simba gasped. “Nala, can you hear me?” he asked.
“Mm hmm,” replied the lioness.
“Oh, that’s fantastic!” exclaimed Simba, quietly though, just in case his mate had a headache. “Hey, the tower’s still standing, okay? Well…actually it’s not, but we’re still protected. I dragged you back here to the back den and then there was one more attack. I couldn’t get the supporting beam back in place and so we lost another half of our floor space when the hornbill hit, but we still have access to Pride Rock. As long as we can get that to hold the final beam in place, we have protection.”
Nala groaned. “What time is it?” she asked.
“It’s daytime. I finished a couple more eggs,” added Simba, trying to light his mate up. “So are you okay?”
“Headache,” replied Nala. “Got anything that could cure that?”
“Well…we have water.”
“Yeah…I think I’ll pass on that.” Nala finally opened her eyes. “Eh…you could give me a bit more room if you liked,” she said, now noticing that Simba’s face was practically pushed right up to hers.
“Well I don’t have much of a choice,” replied Simba, checking over his shoulder, “since that last attack, we really don’t have that much room.”
Nala looked over her mate and out into what was left of the structure that Simba had built. He was right; there really weren’t a lot of other places where he could lie down right now.
“Couldn’t you clear up some of the debris?”
“I wanted to make sure you were okay first,” replied Simba. “I could work on it now if you think it would help.”
“It can’t hurt. I’ll get back to painting. It will take my mind off of things.”
Simba smiled. “Sounds like a plan.”
By the time that the sun was beginning to set, the amount of floor space in Simba and Nala’s den was almost the same as what it had been before the supporting beam had fallen.
Just as Simba turned around to check how Nala was doing, someone began knocking on a piece of wood.
Simba whirled back around. “Who’s there?” he asked.
“Mailman!” exclaimed Timon, making his way through a gap that only someone of his stature would be able to fit through.
“Timon!” Nala’s face had brightened up immensely. “It’s great to finally see someone who’s not a smelly lion.”
Simba glared at her.
“Yeah, yeah, misses. Here’s your mail,” said the meerkat, handing it to her. He looked over at the brightly colored Easter eggs. “You guys will have those ready in time for tomorrow now, won’t you?”
“Most certainly,” replied Simba.
“That’s great news. You don’t want to let all those cubs down, you know. Alright, well I guess I’ll see you guys later,” said Timon, as he waved goodbye and began to leave.
“Bye Timon!” chorused the two lions as he disappeared from sight.
“Well…at least he is on our side,” commented Simba.
“Hmm,” came Nala’s reply, turning the first piece of mail over. “This is a postcard from Pride Rock: Dear Nala and Simba, we hope you are getting on okay inside that ugly-looking thing that Simba built. We’re looking forward to seeing you tomorrow for Easter! We’re having a great time at Pride Rock and you needn’t be concerned with anything. Missing you dearly, love Sarabi and Sarafina. Aw…that was nice of them.”
“Sure was,” replied Simba, “what’s that next one? It looks kind of official.”
Nala picked it up and opened the envelope, and then began reading the letter. “Um…I don’t quite know how to tell you this, Simba…but, it’s an eviction notice.”
Simba smiled. “From the Hornbills by any chance, they don’t like us living here?”
“No…eh…it’s an eviction notice for Pride Rock. We’re not allowed to live there anymore.”
Simba frowned. “Why?”
“We didn’t file vacation leave properly.”
“That’s nonsense! I filled out all that paperwork.”
“Perhaps it’s just an April Fool’s joke.”
“Hopefully, who do they expect to govern?”
“Julia is Queen.”
“Pbft! No competition. She’ll do rubbish.”
“Hey! Julia’s a nice girl.”
“Yeah, that is true. Hopefully she’ll be nice enough to give us our positions back, then. What’s next?”
Nala picked up the next piece of mail: a magazine. “Eh…it’s a Playboy maga…”
Simba snatched it from her. “Whoa? How did that end up in here?” He chuckled nervously. “Must have been for Pumbaa. Next!”
Nala frowned disapprovingly but continued to pick up the final piece of mail. “It’s a letter,” she said.
“It doesn’t say.”
Simba and Nala exchanged glances, before Nala turned the letter over and broke the seal. She pulled the letter up out of the envelope, and, in big writing, both Nala and Simba read the words:
When Nala woke up, it was one of the greatest pleasures she had ever experienced. Instead of mud underneath her, she was now lying on grass. Instead of the air being hot and stuffy, it was now breezy and free. And instead of the stagnant smell of mould, it was now the smell of grass and of a small flower patch nearby.
Nala opened her eyes. Her dreams were confirmed! She was outside! It was a bright, sunny day and no one else was around. The grass was green and the flowers were all blooming up towards the sky. Nala got up onto her feet and began prancing around, and the music began to play:
“I see trees of green,
“Red roses too,
“I see them bloom,
“For me and you,
“And I think to myself,
“What a wonderful world…”
Nala suddenly gasped as her eyes caught sight of something.
“Simba!” she called out.
“Nala!” the lion replied. He came running over to his mate and knocked her down to the ground playfully. “Nala, it’s great to see you! I love it when you’re in my dream!”
“Dream? What are you…oh,” Nala’s face fell a bit, “I guess it is just a dream, isn’t it? Ah well, at least we’re in it together!”
“Darn right!” replied Simba. “I was afraid. I thought I would go off tonight and dream of hornbills.”
Just as Simba finished saying that, dark clouds appeared above his head and a large thunder bolt struck. Simba had to turn around to see it; Nala could already see it as she was looking up at the sky after having being knocked down by Simba: it was beginning to rain.
“Uh oh…” commented Simba, “…come on, we don’t want to get wet.”
“They’re not raindrops Simba…” Nala replied, petrified.
As the objects got closer, Simba could tell that his mate was right.
“OH GOD, RUN NALA!”
The two lions began running really fast, as every time the hornbills hit the ground they were exploding into flames. Suddenly, Zazu came flying down right in front of Simba and Nala’s noses with a piece of paper folded up in between his claws.
Simba and Nala stopped in their tracks.
Zazu eased off the pressure on the piece of paper and it opened up for them to read:
“Aargh!” screamed Simba and Nala together, and they whirled around and continued to run.
“Oh no!” exclaimed Nala, “it’s raining blackmail now too!”
Around them now, not only were hornbills falling to the ground and exploding, but pieces of paper with the words ‘BWA-BWAAK!’ around them were too.
“Simba, where do we go? There’s no shelter anywhere!”
“Oh yes there is!” shouted Simba back, determined.
Simba and Nala made their way over a hill, and now they could finally see the structure that they had built from the outside.
“Oh, thank heavens!” exclaimed Nala.
But before they could get any closer to it, a call came from above:
A hornbill charged down from the air and smashed into the structure, setting on fire and causing it to burn down to the ground. All of the raindrop-hornbills suddenly stopped falling, and they all rushed towards the structure.
Simba and Nala’s eyes grew wide as each egg emitted a chick on fire, and their mothers cried as they watched them burn up.
Simba closed his eyes. “Don’t watch Nala! Our minds are trying to make us feel guilt! This is not actually happening – it’s just a dream! Those eggs are unfertilized, and you know it!”
Nala couldn’t close her eyes though. She just watched on in horror. Suddenly Simba’s words caught onto her though.
“I need to get out of here!” she exclaimed, and she whirled back around and continued to run. Simba soon followed. “Simba, I hear feathers behind us! Are they following us?”
Simba checked over his shoulder.
“Yup,” Simba replied, “and they look much angrier than before.” Simba swung his head back around just in time to realize that he needed to stop running. Something else was appearing in front of him and Nala. Nala stopped too, and they both watched the objects come out from under the ground in front of them.
“Oh no, water bottles!” exclaimed Nala.
“Diplomats!” cried Simba.
“I guess the dream’s making us see whatever we fear the most.”
Simba frowned. “Water bottles?” he asked his mate.
“Hey, after what I experienced, you would too,” explained Nala.
No sooner than Nala had finished saying this, and the lions’ attentions were both brought back to the fact that their fears were approaching them.
‘Water’ was being sprayed out of the bottles as they closed in on Nala, and the diplomats were handing out negotiations for Simba to sign.
Suddenly, Simba came up with an idea. “Nala! Pinch me, and I’ll wake up!”
“That’s great,” replied Nala sarcastically, “what about me?”
“I’ll shake you awake in the back cave.”
“But what if you forget about this dream?”
“Then it’s just a dream, anyways. The ‘water’ won’t harm you.”
“Wait…why don’t we just pinch each other at the same time?”
Simba came up with no immediate response, but then he replied: “You know, that’s a good idea.”
The ‘water’ was now landing at Nala’s front paws and the negotiations were being held right in front of Simba’s face. From behind, the hornbills were hovering above Simba and Nala’s tails.
Simba and Nala both held their arms up.
“Ready?” asked Simba.
They both pinched each other and closed their eyes.
When they opened their eyes, they were still in the same place. Which means that above line break was completely unnecessary.
“Oh crap,” said Simba.
The diplomats, water bottles and hornbills all closed in to strike on the two lions.
“Aargh!” they screamed.
Their screams bounced off the walls of the den and woke them both up.
They both let out a sigh of relief.
“Want to go back to sleep?” asked Simba.
Nala shook her head ‘no.’
“Neither do I,” replied her mate, smiling.
Through the cracks in their den, sunlight was beginning to make its way through.
Both of the lions smiled.
“What time are the cubs meant to be here, Nala?”
“There are still a few more hours,” replied the lioness. “Which is good…we’ve still got about three eggs left to finish.”
“Come on then, let’s get cracking,” replied Simba.
“When it comes to eggs dearest, ‘cracking’ is not always the best idea.”
“Done!” stated Nala proudly, setting the last of many eggs that they had painted down. “How much longer until the cubs get here, do you think?” she asked her mate.
“Not much longer,” came Simba’s reply. “Probably ten, fifteen minutes at most.”
Nala got up and smiled. “All things considered, I think we did well.”
“I hear that,” replied Simba. He held his paw out for Nala to shake. “Nice working with you.”
Nala laughed lightly. “You too,” she replied, shaking Simba’s paw.
The two lions stopped shaking and then put their paws down. Neither of them could help but marvel at the fact that they had been able to keep their structure standing and every single egg intact with all that had happened in the past several days.
Slowly though, a beat was starting to arise.
The lions’ hearts sank.
“Oh no…not now,” whined Nala, “not when we’re this close. Not when we’ve came this far…”
Far above in the air, a formation of what must have been about one hundred hornbills was making its way towards Simba and Nala’s den. They approached in a giant triangle, with fifty of them flapping their wings downwards while the other fifty flapped their wings upwards. In order to keep them in beat, they had turned some music on and placed it on the ground below, with the bass as high up as it would go.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
“Another one bites the dust.”
Boom. Boom. Boom.
“Another one bites the dust…”
Before Simba and Nala could listen to any more of the awesome song, the first wave of hornbills made their move. There were about ten individual hornbills in all that struck the structure from above.
Simba gently nudged the eggs as far back into the back cave as they would go while Nala ran up to Pride Rock…just in case.
A series of “bwa-bwaak!”s surrounded the atmosphere just before they all made impact simultaneously, and debris was sent flying everywhere. Simba moved away from the back cave and ran up to Nala to help her with Pride Rock.
Fortunately, Nala didn’t need help yet. The log was still supporting the large rock.
That was before the second wave came in.
“Bwa-bwaak!” chorused the set of another ten hornbills as they struck from above and from the side.
Nala whimpered and clung onto her mate as more pieces of shattered wood and falling rocks fell around them. A huge rock was dislodged from the roof above and slammed down onto a plank right above Simba and Nala’s heads, making them duck in order to avoid being hit as the plank almost snapped in half under the shock.
“Why are they torturing us?” asked Nala.
“They’re not after us,” explained Simba, “they’re just attacking the tower. They probably think we’re in the back cave. They don’t know about Pride Rock.”
A third wave was now sent swooping down. Upon impact, the log supporting Pride Rock finally snapped, and Nala and Simba both pushed their front legs up in order to support it.
“Simba!” shouted Nala, “I’ve got this! You need to hold that supporting beam in place!”
Simba nodded in acknowledgement and grabbed a hold of the beam.
Here came the fourth wave.
As they made impact and the top of the tower fell apart, another huge rock fell from the roof above and slammed down onto the top of Pride Rock and the supporting beam. Nala buckled under the weight, but Simba had worse problems: the beam had slipped from his hands.
Nala had her eyes clenched tight, and so Simba had to shout to let her know.
“Nala, I’ve lost the beam! It’s caving in, run back into the back cave, now!” and then Simba ran. Nala, however, stood in place, hoping the fact that she still had Pride Rock in her hands was worth something. She couldn’t let the hornbills win…not after all this time.
A fifth wave came flying in and knocked down some of the final supporting logs and rocks from the top of the tower.
It wasn’t until Simba had made his way to the back cave that he realized his mate wasn’t with him. “Nala!” he called. “Get over here, now!”
A sixth wave flew in, striking from the top again.
Suddenly, Simba could hear a groan much deeper than any other groan before. He looked up, wondering what it could possibly be. He then remembered: the shield.
He had given that name, ‘the shield,’ to the biggest rock he could find. He had placed it at the very top of the tower in order to prevent attacks from above, but now it was toppling…and it was about to come down.
“Oh no,” Simba said to himself. He backed up as far as he could inside the back cave, knowing that the shield was going to slam down right in front of him. He gathered all the eggs up and held them tightly to his chest, hoping that they would remain intact.
The shield crashed through the top of the back cave and sent much smaller fragments of shield and cave rock flying, and now the top of the structure was left completely exposed to the next wave of hornbills.
That wave came and took the opportunity. Planks and logs fell over as if the structure had been made of playing cards. Yet Nala still stood underneath Pride Rock, sweat rolling down her as she struggled to keep it up, standing on her hind legs.
Another wave came in and sent even more wood crashing down.
And then another.
And then another.
And then another.
Nala was still straining under the weight of Pride Rock when it had all gone silent. She still had her knees bent and eyes clenched tight as she pushed up against the rock that she knew supported the rest of the structure.
It was at that moment, however, when she heard her mate, much closer than he had been before.
“Nala,” said Simba gently, “it’s over.”
Nala opened her eyes. Things now looked completely different in front of her. Fragments of broken wood and rocks all lied scattered across the floor, but beyond them there were no longer any walls. There was openness. Pure and utter openness. The sky was blue, the grass was green, and there was a breeze that blew and some birds chirping merrily in the air. Nala looked up. All she was holding now was Pride Rock. The rest of the structure had lost its support and was all turned into rubble beneath her. If Nala had checked behind her, she would have seen that the back cave had gone too. The lioness took a deep breath and sigh, and then settled Pride Rock down next to her.
No sooner after she had done this, and a bunch of hornbills flew down and circled the two lions. Some of them looked smug, but most of them just looked plain pissed.
Simba and Nala exchanged glances. What could they say?
Suddenly, however, some new characters entered the arena.
Coming from beside them, about thirty to forty lion cubs came running merrily with their mothers trying to keep up behind them.
“Yay! Easter eggs!” shouted one of the cubs. The rest of the cubs seemed to share this degree of delight as they ran and cheered up to the brightly colored eggs.
The hornbills forgot about Simba and Nala and flew up to where the lion cubs and their mothers were now surrounding the eggs.
“Now come on guys, those eggs are not for you,” said Zazu, trying to butt in.
“Mommy look, this one is green!”
“Mine is yellow.”
“Now come on, that egg belongs to Emilia there…”
“This one’s mine too,” said one of the female hornbills.
“This one’s red!” exclaimed one of the cubs.
“Now come on son, be gentle with that,” said one of the lionesses.
“I like the circles on this one.”
“I bet mine tastes better than yours.”
“I’m sorry, cub, but I gave birth to this egg.”
“Mommy look, this one’s hatching!”
Everyone fell silent.
“Hey…that’s my egg,” said Emilia, walking up to it slowly. Everyone crowded around as slowly but surely, the top of the egg was beginning to crack off, as the young chick worked its way out.
“Aw, isn’t that lovely,” said one of the lionesses. She was the mother of the cub that had claimed the hatching egg as ‘his.’ “Look, son, it’s a baby hornbill.”
The top of the egg fell off and the chick found Emilia.
“Momma!” it called.
Emilia wrapped her wings around the chick, but then another cracking sound was heard.
“Oh look, that one’s hatching too!”
“Oh, and so is that one!”
“That one too!”
“They’re all hatching!”
A bunch of cracking sounds, followed by a ‘pop’ as the top of each egg fell off, followed by a “Momma!” as each chick recognized the hornbill that had given birth to it, surrounded the area.
Meanwhile, about five feet away from all of the births and embracing, stood two jaw-dropped, flabbergasted, amazed, astounded, stupended, shell-shocked, goggle-eyed, did-that-really-just-happen lions who really didn’t know what to think.
Simba looked at Nala and then elbowed her in the side to grab her attention.
Nala looked at Simba, still with her jaw hung open.
Very, very quietly, in something that could barely be registered as a whisper, Simba said to Nala: “This would be a fantastic time to back away, real slow-like.”
Nala nodded in agreement without hesitation.
As the two lions began to walk slowly backwards, Nala suddenly stepped onto the tail of a mouse that just happened to be making its way by.
The mouse let out a loud “squeak!” and then ran off.
The sound grabbed the attention of every hornbill, lion cub and lioness in attendance, as well as everybody else, towards Simba and Nala.
The former King and Queen now found themselves victims of angry glares.
Nala gulped, but then took a step forwards, chuckling nervously. “I…I guess we owe everyone an apology,” she began, smiling. However, nobody else smiled, and Nala’s mouth fell.
“Now come on guys,” Simba joined in, “yeah…sure…Nala and I screwed up…but we really didn’t think those eggs were fertilized. But…but now you think about it, and, well, aren’t we all glad that those eggs were fertilized in the end? Without it, I mean, the cubs would have just gotten to eat some tasty eggs…at best. But now, they’ve gotten to witness what the true meaning of Easter: birth. New and innocent lives being brought into the world, their hearts empty of sin. Isn’t that what this is all about?”
“No,” replied one of the angry mother hornbills, “Easter is about the death of Jesus, and how his sacrifice allows us to be forgiven for our sins.”
“Exactly!” replied Simba, in the same gentle tone as before, “and Nala and I sinned…and now, because of Easter, you get to forgive us, right?”
No reply came. If anything, the hornbills just looked even angrier. Simba’s cheapish smile disappeared.
“You just blew it. You know that, don’t you?” asked Nala to her mate.
“You know guys,” said Timon, joining in the scene. “I kind of agree with Simba. I mean, these two were just trying to do good things. And they were doing it in terrible living conditions mind you. I just had some of their water from that water bottle, and it was absolutely terrible!”
Nala bit her lip.
“Could any of you do what these guys have done?” asked Timon.
For the first time in many days, the hornbills were beginning to feel a bit of guilt. Yes, it was true; Simba and Nala had been trying to do good things. And after all, if it wasn’t for the stuffiness of the den that they had been living in, their eggs may never have survived.
“Look,” said Nala, “all we’re asking for is forgiveness. We’ve learned our lesson.”
The hornbills were beginning to consider it.
“Well that,” added Simba, “but also we’d like our jobs back.”
Everyone frowned, including Nala.
“You just don’t know when to shut your trap, do you?” she whispered angrily to her mate.
Zazu sighed, and then flew up to his former King and Queen. “You know,” he began, “this has been an Easter miracle…and I guess we all did wrong, but we’ve all learned our lesson. And if there is one lesson to be taken from Easter, it is remembering why we should forgive. Which is why I will make sure that Julia gives you back your positions.”
Simba and Nala both gave out huge sighs of relief.
“Thank you Zazu,” they both said, one after the other.
“However,” added Zazu, holding one of his wings up for emphasis, “what you did was unforgivable. And that is why we must emphasize that we will only grant forgiveness on one condition…”
Simba and Nala lie shaking in their beds, dreading what would occur in less than sixty seconds time.
Their clock read 5:59.
“Well,” said Simba, “it was nice of Zazu and Julia to give our jobs back.”
“Yeah,” replied Nala, “and I’m glad all the mothers found their rightful chicks.”
“But I still don’t like this end of the compromise…”
“BWA-BWAAK! BWA-BWAAK! BWA-BWAAK! BWA-BWAAK!”
“Aargh!” they both screamed.
“Turn it off! Turn it off!” yelled Nala.
“It’s not turning off!” exclaimed Simba.
“Hit the snooze button!”
“I can’t find it! Hammer! Hammer! Hammer!”
“IT WON’T BREAK!!”
“BWA-BWAAK! BWA-BWAAK! BWA-BWAAK! HOO-HOOT!”